Contact: Joshua Fitzpatrick, (518) 542-2413
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tedisco Separates The "Myth From Reality" Surrounding Governor Spitzer's Unlawful Proposal To Give Illegal Aliens Driver's Licenses

In an effort to distinguish the "myth" from the "reality" surrounding Governor Eliot Spitzer's unlawful proposal to issue driver's licenses to illegal aliens, Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) today set the record straight.

"Separating the myth from reality surrounding Governor Spitzer's unlawful proposal to hand out driver's licenses to illegal aliens is a crucial part of having an open, honest debate. More than 200 elected officials, security experts and members of law enforcement believe Governor Spitzer's proposal would make us less safe, less secure. The Governor's plan is risky, reckless and irresponsible - and, in the opinion of 72 percent of New Yorkers surveyed in a Siena Research Institute poll, it is just plain wrong," Tedisco stated.

"Instead of trying to demonize, discredit and steamroll critics of his unlawful proposal, Governor Spitzer should try listening to the legitimate, bi-partisan concerns being raised. This is about safety and security, right and wrong and stopping 'Illegal Eliot's' unlawful proposal," Tedisco said.

Governor Eliot Spitzer's plan to give driver's licenses to illegal aliens:
separating MYTH from REALITY.

SPITZER'S MYTH: Governor Spitzer's plan to give illegal aliens driver's licenses is lawful.

NEW YORK'S REALITY: Governor Spitzer's plan violates Section 502 of the NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law. It also defies the Federal REAL ID Act.

SPITZER'S MYTH: Governor Spitzer's plan keeps New Yorkers safe in a post-9/11 world.

NEW YORK'S REALITY: John Lehman, former U.S. Navy Secretary who served on the independent, bi-partisan 9/11 Commission said [Governor Spitzer's plan is a]: "perfect formula for al-Qaeda. They won't be able to resist it ... So New York becomes a sanctuary for al-Qaeda and all sorts of other people on the lam."

SPITZER'S MYTH: Broad support exists for Governor Spitzer's plan.

NEW YORK'S REALITY: There is widespread, growing opposition to Governor Spitzer's plan: NYC Mayors Ed Koch, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, former NYS DMV Commissioner Ray Martinez, members of the state Legislature and scores of County Legislators and other local elected officials from across the state. A Siena Research Institute poll released October 15, found that of New Yorkers who have read or heard about Governor Spitzer's plan, 72 percent oppose it. More than 200 elected officials, security experts and members of law enforcement oppose Governor's Spitzer's plan.

SPITZER'S MYTH: There is strong support among County Clerks for Governor Spitzer's plan.

NEW YORK'S REALITY: The NYS Association of County Clerks rejected Governor Spitzer's plan by an overwhelming vote of 29-4. Clerks on record as opposing Governor Spitzer's plan include those representing Allegany, Cayuga, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Herkimer, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Rennselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schoharie, Steuben, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne and Yates counties.

SPITZER'S MYTH: Critics of Governor Spitzer's plan are "rabid right-wingers," & "partisan fear mongers."

NEW YORK'S REALITY: Leading people who oppose Governor Spitzer's plan, including former NYC Mayor Ed Koch, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Anthony Weiner, Congressman John Hall, State Senator Craig Johnson, Albany County Sheriff Jim Campbell, Assemblywomen Ginny Fields and Pat Eddington, Oneida County Clerk Sandra DePerno and Erie County Executive Candidate Jim Keane.

SPITZER'S MYTH: Families of 9/11 victims support Governor Spitzer's proposal.

NEW YORK'S REALITY: President of 9/11 Families for a Secure America Peter Gadiel testified, "If the Governor follows through with his plan, when there is another 9/11, it is likely those involved will have obtained New York driver's licenses. In that case, Spitzer will have on his hands the blood of victims."

SPITZER'S MYTH: Governor Spitzer's plan brings illegal aliens out of the shadows.

NEW YORK'S REALITY: According to the DMV's own September 2007 power point presentation, the agency will delete records documenting illegal aliens.

SPITZER'S MYTH: There is strong support in law enforcement for Governor Spitzer's plan.

NEW YORK'S REALITY: Albany, Oneida and Schoharie County Sheriffs oppose it, so does NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne.

SPITZER'S MYTH: Giving illegal aliens driver's licenses will lower auto insurance costs for all New Yorkers.

NEW YORK'S REALITY: Despite repeated requests for information, the State Insurance Department has not provided any empirical evidence supporting this claim. Not only does Governor Spitzer's claim lack credibility - it defies logic: why would illegal aliens who have been driving illegally suddenly purchase auto insurance?

SPITZER'S MYTH: States that have enacted a policy similar to Governor Spitzer's have seen success.

NEW YORK'S REALITY: Of 15 states enacting a similar plan, seven have eliminated it, or are in the process of doing so. In fact, most states experienced a significant increase of instances of identity theft.

SPITZER'S MYTH: Governor Spitzer's plan was crafted in a manner suitable to open government.

NEW YORK'S REALITY: The plan was crafted in virtual secrecy, with no public or legislative input. Governor Spitzer refuses to publicly debate or testify in support of his unlawful proposal.

New York State Assembly
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