Roger Stone Backs Away from Paladino, but Can't Get Rid of the Stink of Scott Rothstein

Categories: Wayne Barrett

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In an odd week in the gubernatorial campaign, the oddest moment was Roger Stone's NY1 appearance on Tuesday, when he appeared to be trying to put miles of distance between himself and Carl Paladino, whose September primary victory Stone engineered.

This grew even odder when Paladino did a three-minute TV commercial upstate on Thursday, with the candidate mouthing detailed passages identical to Stone's interview. When has a ventriloquist had a public brawl with his own dummy?

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The (Roger) Stone Around Carl Paladino's Neck

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The Times reports that Roger Stone associates have collected a million dollars in fees so far from Carl Paladino's campaign, adding a couple of companies to the list we published last week.

It's an astonishing total, and a measure of Stone's shaping influence on the Paladino campaign, reaffirmed in an almost Jon Stewart-esque NY1 juxtaposition of Paladino's televised three-minute appearance last night and Stone's echo-chamberlike interview on the same channel two nights before. If "the-state's-in-a-death-spiral" and other comments were word-for-word Paladino repetitions of Stone, guess where the Andrew's-sexual-prowess-is-legendary came from? I nominate the guy whose swinger ad in 1996 claimed he was "8 inches plus," and that he and his wife were "hot, athletic, and very fit," or Stone's alter ego and Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo, another hard-on wordsmith.

Prowess and legendary are as likely to tumble from Paladino's own lips as "I think Shelly and I can work together." More »

Roger Stone In a Lather Over That Spitzer Fellow

Categories: Wayne Barrett

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New Yorker's portrait of Roger
Cranky Roger Stone was on Fox Business Monday still in a lather over Eliot Spitzer.

Fox was determined to bash its favorite john the night he debuted on CNN, so it gave Stone and his "Manhattan Madam" candidate for governor, Kristin Davis, a ten minute block of airtime to say whatever wild and crazy thing they could crank out. A legendary GOP dirty trickster, Stone has been advising both Davis and Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate.

Fox decided to counter Spitzer -- whose show was blasted by Stone and everyone else on the "Follow the Money" panel -- by featuring convicted felon Davis and her manager Stone, who said on NY1 this week that she would make "a great governor."

Even as this comedy aired, down in Dallas, Fox had a perfectly legitimate journalist who actually knew something about Spitzer sitting in their studio, waiting for an interview that never occurred.

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DNC Chair Tim Kaine Seemingly Unconcerned About Al Sharpton's Sabotaging New York Democrats

Tim Kaine, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, has no problem with Al Sharpton's refusal to endorse Andrew Cuomo for governor.

Derrick Plummer, a DNC spokesman, e-mailed the Voice, calling Sharpton "a trusted voice on issues of importance to millions of Americans." Plummer said that Kaine "meets with Reverend Sharpton frequently" and that "Reverend Sharpton has been an important resource."

"Earlier this year, Chairman Kaine was honored to speak at Reverend Sharpton's National Action Network Conference," Plummer continued, "and will continue to work with Reverend Sharpton as the DNC discusses what is at stake for voters this November."

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Al Sharpton Refuses to Endorse Andrew Cuomo on NY1: The Juicy Background

Al Sharpton filled ten minutes of NY1 air time last week refusing to endorse Andrew Cuomo, seemingly untroubled by Carl Paladino's bizarre e-mails.

Instead, he heaped praise on Councilman Charles Barron, who is running against Cuomo for governor on the Freedom Party ballot line (it's free of white people). But Sharpton's claim that the Barron party is gaining a lot of "traction" got lost in the media hubbub over Paladino's throwdown with the Post's Fred Dicker.

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Carl Paladino vs. The Tea Party: No Love Lost

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Third party politics in New York is so byzantine most voters turn off when it comes up. But Rudy Giuliani wouldn't have been mayor without the now-defunct Liberal line and George Pataki's margin over Mario Cuomo in 1994 was provided by the State Conservative Party.

So the swing this week of the Conservative Party from Rick Lazio to Carl Paladino was a pivotal moment, especially since it's historically impossible for Republicans to win statewide without Conservative endorsement.

All of this wind in the weeds is blowing even harder this year when, virtually unnoticed by the media, Paladino is also characterizing himself the Tea Party candidate. His legal challenge to a group that had claimed that name and nominated a Nassau liability lawyer, Steve Cohn, for governor prevailed in state court last Friday. And his willingness to drop an active campaign on his own Taxpayers Party line helped open the door to his negotiated settlement with Conservative Party chair Mike Long.

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Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings

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The Times and the Daily News ran stories yesterday exposing the shady conspiracy that is the Paladino For The People campaign.

The $53,000 tax lien against campaign spokesman Michael Caputo unearthed by the Times got a taunting "so what" from Caputo himself. Stiffing the IRS just proved again, as Caputo put it, that this is "a campaign of junkyard dogs."

No wonder Caputo, Carl, and the rest chat so comfortably with Duke, the untethered pit bull that accompanies Paladino on baby-kiss-free campaign swings. "Carl knows each of us comes to the campaign with warts," Caputo continued, acknowledging even that the candidate "has his own" warts. "We don't hide anything."

Actually, the so-called disclosure forms that People for Paladino filed with the State Board of Elections were designed to hide a lot, in apparent violation of state law.

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Andrew Cuomo and Black Voters -- The Key to his Father's Victory, Will They Help the Son?

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Having set the national stage for the Carl Paladino roll-out yesterday, with CNN citing the Times as their reason for interviewing him, the paper did a nosedive today on the Siena and Marist polls that rebut the Quinnipiac numbers that were featured in a front page story the day before.

The Times barely mentions Siena and ignores Marist, though Marist's 19-point lead for Cuomo is based on likelies, just like Quinnipiac. Polls are snapshots, but how does the Times explain featuring the out-of-focus one on A-1, and then refusing to balance it out with a full slideshow today?

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Andrew Cuomo, Carl Paladino, and Those Nutty Polls

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The day before Mike Bloomberg defeated Bill Thompson by 4.6 percent of the vote last November, Quinnipiac said the mayor would win by 12 points. Its poll the day before the 2005 election predicted Bloomberg would beat Fernando Ferrer by 38 points, twice his actual margin.

The good news for Andrew Cuomo in yesterday's Quinnipiac poll is that he's still winning, and that's what Q almost always gets right.

Its margins -- in this case a mere 6 point lead over Carl Paladino -- usually have more to do with capturing headlines than getting it right.

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NARAL's Endorsement of Eric Schneiderman: The Backstory

NARAL New York just produced a video and hosted a press conference for Eric Schneiderman, the Democratic candidate for attorney general. NARAL has yet to even endorse Andrew Cuomo, the sitting attorney general who is running for governor.

Yet it is governors who shape abortion policy; New York attorney generals have virtually no effect on it.

To compound the paradox, Schneiderman is running against a moderate Republican, Dan Donovan, who is pro-life except in cases of incest and rape and vows to "take the appropriate action against anyone who tries to interfere with a woman's right to choose."

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