By Robert J. McCarthy
RYE BROOK -- A kinder, gentler Carl P. Paladino is putting away his "RINO" gun -- for now anyway.
The 2010 Republican candidate for governor, dubbed "Crazy Carl" by the New York City tabloids, is attending the Republican State Convedntion here and pledging his full support for gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino and the entire GOP ticket.
In the process, he said Wednesday he would end his assault on "Republicans In Name Only" until after this year's campaign. And he will be supporting the party's candidates with money and effort.
"I've agreed to put off my RINO hunt until after the election," he told The Buffalo News. "Then I will destroy these people."
Paladino is reconnecting with reporters from all over New York camped out at the Rye Town Hilton this week to emphasize his support for the party's candidates, despite a lukewarm -- at best -- attitude throughout most of 2014. In fact, Paladino even seriously contemplated a minor party candidacy for governor and then championed Donald J. Trump's dalliance as a candidate until backing off a few weeks ago.
While he has not retreated from attacking his favorite RINOs -- Senate Republican Leader Dean G. Skelos and Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (who are both slated to address the convention on Thursday) -- Paladino said he will be happy to escort Astorino and company around upstate in an effort to dethrone his old nemesis -- Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
"I'm going to tell people the horror of Andrew Cuomo winning again," he said, predicting the governor will seek even stricter gun control measures and even more liberal efforts to prepare for his political future.
"He wants to show the country he is far to the left of Obama and Hillary," he said. "That will be a horror for gun owners in this state."
The Buffalo real estate developer acknowledged he has not exactly proven effusive in his previous support for Astorino and his running mates. But he said Wednesday he has change
"When I came to that realization, I became so into this," he said, adding he will do everything he can for Astorino, though he did not indicate how much money he might spend.
Now, he said, his target is Cuomo.
"Some things are more important than getting rid of RINOs," he said. "Right now we go after the tyrant."
May 14, 2014 - 6:25 PM
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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 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 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.
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.
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