Paul Albert Fino (December 15, 1913 – June 16, 2009) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. A member of the Republican Party, he served as a New York State Senator, a member of the United States House of Representatives and a justice of the New York Supreme Court.
Paul A. Fino
|Member of the New York State Senate|
from the 27th district
January 1, 1945 – December 31, 1950
|Preceded by||Thomas C. Desmond|
|Succeeded by||Enzo Gaspari|
|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York
January 3, 1953 – December 31, 1968
|Preceded by||Charles A. Buckley|
|Succeeded by||Mario Biaggi|
|Constituency||25th district (1953–63)|
24th district (1963–68)
|Justice of the New York Supreme Court|
January 1, 1969 – December 31, 1972
|Born||December 15, 1913|
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Died||June 16, 2009(aged 95)|
|Alma mater||St. John's University School of Law|
He ran unsuccessfully for the New York State Assembly in 1940 and the New York State Senate in 1942. In 1944, Fino ran in the 27th district and defeated the Minority Leader of the State Senate, John J. Dunnigan. He represented the 27th from 1945 to 1950, sitting in the 165th, 166th and 167th New York State Legislatures.
In 1952, he defeated Bernard O'Connell to win a seat in the 83rd Congress. He went on to win seven more terms, serving in the 84th, 85th, 86th, 87th, 88th, 89th and 90th United States Congresses, holding office from January 3, 1953, until his resignation on December 31, 1968.
In Congress, Fino leaned conservative and opposed racial busing and abortion. However, Fino voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, 1964, and 1968, as well as the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He championed the creation of a "national lottery," which he believed would allow the federal government to raise additional revenue to fund crucial programs without raising taxes. At one point, he introduced a bill to outlaw the Communist Party. His positions also included support for traditionally liberal programs such as Medicare (he favored national health insurance), Social Security, and mass transit. In 1964, he proposed changes to the Social Security that would allow recipients to draw benefits at age 60 with no income limits. This was more generous than what the Democratic Party proposed.
Fino became an opponent of John Lindsay when the two served in Congress. After Lindsay became the Mayor of New York City in 1966, Fino continued to feud with him. The New York Times reported that Fino asked Lindsay for the appointment of a law partner as sanitation commissioner and was denied by the new mayor. Afterwards, he criticized Lindsay's more liberal legislative initiatives and mocked him for promoting New York as "Fun City". Lindsay countered by tacitly supporting efforts to remove Fino as the Bronx Republican leader.
In 1961 Fino ran unsuccessfully for City Council president together with Louis J. Lefkowitz, who ran against Mayor Robert F. Wagner. The ticket included John J. Gilhooley of Brooklyn, a former assistant secretary of labor, for city comptroller, thus producing the ethnic trifecta of an Italian, a Jew and an Irishman. It is mainly remembered for the memorable campaign jingle which included:
Let's make a note To get out and vote For Lefkowitz, Gilhooley and Fino
Fino served on the Court until 1972 and built a reputation for tough sentencing. In one case, he sentenced an addict to 30 years in prison for possession of 1/73 of an ounce of heroin.
On December 31, 1972, he resigned from the bench in order to run for a seat on the New York City Council. He stated at the time that a goal of returning to politics was to push out State Senator John D. Calandra from his post as the Bronx Republican leader. Fino lost in the Republican primary election to Pasquale Mele.
In 1986, Fino published his autobiography, My Life in Politics and Public Service.
- "Paul Fino, Politician Who Battled Lindsay, Dies at 95". New York Times. June 18, 2009.
- "G.O.P. Foe of Mayor; Paul Albert Fino". New York Times. May 18, 1967.
- "HR 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957". GovTrack.us.
- "HR 8601. PASSAGE. -- House Vote #102 -- Mar 24, 1960". GovTrack.us.
- "H.R. 7152. PASSAGE. -- House Vote #128 -- Feb 10, 1964". GovTrack.us.
- "TO PASS H.R. 2516, A BILL TO ESTABLISH PENALTIES FOR … -- House Vote #113 -- Aug 16, 1967". GovTrack.us.
- "S.J. RES. 29. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO BAN THE USE OF POLL TAX AS A REQUIREMENT FOR VOTING IN FEDERAL ELECTIONS". GovTrack.us.
- "TO PASS H.R. 6400, THE 1965 VOTING RIGHTS ACT. -- House Vote #87 -- Jul 9, 1965". GovTrack.us.
- "Republican Seeks 7th Term by Promising Benefits Aplenty". New York Times. October 30, 1964.
- "Mayor Hints He Favors Ouster Of Fino as Bronx G.O.P. Chief". New York Times. April 29, 1967.
- "Fino to Leave Supreme Court And Return to Politics in Bronx". New York Times. November 29, 1972.
- "Answers to Questions About New York". New York Times. June 21, 2013.
- "O'Dwyer Looks to Election And Garelik to a Recount". New York Times. June 7, 1973.
- United States Congress. "Paul A. Fino (id: F000137)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Paul A. Fino at Find a Grave