Paladino To Support Primaries Against Senate GOP (Video Added)
Buffalo businessman and former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino says he plans to support primary campaigns against Senate Republicans.
Paladino told me this afternoon at the annual Conservative Party Political Action Conference in Colonie that he was tired of watching the GOP in the upper chamber not be more of an opposition party in a state that is otherwise controlled by Democrats.
“We’re going to run some candidates against some key people, alright, and primary them,” Paladino said.
His comments came after a speech that criticized Senate Republicans and Majority Leader Dean Skelos. He would not tell me which lawmakers are being targeted.
Paladino’s base of support is in western New York and GOP voters there helped him achieve a blow out victory against gubernatorial primary foe Rick Lazio.
Buffalo Sen. Mark Grisanti, meanwhile, is in danger of losing the Conservative Party line for his vote in favor of same-sex marriage. Erie County Conservative Party Chairman Ralph Lorigo said in an interview that a lot is still in flux due to the ongoing redistricting process, but said local party leaders were upset with Grisanti’s yes vote.
Still, the party’s endorsement is not out of reach if Grisanti can demonstration “Conservative Party values,” Lorgio said.
Paladino, meanwhile, could hamper GOP efforts to stay in power for another 2-year term if his primary plan comes to fruition. Senate Republicans are sitting on a $4.8 million war chest, while Senate Democrats continue to pay off their debt.
“We have to clean house because we have people who are not loyal to the Republican rank and file,” Paladino said in the interview. “The Republican rank and file spoke in my primary last year and they sent a very clear message. Rick Lazio does not hold any real water for them. The rank and file are upset with the country and state leadership in the Republican Party. They want change. They know it’s the same old thing and that’s what we’re getting right now.”
Senate Republicans may face another primary on their hands should Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin take on Sen. Roy McDonald. McLaughlin told the crowd at the Conservative Party’s confab that he hadn’t ruled out running against McDonald, R-Saratoga, but said redistricting had a lot riding on the decision.
Upending the Republican Party isn’t anything new for Paladino, of course. He knocked of Lazio, the state party’s second choice for governor, in 2010.
And he’s backing New Gingrich in the GOP presidential primary over Mitt Romney. Coincidentally, Lazio, who served in the House while Gingrich was speaker, is backing Romney.
The similarities between the New York governor’s race in 2010 and today’s presidential campaign are stark and in a way, Paladino’s support for Gingrich is similar to his gubernatorial campaign. Gingrich is the rumpled bomb thrower, while Romney is the handsome, quasi-establishment moderate with good hair.
Paladino even uses similar criticism of Romney that he used for Lazio.
“The Washington establishment with its lobbyists and special interests will chew him up and spit him out,” Paladino said.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on January 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm, and is filed under 2012, Carl Paladino, State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|