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Andrew Cuomo

The Empire

Paladino's speech in Williamsburg

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Carl Paladino's remarks to a Jewish group in Williamsburg is causing a bit of a stir. I'll have the video of it up shortly. But in the meantime, here's a portion of his prepared remarks, which aides handed out in advance:

"And don't misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way. That would be a dastardly lie. My approach is 'live and let live.' I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don't want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option - it isn't."

Shortly after I Tweeted part of this speech, Andrew Cuomo's campaign released a statement, saying "Mr. Paladino's statement displays a stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality."

UPDATE: And there's one more part of Paladino's speech that's worth excerpting:

"I didn't march in the gay parade this year -the gay pride parade this year. My opponent did and that's not the example we should be showing our children," Paladino said. His prepared remarks went further.

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The Empire

Dem Strategy: challenge GOP rivals to disavow Paladino

Friday, October 08, 2010

The State Democratic Party released letters from Albany’s two legislative leaders: Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. In both letters, the Democrats urge members in their conferences to challenge their Republican opponents to disavow Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino.

Silver:

Your Republican opponent must answer whether he or she condones Carl Paladino and his tactics. Is it acceptable to send racist and sexist emails? Is it acceptable to make baseless accusations about others’ marriages? Is it acceptable to rant and rave in a way that debases our State?

[skip]

Carl Paladino has clearly become an albatross around the neck of the Republican Party. It is time for all Democrats to now speak out and challenge their Republican opponents to disavow Paladino and disassociate themselves from his dangerous brand of extremism and his ugly rhetoric and tactics. I urge you to do so immediately.

Interestingly, the letters from these legislative leaders do not make reference to the Democratic candidate for governor, Andrew Cuomo, the current state attorney general who is campaigning as someone who is not part of the dysfunctional state capitol.

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The Empire

Losing the Peyser voter

Friday, October 08, 2010

Andrew Cuomo does not seem to have won over one particular New York Post columnist:

Only once did I hear Cuomo utter anything resembling human emotion. I asked when he planned to marry his live-in girlfriend, TV cook Sandra Lee. Cuomo started laughing.

Then he started chuckling again. It went on so long, I feared a coronary. He didn't answer the question.

As a campaign strategy, Cuomo is waiting it out, hoping his foe will run out of gas. Or implode.

But I miss the man who eight years ago had a pulse. Cuomo seems to have transformed into the thing he hates most:

A slick politician.

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WNYC News

Pay-to-Play Timeline

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Former State Comptroller Alan Hevesi plead guilty today for accepting nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions from a money manager who landed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business from the state’s giant pension fund. Hevesi’s guilty plea marks the seventh in an ongoing investigation by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo into a “pay-to-play” scheme at the pension fund.

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The Empire

DiNapoli Cleared

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Good news for Democrats who were hoping to see their current state comptroller cleared from the cloud of investigation, this statement from the state attorney general's office:

We have received numerous inquiries from the media asking about the status of current New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. During the investigation, the Office reviewed an investment known as Intermedia, which was approved for investment under then-New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi and increased under Comptroller DiNapoli.The Office has concluded our review of that investment and determined that no action is warranted. Mr. DiNapoli is not involved in any investigation or matter in this Office.

During this week's comptroller debate, Republican challenger Harry Wilson repeatedly referred to Cuomo's investigation which, at the time, had not cleared DiNapoli of possible wrong-doing.

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The Empire

In pleading guilty, Hevesi points a finger at Morris

Thursday, October 07, 2010

From Andrew Cuomo's press release announcing Alan Hevesi pleading guilty to the pension fund scandal:

"Hevesi knew that [Hank] Morris had solicited Hevesi campaign contributions
from those doing business with the pension fund. Hevesi also admitted
knowing that, during his tenure as Comptroller, Morris was
simultaneously a paid placement agent in connection with pension fund
investments and that Morris steered pension fund investments to friends
and political associates."

