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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Donald Trump and Carl Paladino are political peas in a pod

Donald Trump and Carl Paladino, who ran for

Donald Trump and Carl Paladino, who ran for New York governor as a Republican in 2010, at a gun rights rally in Albany in April 2014. Credit: AP / Mike Groll

Forget the notion that opposites attract. Carl Paladino, the Republicans’ 2010 candidate for New York governor, plans to bring a caravan through New Hampshire for next week’s primary in support of his friend and ally Donald Trump, whom Paladino says he’d unsuccessfully urged to run against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2014.

Does he see the similarity between the two? “Of course I do,” the brash Buffalonian said Friday, telling of how Trump appreciated the way he’d campaigned, and has told him: “You and I are much alike in the way we think.”

Both are real estate players. Both talk so loosely, critics suggest they aren’t politically housebroken. Both have now engaged in nasty fights with GOP rivals and with Rupert Murdoch media outlets — Trump with Fox, Paladino with the New York Post. Both claim a populist mantle against a GOP “establishment.” Trump proposed restricting Muslim immigration; Paladino opposed a mosque near Ground Zero. The parallels go on.

“I’m a Trump supporter big time,” Paladino said. “I like everything about him. He’s substantial on issues.”

FAULT LINES: Now that officials have put off linking teacher evaluations to Common Core testing, cracks are showing in the alliance of parents and educators that fed Long Island’s high-impact test protests.

Teachers’ unions broadcast ads praising Cuomo’s advisory panel on the matter. But the pro-boycott New York State Allies for Public Education warns in postings and printed materials that opt-outs must continue “if we want real change.” The group also disputes a recent message from Timothy Kremer, the New York State School Boards Association’s executive director, saying “our state has shifted from overdrive to neutral on testing” and NYSAPE should “take yes for an answer.”

For their part, educators in the group New York Rank and File said: “Unless Cuomo’s test and punish law is changed, teachers and students will continue to suffer.”

Steve Sigmund, the executive director of the pro-Common Core High Achievement New York, replied: “Basically, you could turn the state tests into singing telegrams to the joy of learning, and the opt-out organizers would still say no.”

So the controversy endures.


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