Name: Thomas P. DiNapoli
Party Affiliation: Democrat, Working Families
Occupation: New York State Comptroller
Decision to Run: I am running to remain New York State Comptroller so that I can continue to provide strong leadership in Albany, root out wasteful spending and ensure the state is making the most of every tax dollar. Since I became Comptroller three years ago, I have identified nearly $3 billion in misused taxpayer dollars, vigilantly safeguarded the retirement benefits of over one million New Yorkers, and been a leading voice for reform in Albany. I’m proud of what we have achieved so far, and I am running because I want to keep making this great state a better place to live, work and raise a family.
Major Issues: Especially in these tough economic times, New Yorkers deserve nothing less than an aggressive fiscal watchdog who fights every day to guard their hard-earned tax dollars. That’s what I’ve done as Comptroller, and that’s what I’ll continue to do. I have approached this job with a simple perspective: it’s your money and it’s my job to protect it.
I also want to continue to protect and strengthen the retirement benefits of New York’s hardworking men and women. Even as many public pensions are facing funding crises, ours remains, as we were recently called in Governing Magazine, the “nationwide pension leader.”
Top Priorities: We have to get Albany’s fiscal house in order. As Comptroller, I have stood independent of the Albany dysfunction and held government accountable by being one of the strongest voices for real budget and debt reform. I’ve already introduced a series of proposals, and I’m going to make sure we fix this process.
Name: Harry J. Wilson
Party Affiliation: Republican, Independence & Conservative
Occupation: I spent my career as an investor, primarily in distressed companies and working to fix them.
Decision to Run: I have deep experience fixing broken companies and broad investing experience at some of the best investment firms in the nation. In 2009, I crossed party lines and joined the President’s Auto Task Force where I led the restructuring of General Motors – the most successful large corporate turnaround in American history. The financial skills I have are perfectly suited for Comptroller, and I intend to attack overspending, eliminate mismanagement and reduce the tax burden for all New Yorkers.
Major Issues: First, the greatest challenge for most New Yorkers is the lack of good, available jobs. This has to be one of the highest priorities for any elected official. I believe we must make New York an attractive place to do business. As Comptroller, I will review the barriers to new job creation and work to eliminate them in order to encourage economic growth and prosperity.
Second, New York has the highest tax burden in the nation. This hurts everyone, but especially working class New Yorkers who can least afford it. As Comptroller, I will conduct a forensic audit of every dollar Albany spends, restructure our dysfunctional State government and identify enough savings to reduce the tax burden on all New Yorkers.
Top Priorities: The New York State Constitution vests broad audit authority in the office of the Comptroller to audit all aspects of State spending and thus expose fiscal mismanagement. I would seek to apply these powers to review every dollar Albany spends and identify enough savings within 100 days of taking office to close the $8.2 billion budget gap for fiscal year 2011—without borrowings or increasing taxes.