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The Empire

Upstate Republican for Cuomo

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Andrew Cuomo picked up the endorsement of upstate Republican county executive Joanie Mahoney, of Onondaga County.

The announcement was made in tandem with news that Cuomo was also getting the endorsement of the Business Council, a group which hosted Cuomo's rival right after he made headlines for something else.

Mahoney's endorsement could, potentially, dampen the notion that upstate Republicans are flocking to vote for one of their own, Carl Paladino. Cuomo has been trying to spell out a plan to cap property taxes and spur job growth, a hugely important issue in that part of the state.

In a statement from Cuomo's campaign, Mahoney says, "We need a governor who will help reduce our tax burden, empower upstate and make New York an affordable place to work and raise a family."

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The Empire

Lawn signs of New York

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

There's a lot of semi-scientific evidence suggesting Republicans are more enthusiastic about heading to the polls this November. Here's one more: New York 1 News political director Bob Hardt makes this observation to Capital New York after a drive in Buffalo:

"I saw dozens of Paladino lawn signs. Obviously, that’s his neck of the woods but it also shows a level of excitement and interest in the race that’s not mirrored downstate in areas that will go heavily for Cuomo. (Have you seen a single Cuomo lawn sign anywhere?)"

Already, a few people have told me, via Twitter and FaceBook, that they have indeed seen Cuomo lawn signs.

So, feel free to email me photos of any notable lawn signs: Cuomo's, Paladino's, candidates for dog catcher, whichever ones you come across.

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The Empire

Cuomo in East Syracuse, 'Dems for Carl' in South Buffalo

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Andrew Cuomo is in East Syracuse today where his campaign says he'll be receiving a major endorsement.

Carl Paladino is in Buffalo right now and his spokesman says later today there will be a "Dems for Carl" meeting in South Buffalo.

So, the action today is upstate.

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WNYC News

Government Reform Groups Have Hope for Redistricting Changes

Monday, October 04, 2010

Government reform groups say the next election cycle presents the best chance yet for redistricting reform that they say would put an end to gerrymandered state legislative districts.

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The Empire

Immunity for Rattner?

Monday, October 04, 2010

New York’s former state comptroller may, or may not, admit wrongdong in the wide-ranging pension investigation that has already ensnared some of the biggest names in Democratic politics, including President Obama’s one-time car czar Steven Rattner.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Rattner  “was given immunity from criminal prosecution for testifying in [Andrew] Cuomo's case. But he has been negotiating a potential civil settlement with the attorney general and the SEC, which has been seeking a three-year ban of Mr. Rattner from the securities industry, people familiar with the situation have previously said.”

At a campaign event in Brooklyn yesterday, I asked Cuomo if Rattner had immunity from the attorney general’s office.

Cuomo offered a non-answer.

“That is a case that is currently being investigated and being handled by the office so I can’t have any comment on that,” he said.

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The Empire

Cuomo and Lopez

Monday, October 04, 2010

At a campaign event on Long Island this morning, I asked Andrew Cuomo how embattled lawmaker Vito Lopez ended up at some of his campaign events and if he had any objections to Lopez's presence.

Cuomo didn't answer the second part of the question, and said matter-of-factly, "I was visiting a number of Jewish rabbis yesterday in Brooklyn. At a couple of the visits, Vito Lopez was also visiting the rabbi and that was the extent of it."

Cuomo's office is reviewing the non-profit Lopez founded for possible financial mismanagement, as are the federal authorities. The state and city comptrollers are also combing through the organization's paperwork.

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WNYC News

Cuomo: Paladino Infidelity Accusations 'Hurtful'

Friday, October 01, 2010

Andrew Cuomo called the allegations of infidelity made against him by his Republican rival "hurtful" and said it is the sort of thing that is turning people off of politics.

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The Empire

'This sounds more Albany than ever'

Thursday, September 30, 2010

On WOR this morning, Governor David Paterson said Carl Paladino's run-in with the media yesterday speaks to the fact that he is unfit for office.

