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Rick Lazio

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

Timing Lazio

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A reader emails me his thoughts on Rick Lazio's newfound criticism of Carl Paladino:

"A month after the loss and after he withdraws, Lazio finally starts attacking Paladino when there's nothing left to gain."

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The Empire

Judge Lazio

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yesterday, Rick Lazio announced he'll end his gubernatorial bid on the Conservative Party. To do so at this late stage, he has to accept a judicial nomination from the party, so they can replace him as a gubernatorial candidate with someone else, like...Carl Paladino.

Lazio, who lives on Long Island, is being nominated for a judicial seat in the Bronx. So, does Lazio actually want to be a judge?

"Desperately no," Lazio said when he called into the Brian Lehrer show this morning. "If elected, I’ll resign."

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The Empire

In battle districts, Cuomo leads big

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In Siena's poll of four major state senate races, they also have head-to-head numbers showing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo with double-digit leads over his Republican opponent, Carl Paladino.

The poll also included Rick Lazio who, yesterday, announced he won't actively campaign on the Conservative Party line. But even if you give all of Lazio's votes to Paladino, Cuomo leads in all three state senate districts. But, it's worth noting that Cuomo is polling below 50 percent in two areas: state senate district 3 on Long Island and senate district 48 upstate.

The poll is of likely voters, not registered voters.

Here are the numbers:

State Senate District 3:
Cuomo: 49
Paladino: 23
Lazio: 20
undecided: 8

State Senate District 11:
Cuomo: 61
Paladino: 23
Lazio: 10
undecided: 7

State Senate District 44:
Cuomo: 52
Paladino: 30
Lazio: 9
undecided: 9

State Senate District 48:
Cuomo: 48
Paladino: 32
Lazio: 10
undecided: 11

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The Empire

Lazio bows out, criticizes 'flawed' candidates

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lazio withdraws and criticizes both \"flawed\" gubernatorial candidates. (Azi Paybarah / WNYC)

Former Rep. Rick Lazio said he will not pursue a gubernatorial campaign along the conservative party line, but stopped short of endorsing the man who beat him in the Republican primary, seemingly warning of Carl Paladino's "outrageous promises" and lack of policy specifics.

Lazio, appearing in the Sheraton hotel in midtown with his wife, described his "evolutionary" decision to withdraw from the race following the Sept. 14 defeat, saying in the days that followed, he had thought he could put together a "viable" campaign. Ultimately, he said, that was not possible.

"Although I'd like to think I could do what Jim Buckley did forty years ago running on the Conservative Party line, and while my heart beckons me forward, my head tells me that my continued presence on the Conservative line would simply lead to the election of Andrew Cuomo and the continuation of an entrenched political machine," said Lazio, referring to the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate. "I do not want to be responsible for that."

In explaining his decision to remain neutral, Paladino said both major party candidates are "flawed...but this is the choice that we have."

The entirety of Lazio's remarks seemed to be aimed at Paladino, warning voters not to let sweeping rhetoric and raging emotions guide the decisions in November.

"Neither raw emotions, nor empty slogans and false promises are the solutions" Lazio said. "I understand that people are angry. I get the whole primal scream thing." He added, "In my view, this anger will not go away until jobs are restored and until decent ethical leaders return to our state capital."

Lazio's harsh, if indirect shots at Paladino, prompted one reporter to ask what Paladino had to do to get Lazio's endorsement, go to anger management class?

Lazio laughed.

Even before the press conference in the basement of the hotel ended, reports were out that the Conservative Party line would replace Lazio's name with Palaidno's.

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It's A Free Country ®

Lazio Out of Governor's Race

Monday, September 27, 2010

Former Rep. Rick Lazio said he will not pursue a gubernatorial campaign along the conservative party line, but stopped short of endorsing the man who beat him in the Republican primary, seemingly warning of Carl Paladino's "outrageous promises" and lack of policy specifics.

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The Empire

Lazio clears his throat

Monday, September 27, 2010

Former Rep. Rick Lazio - who lost the Republican gubernatorial nomination to Carl Paladino - is officially announcing whether he plans to continue running for governor on the Conservative Party line, at a press conference in the Sheraton at noon.

Maggie Haberman says he's probably out. Glenn Thrush jokingly suggests he'll join Bloomberg LP.

Over the weekend, the Republican Party chairmen from the Bronx and Brooklyn - Jay Savino and Craig Eaton - appeared on WABC with Diana Williams, saying they were backing Paladino "150 percent." John Faso, the GOP gubernatorial nominee in 2006 was on NY1 on Friday trying to validate Paladino. ("He's not crazy," was one of Faso's more memorable lines.)

Lazio's dilemma is this: he owes the Conservative Party a lot for backing him early and strongly during the GOP primary. And they need an active campaign to get 50,000 votes in order to keep their automatic ballot status. But an active candidate may not be necessary for that. Brooklyn Conservative Party chairman Gerry Kassar says the Conservatives have never failed to get 100,000 in gubernatorial race.

An active Lazio candidacy on the Conservative Party line would siphon votes away from Paladino and, in some people's view, make Lazio the Ralph Nader of the Right (the guy blamed for the spoiling their side's best chance at victory).

