2010 Gov Race

McMillan’s Final Plea, The Rap Version

..If this man doesn’t get 50,000 votes, I will be shocked.

I have now spoken to three well-educated and astute Democrats who cast protest votes today for McMillan on the Rent is Too Damn High Party line.

Another reader wrote in musing on which third party would win third place today. He offered this prediction: “I think pot beats green and rent beats freedom.”

In other words: The Manhattan Madam out-polls Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins on the Anti-Prohibition Party line, but McMillan beats Libertarian Warren Redlich. (Another reader thinks “freedom” means NYC Councilman Charles Barron’s Freedom Party, which is probably right).

Thoughts?

(H/T to Jimmy Vielkind, who posted this on Facebook, after his TU colleague, Casey Seiler, put it on CapCon). Also…The Politicker reminds us that McMillan’s first album comes out today.

Lazio: ‘No Regrets’

Former gubernatorial hopeful Rick Lazio joined me on CapTon last night and insisted he has “no regrets” about dropping out of the race to cede the Conservative line to Carl Paladino, although he refused to say whether he will be voting today for the Buffalo businessman who trounced him in the GOP primary on Sept. 14.

In his first extended TV appearance since he quit the race in September, Lazio said his judicial candidacy (for state Supreme Court in the Bronx), which he used to get off Row D, prevents him from making any endorsements or overt political statements. He did, however, lament the tone of the governor’s race and its lack of focus on issues.

“It would have been a different race for sure,” Lazio said when I asked him if he wished he had stuck it out in the gubernatorial contest.

“I don’t think it would have been likely that it would have effected the ultimate outcome in terms of who the victor might be, and my thinking of it at the time was I did not want to create unintended consequences where people were voting for me and one candidate or the other was a net beneficiary.”

“…I thought the right and honorable thing for me to do honestly was to step aside even though I had won that Conservative Party line, so I have no regrets at all about that.”

Lazio did take a swipe at state GOP Chairman Ed Cox for candidate shopping and failing to unite early behind contenders who had no significant primary opposition (actually, only comptroller hopeful Harry Wilson falls into that category).

The former congressman said he thinks criticism of Cox is “fair,” although I’ve heard some say he’ll be vindicated in backing Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy if Paladino loses big today. (Heck, even Eliot Spitzer thinks Levy would have beat Andrew Cuomo).

Paladino Pitches ‘Taxpayers’ Line

GOP gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino’s last-minute campaign video pushes his candidacy on the independent Taxpayers Party line, and deems the Democrats a “threat” to the solvency of New York and accuses them of “playing games” with public funds.

This is a new approach for the Buffalo businessman, who hasn’t been talking about that new third party line all that much since he won the Sept. 14 primary. At one point, it was unclear whether he would even run on the line, which he created through a petition drive (separate from the one he used to get onto the GOP primary ballot).

Interestingly, the video targets Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Andrew Cuomo, Gov. David Paterson, Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, but says not a word about Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson.

Paladino did an early-morning interview with Curtis Sliwa on AM 970 The Apple. He continued to insist the polls are wrong – particularly the Siena poll, which he said “we have to get rid of.”

Reporting From Albany, It’s Andrew Cuomo

And now, a moment of pre-election levity.

Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Andrew Cuomo was in an unusually giddy mood today, perhaps due to a combination of his wide lead in the polls, ability to finally see the finish line in what has been an (at times) arduous race and lack of sleep.

After a GOTV rally at the Albany Labor Temple with Sen. Eric Schneiderman and Rep. Paul Tonko, the AG joked around with reporters, playfully grabbing the mic from CapTon’s Kaitlyn Ross and sticking it in DN Capitol Bureau Chief Ken Lovett’s face. The following exchanged ensued:

Lovett: “I don’t know what you’re implying.”

Cuomo: “I just wanted to be on the other side for a change. Answer the question! Answer the question! Do you refuse to answer?”

Paladino Robos Dems (Updated)

I’ve now received two e-mails from prime Dem readers who say they’ve received robocalls from GOP/Conservative gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino.

One of the two is actually a self-described “triple-prime” Democrat (votes in primaries, special elections, and local/school board contests) who lives in Westchester – a key battleground in this campaign.

This reason also reported receiving robocalls from Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Chuck Schumer for Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer, who is facing a stiff challenge from Republican Bob Cohen.

The other reader happens to be labor activist Jonathan Tasini, who lives on the Upper West Side and is about as left of center as they come.

He lost a Democratic primary challenge to Rep. Charlie Rangel this fall after changing his plans to run against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. In 2006, he mounted an unsuccessful long-shot primary against Gillibrand’s predecessor, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, running on an anti-Iraq War platform. Tasini’s comment:

“That’s weird…he’s roboing registered Dems?”

I would have called this a fluke, except two readers getting the same call is enough for me to call it a trend….or maybe a trendlette.

UPDATE: Another reader says:

“Not a fluke. I got call on Upper West Side, and am in one of highest Democratic performing EDs there is. It is most effective Democratic GOTV call Democrats can have and nice of Carl to sponsor it.”

Pataki For Paladino (Finally)

George Pataki just sent out a statement offering an eleventh-hour endorsement of GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, who once referred to the former governor as a “degenerate idiot.”

“One-party rule has led New York State to the brink of ruin,” Pataki said.

“The ethical and fiscal morass that Democratic control has wrought upon our state government can only end if we re-establish a vigorous two-party system. The best way to achieve this is through competitive statewide candidates.”

“While I don’t agree with my party’s nominee for governor on any number of issues, we do agree on three essential Republican-Conservative core beliefs: The need to cut taxes, reduce spending and shrink the size of government. It is with these bedrock beliefs in mind that today I endorse Carl Paladino for governor.”

