Oct 11th - 4:04 pm
Talk about strange timing.
The Log Cabin Republicans sent out an e-mail alert shortly after noon today that inform supporters that GOP/Conservative gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino’s LG running mate, Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, will be attending a fundraising to benefit its political action committee in Manhattan tomorrow.
“Dear Friends,” Log Cabin Republicans Chairman Gregory Angelo wrote. “I’m pleased to report that Chautauqua County Executive and New York State Lieutenant Governor candidate Greg Edwards has confirmed he will be in attendance at Tuesday’s Log Cabin Republicans of New York State PAC Victory Fundraiser!”
“In addition to providing the funds necessary to support fair-minded Republicans across the state, the PAC event is also an incredible opportunity to directly engage with elected officials and candidates for office. Mr. Edwards is excited to attend our event and to personally hear about the issues that matter most to you.”
I left Edwards a voice mail message, which he has not yet returned.
This seems rather incongruous, coming on the heels of Paladino’s explosive anti-gay comments in Brooklyn yesterday and subsequent insistence that his main concern when it comes to the LGBT community is that same-sex marriage should not be legalized.
UPDATE: Angelo informs me Edwards reached out to the Log Cabin Republicans “prior to the events of last weekend expressing his desire to attend our event on Tuesday,” adding:
“He has said nothing against gay men and women in this state and, quite the contrary, has expressed an openness to dialogue with gay Republicans. We will treat him with the same dignity and respect that all New Yorkers deserve.”
Angelo said he has spoken with Edwards today by phone and e-mail and the county executive still plans on attending tomorrow’s fundraiser.
Oct 11th - 2:36 pm
In one of the stranger political statements I’ve seen of late (perhaps ever, actually), state GOP Chairman Ed Cox has heeded Democratic leaders’ calls for him to condem anti-gay statements made by his standard-bearer, Carl Paladino, by lambasting whoever wrote them.
“Our Republican gubernatorial candidate, Carl Paladino, is more than capable of speaking for himself on the matters he addressed on air this morning and to Orthodox Jewish leaders on Sunday,” Cox said. “We condemn any remarks that can be construed as homophobic.”
“It is our responsibility as a Party during these final days of the campaign to ensure we focus on the issues of utmost importance to New Yorkers, including those Carl Paladino addressed last week, such as job creation; cutting state spending by 20-percent and taxes by 10-percent; and making New York affordable for our children, our businesses and our families.”
“We Republicans will continue to discuss all of these issues that New York’s Democrats lack the ability and credibility to address.”
The Jewish Week’s Adam Dickter reported that the text of Paladino’s remarks to Orthodox rabbis in Borough Park was written by Rabbi Yehuda Levin, described by Dickter as “an ardent opponent of gay rights and abortion and occasional New York political candidate.”
Levin endorsed Paladino back in September, and the two bonded over their mutual hatred for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
It was at Paladino’s second stop in Williamsburg that he said the line about children being “brainwashed into thinking homosexuality is an equal valid and successful option.” He personally edited out another line, although it was included in the prepared remarks provided to reporters, that there is “nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual.”
Levin told Dickter he knew who had written the Williamsburg speech, but refused to identify that person.
Oct 11th - 2:23 pm
Here’s video of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo denouncing, in some of his strongest language yet, the anti-gay comments made yesterday by his GOP/Conservative opponent, Carl Paladino.
I think the comments Mr. Paladino made were reckless,” Cuomo told reporters at the Columbus Day Parade in Manhattan. “I think they were divisive. They were reckless in light of the recent violence we’ve had. They were divisive.”
“They were the worst cynical politics trying to pit people against one another, trying to pit groups against one another. I also think that New Yorkers have seen this before…and it doesn’t work. It is repugnant to the concept of what New York is. New York celebrates over diversity. Today we have parades to celebrate our diversity.”
Pressed by Marcia Kramer on Paladino’s chastisement of Cuomo for bringing his daughters along with him to march in the Gay Pride Parade back in June, Cuomo quipped: “He’s probably the last person I’ll take advice from on how to raise my daughters.”
Oct 11th - 2:13 pm
Here’s GOP/Conservative gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino arguing with reporters at the Columbus Day Parade in Manhattan earlier today over the anti-gay comments he made in Brooklyn yesterday.
