George Pataki, 2008 GOP presidential hopeful, has been the governor of New York for the last 12 years. He describes himself as pro-choice and has made no effort to restrict abortion rights even going so far as to sign a bill granting Medicaid coverage of RU-486, the abortion pill, however, he recently vetoed a bill allowing minors to purchase emergency contraception without a prescription.

Pataki has also taken the high road in signing an antidiscrimination bill and new hate crimes legislation protecting bisexuals, lesbians, and gay men. He has also signed a bill granting crime victim compensation funds to the surviving partners of 9/11 victims and opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment in the belief that this matter should be decided by individual states.

As governor of New York, Pataki took the Republican stance on immigration by establishing a toll-free Citizenship Unit hotline to help undocumented immigrants get legal and even signed a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at New York’s public colleges and universities. In addition he allocated $2.5 million to immigration nonprofits and established a program to protect undocumented immigrants from con artists.

His conservative views, however, surfaced regarding the issue of the death penalty when he attempted to get it reinstated in 1995, even though the New York Supreme Court later struck it his measure down. However, he has taken a more mainstream Democratic stand on issues regarding gun control

[tags]George Pataki, GOP Presidential Hopeful, New York Governor, 2008 candidate, death penalty, gun control, abortion, amnesty, gay rights[/tags]