Carl Paladino, who failed rather strikingly to gain any significant traction in last week's Republican convention -- but indicated he'd use his megabucks fund a petition drive for a primary -- today accuses both rivals Andrew Cuomo and Rick Lazio of being "cut from the same bolt of insider cloth" and called upon Cuomo to return his special interest campaign cash.
From the Buffalo businessman's latest e-mail (sorry, this Paladino missive didn't have any of that famous racist or bizarre sexual content, but we work with what we can get):
"When Rick Lazio criticizes Andrew Cuomo's skads of special interest cash, it is pure comedy gold... If Lazio wasn't running for office, he'd still be lobbying today and would likely have loaded up Cuomo's coffers with more special interest campaign donations."
"After Lazio got waxed by Hillary Clinton in his failed Senate bid, he stepped through the revolving door of our dysfunctional government and became the lead lobbyist for JP Morgan. Lazio helped the Wall Street mega-bank pull in $25 billion in TARP funds from the taxpayer bailout - funds his employers admitted the bank didn't need and would use to grow and build their company on the backs of the taxpayers."
"Worse, Lazio the Lobbyist is proud of the $1.3 million bonus he took just as JP Morgan was pocketing bailout money," Paladino said. "In fact, he's still a lobbyist on leave from the mega-bank today."
"Rick is right: Cuomo is lousy with lobbyist lucre and he ought to return the cash today. But the $320,540 reported this week by NYPIRG is just the tip of the iceberg. If Cuomo returned all the campaign cash he took from lobbyists and all the money raised by lobbyists from their clients, his coffers would be bare."
Just a note to complete the loop: As a real-estate guy, Paladino, a former Democrat, has done his share of business with government and made a contribution or two in his day.