2010 Gov Race

Paladino Owes $6.1 M (Updated)

Failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino (remember him?) spent $3.9 million – mostly of his own money – in the final weeks of his general election battle against Democratic Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo and still owes some $6.1 million (mostly to himself).

But don’t cry too hard for the Buffalo businessman. The bulk of his spending was on TV ads, which went to Ellicott Advertising Company – the in-house firm he set up – and earned a cut from – specifically to handle his on-air spots.

UPDATE: Paladino’s campaign manager/spokesman Michael Caputo took issue with my suggestion that paladino made money off Ellicott Advertising, telling me:

“That was set up so Carl could avoid paying extra fees…He interviwed all these advertising firms, they talk about all these big percentage cuts. Instead of doing that, he paid a media placement firm a flat fee and saved a lot of money.”

Below you’ll find Paladino’s final post-general election filing. (Cuomo’s isn’t up yet, but he has said he has somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million left, and plans to spend it – and whatever he’s able to raise – to wage war against the public employee unions).

One thing of interest I spotted as I quickly breezed through this filing: Paladino returned a $2,500 campaign contribution to former AG Dennis Vacco, who is representing indicted GOP operative John Haggerty in the Mayor Bloomberg/state Independence Party case. Haggerty also worked on Paladino’s campaign.

Nys Board of Elections Financial Disclosure Report

Two Governors, One Radio Show

Throughout most of his tenure at the top of state government, Gov. David Paterson has been a weekly guest on the John Gambling Show on WOR.  He continued the tradition today, discussing the transition and the state’s financial woes.

Paterson described the hour-long meeting he had with his soon-to-be successor on Tuesday, saying Andrew Cuomo’s on the right track with the tradition and “raring to go.”  He also reiterated his praise of the manner in which Cuomo campaigned, which he described as reflecting “the reality of this time.”

Paterson went to great lengths to point out that the economic message Cuomo campaigned on mirrors what he was saying two years ago.  He also predicted greater success for Cuomo in gaining support for that message because he had the luxury delivering it in the context of a campaign.

“When I tried to point out where the economy was in 2008… if you read the remarks that legislators and others had made, it was like I had taken leave of my senses,” Paterson said.

Andrew Cuomo called into the radio show later in the hour for his own one-on-one interview.

Cuomo agreed with the notion that he has an advantage over Paterson to set a foundation for dealing with the economy because he was elected with a mandate to, as he put it, “make the numbers balance.”

Cuomo repeated the message he delivered in a three-minute web video released yesterday about the importance of New Yorkers getting involved in their government and holding their legislators accountable.

Gambling ask whether a Democratic or Republican-controlled Senate presents a better scenario for advancing his agenda.  Cuomo responded by saying that he is a Democrat and supported a Democratic Senate, but insisted that more important than that is having a “functioning State Senate.”

Cuomo also touched briefly on some specific topics, saying he does not support the KSM trial being held in NYC and would do all he can to prevent it.

He said that he needs to review the facts before determining whether he supports drilling in the Marcellus Shale, but added that if it were safe and created jobs he would be supportive.

Governor-elect Meets With ‘Governor-eject’

Exactly one week after election day, outgoing Gov. David Paterson and incoming governor Andrew Cuomo had their first, official get-together to kick off the transition.

Paterson and Cuomo met privately today in the governor’s NYC office and then appeared together for a joint press conference followed, which YNN and NY1 telecast live.

The present and future governors emerged at 2:35 p.m. for the event scheduled for 2:15 p.m.  Paterson began his remarks by referencing a “meepress confereceting” between the two six years ago that involved a water gun fight while rafting in the Adirondacks.  Cuomo later said that was a story for another time, but that Paterson won the fight.

Paterson said the two talked at length today about the transition, evaluations and the issues facing the state – namely how to end the recession. He showered his soon-be-successor with praise, saying it is rare to see a candidate who is “so honest or so pragmatic about the future.”

Cuomo was equally effusive in his praise of Paterson, calling him a friend for many, many years.

The governor-elect said a major focus of the transition will deal with personnel.  He said he would take recommendations from Paterson as to who to keep on board and will work to attract “the best and the brightest into state government.”

He also said he plans to kick-off a statewide facilities tour tomorrow to familiarize himself with state operations, including visits to Sing Sing Correctional Facility and the Manhattan Psychiatric Facility.

In terms of the state’s economic woes, Cuomo said there will have to be cuts to education, health care and state operations.  He did not go into detail about how much would need to be cut, saying those figures will be hashed out during the budget process.

