Sep 9th - 4:39 pm
Outgoing Ulster County GOP Chairman Mario Catalano today announced (via a statement released by gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino’s campaign) that he is backing Buffalo businessman over Rick Lazio in advance of next Tuesday’s primary.
Catalano, who was a supporter of Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy’s candidacy, cited Lazio’s refusal to debate Paladino as the main motivation behind his decision.
“New York is in terrible shape and we need a strong candidate with fresh ideas to turn our State around, not the same old Albany politics-as-usual offered by Andrew Cuomo,” Catalano said.
“Republicans of Ulster County are quite concerned with Rick Lazio’s refusal to face Carl Paladino in a debate. This decision is disrespectful to the Party rank-and-file and shows Rick just doesn’t have what it takes to take on Andrew Cuomo. Carl is clearly the only Republican candidate who can win this race.”
Paladino’s GOP chair supporters include: Michael Krusen of Chemung County, Ken Padgett of Seneca County, Richard Siebert of Genesee County, Ed Morgan of Orleans County, Cherl Heary of Cayuga County, Michael Norris of Niagara County and Nick Langworthy of Erie County.
Sep 9th - 1:58 pm
Carl Paladino is on the defensive in the wake of an AP report about a 10-year-old felony charge against his company, accusing his GOP gubernatorial primary opponent, Rick Lazio, of planting the story.
” I’m running for governor of New York because I want to clean up Albany – and take out the trash,” Paladino said in a new video that appears on his campaign Website.
“So of course the career politicians are attempting to smear me and derail our campaign. Once again, Albany insiders want to distract you with half-truths and smears. They’ve called me every name in the book, and now they’ve added another one.”
“That’s just nonsense.”
Paladino held a press conference in Buffalo earlier today to endorse former Erie County GOP Chairman Jim Domagalski in the three-way primary for the seat being vacated by Sen. Dale Volker. The normally chatty-to-a-fault Buffalo businessman did not stick around to take questions from reporters.
Sep 9th - 12:24 pm
Former Republican Rep. Vito Fossella stood in for his new boss, former US Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, on last night’s “Wise Guys” segment on NY1 and seemed to rule out the possibility that he might try to return to elected office – at least in the near future.
Asked by Michael Scotto getting back into the game, Fossella replied:
“No. I see myself helping Al D’Amato and then our clients, and continue, to the extent that I can, to the extent that the people will allow me, to continue to serve and help improve the quality of life in my community on Staten Island.”
Fossella has been flirting with a comeback since shortly after deciding in 2008 not to seek re-election in the wake of his drunk driving/out-of-wedlock child scandal. As recently as May, the Staten Island GOP endorsed Fossella to run in NY-13 to try to take back his old seat from Democratic Rep. Mike McMahon.
In the end, Fossella took a pass on the race. He also took a pass last night on picking a favorite in the GOP primary between Michael Grimm and Michael Allegretti, even though his longtime ally, former Staten Island BP Guy Molinari, is running Grimm’s campaign.
Sep 9th - 11:56 am
A Western NY reader forwarded this prototype campaign sign put together by the Erie County GOP, which has provided a bastion of support for Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino since the inception of his campaign for governor.
As you’ll recall, two of Paladino’s fellow statewide GOP contenders signed on to run with him on the independent Taxpayers Party line: US Senate hopefuls Gary Berntsen and David Malpass.
Well, from the looks of this sign, Berntsen and Paladino have officially parted ways – so much so that Paladino and his WNY backers have decided to support Berntsen’s primary opponent, Jay Townsend, instead.
I delved last week into the split between Berntsen and Paladino, who would seem like natural allies, considering their dual efforts to energize the Tea Party wing of the GOP.
Recall that during the YNN/NY1 debate, Berntsen refused to say he’d vote for Paladino, while Townsend was quite clear he’s support Lazio. Also, Malpass has declined to pre-endorse a gubernatorial candidate and has said he won’t actively run on the Taxpayer line if he loses the GOP primary.
Townsend has been picking up institutional Republican support in advance of the primary. The Queens GOP announced this morning that it has decided to support him against Berntsen. He got the Kings County GOP yesterday.
Sep 9th - 8:57 am
Rush Limbaugh weighed in yesterday on the hotly contested NY-1 GOP primary, lauding George Demos, one of the three candidates vying to take on Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in November, as a “literal Rush Baby” who is being sidelined by GOP leaders much like Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman was in NY-23 last fall.
“(H)e’s another example of a conservative that the GOP power structure is trying to run out, just like the Dede Scozzafava race, New York 23,” Limbaugh said.
“…Now, this guy’s running for office in New York 1, a literal Rush Baby. And the Republican establishment has turned on him, “he can’t win.” He’s all concerned about Ground Zero and the mosque and so forth.”
