Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Who Is Carl Paladino?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Who Is Carl Paladino?

Article excerpt

Carl Paladino won the GOP gubernatorial primary in New York. Some of his proposals have already raised eyebrows, and he says he's not afraid to be confrontational.

Call Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for New York governor, "an angry man."

Mr. Paladino, an upstate real estate developer, spits out tough statements. In one of his campaign ads, he promises to "clean out [the state capital of] Albany with a baseball bat." He wants to cut taxes by 10 percent within six months of taking office. And he would settle the controversy over the proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan by having the state take over the property by eminent domain.

"I bring values, resiliency, a thick skin, and I'm not afraid to be confrontational," Paladino told The Buffalo News during a three- hour interview in April. "I don't remember anyone before bringing that to the table."

IN PICTURES: Tea Parties

But can that approach win in November?

Paladino does bring considerable funds to the table: He spent at least $3 million of his own money on the primary, says pollster Lee Miringoff of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. And he has "tea party" support and a connection to the conservative wing of the Republican Party, and he brings legitimate outsider status to the race. "He is someone to be reckoned with," Mr. Miringoff says.

However, Miringoff wonders if Paladino is "outside the range of acceptability" to the broader electorate, since elections are usually won by appealing to the "soft center." There have been no recent polls showing how Paladino would do against state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic candidate, Miringoff says.

"The polls from the spring probably would not mean a whole lot right now," he says. "It's hard to tell what kind of bounce he'll get. …

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