ALBANY, New York, September 29 – New York City has never been a ‘nice’ place. While New York City politics in the wake of the post-Guiliani-post-9/11-Bloomberg calm has been relatively static, New York State politics has remained treacherous. The New York State Cuomo-Paladino gubernatorial fight has been no different. Still, one of the stark realities of this campaign has been how overtly hypocritical Andrew Cuomo is. Democrat or republican, hypocrisy is wrong. Carl Paladino may have his share of skeletons in his closet but Cuomo’s attack ads towards Paladino scream hypocrisy of the highest order.
Everyone in New York knows the name Cuomo. That’s because Andrew Cuomo is the son of former three-term New York State Governor Mario Cuomo. Andrew Cuomo has also been on the national scene as the Clinton-era U.S. Housing Secretary. Cuomo is also currently the New York State Attorney General. Cuomo is a member of a political dynasty in New York; winning the governor’s seat should have been a walk in the park. Until the Tea Party burst onto the scene with some fresh faces which began to ruffle some ‘establishment’ feathers.
Carl Paladino is a real estate developer from Buffalo who came onto the national scene in a raucous fashion. According to usnews.com blog (1) “…with the backing of the Tea Party movement and to the surprise of just about everyone (Paladino) beat (Rick) Lazio in the GOP primary.” People in general are fed up with inaction in their government so many of these Tea Party candidates are making great strides by making political promises voters hope they will be able to deliver on.
Here’s where the hypocrisy comes in. Cuomo is the current New York Attorney General. The attorney general makes sure that everything going on in legal-land is on the up and up. So when Cuomo’s attack ads at Paladino say he’s “a landlord and developer who has given politicians almost a half-million dollars, and gets insider deals from Albany,” isn’t that just shooting yourself in the foot?
Yes, Paladino apparently “donated $452,000 to elected officials, including Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson.” And yes Paladino does apparently get some sweetheart deals because he is so entrenched in the business community in New York State. But it’s nothing different than any other high rolling, job-creating businessperson in any state in the union gets. When Cuomo comes after Paladino for getting “insider deals from Albany,” aren’t those deals which are approved out of his office?
In fact it is! According to reports from the Times Union (2) “Cuomo’s office approved 10 leases Paladino holds, one as recently as May, according to officials from the Office of General Services, which administers the leases.”
When reached out to for comment by the Times Union “the attorney general’s office said the leases are just reviewed “as to form,” making sure they comply with state law and limit the state’s legal liability.” So according to Andrew Cuomo’s office, all of Carl Paladino’s leases are good, right?
I am no fan of slumlords having lived in two different slum-worthy properties for five years. But if Cuomo’s got something to say about the way Paladino does business, then he needs to say it. If not, case closed. Either Andrew Cuomo isn’t doing his job or Carl Paladino is getting unfairly bitten and needs to bite back.