“So the state party, Republican state party has sent Christopher Cox, Nixon’s grandson, and a guy who was a Green Party pro-choice Republican in New Jersey before they shipped him out to Suffolk County to run against George Demos. So you got a couple pro-choice country club, blue-blood Republicans in the primary because they’re in the northeast and it’s sad that only those kinds of Republicans can win in the northeast.”
He continues for quite a while along those lines…You can listen to his remarks in full below.
Sep 8th - 6:39 pm
Former Rep. Vito Fossella has joined ex-US Sen. Alfonse D’Amato’s lobbying/consulting firm, Park Strategies, where he will be managing director of the New York office.
“I’m pleased to once again work alongside my friend and colleague, Congressman Vito Fossella,” said D’Amato.
“Cong. Fossella’s vast experience and knowledge in both the public and private sector is second to none. He will be a tremendous asset to our firm, particularly in our New York and Washington offices.”
“Our clients will certainly benefit from Cong. Fossella’s Congressional experience, particularly his service on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Financial Services Committee. Cong. Fossella will make Park Strategies stronger and I’m excited about the new possibilities that await the firm.”
Sep 8th - 6:02 pm
As you may have noticed, we’ve launched a new feature on our Website.
With so much attention being paid to the battle for control of the state Senate this year, we had our tech gurus (and Intern Bryan!) put together an interactive map detailing all 62 races – from Chautauqua to Suffolk County.
And we’ve handicapped the races, too, identifying safe seats and possible pick-ups for both the Democrats and the Republicans. There are also a few tossups. The rankings were determined by the strength of the candidates, the amount of money they have in their campaign kitties, and voter enrollment.
Now, this is a work in progress. So, please bear with us.
And if you take issue with any of our rankings, please send us your comments. We’ll be reviewing the map daily and making changes as necessary.
Also, after the primaries are over, we’ll be updating with the winners and also adding some third party candidates who aren’t on there at the moment.
If all goes well, we think this will be a great tool for gauging who’s in the best position to take the majority in November – and, perhaps more importantly, control the next round of redistricting, which, as Senate President Malcolm Smith might say, could relegate the GOP to oblivion for a good long time.
Sep 8th - 4:26 pm
Here’s GOP gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino in Cheektowaga (as goes…so goes…etc). earlier today, talking about how the New York Times did him a favor by endorsing his primary opponent, Rick Lazio, and saying it would be a “national embarrassment” for the party if he ends up as their standard-bearer.
“I think the New York Times obviously has an agenda,” Paladino said. “We’ve been watching it for years. They couldn’t go any farther to the left/ They’re going to fall off whatever, wherever. And they did us a great favor by not endorsing us. Thank you, we appreciate it.”
Sep 8th - 3:26 pm
I was struck by the responses – or rather non-responses – to the final question in last night’s AG debate, in which the five Democratic contenders had difficulty coming up with anything very negative to say about the lone GOP contender, Staten Island DA Dan Donovan.
Eric Dinallo said he though Donovan would have a “fairly narrow platform” in the general election. Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky and Sean Coffey all said they didn’t know enough about Donovan’s record to say much about it.
Sen. Eric Schneiderman called Donovan a “nice man,” but noted he had lobbied against Rockefeller Drug Law reform as the head of the state DA’s association (Rice was on the board, too, which has become an issue in the primary) said he “represents the past” and the “old, failed ways of thinking about the justice system.”
Within less than a week, one of those five is going to have to bring the fight to Donovan. It seems to me they should at least have some idea about how they would approach that battle. Up to this point, the state Democratic Party and its allies (most notably the LGBT interests) have carried the anti-Donovan water.
On the flip side of this equation is former GOP AG Dennis Vacco, who couldn’t say enough nice things about the five Democratic AG candidates during an interview with CapTon’s Kaitlyn Ross that will air tonight at 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Sep 8th - 2:44 pm
Yet another Western NY Republican is siding with GOP gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino against Rick Lazio in advance of next week’s primary.
Former AG Dennis Vacco – the last Republican to hold that statewide office, before he was ousted in a squeaker of a race by Democrat Eliot Spitzer in 1998 – told CapTon’s Kaitlyn Ross this afternoon that he likes his fellow Buffalonian because he “comes with a different perspective.”
“What I most like about Carl is he is so un-Albany, and I don’t mean that in a disparaging fashion to the people that live in Albany,” Vacco told Kaitlyn.
“I do mean it in a disparaging fashion to those temporary residents of the city of Albany who call themselves legislators and elected officials. we really need to shake up the status quo. At least on the Republican side, the best person to do that is Carl Paladino.”