Twice In One Day!

…that would be two – count ‘em – TWO public appearances by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo: One in NYC (to pick up the endorsement of Mayor Bloomberg) and another in Albany (to announce a “major takedown of 41 gang members).

The AG rejected the idea that it would help him if Rick Lazio remains in the general election on the state Conservative Party line, insisting the former congressman might actually siphon off his voters and not just steal votes from Carl Paladino.

“I want Rick Lazio to do what Rick Lazio wants to do. What does Rick Lazio want to do? I don’t know that it helps me. No. Why? If Rick Lazio runs against me, he might get someone to vote for him who would vote for me. I think he’s going to take votes from me. That’s what I’m afraid of.”

Extras

Added: The Forbes list is out, and it’s official: Mayor Bloomberg is still very, VERY rich.

AG Andrew Cuomo “misspoke” when he said he voted for Mayor Bloomberg.

Pollster Peter Feld thinks Cuomo will get his lead back.

Lincoln Restler defeated the Brooklyn Democratic machine.

Matt Doheny has won the GOP primary in NY-23.

“While these Tea Party candidates basically ran and won as Howard Beale yelling ‘We’re Mad as Hell,’ the Republican base has an even more telling slogan, ‘We’re Stupid as Hell,’” writes Mark Green.

Harry Wilson’s campaign launched a “money bomb” via a new “Albany Tom” Website.

Gov. David Paterson appointed New York’s first ever chief diversity officer.

Warren Redlich takes on the NY Public Library.

Nan Hayworth is keeping the Independence Party line.

Randy Altschuler has a new radio ad.

Perhaps the leak on the hiring of Hank Sheinkopf by the state Democratic Party was a little premature?

The Commission on Public Integrity has a new member.

Patricia Ritchie will run on the Taxpayers Party line in the 48th SD.

Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson mentioned Cuomo often during his ABNY remarks this morning.

Some retired NYC teachers and administrators are very well off indeed.

Recall fever is sweeping the nation.

Giuliani Has No Regrets

Here’s former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani at an endorsement event for NY-20 Republican candidate Chris Gibson earlier today, explaining his thinking on Carl Paladino (never met the man) and also insisting that he doesn’t regret not running for governor himself.

“I never look back,” Giuliani said. “I always look forward, and the reality is it would have been impossible for me to run this year.”

Negative In The 44th (Updated)

Veteran GOP Sen. Hugh Farley is out with his first TV ad of the campaign, and it’s a negative spot that slams his Democratic opponent, Susan Savage, for voting in favor of tax increases while serving on the Schenectady County Legislature.

Savage’s campaign spokesman Travis Proulx (on loan from the Senate Democrats’ press office) responded by accusing Farley of being “embarrassed to run on his own 34-year Albany record,” adding:

“Who can blame him? Since Farley went to Albany the state budget has grown 1,000 percent, he voted to raise income and local taxes more than 680 times, the banking industry collapsed our economy during his lengthy tenure as Chair of the Banking Committee, and several authorities and entities he created became notorious boondoggles which wasted taxpayer funds with no form of oversight or accountability.”

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Andrew Cuomo’s ‘Delivery Boy’?!

Team Paladino is keeping the candidate under wraps, but campaign manager Michael Caputo did a good job of channeling his boss earlier today while discussing why Rick Lazio should not stay the race on the Conservative Party line.

Caputo said Lazio and Paladino have spoken “several times,” and the Buffalo businessman’s campaign has “growing confidence that (Lazio) will do the right thing” – particularly in light of today’s Q poll, which showed Paladino within spitting distance of Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Andrew Cuomo.

“Rick Lazio, if he ran for governor, would be nothing but a delivery boy for Andrew Cuomo,” Caputo said.

“He won’t get any numbers higher than the former Madam who used to provide prostitutes to Eliot Spitzer, who’s also running for governor. It’s not time for a side show. It’s time for a unified ticket. Rick Lazio needs to understand that we only have a few more days. I think he does, and we’re in a dialogue.”

During a stop in Colonie earlier today, Lazio declined to say whether he will remain in the race. He did, however, take both Paladino and Cuomo to task for the increasingly negative tone of the general election, which is only one week old.

Caputo also threatened to outspend Lazio “five or six times over” on Paladino’s independent Taxpayers Party line, which he said was “designed to completely take away the vote that would be going to the Conservative line under any other circumstances” and “destroy” the Conservative Party.

Paladino Goes Mainstream

As he engages in his post-primary makeover and seeking to unite the moderate and fringe elements of the state GOP, Carl Paladino has tapped a former member of ex-Gov. George Pataki’s cabinet to chair his campaign for governor.

