Stone Shows Support For Paladino
Carl Paladino may have a powerful ally in his quest to oust the current Republican Leadership in both houses of the state Legislature. During a book a signing in Paladino’s hometown Thursday night, well known political operative Roger Stone seemed to back Paladino’s efforts.
“I think it’s unlikely the legislative leaders will step down from their incredibly lucrative positions where they don’t have to disclose their outside income. Although I agree with Carl Paladino, they certainly should be forced to do that,” said Stone.
Stone was in Williamsville signing copies of his book “The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ.” The event was not only held at a building owned by Paladino’s Ellicott Development, Paladino was on the guest list.
Paladino has been lukewarm about the prospects of mounting another run for governor in 2014. But he has made it clear he’ll challenge the Republican endorsed candidate on the Conservative line if they don’t join his efforts to remove Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb.
“I think Carl is healthy in that he keeps the party honest. He’s kind of the party’s conservative anchor and you can’t win with just the conservatives, but you can’t win without the conservatives,” Stone said.
While Paladino continues to mull a re-match against Cuomo, several of his political allies are trying to recruit one of Stone’s friends, another bigname businessman, to run. Two Western New York assemblymen were part of group of Republicans who met with Donald Trump in New York City Wedenesday.
“I know some people over there. In fact, Roger (Stone) helped me make the meeting and it turned out to be a lot more than we expected,” said political strategist Michael Caputo.
Caputo, Stone’s protégé, ran Paladino’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. Even after the meeting Caputo admitted convincing the real estate mogul to run for Governor will be a tough sell.
“I do believe the notion of Trump running for governor is still more of a fantasy than a reality, but it’s something he’s strongly considering. I think he was firmly in the no column when we asked for the meeting and yesterday, he told us after the meeting, he was in the maybe column. I’m not sure we’re going to get him to the yes column, but it’s a long drawn out process and something he has to talk to his family about over the holidays,” Caputo said.
Stone, who said he wasn’t directly involved in Wednesday’s meeting, believes Trump has his eye on something bigger, but he applauded the recruitment effort.
“I think Mr. Trump has made it pretty clear that he’s not interested in running for Governor although he has been a critic of the current administration. He’s certainly a proponent for fracking. He’s a proponent for tax reduction and job creation,” Stone said.
Whether a Republican candidate for governor would abide by Paladino’s demands remains to be seen, but Stone seemed to suggest they should at least listen.
“The party’s regular wing and the Tea Party wing have to come together. A divided Republican party, particularly in a blue state like this, would have no prospect.”
No matter who faces Cuomo in 2014, even Stone knows they’ll be facing an uphill battle.
“I would have to concede that Governor Cuomo looks very strong right now. He’s got $30 Million in the bank,” Stone added.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Casey Bortnick on December 5, 2013 at 11:54 pm, and is filed under 2014, Andrew Cuomo, Brian Kolb, Carl Paladino, Conservative Party, Dean Skelos, Donald Trump, Erie County, Republicans. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|