At this point, you might think that Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor, is running for governor of Buffalo or its environs. He's still got a shot at the big prize, of course -- in the sense that nobody has gone to the polls yet -- but the suspense might more likely center on how his candidacy does as a regional phenomenon, if he can translate his upset GOP primary win into a good draw on his ad-hoc Taxpayers Party line. If he bombs statewide, the Conservative and Republican leaders whom he and his aides ridiculed and lashed out at may feel vindicated even if they don't say so.
Paladino stands to retain credibility with the already-converted through his campaign's lashing out against the news media. He's gone from seeming mad-as-hell to just overwrought. He can't even use the "liberal" media chimera with much credibility since he's been most at war with the Post and hasn't exactly won help on Fox, or in the Wall St. Journal, or from serious fiscal-conservative groups. Nor did he get much filter-less traction from the debate format on which he had insisted. For the moment -- and it can change -- the guy's looking more like George McGovern than like Chris Christie.
Fussing over a detail at the request of a reader, the Times sent a reporter to the Buffalo muncipal offices to resolve what kind of dog his pet Duke is. The reporter got a paranoiac reception, according to this account, and left. Campaign manager Michael Caputo -- an ally of self-proclaimed dirty trickster Roger Stone, mind you -- put out a whiny statement soon after about members of the news media following up leads planted by Andrew Cuomo. Today, following the Times report -- which actually went easy on the toothy canine, which publicly attacked another pet in public a couple of weekends ago -- comes a new show of self-pity via Caputo quoting Paladino himself, who ilghtly threatens to have his dog take out a Times reporter. It's printed below in full:
PALADINO: NOW THEY'RE GOING AFTER MY DOG
(BUFFALO, NY) - Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino today blasted the New York media, saying "now they're going after my dog."
Paladino reacted to news that New York Times reporters visited Buffalo City Hall to check the license of his dog, Duke.
"The New York Times skips the hard facts when it's Cuomo, but they have time to scour the legal records of my dog. This is the newspaper that wrote about the financial relationship between Andrew Cuomo and New York financier Andrew Farkas, without ever mentioning that Cuomo called Farkas a 'slumlord' when Cuomo was HUD Secretary. They never wrote about how Cuomo accused Farkas of 'using HUD as a personal ATM' but they felt compelled to dig up my dog's license," said Paladino.
"The New York Times is taking character assassination to a new low," said Paladino. "Fortunately, Duke is properly licensed and perfectly legal, although I have no doubt that the story would be on page one if he was not."
"I was surprised at the hysteria kicked up by the abortion groups regarding my pro-life position, even though there is zero chance the next governor could change New York's abortion laws with a pro-abortion rights majority in both Houses," said Paladino. "I was shocked when a New York City tabloid editor routinely inserted the phrases 'Buffalo Blowhard' and 'Buffalo Bigmouth' into reporters' copy, too."
"But I must say the New York Times has stooped to a new low: now they're going after my dog," Paladino said.
"New York's lazy and biased media would have you believe that I am a bigot, a madman and an extremist, even though none of these things are true," said Paladino. "One day they attack me for being a right-wing extremist, and the next day they attack me for contributing to Hillary Clinton, whom I like very much personally and who did a number of good things for Western New York as our US Senator."
"I intend to let this roll off my back, but I can make no promises the next
time Duke sees a New York Times reporter on the campaign trail," said