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Paterson blasts political status quo in annual speech

And he didn't hesitate to take a shot or two at special interests, many of whom were in attendance.

"The monied interest, many of them here today as guests, have got to understand that their days of influence in this Capitol are numbered. They have routinely demanded special treatment without any regard for others," he said. "The reality is, that there is no moral high ground in trampling on other to get there and there is nothing lower than engaging in the currency of influence to the detriment of other New Yorkers that don't have the same representation."

Local officials have repeatedly alleged that green groups wield far too much influence over the Adirondack Park Agency.

Late last month, former GOP Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno was convicted of two counts of corruption after using his staff and influence to the benefit of political backers.

If adopted, Paterson's ethics reform package would strip elected officials convicted of felonies while in office of their pensions.

Paterson's proposed ethics reform proposals closely mirror the wants of minority Republicans, some of whom have been touring the state promoting a state Constitutional convention and calling for similar reforms.

Democratic legislative leaders have said they intend to fight some of the ethics reforms, particularly term limits.

Paterson's scathing criticism of the legislature didn't end with ethical violations.

Paterson blasted representatives for forcing his hand over the last months, and falling short in adequately closing a $3.2 billion budget deficit.

In 2010-2011 the state Office of the Budget is predicting a deficit of between $7 billion and $9 billion.

And he reminded legislators that he is more than willing to do it alone if he must.

"The governor will exercise authority to prevent this state from going into default," he said. "You have left me with no choice, so whether be it by veto or delayed spending, I will not write bad checks and I will not mortgage our children's futures."

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