Asked for the umpteenth time to clarify his remarks, Paladino responded:
“I just got done explaining it once, we’re at the Christopher Columbus parade and I want you to think about the Nina, the Pinta, and that Santa Maria. That’s what it’s about here today…We’re celebrating with the people at the Christopher Columbus Parade.”
Another reporter noted that Franco Zeffirelli is the grand marshall of this parade (actually, from what I can tell, that was back in 2002), adding: “He’s an out gay man, do you think he’s dysfunctional?” At that point, Paladino had clearly had enough, telling the reporter he had “never used that word” and to “stop fooling around with that.”
Paladino tried to end the discussion. But the reporter persisted, asking if Zeffirelli should not have been grand marshal, Paladino exploded:
“What are you talking about?” he demanded. “What are you smokin’!? I made a clear statement this morning on TV! Go look at it!”
Paladino’s campaign manager Michael Caputo then tried to shut things down. But NY1′s Juan Manuel Benitez jumped in, telling the candidate that some Latino leaders felt slighted when he failed to show up as planned to the Hispanic Day Parade. Paladino gave what seemed to be a genuine apology, saying his schedule had become too jammed for him to make it.
Oct 11th - 1:05 pm
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo’s running mate, Rochester Mayor Bob Duffy, has joined the pile-on over GOP/Conservative hopeful Carl Paladino’s anti-gay comments yesterday, calling on all Republicans – including Paladino’s No. 2., Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, to disavow the Buffalo businessman’s comments “immediately.”
“Mr. Paladino is continuing his campaign of division and insult. His statement yesterday denigrating gays and lesbians is a continuation of his thoughtless and harmful language aimed at certain groups of our state’s citizens,” Duffy said in a statement forwarded by Cuomo’s campaign.
“I do not believe New York Republicans share Mr. Paladino’s homophobic beliefs and I call upon all Republican elected officials, and especially the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Edwards, to disavow those remarks immediately.”
“There can be no way to clarify or explain away such hateful remarks as were uttered by Mr. Paladino. Our next Governor will be elected to serve and protect the rights of all of our citizens and not just a chosen few. “
State Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs has a similar statement out calling for his GOP couterpart, Ed Cox, to denounce Paladino’s comments.
One person who is so far not backing away from them is state Conservative Chairman Mike Long, who told Maggie Haberman he “didn’t see any intolerance” in Paladino’s “Today” show appearance this morning.
Oct 11th - 12:57 pm
Former Rep. Rick Lazio, who has remained silent since dropping out of the governor’s race and relinquishing the Conservative line to his former primary foe, Carl Paladino, has weighed in on the Buffalo businessman’s anti-gay remarks in Brooklyn yesterday, saying the whole discussion is an embarrassing waste of time.
“When I left the race for Governor I said this race needed to be about ideas and policies to grow the economy and bring jobs back to New York,” Lazio said in a statement forwarded by his former campaign spokesman David James.
“At a time when New Yorkers most need inspiration and leadership, we get division and disrespect. New Yorkers can’t find jobs and pay their bills and attacks on sexual orientation are both counterproductive and an embarrassment.”
As you’ll recall, Lazio had some harsh words for both Paladino and his Democratic opponent, AG Andrew Cuomo, when he bowed out of the race, calling them “flawed individuals, flawed in terms of public character, flawed in terms of ideas and principles that will restore growth and pride to our great state.”
Even as his fellow Republicans and erstwhile Conservative backers rushed to embrace Paladino as their standard-nearer, Lazio refused to join in. Looks like he very well might end up getting the last laugh.
Oct 11th - 12:23 pm
The blog portion of Carl Paladino’s website briefly included a risque photo that appears to have been taken at a gay pride parade.
(Warning, the picture may be inappropriate for some).
The blog post shows a picture of three near-naked men (two are sporting hats, one is wearing sunglasses and a leather cuff, another has a leather harness on). One of the trio is kissing another on the mouth. The headline reads: “The Gay Parade Issue.” It’s followed by this text:
Regardless of which side of the gay marriage debate one happens to embrace, I think a seperate debate can he held on the issue of whether or not children should necessarily be encouraged to attend gay parades?”
