Gov. race: Spewing invective, Paladino says, 'Who, me?'

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Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

If you thought Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino would
change his tone and approach for a general election campaign, well, you were wrong.

Paladino - whose campaign has released a steady stream of videos and
posters mocking Democrat Andrew Cuomo in ways widely seen as course -- actually denied yesterday that he has been running a negative campaign.

The Buffalo developer then proceeded to hurl more insults and grim assertions at Cuomo and his allies.

"Who's been negative?" he said, without cracking a smile or blinking
his hooded eyes, in a 50-minute Newsday interview on Monday.
"I've been on the defensive. I've been warding off every goon that
he's sent after me. [New York Mayor Michael] Bloomberg. [Gov. David
A.] Paterson. [former Comptroller H. Carl] McCall. [former New York
Mayor Ed] Koch. They all come out and they all take their shots.
[state Democratic Party Chairman] Jay Jacobs. One after another, all
taking their shots and we've been on the defensive. We've taken their
hand grenades and we've thrown them back at him live."

Paladino then questioned why his lovechild and former lover had been
getting so much press -- while Cuomo's love life goes unexamined.
Never mind that Cuomo isn't married (those who keep up on these things know his marriage to Kerry Kennedy ended in a highly-publicized divorce in 2003).

Paladino said he wants the media to "go after Cuomo and his paramours" but offered no evidence of what he was talking about. What's known is that Cuomo is in a relationship with the celebrity home cooking personality, Sandra Lee.

"Do we know what caused Cuomo to break up with his wife? Do we know?
Why isn't somebody asking that?" Paladino said yesterday. "These are
the questions the public wants to know. Let's vet him, vet him very
very carefully."

It is now becoming a pattern for Paladino to make serious charges without any earnest effort to substantiate them. For example, he has publicly called Paterson a "drug addict for his entire life" and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver "a criminal" for not disclosing his salary with a politically-connected law firm.

Josh Vlasto, spokesman for the Cuomo campaign, said: "This is just more irrelevant ranting from Carl Paladino."

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