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Paladino giving big to his campaign today

ALBANY -- If Carl Paladino is worried about the polls showing him trailing badly to Andrew Cuomo, they are not keeping him from opening his wallet.

The Buffalo businessman today gave his gubernatorial campaign $1.7 million to help fund a last-minute media blitz before the November 2 elections. The filing was among the money rush flooding into candidates across the state that are now required, by law, to be made public with the state elections board if they top $1,000 per donation.

The latest donation by Paladino to his campaign comes after he reported last Friday giving $330,000 to himself. Other Paladino donations made today include $2,500 from Dennis Vacco, the former state attorney general from Erie County.

Cuomo, as of this afternoon, hasn't filed a so-called "24-hour notice'' report since October 19, reporting about $133,000 raised on that one day, including $24,000 from Robert Devlin, a wealthy private equity executive from Manhattan.

-- Tom Precious

Cultural cuts among topics discussed by Andriatch

News suburban columnist Bruce Andriatch appeared as a guest on Joyce Kryszak's show on WBFO-FM 88.7 this morning:

Click here to download the clip and take it with you

McCarthy on the endorsement process and more

News political columnist Bob McCarthy talked endorsements and polls this morning on WNED-AM 970 during a segment with host Jay Moran:

Click here to download the clip and take it with you

Gubernatorial campaign staying negative right to the end

ALBANY -- It's getting nasty out there in Democratic and Republican land. The latest round of negativity began Sunday with the release of two new ads by Democrat Andrew M. Cuomo attacking the ethics of people surrounding Republican Carl P. Paladino's gubernatorial campaign.

What follows is a Republican Party response to those ads, and then a Democratic Party response to the response, in which a top Democrat accuses the GOP of being racist, among other things, and led by "ultra-conservative thugs.''

--Tom Precious

. . .


Albany, NY….October 24, 2010 Andrew Cuomo and his campaign ads continue to insult the intelligence of New York voters.  By invoking the memory of Richard Nixon, who has been dead for 16 years and out of office for 36, Cuomo’s ads are intended to distract voters from the fact that neither Andrew Cuomo, nor the Democrats in complete control of government have done anything to address the issues our residents truly care about: creating jobs, lowering taxes, decreasing government spending, and cleaning up the Democrats’ culture of corruption in Albany.   Andrew Cuomo lacks the political will to accomplish any of these, and instead commits only to lowering the growth-rate of government spending, whereas Carl Paladino will actually cut government spending by 20-percent, while lowering taxes by 10-percent to create jobs. 

While Andrew Cuomo had promised to play the part of "Sheriff of Albany," his strategy has instead been to pull his punches for political purposes and to avoid upsetting the leaders of his party.  Because of Cuomo's close association with his fellow Democrat leaders Sampson, Smith, Silver and others in the AEG case, Cuomo avoided seeking to indict or rigorously investigating these corrupt officials. Cuomo’s refusal to take on members of his own party has been a prescription for corruption and continued violations of the public trust. 

. . .


“The Republican Party in New York has degenerated into an extremist party led by a cast of unsavory characters.”

“The GOP is a far cry from the moderate Republican Party of Giuliani, Pataki, D'amato, and Rockefeller.”

“It has been brought to its knees by Chairman Cox.”

“And now, this Republican Party is anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-Semitic, anti-Black, anti-immigrant, and pits upstate against downstate.”

“It can't be a coincidence that Cox is Nixon's son-in-law because only a master of the dark arts could have brought the party Paladino and his crew of thugs.”

“From Cox’s initial manipulation – trying to sabotage the Republican Party for Steve Levy in a backroom deal to help his son – it was clear that Cox learned all of Nixon's bad habits.”

“After Cox failed with Levy, he threw his support behind Lazio.  Now, he's reduced to being the hatchet man for Paladino and his crew of criminals.”

"This Republican Party has devolved into a band of ultra-conservative thugs. It is out-of-step with the ideology of mainstream New Yorkers and out-of-bounds of the law.”

“On November 2, New York will reject the bigotry and thuggery of Cox-Paladino.”

—June O’Neill, Executive Committee Chair, NYS Democratic Committee

Audio/Video: DioGuardi makes campaign stop in West Seneca

Joe DioGuardi speaks with reporters at this morning's campaign stop in West Seneca.

WEST SENECA -- U.S. Senate candidate Joe DioGuardi made a campaign stop at Fitness Factory on Union Road this morning.

The Republican challenger, who's running against Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, toured the facility and spoke with gym-goers before meeting with reporters.

2:19 p.m.: When asked to elaborate on his previous statement that the government should look at who really needs "safety net" programs, like food stamps and Medicare, here's how DioGuardi responded:

1:56 p.m.: DioGuardi has previously said he would like to see more efficient spending by the Pentagon. After answering a question about his views on that issue, he moved into his positions on Iraq and Afghanistan. Listen here:

1:43 p.m.: DioGuardi also used the campaign stop to criticize his opponent, who was appointed by Gov. David A. Paterson to fill the vacancy caused when Hillary Rodham Clinton left to become secretary of state in President Barack Obama's administration.

DioGuardi said Gillibrand has had two years in office.

"Give me two years," he said. "If she wants to come back in two years, we'll have a nice even race at that time. I think that's fair."

