Remember way back when, when Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino was making threats about a second run for governor this fall unless the Republican Party picked a candidate who measured up to his conservative standards and supported ousting Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb?

Well, Paladino has come around since then – with a brief foray into the imaginary land of “Trump for governor” – and is now 100 percent on the Astorino campaign train – so much so that he’s headlining a two-day “convoy” with the candidate from Buffalo to Albany next month. The event kicks off with a rally in Buffalo on Sept. 6 and ends with another rally outside the Capitol the next day.

Along the way, there will be stops in Rochester, Syracuse and (a little randomly) Guilderland. Supporters are being invited to join the convoy in their personal vehicles. (In his email announcing this event, Paladino provided a link where would-be participants can register their cars).

Paladino continues to be a bit of a lightning rod for the Republicans. For example, just because he’s on board with Astorino does not mean he has given up criticizing state GOP Chairman Ed Cox – long a top target of the mad-as-hell 2010 GOP/Conservative gubernatorial candidate – as well as Kolb, Skelos and other people Paladino considers too “RINO” (Republican in name only) for his taste.

When he ran for governor, Paladino came under fire for his far right positions on a host of issues – especially same-sex marriage and abortion rights. He nevertheless managed to defeat Cuomo in Western New York in the general election, which has caused the governor to lavish attention (and state cash) on the region since he took office, and also was the driving motivation behind his selection of former Rep. Kathy Hochul as his running mate.

The Cuomo campaign is trying to portray Astorino as too “extreme” in his views to represent a Democrat-dominated state like New York. Hanging out with Paladino – while likely a popular move with the GOP and conservative grassroots – no doubt gives the governor and his allies more fodder with which to attack Cuomo’s GOP opponent.