Paladino, Cuomo await fate

Democrat Andrew Cuomo, comfortably ahead in New York’s race for governor, energized union voters and

Democrat Andrew Cuomo, comfortably ahead in New York’s race for governor, energized union voters and other supporters Monday by casting Democrats controlling state and federal government as the antidote to years of lingering problems caused by Republicans.

“They say Albany is bad, and it really breaks my heart,” Cuomo said in an Albany union hall among 200 cheering supporters. He called state government a laughingstock nationwide for dysfunction and corruption, a description burnished in the last two years of all-Democratic rule.

Cuomo harkened back to the 1980s and early 1990s, when he said state government was a national model under his father, Gov. Mario Cuomo. Andrew Cuomo said the state Capitol really is “an icon of competence, performance and integrity. And that’s the way it’s going to be again!”

In his stop in Queens, where he was raised, Cuomo said he was sometimes asked when he traveled the country as former President Bill Clinton’s housing secretary if he had a New York accent.

“I’d say, ‘No, that’s a Queens accent,’ ” Cuomo said to loud cheers.

Cuomo and other Democrats at rallies sought to blunt voter anger at Albany and Washington, each controlled by Democrats, by blaming the recession on the previous Republican administrations of President Bush and Gov. George Pataki.

“We are on our way back, and this president made it happen,” Cuomo said, as he started campaigning for Democrats in Congress facing strong opposition in the midterm election.

Earlier Monday, Republican Carl Paladino announced the long-sought endorsement of Pataki. Paladino recently called Pataki “a degenerate idiot” for failing to develop high-profile Republicans who could succeed him. Pataki retired in 2006 after three terms beginning with his upset victory over Gov. Mario Cuomo.

“We do agree on three essential Republican-Conservative core beliefs: the need to cut taxes, reduce spending and shrink the size of government,” Pataki said in a statement. “It is with these bedrock beliefs in mind that today I endorse Carl Paladino for governor.”

Paladino’s platform is to cut state spending 20 percent and cut taxes by 10 percent in his first year, which he underscored at more low-key and smaller events upstate.

Pataki’s endorsement by press release further distanced the former governor from sexist and racist e-mails Paladino once passed among friends, and his opposition to abortion and gay marriage that Democrats called extreme and hate speech.

In Albany, Cuomo told reporters that the “realistic” goal is to address a projected $8 billion deficit without new taxes, “which is a tremendous feat.”

Asked by a reporter if he would cut taxes rather than control the growth, Cuomo said: “Down the road? If you can stabilize? Would you like to get to a place where you can cut taxes? Absolutely.”

Cuomo and Democrats have said Paladino is trying to exploit voters’ anger.

“It’s not anger,” Paladino, a Buffalo builder who captured the tea party movement’s support, countered at his event. “It’s passion. People are passionate about this election.”

Cuomo “is in a panic right now,” Paladino said.

Categories: Schenectady County

Leave a Reply