Cuomo also proved it isn’t just Paterson who can get a laugh at a press conference.  He joked about Paterson’s plans to improve the state’s fiscal picture in the remainder of his term.

“The governor was extraordinarily gracious, saying that he not only would make sure that the current shortfall is covered, but would also identify another $9 billion and set it aside for the deficit next year.  And I really thought that was more than just a friendship, because we’re friends, but that really exceeded the friendship to the tune of $9 billion and I want to thank him very much for that,” Cuomo said.

Today actually the second meeting between the two since election day.

Paterson and Cuomo met face-to-face yesterday in Puerto Rico where they had a conversation over breakfast before Cuomo addressed the room.  The two may have also met behind closed doors yesterday, but they kept that information to themselves.

Manhattan Madam Off Probation

Kristin Davis may have missed the mark in her quest to win 50,000 votes for her protest gubernatorial campaign and establish the Anti-Prohibition Party, but she did get some good post-election news today.

Davis, AKA the “Manhattan Madam,” announced on Facebook this morning that her 2.5-year stint on probation following the four months she served on Rikers Island for promoting prostitution has come to an end.

(NOTE: Davis was initially sentenced to five years probation, which she started in October 2008 after her release from jail).

“For the last couple of years I have met and complied with the stringent probationary demands placed on sex offenders,” Davis wrote in a statement she plans to post on her Website.

“I have checked in with my PO weekly in a visit that takes 4 hrs on average, attended over 70 sex offender therapy sessions, been randomly drug tested and submitted to surprise home visits.”

“I have also been subjected to sitting in a room for hours with ‘real’ sex offenders and listened to their horror stories and been hit on.”

“Today I am free. Thanks to my excellent attorney, Dan Hochheiser, and the fair judge, Justice Thomas Farber – I have been released from probation.”

“Running for governor while on probation proved to be a challenge, but I am proud of the pro-freedom agenda I ran on. Politics in New York needs more feminists. It cannot help but occur to me that Eliot Spitzer paid no such penalty for his crimes while I received a sentence, which seems quite harsh for a first-time, non-violent offense.”

Now that she’s off probation, Davis no longer has to submit to regular drug testing and doesn’t have to get permission from her PO to travel. And, she added in an e-mail to me: “I get my dignity back!”

Davis, who ran on a platform of legalizing gay marriage, casino gambling and marijuana, said she plans to visit Albany to lobby for the same-sex marriage bill and also draw public attention to the “conditions and atrocities going on at Rikers Island.”

Davis received about 22,000 votes last Tuesday. She ran some TV ads in the final days of the campaign (most memorable slogan: “Vote Homo, Not Cuomo“) and was largely bankrolled by GOP consultant Roger Stone, who spent his final days of the campaign attacking Libertarian candidate, Warren Redlich.

Sympathy For Paladino

Democratic Assemblyman Sam Hoyt today had some rare kind words for his fellow Buffalonian, Carl Paladino, following the businessman’s big loss to Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo in Tuesday’s election.

Hoyt, who came within just over 200 votes of losing his own seat in the Sept. 14 primary, is a longtime Cuomo ally. He and Paladino have a love-hate relationship, according to the Buffalo News. As Hoyt put it, the two have been both “the best of friends and the worst of enemies.”

“I’ve known Carl forever,” Hoyt told me during an interview this afternoon here at the Somos conference in Puerto Rico. “…He’s supported me. He’s aggressively supported my opponents.”

“…I’m saddened by, you know, how Carl has been portrayed and the difficult moments he’s had being in the spotlight, the national spotlight, the New York City spotlight that he wasn’t ever familiar with.”

“And, you know, something that he might say to a friend, you know, jokingly, is then statewide fodder …and I feel bad for the guy. I don’t know that he knew what he was getting into, and I think he’d tell you that today as well.”

Andrew Cuomo’s Day

In 2006, Eliot Spitzer’s first day as governor-elect had him holding a news conference with his soon-to-be-predecessor and huddling with leaders from labor and business.

Fast forward four years.

The 2010 governor-elect Andrew Cuomo spent Nov. 3 holed up in his office, making no public appearances, NY1’s Josh Robin reports.

The governor-elect, according to a source briefed on his day, was on the phone for much of the noontime hour. He chatted with President Obama briefly (presumably Obama, who made his gubernatorial preference clear long ago), and had a longer talk with outgoing Gov. David Paterson on the transition and the budget.