“Are gay parade’s wild displays helping or hurting the struggle to win wider public acceptance?
This comes in the wake of Paladino’s controversial anti-gay statements in Williamsburg yesterday followed by his appearance on the national morning shows, during which he called the behavior at gay pride parades – where, he said, men wear “bikinis” and “Speedos” and “grind” with one another – “disgusting” and inappropriate venues for young children.
Paladino chastised his Democratic opponent, Andrew Cuomo, for bringing his daughters to march with him in the Manhattan gay pride parade in late June.
UPDATE1: The link to the blog at www.paladinoforthepeople.com is now inaccessible for some browsers, although I’m still able to view it. We managed to get a screen grab before that occurred…and here it is. (Modified slightly. Sorry. We are a family blog, after all).
Also, we initially believed this was a hacking situation, but it appears the picture was simply posted by Paladino’s campaign blogger. I have an e-mail in to campaign manager Michael Caputo. No response yet.
UPDATE 2: Paladino Campaign Manager Michael Caputo now confirms that their blog was hacked into. They have now got control of the site.
Oct 11th - 11:44 am
The National Republican Congressional Committee has dumped some more money into their bid to unseat Michael Arcuri in NY-24. They have just released a new ad, accusing Arcuri of “double talk”, and slamming him for voting for the stimulus plan and then telling a newspaper he isn’t sure if he should have voted for the bill.
The ad comes as we learn that President Bill Clinton is going to be stumping for the Congressman in coming weeks.
Back in 2008, this race was surprisingly close. Arcuri defeated Republican Richard Hanna by just a few thousand votes, which shocked many because the race wasn’t considered to be in play, and the NRCC dumped little to no money into it. This time around, Hanna is getting a lot more support from Washington.
Oct 11th - 11:11 am
Gov. David Paterson is stubbornly insisting on moving ahead with his plan to lay off 2,000 state employees before his term ends on Dec. 31, despite the fact that his own counsel has deemed his legal footing in doing so “precarious” – at best, administration sources confirm.
Paterson’s top counsel, Peter Kiernan, told agency heads during a conference call last week that he had advised the governor his memorandum of understanding with labor unions reached in exchange for their support of a fifth pension fund tier clearly states the state cannot “threaten” layoffs in 2010.
But, according to a source who was on that call, the governor has been adamant about forging ahead, insisting the cuts are necessary to make up for the $250 million worth of workforce savings included in the budget but never realized due to a stalemate between his office and the public employee unions.
Some have privately suggested Paterson is desperate to make a lasting impact in his final days in office. Since the budget battle was settled, Paterson has largely fallen off the radar screen, emerging to do radio interviews and appear on Saturday Night Live.
A recent poll found New Yorkers are so disappointed with Paterson that they would have preferred to see scandal-scarred former Gov. Eliot Spitzer remain in office instead.
Paterson initially said layoffs would take place just as he left office, leaving the decision up to his successor. But then he changed course, saying he didn’t want to foist that responsibility off onto whoever takes office after he’s gone.
Oct 11th - 11:10 am
In his strongest comments against his Republican ticket mate yet, state comptroller hopeful Harry Wilson sought to put even more distance between himself and gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino following the Buffalo businessman’s anti-gay remarks in Williamsburg yesterday.
“I do not condone intolerance of any kind and categorically reject these hurtful statements,” Wilson said in a statement released by his campaign.
“Furthermore, I strongly urge every candidate for statewide office to focus solely, as I have, on the problems of our state, particularly our massive and growing fiscal crisis.”
Republcians have had mixed feelings on how they will be impacted by the so-called “Paladino factor.”
Some legislative challengers in Western NY, the base of Paladino’s support, are hoping his popularity will help propel them to victory. But his fellow statewide contenders, who must appeal to a far broader base of voters – especially independents and disaffected Democrats – to have any hope at victory in this Democrat-dominated state, worry Paladino will pull them down.
Wilson and Staten Island DA Dan Donovan have refused to endorse Paladino and have taken heat from their Democratic opponents for failing to strongly denounce him for his controversial statements and positions.
Wilson has argued he wants to maintain independence from anyone he might have to audit as comptroller – including the governor – while Donovan has fallen back on the state DAs Association policy barring him from making endorsesments as a sitting DA.