Bowing out of the race would be a victory for the Paladino campaign. But they do have another headache. There is a candidate running on the Tea Party line - Steve Cohn, an attorney from Nassau County. That'll surely take some votes that would have ended up in their column.

Even if Lazio bows out for the sake of Republican unity, the end of his campaign will be seen as a victory for the Tea Party, as they continue dominating New York Republican politics. The fallout will be felt for years to come.

It's not clear how many other chances Lazio will have at running for office, and what the fallout would be if he abandons the Conservative Party efforts (the party chairman has expressed interest in seeing Lazio run). After Lazio's crushing defeat to Paladino in the primary, it's unclear if the former congressman can act as a kingmaker or validator for Paladino in front of a general election audience.

So, the options for Lazio seem limited.

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The Empire

Is it a nailbiter, or a blowout? Quinnipiac vs Siena

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yesterday, Quinnipiacmade headlines with these poll numbers:

Andrew Cuomo - 49
Carl Paladino - 43

This morning, Siena throws cold water on the fire, with these numbers:

Andrew Cuomo - 57
Carl Paladino - 24
Rick Lazio - 8

I’m reaching out to pollsters to get a better handle on this, but here’s a few notes. Quinnipiac surveyed “likely voters.” Errol Louis pointed out on his radio show this morning, it may be too early to start weeding out “likely voters” from “registered voters” this far out from an election.

Siena surveyed registered voters, and obviously, included Lazio as a third-party candidate. But even if all of Lazio’s voters went to Paladino, he still trails Cuomo by more than 20 points.

Paladino’s campaign has already said the discrepancy “is certainly suspicious.”

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WNYC News

Lazio Living to Fight Another Day?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A week after losing the Republican primary, former Congressman Rick Lazio continues to consider running for governor -- on the Conservative party ballot line.

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The Empire

Giuliani Not Rushing to Paladino's Corner

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On a conference call with reporters this afternoon, Rudy Giuliani said, “I don’t know Carl Paladino and he hasn’t asked for my endorsement and I don’t endorse people that I don’t know and who haven’t asked for it.”

Giuliani had endorsed former GOP Rep. Rick Lazio, who lost the Republican primary to Paladino. But Lazio is still on the Conservative line and hinting he may keep actively campaigning.

“I haven’t spoken to Rick so I don’t know what he is planning to do,” Giuilani said. “I empathize with the situation he and [Conservative Party Chairman] Mike Long are in.”

That “situation” is the party’s need to get 50,000 votes in order to maintain the automatic place on the ballot for the next four years. But with the race supposedly tightening between Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Paladino, nobody wants to be seen as the spoiler who helps elect Cuomo.

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The Empire

AP: Paladino Overtakes Lazio

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Associated Press calls it for Carl Paladino, which makes it easy to write the "tea party victory" storyline, although the relationship between the upstate businessman and economically conservative grassroots organization is not that simple.

Paladino seems to have ridden voter anger and tapped into their distrust of anything associated with the professional political establishment.

The immediate impact is one more giant headache for the New York State Republican Party, and the New York State Conservative Party. Both opposed Paladino in favor of Lazio. Paladino set up a rival party to the Conservative Party, called the Taxpayer Party.

Paladino expressed nothing but hostility for the Republican Party and its leadership.

One thing to watch: Will Republicans running in races around New York align themselves with him -- as some have -- or will some flip to Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo, who has been running on a moderate Democratic agenda (some would say "Republican-esque").

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The Empire

New York Post and the Republican GOV Primary

Monday, September 13, 2010

One of the most influential voices in New York politics - and specifically in local Republican politics - has not taken sides yet in the Republican primary for governor.

One of the candidates, Carl Paladino, is an outsider with little political experience but appealing to Tea Party voters. One of the placed where I interviewed him for my profile was outside the News Corp building on Avenue of the Americas, after Paladino had met with the New York Post editorial board.

He said he thought he did well (and he even gave one of the reporters there a sillyband).

The Republican designee, former Rep. Rick Lazio of Long Island, has had some cross words for the New York Post's state editor, Fred Dicker. The paper's editorial board has been critical of Lazio, for focusing too much on the mosque issue instead of the state's fiscal problems.

This afternoon, a Lazio campaign spokesman tells me the New York Post did not offer an invitation for Lazio to meet with its editorial board.

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The Empire

Lazio and the NY Post

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Rick Lazio and NY Post State Editor Fred Dicker tangled off-air. ( )

A sign that GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio may not be in line to get the NY Post endorsement:

NY Post state editor Fred Dicker, who was hosting a radio show where Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic nominee, was a guest. Lazio spokesman tweeted this after Lazio was not allowed on the show:

Cuomo apologist Fred Dicker emails me, says @RickLazio wanting to talk issues with @AndrewCuomo was a "cheap and sophomoric stunt. " Eh.

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It's A Free Country ®

Voter Guide: Republican Primary for Governor

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Rick Lazio and Carl Paladino

The Republican primary for New York Governor is a contest between GOP nominee Rick Lazio, a former member of the House of Representatives who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against Hillary Clinton in 2000 and his challenger Carl Paladino, a lawyer and businessman from Buffalo, who until 2005 was a registered Democrat.

