Here And Now

Carl Paladino has changed his tune on Andrew Cuomo’s alleged cheating.

“I’m sick and tired of people asking me about if I’ve had affairs. I was talking to (POLITICO) and said ‘why don’t you ask Andrew Cuomo if he has had extramartial affairs. It’s not that I was accusing him,” Paladino said.

The Washington Post picks up on the intensely personal nature of the NY governor’s race.

Paladino’s allegations against Cuomo drew criticism from his newfound ally, state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long, who called them “not something I would do.”

“The last thing this state needs is an out-of-control governor who can’t take the heat,” says the Times.

The Sagamore Smackdown video has been viewed more than 20,000 times, but the cute bear version is perhaps more suitable for children.

Also in the above link (at the very end), a shocking new revelation about Paladino: He’s a nail biter.

This is all starting to look a lot like reality TV, says Tom Precious.

Newsday would like to get back to the days of “reasoned disagreement.”

In case you just can’t get enough of the Dicker vs. Paladino exchange, here’s a transcript.

Remember this?

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Extras

ADDED: Carl Paladino insists he didn’t accuse Andrew Cuomo of having an affair, but merely got sick of answer questions about his own dalliance and thought his opponent should do the same.

Michael Caputo and other associates of Roger Stone are making a lot of money off Paladino, although it’s not easy to tell exactly how much from his campaign filings.

“It’s on,” says Paladino in his latest fundraising pitch.

Paladino is speaking at the Crain’s breakfast on Oct. 5.

Planned Parenthood Advocates launched a cartoon-themed e-mail “education campaign” about Paladino’s positions on abortion.

Paladino, the paper doll.

Retiring Sen. George Winner is “very disappointed by the tone of the campaigns, and the top of the ticket in particular.”

Rudy Giuliani will “probably vote Republican” in the upcoming governor’s race, but can’t bring himself to say Paladino’s name.

Michael Barbaro talked about Paladino with Rachel Maddow.

Casey Seiler details some of Fred Dicker’s previous altercations with politicians and staffers.

Mayor Bloomberg on why he’s not running for president: “Can’t win. When you’re mayor, you make decisions and you alienate the people who don’t like those decisions.”

Bloomberg attacked a DN reporter for asking “the most ridiculous question that I’ve been presented with in 9 years.” (So much for you, Azi Paybarah).

Sen. Eric Schneiderman released a “seniors agenda” (as in the elderly, not high school).

Gov. David Paterson said he wasn’t involved in the hiring of Clemmie Harris’ alleged girlfriend, but he’s sure she’s very qualified.

The NYLCV is serving “Cuomo-jitos” and “Paladino Vino” at its upcoming “Green Tea” Party.

Lincoln Restler and Al Franken, separated at birth?

Andrew Russo launched a new TV ad attacking Sen. Dave Valesky.

President Obama nominated New York appellate lawyer Caitlin J. Halligan, who served as state solicitor general under then-AG Eliot Spitzer, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Goodbye Rahm Emanuel (officially).

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli vs. the budget. (Again).

Just. Completely. Hysterical. (H/T The Atlantic).

House GOP Leadership For Doheny

House GOP leaders have joined with the two lone Republican members of New York’s congressional delegation in endorsing Matt Doheny following his victory in the NY-23 primary two weeks ago.

“Your winning campaign message and promise to lower taxes, spending and your constituents’ share of the federal debt provides the perfect contrast to the record of Bill Owens – who has blindly supported Nancy Pelosi 93% of the time since the day he came to Washington,” the eight Republicans wrote in a letter to Doheny.

“Your real life experience and fresh ideas are necessary to get our economy back on track. Our party and our country need conservative leaders like you now more than ever.”

That “conservative leaders” line is a dig at Doheny’s vanquished primary foe, Doug Hoffman, who is staying on the Conservative line in the general election, despite the fact that his presence dramatically improves Owens’ chances at holding onto the seat he won in the special election last fall.

As you’ll recall, Owens beat Hoffman and Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, whose name remained on the ballot even though she dropped out of the race and endorsed her erstwhile Democratic opponent.

CT SOP Doheny Letter

Matilda Cuomo Dismisses ‘Garbage’ Affair Allegations

Andrew Cuomo’s mother, Matilda, today called Carl Paladino’s allegations that her son enagaged in extramarital affairs while married to Kerry Kennedy “garbage” and said her grandchildren will “rise above” this ugly turn in the governor’s race.

“We know Andrew. We know Kerry,” Matilda Cuomo told NY1′s Grace Rauh. “We love her and we know that this is all to be forgotten. It’s just passing by.”

Asked if she thinks there’s any truth to Paladino’s charge, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s mother replied:

“I have no idea. I don’t want to hear about it. I want to hear about positive things. I want to hear how are you going to help us as governor. What are you going to do? By the way, Andrew has a book out, the New York Agenda. And it’s been looked at, and really scrutinized and no criticisms. I’ll get you a book. It’s wonderful…People have to know it’s a positive campaign.”

Marist: Cuomo 53, Paladino 38

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.

Post Editor Rejects Paladino Claim (Updated)

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.

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Spitzer: Paladino Will ‘Disappear’

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.

Air Cuomo: Positive/Negative

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.

Paladino: Dicker Part Of Albany ‘Trash’

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.

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‘Dodger Dan’

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.

DodgerDan2inch

“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.