Sep 30th - 1:57 pm
Marist has released its first poll since the governor’s race became a two-man affair, finding Carl Paladino benefitted some – but not as much as some people expected – from Rick Lazio’s departure from the Conservative Party line.
Last week, Andrew Cuomo was leading Paladino 52-33 with 9 percent of voters backing Lazio and 6 percent undecided.
Today, Cuomo is ahead by 15 percentage points, with one percent backing the generic “someone else” and another 8 percent undecided. So, the “Lazio factor” ends up being worth four percentage points – at least for now.
“Cuomo continues to hold a double-digit lead, but the numbers have shifted somewhat following Lazio’s withdrawal from the race,” said Marist pollster Lee Miringoff.
“Without Lazio on the Conservative Party line, Paladino is more competitive in the New York City suburbs and among non-enrolled voters.”
Cuomo continues to run very far ahead in NYC, where the Democratic enrollment edge is more than 5-to-1 over Republicans. Paladino and Cuomo are neck-and-neck – 46-47 – among upstate voters. In the ‘burbs, they’re at 49-43. Prior to his withdrawal, Lazio was garnering 16 percent of the suburban vote.
Sep 30th - 1:46 pm
Via Maggie Haberman: The Post’s editor-in-chief, Col Allen, has flat out rejected the claims by Carl Paladino’s campaign manager about a photographer from the paper going to great lengths to capture pictures of the candidate’s daughter.
“Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo’s claim about our photographer is untrue,” Allen stated. “We can only assume Mr. Caputo is confusing our photographer with someone else.”
“Mr. Caputo should check his facts before making charges against Post personnel. In addition, Mr. Paladino should not be surprised by the media’s interest in his families, as he has invited public scrutiny of his personal life by running for governor and speaking openly about his mistress and love child.”
UPDATE: Caputo is sticking with his story, releasing yet another statement via an e-mail with the subject line “More lies: It was the Post”, which appears in full after the jump.
Sep 30th - 1:39 pm
Former governor-turned-CNN commentator/host Eliot Spitzer, who just last week was teeing off on his ertswhile political rival, Andrew Cuomo, predicted today “with some confidence” that the AG will win the November election and his opponent, Carl Paladino, “will then disappear.”
Spitzer, who had his own tangles with The Post’s Fred Dicker (who broke the story that became first scandal of the Spitzer administration, Troopergate), steered clear of weighing in on last night’s Sagamore Smackdown, but did say the footage “looked like something out of Hollywood…like politics the way it was enacted 40 years ago.”
The former governor lamented the fact that the governor’s race has devolved – literally – into little more than a pushing match, saying: “I think it’s too bad that we’re not using this moment to have a real conversation about what the policies should be to bring New York State back to what it used to be, the empire state.”
Spitzer also plugged his new show “Parker/Spitzer”, which starts Monday. One of the first topics of discussion will be privacy and the invasion of privacy, or, as Spitzer put it: “The inability for people to lead a life without everybody staring at them.”
…which, of course, he knows more than a little something about.
Sep 30th - 12:45 pm
For the second time, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo has released a pair of TV ads – one positive and one negative – with one highlighting his work as attorney general and the other attacking his GOP/Conservative opponent, Carl Paladino.
The positive spot features Michelle Minton, a Republican mother of two from Buffalo, who says she was harassed and threatened by a predatory debt collection company for a $4,400 bill she didn’t owe. She appealed to Cuomo for assistance and the people who had harassed her over the phone were arrested.
The negative ad again casts Paladino as an Albany insider who traded campaign contributions for lucrative real estate contracts with the state.
The positive ad was produced by Jonathan Cranin and the negative by Murphy Putnam. Details of when they will hit the airwaves and where they’ll be seen were not immediately available. Cuomo has now released six ads since the Sept. 14 primary signaled the official start of the general election.
Sep 30th - 12:14 pm
GOP/Conservative gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino’s campaign has released a lengthy statement on his verbal – and near physical – altercation with The Post’s Fred Dicker in which he again challenges the veteran Albany scribe to ask Andrew Cuomo whether he was faithful during his marriage to Kerry Kennedy.
“Carl Paladino has been repeatedly asked irrelevant questions regarding relationships he may have had while married,” reads the statement, attributed to Paladino’s campaign manager Michael Caputo (who had his own exchange with Dicker at the Sagamore last night).
“We challenge Fred Dicker to ask Andrew Cuomo this question on the record, since it has been posed repeatedly to Carl Paladino: ‘Did you engage in extramarital relationships while you were married?’ A simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ will suffice.”
“Mr. Dicker will not ask this question of Cuomo, nor will Andrew Cuomo answer it.”
“Mr. Dicker gets extra Cuomo Brownie Points by claiming Carl threatened him. Carl has used this exact word choice throughout this campaign and several times on Mr. Dicker’s radio show: he’ll take out this government. He’ll take out the bad guys. He’ll take out Sheldon Silver.”
“Carl feels the same about Mr. Dicker, who is the best example of the cozy relationship some media have with the ruling elite. This is part of the problem in Albany, and Carl will take out the trash.”
Paladino gave his first interview since the incident on 77 WABC radio this morning to Bernard McGuirk, who struck a fairly sympathetic tone. The Buffalo businessman hit most of the points that Caputo lays out in the statement, which appears in full after the jump.
Sep 30th - 12:01 pm
Taking a page out of the Paladino campaign’s Photoshop playbook, Sen. Eric Schneiderman’s camp has come up with a new nickname for his GOP opponent, Staten Island DA Dan Donovan: Dodger Dan.
