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Paladino blasts Republicans for negotiating minimum wage hike

One-time GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino is blasting Senate Republicans for negotiating a steep hike in the state’s minimum wage, saying they are trying to “appease” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Paladino, in an email to supporters, specifically called out Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) for “selling out New York State businesses.” He called the Senate Republicans “RINO” — Republicans In Name Only.

“How’s this for logic? Fearful of losing the Republican majority in the Senate, our RINO senators are saying they must appease Andrew Cuomo and pass every progressive liberal bill sought by the Democrats,” wrote Paladino, the Buffalo businessman backer who lost in a 2010 landslide to Cuomo. He has been staunch backer of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Cuomo and state legislators have a tentative deal that would hike the state’s minimum wage — currently at $9 per hour — to $15 per hour in New York City by the end of 2018 and on Long Island by the end of 2021. The wage would go to $12.50 upstate then be subject to review. Lawmakers say they’ll begin passing budget bills Thursday afternoon.

Paladino stopped short of promising to back more conservative candidates in primaries against Republican senators, but raised a veiled threat.

“Do we need a Republican house in the Legislature if they act and have values like Democrats? Of course not,” Paladino said.

Flanagan staff didn’t immediately comment.

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