"It sounds to me as if he's having trouble coping with the pressure that it takes to be a governor or to run for governor," Paterson said.

Yesterday's outburst came, Paladino claims, in response to a photographer trying to sneak a shot of the candidate's 10-year-old daughter, which he acknowledged fathering out of wedlock earlier this year. Paladino said he was being treated unfairly since reporters weren't looking into his Democratic rival, Andrew Cuomo's personal life, which Paladino said contains an extra-marital affair. He provided no evidence for the accusation.

Paterson - who's had his own problems coping with the pressures of high office - said "this conversation has just deteriorated into gossip which is exactly the opposite of what Mr. Paladino said he wants to get rid of. This sounds more Albany than ever."

That last line could be particularly devastating, since Paladino is running as an outsider looking to change Albany. Cuomo allies have worked hard to discredit Paladino's outsider status, noting he got more than a million-dollar tax break and is a real estate developer from whom the state leases a lot of property.

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The Empire

Paladino's image control

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The candidate shows off an image of his daughter. (Azi Paybarah / WNYC)

Carl Paladino defended his outburst against a journalist last night saying it was prompted by a photographer who struck their lens against a window at the candidate's 10-year-old daughter's house.

It should be noted that Paladino openly discusses his daughter, who is the result of an affair, and has even showed off images of her, like he did one day in Central Park, while speaking to me and...the New York Post.

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The Empire

Paladino says Cuomo cheated; provides threats instead of proof

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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."

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The Empire

Cuomo says Paladino wants a crowded debate

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

As New York Post State Editor Fred Dicker noted in an interview with front-running gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo, it's usually the leading candidate in a race who wants to have a debate with as many rivals at once, in order to turn the opposition into a noisy, inaudible cacophony.

But to hear Cuomo tell it, it's his Republican rival, Carl Paladino, who wants to invite the minor-party candidates into their debates.

In response to a reporter's question about debates, here's what Cuomo said this afternoon during a press conference on the City Hall steps:

"I understand the advantages of a one-on-one debate. I also understand the argument for inclusiveness that the Paladino camp is making that everybody should be invited."

In addition to Cuomo and Paladino, there are a number of gubernatorial candidates on the ballot, including: Charles Barron (Freedom Party) Howie Hawkins (Green Party), Steve Cohn (Tea Party) and others.

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The Empire

Cuomo 'very similar' to moderate Lazio, says Cuomo

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One line that stood out from Andrew Cuomo's Q&A with reporters this afternoon:

"Mr. Lazio was basically a moderate Republican. Many of the positions that I had were similar to positions that Mr. Lazio had," Cuomo said.

Cuomo went on to characterize his current Republican opponent, Carl Paladino, as "extreme" and, on abortion, "frightening."

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The Empire

Cuomo team says Paladino's words don't match his record

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Andrew Cuomo's campaign is out with a statement hitting their Republican rival for employing campaign aides with controversial backgrounds. The critique is part of the campaign's overall push to paint Paladino as a hypocrite.

Which, if you think about it, is vastly different than the earlier criticisms that were coming from Democrats, who questioned Paaldino's temperament, saying Paladino he was "unfit" for the state's highest office.

In a statement from Cuomo's running mate today, Bob Duffy says, "This morning’s New York Times article on the criminal and ethical violations by Mr. Paladino’s closest campaign staffers underscores that Mr. Paladino’s actions do not match his words. Mr. Paladino seems to have forgotten that our country is built on the notion that no man is above the law."

Paladino though, has no reservations about making his criticisms of Cuomo personal.

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The Empire

'It's going to get nastier'

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The best part of this unedited interview with Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino comes at the very end, where he says the race will get "nastier." Paladino says "being nasty and being crazy are two different things" and he goes on to call his Democratic rival, Andrew Cuomo a "despicable character." Twice.

My other favorite part is early on, when he's asked about the offensive emails he's forwarded, asks his interviewer, "What's that got to do with me?"

[h/t Maggie Haberman]

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