Press-Republican

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June 29, 2010

Paladino takes aim at Albany corruption

GOP gubernatorial hopeful seeks 1 term to right wrongs

PLATTSBURGH — Carl Paladino is ready to pick up his baseball bat and clean up Albany in the manner he is accustomed to.

"I'm going to shine a light on these rodents, and when you shine a light on rodents, they tend to run away," Paladino said.

"And the baseball bat I am going to use on them is the people."

Paladino, an attorney who created a successful development company in Buffalo, is seeking to become the Republican Party candidate for governor in this year's election.

The 63-year-old outspoken political newcomer spent an hour with the Press-Republican Editorial Board recently, discussing how he would fix what's wrong with the state.

PEOPLE 'SCARED'

"I've talked to people all over this state, and they are furious," Paladino said.

"They are also scared and don't have any hope left."

Although he has never held public office, Paladino lays claim to some victories in government circles.

He led a charge to revamp the Buffalo City Council, which he felt was being intimidated by its president, and also was involved in getting tolls removed from perimeter roads leading into Buffalo.

Paladino was also instrumental in getting the Native Americans from the Seneca tribe to build a casino within the city limits of Buffalo instead of the suburbs, although the construction of the casino was halted because of the poor economy.

"I've faced just about every problem you can think of in my life, and I know what a day's work is, and I've learned how to bring focus," he said.

BUDGET MESS

Paladino's approach to government would be simple: Open it up to the people and get rid of those wishing to make a career out of politics at the expense of the public.

He rails against the long-standing method of the "three men in a room" approach to developing a state budget, which annually misses the April 1 deadline.

"If they want three men in a room, fine, but it will be three men in a room and the entire press corps," he said.

Paladino said that one of the first orders of business would be to get rid of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who, he says, runs the state.

Silver, a member of a major trial law firm, has way too many conflicts of interest to be running government.

"This man is corrupt. He makes Joe Bruno look like a choir boy," Paladino said in reference to former Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno, who was found guilty earlier this year of using his office for personal gain.

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