“The Governor and AG Cuomo had a long and productive conversation today – for more than and hour – about transition,” said Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook. “Governor Paterson offered any help the Attorney General may need to ensure a smooth transition of state government.”

Also on Cuomo’s call list: Dean Skelos, the Republican State Senate leader (and maybe Majority Leader, though it’s too soon to tell). A Senate Democratic source said Conference Leader John Sampson called to congratulate the governor-elect this morning, too.

Cuomo spoke with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver last night. Aside from pleasantries, the budget is a top agenda item. The deficit is inching dangerously close to the $10 billion level and even before the official victory, Cuomo has been preparing for tackling the morass.

Expect a formal news conference announcing transition information as early as tomorrow.

Lazio: Wilson Would Have Won With Me

Now that he is formally no longer a judicial candidate after taking what he laughingly described as a “brutal” beating in the Bronx state Supreme Court race, Rick Lazio is “freed” – as he put it – to tell us how he really feels.

And he’s not holding back.

“(Carl) Paladino performed, it seems to me in terms of numbers, about as well as Jay Townsend,” the ex-gubernatorial candidate said, comparing his erstwhile primary foe to the little-known Republican trounced by Sen. Chuck Schumer yesterday.

“To win statewide, you have to be credible at showing balance,” Lazio continued. “You can’t veer off into the far corners of either ideological extreme and expect to do well. It pretty much played out the way I expected in the governor’s race. It has to be pretty painful for Harry Wilson, having gotten as close as he did, to come up so short.”

I asked Lazio if he thought Wilson would have won had he been the GOP/Conservative standard-bearer instead of Paladino, and he replied:

“I think he would have won, yes. I think I would have provided a lift in the suburban areas; I would have run more competitively statewide, too.”

More >

Hawkins Paves The Way For Next Group Of Green Party Candidates

He didn’t get the notority that some of his third-party colleagues received after the only gubernatorial debate, but Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins did manage to accomplish a great feat for his party Tuesday.

Hawkins goal was to gain at least 50 thousand votes — guaranteeing his party a line on the ballot in all elections in New York for the next four years. And, it’s a goal he reached. At last check with 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Hawkins garnered 57,083 votes.

Without a lot of cash, Hawkins campaign relied on shoe leather. In fact, the Central New York native took ten weeks off from work to run for the state’s highest post.

“We can call a meeting in early June and have people fill out our petitions and we’re done,” said Hawkins.

“We’ve got the signatures we need, instead of waiting until July, turning them in in late August, getting challenged and, by the time the process on the challenges is completed, it’s early October, often, before we’re certified on the ballot.”

Hawkins says the easier ballot procedures moving forward will allow the Green Party to run hundreds of candidates for offices on both the state and local level.

Meanwhile, the Libertarian candidate, Warren Redlich, saw a surge of support after the debate from Republicans that were unhappy with their party’s nominee, Carl Paladino. However, Redlich came just short with about 45 thousand votes.

And despite becoming a folk hero and internet sensation overnight following the October debate, Jimmy McMillan also failed to reach that 50k mark, which means it’s back to the drawing board for candidates in the future seeking to run on the “Rent is 2 Damn High” party.

Paladino Calls Off His Press Conference

….The vanquished baseball bat-wielding mad-as-hell man from Buffalo was supposed to have a press conference this afternoon at the Ellicott Square Building – the same place where he launched his long-shot run for governor ‘lo those many moons ago.

But he has apparently thought better of it, calling off the event with less than an hour to go.

Even though he pledged New York – and Democratic Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo – hasn’t heard the last from Carl Paladino, we won’t be hearing from him today.

No word yet from Cuomo, but given his habit of providing reporters with just a few hours notice prior to his public appearances, it’s entirely possible we’ll be seeing him at some point later today.

Carl: Take The Bat, Andrew (UPDATED)

Carl Paladino ended his first run for office the same way he came in: unapologetic and unpredictable.


In his concession speech this evening, Paladino thanked his supporters, including members of the Tea Party movement, who inspired him to take on the Republican establishment and make it to the finish line in the general election.

“Last year with the unexpected and remarkable ascent of the tea party we saw the passion of regular people spill into the streets,” said Paladino.

“I shared their feelings; we’re frustrated with big government, we’re tired of our politicians spending like drunken sailors and giving us weak elected representatives, we’re tired of backroom deals and contempt for the people of the people…and yes i joined the tea party movement for the same reason I joined the united states army because I love my country and I’m passionate about new york state and saving it.”

Paladino’s entire speech is after the jump:
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