DioGuardi also pointed to Gillibrand's previous work as an attorney for the tobacco giant Philip Morris, information he said he believes Gillibrand is trying to hide.

Gillibrand has previously defended her work by saying she was a young associate at a large firm.

1:22 p.m.: DioGuardi, a former Congressman, used his stop at the Union Road gym as an entry point to discuss health care -- the first in a list of the many problems that need attention, he said.

DioGuardi has said he would vote to repeal the health care law passed by Congress last year, while Gillibrand called it a strong bill during the race's first debate earlier this month.

One key to controlling health care costs is preventative care, he said, an aspect of which is being practiced by those who exercise in health clubs.

He went on to cite the problems of foreclosures and unemployment, the latter of which "may be much worse than you think," he said. Here's more of what he said about how he sees the problems facing New York:

11:52 a.m.: DioGuardi is coming off a debate with Gillibrand last Thursday. Here's an Associated Press report from another DioGuardi campaign stop earlier this month. The AP published this report on the first DioGuardi-Gillibrand debate.

Check back for video and audio of what DioGuardi said this morning.

--Aaron Besecker

For Cuomo, it's a wonderful day for an upstate drive

ALBANY -- And then there were 10.

It might be a bit of a blur for Andrew Cuomo, but today he knocks off six counties from his pledge to touch all of New York's counties before election day.

With his tour serving as one of the reasons he is using to not participate in any more debates, Cuomo begins with a morning stop in Herkimer County, before heading to Oneida, then Madison and on down to the southern tier with stops in Broome, Chemung and Tioga counties.

Still on his list, probably sometime next week, are Western New York visits to Niagara and Genesee counties.

The vehicle of choice today: an RV.

Below is a map if you want to follow along.

-- Tom Precious


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Cuomo to hit the upstate road

ALBANY -- Andrew Cuomo has many miles to log in the days ahead if he is to meet his pledge -- following in the longtime campaign footsteps of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer -- to hold an event in every county of the state before the Nov. 2 gubernatorial election.

Cuomo again cited that pledge Thursday as one of the reasons he says he will be too busy to hold any more debates with Republican Carl Paladino and the rest of the candidates.

So, what's left to visit? The counties of Saratoga, Herkimer, Otsego, Delaware, Chenango, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, Cortland, Broome, Tioga, Chemung, Wayne, Orleans, Genesee and Niagara.

Paladino, meanwhile, on Friday barnstorms across upstate, hitting Broome, Tioga, Steuben and Schuyler counties, according to campaign manager Michael Caputo.

-- Tom Precious

Anti-gay marriage group challenges state election laws

A federal judge in Buffalo heard legal arguments Thursday afternoon from a national group that opposes gay marriage and wants to sponsor advertisements supporting Republican Carl P. Paladino for governor.

District Judge Richard J. Arcara reserved decision after hearing arguments between Randy Elf, lawyer for the National Organization for Marriage, and Kenneth A. Manning, who represents the state elections board.

Elf said the national organization feels that state election laws that would require it to register as a political committee are unconstitutional.

If the state insists that the organization must register as a political committee and publicly list names of its donors, it will not run the ads and its voice will not be heard in the election process, Elf said.

Manning contends that state election laws are constitutional.

"The Board of Elections wants a transparent, clean election and they feel that outweighs the plaintiffs' interest in secrecy," he said.

Based in Washington, the National Organization For Marriage has similar legal challenges pending in about eight other states, the group's president told The Buffalo News in an interview.

The group says it supports "strong pro-family, pro-child" candidates, including Paladino, but also says it is not "under the control" of any particular candidate.

Manning said the anti-gay marriage group wants "preferential treatment" that is not given to more than 11,000 other political committees throughout the state.

Statewide elections will be held on Nov. 2.

-- Dan Herbeck    

Rudy comes to Carl Country -- but for Harry Wilson

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani comes to town Thursday to endorse Republican Harry J. Wilson for comptroller during appearances at Erie County Republican Headquarters and a fund-raiser at the Clarence home of Assemblywoman Jane Corwin.

And while he stumps locally for Wilson, many will ask why he is not making similar endorsements for Buffalo's Carl P. Paladino -- at the top of the Republican ticket as the party's candidate for governor. Most local sources say such a move is just not in the cards, despite requests from Paladino supporters.

Interestingly, a Giuliani effort on behalf of local candidates is viewed far differently these days than in 1994. That's when local Republicans turned out en masse at Buffalo Niagara International Airport to protest him and his endorsement of Democratic incumbent Mario M. Cuomo.

Republican George E. Pataki carried Erie County by a significant margin that year, as he did in 1998 and 2002.

But now the former mayor campaigns in Erie County on behalf of Wilson, who is still regarded as a potential GOP bright spot this year despite sobering news from the latest Siena College poll (he trails incumbent Democrat Thomas P. DiNapoli 49 to 32 percent).

--Robert J. McCarthy

Audio: U.S. Senate debate

Republican U. S. Senate candidate Joe DioGuardi and Democrat Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand traded charges over ethics and portrayed themselves as opposites on most issues in a debate Friday. Read more on the debate in News Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski's Saturday story and listen to audio from the debate here:

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri |

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski |