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Paterson: I'm not cutting budget to gain votes

Gov. David A. Paterson insisted again Sunday that his budget cutting isn't designed to reverse his poor electoral prospects in 2010.

"I'm not necessarily doing it to win the election," he said of delaying $750 million in state payments to schools and local governments. "I'm doing it because the state is about to go bankrupt."

Paterson was responding to a caller to a Buffalo radio show who said he planned to vote for him. The caller said the governor should reduce the power of unions representing state employees.

Last week, Paterson told PBS' Tavis Smiley that voters should back him because he's kept New York from the fiscal calamity confronting California, Michigan and Hawaii. "I've balanced two budgets on time in the middle of a recession, haven't missed a payment to an obligator . . . and have a credit rating as strong as other states in the country," Paterson said. "I think I should be re-elected off that alone."

- James T. Madore in Albany

State & Region