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Carl Paladino doen't sound so mad anymore.
So far, the Buffalo developer likes what he's hearing from his former gubernatorial opponent, Andrew M. Cuomo, whose tough talk on cutting spending to close a $9 to $11 billion budget gap has won him support from conservatives.
"If what he’s talking about right now, is the way he’s going to walk the walk, then go ahead, do it, we’re behind him," Paladino told Newsday. "The bottom line for all of us is a successful government and not just political nonsense."
Paladino even saw similarities with the strident approach he advocated during the campaign, including Cuomo's threat of a government shutdown if the budget is not on time.
"Where'd he get that one from?" Paladino said, laughing.
Paladino said he was fine with Conservative Party chairman Michael Long's bid to support Cuomo's budget with mailings and calls. His only quibble with Cuomo so far was that he had not pledged to cut taxes. Paladino lost to Cuomo in a landslide, 62 percent to 33 percent.
Paladino has been quiet on state issues lately, instead leading a charge to oust Buffalo News publisher Stanford Lipsey. He talked to Newsday about his appearance at a Conservative Party political action conference, where Long will ask him to say a few words on Monday in Albany.
Paladino said he was still working on his remarks, which he said will be short.
Also speaking at the Conservative Party conference will be freshman state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) and a host of congressmembers and conservative lawmakers and activists. Among the topics to be discussed Sunday and Monday at Albany's Holiday Turf Inn are national and international politics, economics and campaigns.
Asked about Cuomo Thursday, Long said: "From what I read in the papers, from what I see, he's doing positive stuff I support."