Nancy Naples, who served briefly as DMV commissioner in Pataki’s final term (she was appointed in January 2006) and also was elected to three terms as Erie County comptroller (1993, 1997, and 2001), will assist the Paladino campaign in strategy development, public affairs and fundraising.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I join Carl Paladino in his quest to take back New York for the people,” Naples said in a statement released by the Paladino campaign.

“Over the next 40 days I will be dedicated to raising the resources necessary to educate the people on where Carl stands on the issues, and I’m especially energized to help protect the voters from the status Cuomo.”

Paladino was recently quoted in the DN as calling Pataki a “degenerate idiot,” but he apologized for that statement during a private sit-down with the former governor earlier this week.

Pataki, who endorsed Rick Lazio prior to last week’s GOP primary, has not ruled out backing Paladino even though Lazio hasn’t yet decided whether he’ll be staying in the race on the Conservative line.

Pataki spokesman Dave Catalfamo told me last night on CapTon that he believes Lazio should bow out, although he insisted he was speaking only for himself and not on Pataki’s behalf.

How Quickly We Forget

Ah, technology. Don’t you love it?

Thanks to the miracles of TV and the elephant-like memory of CapTon Executive Producer Michael Johnson, (better known in the political pod as “MJ”, or sometimes simply, “M” – every spy/anchor needs one of those), we bring you this vintage Andrew Cuomo moment from the 2006 Democratic AG primary.

The question: “Do you want to be governor.” The quick response from both Sean Patrick Maloney and Mark Green: “No.”

After a little banter with his erstwhile (2002) LG running mate-turned-opponent, Charlie King, Cuomo also responded with a resounding “no”, and later added: “Been there, done that.”

King, who joked during the debate that Cuomo should be subjected to a “lie-detector test,” later dropped out of the race and endorsed Cuomo; he’s now Cuomo’s hand-picked state Democratic Party executive director.

NYC, Get Ready For The Paladino Push

Recognizing that a statewide race cannot be won on upstate alone, the Paladino campaign is preparing to refocus its efforts on NYC and its suburbs.

The Buffalo businessman won some 94 percent of the vote in his native Erie County in last week’s GOP primary, but the bulk of the state’s population – not to mention enrolled voters – is concentrated in the five boroughs and on Long Island.

Hence, downstate residents should prepare themselves to see a lot more of Paladino, both in person and on the airwaves.

“When it comes down to the data, we have a real challenge ahead of us now getting all the downstate voters to understand Carl Paladino as well as those do upstate,” Paladino’s campaign manager Michael Caputo told reporters in Buffalo earlier today.

“That means spending probably 60 to 70 percent of our time in the New York City environs. That means spending significant media dollars in a very expensive media market…Carl is now making sure that we’re raising the money necessary to compete with Andrew Cuomo.”

The Paladino campaign is keeping the candidate under wraps today, and might do so for some time – or at least until the post-primary metamorphasis is complete.

Giuliani Hasn’t Thought A Lot About Paladino

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who endorsed Rick Lazio back in December after declining to run for governor himself, dodged questions about whether he will support GOP nominee Carl Paladino, saying the Buffalo businessman “hasn’t reached out to me.”

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“Mr. Paladino has never called me. I have no idea whether he even wants my endorsement,” Giuliani said at endorsement event for Chris Gibson, the GOP candidate in NY-20.

“…I haven’t thought a lot about him. He’s new to me, I didn’t know him before, and he never reached out to talk to me or ask me any questions, so I know nothing about him.”

Giuliani said he has known the Democratic frontrunner, AG Andrew Cuomo, for “a very long time.” (He didn’t say anything bad about him…Hmmm. it’s worth noting that a number of Giuliani’s fellow Republicans, including former US Sen. Alfonse D’Amato and former state GOP Chairman Pat Barrett, have crossed party lines to endorse Cuomo).

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Lazio: ‘There Will Be A Time’ To Say Yes Or No (But Not Today)

Rick Lazio declined (again) to say whether he will remain in the general election on the Conservative Party line, but did make a point of noting: “People have run on third party lines in New York and have won.”

He also said he intends to “have a voice” in the general election, regardless of what his final decision is.

“I think New York is a very volatile political environment,” Lazio told reporters following his remarks at an Associated Press conference at the Desmond Hotel outside Albany.

“I think people are justifiably angry. I believe that that anger is best channeled to force the candidates to lay out how they’re going to solve the problems facing New York, which is substandard growth and high unemployment.”

Despite the fact GOP leaders have called for him to quit and Conservative Chairman Mike Long has asked that he make a decision sooner rather than later, Lazio said “there will be a time” for him to announce his decision.

He did not say when that might be.

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