Paladino's Progression Through Governor's Race

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

From anger about a love child's press coverage to chest-thumping challenges of manhood, Carl Paladino managed to keep his name in the headlines thoughout the race for New York Governor. Pegged as a foul-mouthed, uncontrollable candidate, Paladino made regular bombastic statements during his campaign.

But, in Tuesday's election, all that flair failed to win him a majority of voters' support over Democratic opponent Andrew Cuomo.

We took a look back at the Republican candidate's controversial campaign to see what happened.

  • Sept. 14: Paladino was fired up on primary day, after beating former congressman Rick Lazio and defiantly declaring, "New Yorkers are mad as hell. And we're not going to take it any more!" Paladino tried to appeal to Tea-partiers angry about the political establishment. He promised to cut taxes by 10 percent within his first six months in office and to cut the size of government and its spending by 20 percent.

  • Sept. 20: Paladino focused his gaze on the competition and challenged Democratic opposition Andrew Cuomo to "Come out and debate like a man" in an open letter.

  • Sept. 27: Paladino shook off questions about the integrity of his conservative values when media outlets reported that he fathered a daughter a decade ago with a woman who was not his wife. He also got into an altercation with New York Post reporter Fred Dicker.

  • Sept. 29: Paladino countered the criticisms of his family values by accusing Cuomo of having an extra-marital affair during his marriage to Robert Kennedy's daughter, Kerry. But Paladino's controversial comments did not dissuade the Conservative Party from endorsing him, who liked his anti-big-government stance.

  • Oct. 4: Paladino was defending his anti-big government reputation when the New York Daily News reported his companies had netted $3 million in tax breaks through a program meant to attract new business and foster growth in existing businesses in New York. Yet Paladino had only created 25 jobs with the funding.

  • Oct. 5: Paladino declared that rival Cuomo "should be in jail," because the Attorney General did not go after Steve Rattner, the Obama Administration's former "car czar," after being accused of involvement in a New York pension fund scam in the spring of 2009. Paladino promised to prosecute Cuomo if elected governor.

  • Oct. 10: Paladino sent shock waves during a speech to a fringe Orthodox Jewish group in Williamsburg. He said children should not be "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option."

  • Oct. 11: Paladino tried to backpedal by stating that he wasn't "homophobic," and he held "no reservations whatsoever about gays, except for marriage." But any perceived remorse was shortlived, when Paladino threw another wrench in the works soon after, by calling scantily clad participants in Toronto's gay pride parade "disgusting."

  • Oct. 13: Paladino's apology sparked Orthodox Rabbi Yehunda Levin to withdraw his support, until the bomb-thrower candidate "straightens out."

  • Oct 19: Paladino had the opportunity to speak his mind again during the gubernatorial debate. Instead, he appeared distracted, even walking off the stage at one point, and failing to generate applause from the audience when he called for more choice and vouchers in schools.

  • Oct. 21: Paladino's campaign manager, Michael Caputo, sent a letter to the media to ensure that the Republican candidate's dog was, indeed, registered—and called New York Post reporters, "gutter rats."

  • Oct. 30: Just days before the election, Paladino's campaign raised eyebrows again when it distributed official-looking mailers marked as "Important Tax Information" on the envelope. The letter had a faux Taxpayer ID Number and a message stating, "Only Carl Paladino has a specific plan to cut property taxes."

  • Nov. 1: At the very end, Paladino made a little headway. On the day before election day, he won the support of former Gov. George E. Pataki, a man the Republican candidate had called a "degenerate idiot" only a month and a half earlier.

  • Nov. 2: Soon after polls closed, Paladino lost the race. At 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Paladino gave a fiery concession speech that, at times, sounded more like he was still on the campaign trial. "We're tired of our politicians spending like drunken sailors," he said.


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