New York Governor George Pataki — a potential presidential candidate in 2008 — is in the state thanking Iowans who volunteered in New York City after September 11th, and he’s also helping local Republicans raise money.
“This year and then certainly next year when you have an open governor’s race and at least two very hotly-contested congressional races I’m going to do everything I can to help the Republican Party have the energy and the excitement to win these races,” Pataki says.
Pataki spoke last (Thursday) night at a Clinton County Republican dinner and he helped a G-O-P candidate for the Davenport City Council raise money, too. Earlier in the day, Pataki thanked 30 Red Cross volunteers from the Quad Cities who went to New York after the terror attacks of 9/11.
As the country sees another state try to recover from another hurricane, Pataki says having just one command center in New York four years was key to the recovery there. “The most important thing I think from government is that the initial response has to depend on strong, local leadership,” Pataki says. “One of the important decisions that I made on September 11th was that we were not going to have a state command operation, a city command operation, a federal command operation — we were going to have a joint center and a joint response so that all the decisions and all the actions were going to in a coordinated way.”
Pataki is reluctant to talk about the prospect of becoming president and what changes he might make in emergency preparedness. “I’m not going to speculate on what the next president of the country might do to change things,” Pataki says.
Pataki says the Bush Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency “responded appropriately” to the September 11th catastrophe. Pataki will tour the Vermeer plant in Pella this morning at nine o’clock to thank employees there for the equipment they sent to New York to help the 9/11 recovery.