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The Empire

Paladino says Cuomo cheated; provides threats instead of proof

As promised, the New York governor's race is getting nastier.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino accused his Democratic rival of having an extra-marital affair during his marriage to a member of the Kennedy family.

When reporters confronted Paladino seeking evidence, Paladino declined, and went on the offensive, declaring his own daughter - who was the product of an extra-marital affair - off limits to the media.

"You send another goon to my daughter's house and I'll take you out, buddy," Paladino said to New York Post state editor Fred Dicker. "You're his bird-dog."

Paladino's campaign manager went further, telling Dicker flatly "You're working for Cuomo." (It's not the first time Dicker has been accused of such a thing this campaign cycle.)

Paladino's accusation was made in an interview with POLITICO, but no proof was provided to substantiate the claim. Paladino admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock earlier this year. Recently, reports about the child appeared in the New York Post, along with a photo of the child's mother. Paladino, in his interview with POLITICO, wondered why journalists were not asking Cuomo about his marriage, to Kerry Kennedy, which ended in a messy divorce.

Cuomo's campaign spokesman said they will not get into "the gutter" with Paladino's campaign.

UPDATE: Paladino made the unfounded accusation about Cuomo earlier this week, in an interview with Newsday (which, for most of us, is hidden behind a pay wall!).

Here's an excerpt:

"Paladino then questioned why his lovechild and former lover had been getting so much press -- while Cuomo's love life goes unexamined. Never mind that Cuomo isn't married (those who keep up on these things know his marriage to Kerry Kennedy ended in a highly-publicized divorce in 2003).

"Paladino said he wants the media to 'go after Cuomo and his paramours' but offered no evidence of what he was talking about. What's known is that Cuomo is in a relationship with the celebrity home cooking personality, Sandra Lee.

" 'Do we know what caused Cuomo to break up with his wife? Do we know?' Why isn't somebody asking that?" Paladino said yesterday. 'These are the questions the public wants to know. Let's vet him, vet him very very carefully.'

"It is now becoming a pattern for Paladino to make serious charges without any earnest effort to substantiate them."