Friday, September 24, 2010
In Ad, Cuomo Levels First Attack on Paladino - NYTimes.com
Andrew M. Cuomo, leaving little doubt that he is concerned about his Republican opponent, Carl P. Paladino, unleashed his first direct attack on Mr. Paladino on Thursday with a television advertisement that criticized him for his donations to Albany politicians and for his failure to create jobs after winning tax breaks intended to promote economic development.
The advertisement was released one day after signs emerged that Mr. Paladino, a novice candidate with Tea Party support who had an upset victory in the Republican primary for governor, was showing unexpected strength, including a poll that found him to be surprisingly close to Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat and the state’s attorney general.
The poll, by Quinnipiac University, startled the Democratic establishment, which had viewed a victory by Mr. Cuomo as inevitable, and prompted public calls for the attorney general to start returning his opponent’s volleys. Mr. Paladino, a wealthy and pugnacious businessman, has leveled a series of colorful attacks that have made him a wild card against the much more popular — and much more cautious — Mr. Cuomo.
Although a new poll released on Thursday by Siena College showed a wider gap, Mr. Cuomo, who had previously seemed determined to keep Mr. Paladino at arm’s length, appeared to be springing into action. But the Cuomo campaign said that the new advertisement was unrelated to any poll and that the decision to run it had been made days ago.
Mr. Cuomo’s campaign would not say where or on which stations the advertisement would run, or how much was being spent to broadcast it, making it difficult to assess how aggressively Mr. Cuomo had decided to counterattack. While Mr. Paladino is well known in western New York, where overwhelming support from voters powered his defeat of Rick A. Lazio in the primary, he is not as widely known in New York City and its suburbs.
Mr. Cuomo’s advertisement describes Mr. Paladino as “a landlord and developer” and a “welfare king,” suggesting that his campaign contributions to elected officials had earned him real estate deals. The advertisement also says that one of Mr. Paladino’s companies was granted $1.4 million worth of state tax breaks for a development that created only one job.
Mr. Paladino’s campaign did not dispute details of the advertisement, but a spokesman, Michael Caputo, suggested that it illustrated Mr. Cuomo’s misunderstanding of the business world.