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The Empire

Q poll: Cuomo Leads; Voters Want Budget Details

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

A Quinnipiac poll today says voters want more budget info from Cuomo. (Azi Paybarah / WNYC)

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Cuomo leads his two Republican opponents by more than thirty points, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

Cuomo leads former LI congressman Rick Lazio 57-25 percent; Cuomo also leads upstate commercial real estate developer Carl Paladino 60-23 percent.

Independent voters are trending towards Cuomo, 55-23 percent over Lazio, and 54-24 percent over Paladino.

The poll did not ask Republican voters which candidate, Lazio or Paladino, they prefer in the GOP primary.

Cuomo is taking a knock for not speaking out more on the state budget: 32 percent of voters say he's "politely deferring" to the current governor; 44 percent say Cuomo is "ducking" the issue.

The Q poll asked if voters think Cuomo has "done enough to explain" his plan to fix the budget. 23 percent said yes, 63 percent said no. (Only 34 percent of Democrats said yes, 52 percent of Democrats said no.)

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The Empire

Halloran and Lazio

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

(Hallaron)

Here's City Councilman Dan Halloran, best known for breaking religious boundaries in New York City, campaigning with Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio,who has made another religious institution the focal point of his campaign ads.

The two greeted voters at the Pop Diner in Elmhurst today.

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The Empire

Q Poll: Cuomo Should Look into Park51 Funding

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So, this will probably keep the Park51 debate going a little bit longer in the governor's race.

A new Quinnipiac poll
finds a majority of Democrats - 65-25 percent - say they want Andrew Cuomo to investigate funding for the group looking to build an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio has been tying Cuomo to the issue, and an AP story noted that Cuomo has been notably quiet about his support for the developers.

But editorial boards, like The Daily News and New York Post, have criticized Lazio for campaigning too much on this issue, and not discussing other topics more directly related to the day-to-day functions of governing New York.

At a lengthy Tea Party event in midtown yesterday, Lazio barely mentioned the issue.

Anyway, more from the poll:

54-40 % say Muslims have a right to build a mosque near Ground Zero "because of American freedom of religion."

53-39 % say the Muslim group "should not be allowed" to build a mosque there "because of the opposition of Ground Zero relatives."

71-21 % say developers "should voluntarily build the mosque somewhere else," because, "of the opposition of Ground Zero relatives."

71-22 % say AG Andrew Cuomo should investigate the financing of the mosque.

And 65-25 % of Democrats say that Cuomo should look into the mosque's financing.

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The Empire

Flashback: Jon Stewart's Take on the Clinton-Lazio Race

Saturday, August 28, 2010

<td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'Headlines - Rodham 'N' Creep
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

GOP gubernatorial Rick Lazio is best known to New Yorkers as the guy who ran against Hillary Clinton for Senate in 2000. More precisely, as the guy who marched across the stage in a debate with Clinton.

Going through some old Lazio footage, I came across this early clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which had its own take on that famous debate.

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The Empire

Lazio: 'Andrew Cuomo is Albany'

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rick Lazio paints Andrew Cuomo as something more than an incumbent (which, technically, he's not): "Andrew Cuomo is Albany."

It's 30 seconds and doesn't say how Lazio will "change" Albany, or, for that matter, what about it he wants to change.

The ad features images of David Paterson, Pedro Espada, Alan Hevesi and Eliot Spitzer under the headline "Special Interest Rule Albany."

Not shown is Joe Bruno, a Republican who led the State Senate and was actually convicted of using his office to put money in his pocket.

Oh, and the color of Lazio's tie is purple - that bi-partisan hue, which some have used in order to signal something beyond the red-state blue-state dichotomy.

The ad though is, at least, about Albany, which the New York Post editorial today urged Lazio to focus on, instead of that other thing he's been talking about.

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The Empire

Siena: Paladino Gains on Lazio, Both Trail Cuomo

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rick Lazio's once 20-point lead over Carl Paladino among Republican voters has shrunk to thirteen points, according to a new poll from Siena.

Lazio, the GOP nominee leads Paladino, an upstate businessman who petitioned his way onto the ballot, 43-30 percent. That's down from the 40-20 percent lead Lazio had back in July.

Cuomo leads each of them in head-to-head match-ups, and in three-way matches.

Cuomo - 60
Lazio    - 26

Cuomo - 60
Paladino- 27

Cuomo                         - 56
Lazio [Republican]        - 19
Paladino [independent]  -12

Cuomo                        - 56
Lazio [Conservative]     - 16
Paladino [Republican]  - 14

One factor in the race could be the candidate's stance on the mosque and cultural center proposed near Ground Zero.

Twenty-two percent of voters say a candidate's position on this issue will have a "major impact" on their decision of whom to support. Thirty-seven percent say the issue will have "some effect," on their decision. Thirty-nine percent says it won't be a factor at all.

Sixty-three percent of voters say they oppose it, compared to 27 who support it. Interestingly, 64 percent say the developers have a right to build the project at its current location. Twenty-eight say there is no legal right.

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