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Paladino weighs race for governor

Carl Paladino has the ability to press people's buttons, and he's at it again with today's storyabout his interest in running for governor. As of noon, Bob McCarthy's story on the potential Paladino candidacy already has generated 125 comments.

Paladino, the talker, has people talking.

The appeal of his candidacy is that he would give voice to the frustration so many people have with the state of government in New York. He's a bomb thrower -- a verbal one, that is -- and that holds a certain appeal to some folks, starting with those in the Tea Party movement.

With that in mind, a theme song comes to mind for his campaign, if he chooses to run. You all know it, the one by Billy Joel in which he sings:

You may be right,

I may be crazy,

But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for.

Hit it, Piano Man.

Seriously, if Paladino wants to run for office, he needs to get, uh, serious.

Governor?

Not gonna happen.

Yeah, all the talk might be fun, but ultimately, it's not going to lead anywhere.

That's the problem with the efforts by Paladino and Tom Golisano, guys with energy and money who invest it in campaigns and politics in an effort to change things from the top down. Top down isn't what leads to change. No, change works its way up, not down.

If Paladino really wants to take on Albany -- and I know him well enough to say that for all his bombast, the man is sincere in wanting change -- he shouldn't necessarily abandon his interest in elected office. Instead, he should set his sights on a seat he could actually win.

He constantly rails against the Buffalo Board of Education. Well, all the district seats are up for election in May.

He decries the State Senate and Assembly. OK, everyone is up for re-election in the fall. 

All the seats in the Common Council are up for grabs in 2011.

I'm not saying he should do it.

I'm not saying he shouldn't.

I'm saying that Paladino's name and money would make him a serious candidate in any of these races and draw people out of the woodwork, both for and against him.

I doubt he would run for one of these lesser offices because he's got a business to run, and I question whether he really wants to give that up. He likes being the boss, he likes making money.

That's one reason why running for governor may hold appeal. He can raise hell until November and then go back to his day job.

It would lead to a lot of headlines, but no real change. Which begs the question: What's the point?

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Politics | State government
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