From YNN Buffalo’s Ryan Whalen:

Protesters began setting up before four in the afternoon.

On one side were people protesting New York’s gun control laws. On the other side there were those who want hydrofracking banned.

“I understand that there are a number of important issues on the governor’s plate in 2014 and we’re here to tell the governor that banning fracking is the most important issue in New York State,” fracking protester Rita Yelda said.

“What they have to understand is they work for us. We are the rightful owners of government and Congress so he better start adhering to the law and the constitution of the United States. But we’re going to keep on going,” SAFE Act protester Nicholas Orticelli said.

Governor Cuomo did appear to avoid protesters in front of Buffalo’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, going in and leaving through a back door.

“It’s his vanity. It’s his arrogance. It’s his condescending attitude to show up here time and again to cut ribbons, to come in here for fundraisers and to grab money,” former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino said.

Cuomo’s 2010 opponent was among those on the street. Paladino, who’s again being mentioned as a possible candidate in the future, bought advertising Tuesday to encourage people to protest.

“We’ve got a few hundred people here who get the message,” he said. “That’s for sure.”

How many people were actually there depends on who you ask. A spokesperson for the Governor downplayed the SAFE Act protest.

“Carl Paladino, as you know, had ads up all day on the radio, blasting, encouraging folks to come down here and at the end of the day it was only between 50 and 75 people who showed up so it was kind of a low showing,” press secretary Matt Wing said.

More than 400 people were inside for the $1,000 per head fundraiser.

“The room was packed and it was packed with many, many Democratic supporters and also Republican supporters, actually I’ve seen in the room also. So this was a very, very diverse room and it was a room of people that are really buying into what the Governor is doing here in Buffalo,” said Common Council President Rich Fontana, D-Buffalo.

People at the dinner said the governor spoke about continuing to support the momentum in Western New York.