NEW YORK (CBS 2) — We’re four weeks away from Election Day.
With a new poll showing Democrat Andrew Cuomo opening a large lead over Republican Carl Paladino, both on Tuesday gave voters a taste of how they will deal with the Albany circus.
They weren’t in the same room, but at least they were in the same borough.
Paladino’s answer to New York’s dysfunctional Legislature is to deal with them with anger, bombast and threats.
“The people are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore. Legislators who won’t back reform will find themselves out of the Legislature unless they get on board,” Paladino said.
Paladino has a plan to give uncooperative lawmakers the old heave ho.
“I also have lobbyists to work over the Legislature. My lobbyists are called the people,” Paladino said.
And during an appearance at the Crain’s breakfast, where CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer was a panelist, Paladino demanded that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver be investigated for holding up bills that would hurt his law practice.
“The man is a criminal,” Paladino said.
The remarks came as a new poll by the Siena Research Institute had Cuomo beating Paladino 56 to 32, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9.
And, stunningly, 61 percent said they think Paladino is a loose cannon, a 20-point jump in two weeks. It is a jump at least partially attributed to a shouting match he got into with a New York Post reporter that got national attention.
“They look to Albany and they see the chaos and the dysfunction and the corruption of their own state government,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said he also wants to fix Albany, and so with the support of reformer Ed Koch he released a 115-page agenda for cleaning up the state capital. It includes:
* Public financing of campaigns
* Full disclosure of lawmakers’ outside income
* And establishing an independent redistricting commission
But Paladino’s charge about Silver being a criminal brought a harsh condemnation from Cuomo supporter Koch.
“He’s not a criminal. It’s an outrage. Every public official should stand now, including those who support Paladino, and denounce him. He’s demeaning public office,” Koch said.
Still unresolved is whether the candidates will meet face to face is a debate. Paladino has accepted seven invitations, while Cuomo has accepted zero.
Meanwhile, Silver said he would not get “into the gutter with Mr. Paladino” or “dignify his comment with a response.”