“We’ve been impressed by Dodger Dan Donovan’s ability to duck, dodge and weave when questioned on his record or stance on the issues,” said Schneiderman campaign spokesman James Freedland.
“And we’re thrilled to introduce the character Dodger Dan and its Facebook site to follow his next dodges. From his refusal to answer questions on public corruption in Staten Island to his refusal to denounce racist emails, this site will be a one-stop shop to ensure that, while Dodger Dan may try to run, he can’t hide from the facts.”
So, to recap, we now have Hedge Fund Harry (Wilson), Albany Tom (DiNapoli) and, compliments of the Donovan campaign, State Street Eric.
Sep 30th - 11:36 am
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo just announced that his “Republicans for Cuomo Committee” has a new member: Rick Lazio’s former campaign finance chairman, Anthony Scaramucci.
“As a Republican, I am proud to serve as Finance Chair of Republicans for Cuomo,” said Scaramucci in a statement released by Cuomo’s campaign.
“We must not let our party become the party that embraces extremist views and values like those of Carl Paladino. I believe Andrew Cuomo has the experience to bring change to Albany and he has put forth a real plan, not just bluster, to enact real and meaningful reform for New Yorkers.”
Scaramucci is founder and manager of the hedge fund SkyBridge Capital. He was among Lazio’s biggest campaign contributors.
He was announced as a member of Lazio’s re-tooled “executive committee” in the wake of a shake-up in late July that saw the former congressman’s campaign manager, Kevin Fullington, replaced by former state GOP strategic planning director, Matt Walter.
Lazio himself had harsh words for both Cuomo and Paladino when he formally exited the campaign Monday, calling them “flawed.” He didn’t endorse either of his former opponents and won’t be doing so, thanks to his newfound position as a candidate for a Bronx state Supreme Court judgeship.
Sep 30th - 11:28 am
Here’s Carl Paladino’s campaign manager Michael Caputo giving CapTon’s Kaitlyn Ross his take on last night’s Sagamore Smackdown.
The upshot: He believes Fred Dicker purposesly goaded the candidate into the near-fight, knowing full well Paladino was upset with The Post for trying to take pictures of the 10-year-old daughter he fathered out of wedlock.
“Fred came in after knowing that Carl was upset about that, and got right in his face,” Caputo said.
“It was a pretty aggressive exchange, and I believe Fred started it. But Carl is not very happy about anybody harassing his child, or his children, or his grandchildren. They were taking photographs of mail from her mailbox, and he’s very upset about that…The exchange, I think, was intentional on Fred Dicker’s part. I believe he was looking for that kind of a reaction because he heard Carl was upset. We don’t take kindly to it.”
Dicker said on TALK 1300 this morning that Kaitlyn’s cell phone video didn’t capture the start of his conversation with Paladino, which he insists began with him calmly questioning the candidate over his allegation that Andrew Cuomo stepped out on his ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy.
Caputo said Paladino learned of the efforts to take photos of his daughter while he was marching in the Columbus Day parade in Howard Beach, which may explain his outburst reported by Post columnist Andrea Peyser today.
Peyser’s first column on the topic of Paladino’s daughter didn’t mention his expletives and also said no one in Queens “gives a rat’s hump” how long he cheated on his wife with the mother of his out-of-wedlock child.
Sep 30th - 10:59 am
Andrew Cuomo’s hand-picked LG running mate, Rochester Mayor Bob Duffy, just gave the Democratic ticket’s first interview since Carl Paladino accused Cuomo of engaging in extramarital affairs while married to Kerry Kennedy and declined to respond to the GOP/Conservative gubernatorial candidate’s allegations.
“The most important thing about any campaign…is about the issues, and we believe, and I’ll speak for Andrew, that the campaign should be positive, about the personal attacks,” Duffy told The Post’s Fred Dicker, who nearly came to blows with Paladino last night while trying to inteview him about his claims.
Duffy, a former police chief, said he had learned during his law enforcement career that what ultimately matters is “the facts and proof – that is it.”
“For somebody to make an allegation without backing that up, it just speaks to what people don’t want to see,” Duffy continued. “…This type of theater, if anything, it turns people off. It turns your average person off. We’re going to stay above it.”
Duffy acted as Cuomo’s surrogate this morning at the state Business Council’s annual meeting at the Sagamore in Bolton Landing. There has been talk that Cuomo, who took a pass on the event, might show up after all.
But so far, there has been no confirmation of that from either the campaign or the Business Council, and Duffy himself seemed unclear on the AG’s schedule.
Sep 30th - 10:36 am
GOP/Conservative state comptroller candidate Harry Wilson is trying to turn his refusal to endorse his ticketmate, Carl Paladino, into an asset, saying it demonstrates a level of political independence that is lacking in his Democratic opponent, incumbent Tom DiNapoli.
Wilson told the Post’s Fred Dicker during a TALK 1300 interview this morning that he is sticking to his pledge not to formally back any candidate who might end up in an office covered by the comptroller’s audit power – be it governor, state assemblyman or senator.
“I think you need to maintain independence,” Wilson said, explaining that he wants to be a comptroller who “doesn’t owe aything to anyone” if he’s elected, and adding: “I think Mr. DiNapoli’s tenure shows the sad history of someone who owes something to the Legislature.”
(Oddly, that runs counter to what state GOP Chairman Ed Cox has been saying – as recently as last night during a CapTon interview he was insisting that Wilson will be campaigning with Paladino and embracing him).