21 February, 2006

Pataki's Medical Problems Put A Crimp In Political Travels-NY Times; Local Pols Unite To Block Ports Deal

In a story written for tomorrow's editions of the New York Times, Michael Cooper reports that Governor Pataki's medical problems are forcing him to miss some planned political appearances around the country, including one at the National Governor's Association winter meeting, where Pataki was hoping to make the rounds as he maps out a bid for the presidency in 2008. Pataki has been able to run the state's business from his hospital bed, but his recuperation period will put a crimp in his political schedule.

One of the things the governor was able to do was join the battle against the Bush Administration's plans to turn over operations of six American ports - including the Port of New York - to a company from the United Arab Emirates.

"I have directed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to explore all legal options that may be available to them in regards to this transaction," Pataki said in a statement.

Sens. Hillary Clinton and Charles Shumer of New York and Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey have also opposed the awarding of the contract to Dubai Ports World.

In addition to Pataki, a number of prominent local Republicans have also expressed opposition, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rep. Peter King.

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, a Democrat, ordered the state's attorney general to file suit to block the move.

Bush is even being opposed by House speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate majority leader Bill Frist, who announced he would introduce legislation blocking the sale of the company that controls the six ports to the Dubai company if the administration allows the transaction. Bush has threatened to veto any such legislation.

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