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it’s the best Paladino could hope for this late in the game.

As recently as last week, Pataki, who was a Rick Lazio supporter, was refusing to say whether he would support Paladino – or even vote for him – saying he was holding out to see if the Buffalo businessman would be able to stop putting his foot in his mouth and start focusing on “issues.”

(It should be noted the two did have a sit-down not long after the Sept. 14 primary at which Paladino apologized for insulting Pataki and sought his support and advice).

This move is really a lot more about Pataki and his national aspirations than it is about Paladino, who is trailing Cuomo by double digits – at least according to the public opinion polls that the candidate rejects.

The former governor, who started out his tenure in 1995 as very conservative (remember that he ran on restoring the death penality and cutting taxes) and then swung toward the middle to get re-elected in the Democrat-dominated state in 1998 and 2002, has again reverted to his old right-leaning days with his Revere America committee and its anti-“Obamacare” message.

Damon For WFP, The Sequel

Another Working Families Party video from actor Matt Damon, this time reminding New Yorkers who want to vote on Row E of the dangers of so-called “double voting.”

Leaders of the WFP and Conservative parties are very worried about losing their respective ballot lines by missing the 50,000 mark in the governor’s race tomorrow as a result of the state Board of Elections’ inability to fix the glitch that lets the electronic machines accept ballots where voters have selected the same candidate on multiple lines.

In these cases, the board will be counting only the first vote, which benefits the major parties that appear at the top of the ballot.

The WFP and Conservative Party tried to get a pre-Election Day temporary injuction, but a judge refused to hear the case until after Nov. 2, which doesn’t really help their cause.

The Madam’s Money (Updated)

The Post’s Fred Dicker reported this morning about a last-minute cash infusion that enabled Manhattan Madam/Kristin Davis go up on the air with a variety of pro-pot, pro-gambling and pro-gay marriage TV ads to boost her gubernatorial candidate on her self-created Anti-Prohibition line.

Davis refused to tell Dicker where the money – somewhere between $40,000 (her figure) and $60,000 (the Democrats’ estimate) – came from, but a quick perusal of the 24-hour notice list was quite instructive.

Davis’ campaign manager, Roger Stone, who is also an unpaid advisor to Carl Paladino’s campaign, contributed $16,000 to Davis on Oct. 30.

Some outfit called Potomic gave her campaign $18,000 on the same day. A quick Google search turned up nothing on the Florida-based entity, but it just so happens to be located at 401 E. Las Olas Blvd in Fort Lauderdale.

That’s was also the address of the firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, with which Stone has a long-standing connection. (One partner, Fort Lauderdale lawyer Scott Rothstein, pleaded guilty in January 2010 to stealing $1.2 billion and was was sentenced in June 2010 to 50 years in prison).

UPDATE: Another $11,000 contribution from Potomic to Davis’ campaign just popped up on the state Board of Elections Website. So that brings the total of Stone-related cash to $49,000.

On Oct. 29, Drake Ventures gave Davis $4,000. That’s the name of Stone’s PR firm, which is also based in Fort Lauderdale and located at – you guessed it – 401 E. Las Olas Blvd. Davis’ campaign manager, Andrew Miller, according to the Times, has a cellphone associated with Drake Ventures.

An interesting aside, Davis’ campaign committee is called “Friends of Kristin Davis,” which, as is noted on the 24-hour notice list, is FOKD for short. Get it?

Paladino’s Appeal ‘From The Heart’

Republican Carl Paladino sent supporters this extended video appeal in a final attempt to win votes for his longshot gubernatorial campaign.

The video is just over 13 minutes long and appears to have been shot in a coffee shop. (There’s a woman with a spiky blonde hairdo sitting just over the candidate’s shoulder who’s a little distracting).

Paladino’s message isn’t new, although at about the 5-minute mark, he talks about how his run was “mischievious and not too endearing an effort to do,” but he decided to do it anyway because he thought he would be able to “help people.”

He also speaks about having his son, Patrick, who was killed in a car accident in March 2009, “on my shoulder.”

“(W)ith him I could take on any challenger,” Paladino says, adding: “Nothing could hurt worse than losing my son.”

Barron: Sharpton Is Voting For Me

Despite the recent attempt by the Cuomo campaign at a rapprochement with the Rev. Al Sharpton, the prominent black leader publicly announced over the weekend that he will be voting for NYC Councilman Charles Barron for governor on the Freedom Party line.

At least, that’s what Barron says.

According to the Brooklyn Democrat, who has accused Cuomo of ignoring the black community, Sharpton made this announcement on his radio show Saturday morning. Barron was a guest on the show.

“He said that he is a Democrat and he’s going all across the country supporting the Democratic Party ticket,” Barron told me during a brief telephone interview this evening.

“But here in New York, he is voting for Charles Carron because I was there with him and in our movement and our cause for so many years, and how could he not go with someone who has been there in our community for so may years?”

Barron said much the same thing yesterday to blogger Michael A. Harris.

The councilman offered a new twist on the story when I spoke to him. He said Sharpton made an analogy about his decision to stick with an ally being much along the lines of President Obama’s snub to Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio out of loyalty to his opponent, independent candidate Lincoln Chafee, who (as a Republican) crossed party lines to endorse Obama over GOP Sen. John McCain in 2008.

I have been unable to track down Sharpton’s spokeswoman Rachel Noerdlinger to either confirm Barron’s claim or comment on it.

City Hall news’ Edward-Isaac Dovere wrote recently about the “complicated” relationship between Sharpton and Barron. Wayne Barrett has delved deeply into the topic of Sharpton and his tangled political alliances, too.