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N.Y. Gov ‘Debate’ Turns Into Comedy Central

Circus-Like Atmosphere, As Cuomo, Paladino Overshadowed

Updated 10/19/2010 7:41 a.m.

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBS 2/WCBS 880/ 1010 WINS) — It’s tough to pick a winner from Monday night’s first — and likely only– debate in the race for New York governor.

The front-runners found themselves upstaged at Hofstra University by five fring candidates — some spouting a series of bizarre one-liners.

LISTEN: 4 reports from WCBS 880’s Steve Scott
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports from Hofstra

As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports, the race for governor looked more like the race for a circus ring leader.

In a new poll released Monday, 70 percent of New Yorkers said they are unhappy with the dysfunction in Albany. And this debate probably did nothing to change their minds.

Call it a seven-ring circus.

Jimmy McMillan, of the “Rent Is 2 Damn High” Party, had the same answer to everything from rotten bus and subway service to no jobs and high taxes.

And then there was Manhattan madam Kristin Davis, who said she provided hookers for Eliot Spitzer, who answered a question about the about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

cuomo paladino N.Y. Gov Debate Turns Into Comedy Central

Paladino (L), Cuomo (R) (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

“The key difference between the MTA and my former escort agency is that I operated one set of books and my former agency delivered on-time, reliable service,” Davis said.

The answer might have been tongue in cheek, so to speak, but Davis also called for the legalization of marijuana to raise $2.5 billion to cut the deficit and rejected business taxes.

“Businesses will leave the state quicker than Carl Paladino in a gay bar,” Davis said.

No, it wasn’t comedy night at the improv. It was the one and only time New Yorkers got to see Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republican Carl Paladino, plus five third party candidates, debate the pressing issues facing our state.

Libertarian Warren Redlich, who reportedly wants heroin made available to addicts by prescription, offered this solution for creating jobs.

“The money that we waste there comes out of your pockets. Give us 300 bucks and we can do it with a pizza and a six-pack once a month,” Redlich said.

Freedom Party candidate Charles Barron said the way to solve the budget crisis was simply to tax the rich.

“It’s easy to be a political bully and take it out on the poor,” Barron said.

And as for Cuomo and Paladino, they never bothered to answer some of the troubling charges made against them, charges that Cuomo takes special interest money and that Paladino lacks the temperament to be governor.

Instead, they offered platitudes.

“I think the question in this race is who can actually do it? Who can get it done?” Cuomo said.

“My critics, they want to say I’m angry. No, I’m passionate about saving New York,” Paladino said.

Larry Levy is a professor of political science at Hofstra.

“I actually think the minor party candidates did serve a purpose. I mean some of it had a circus air to it. Some were clearly trying to make very, very particular point, but if you didn’t have some of these guys nobody would talk about housing. Nobody would be talking about progressive tax systems,” Levy said.

After the debate some called for another one, to which some would say only if they agree to run it on Comedy Central.

More from Steve Scott
Comments

One Comment

  1. E. Gould says:

    How did Andrew Cuomo get the Democratic nomination? Oh yeah, Governor Paterson was denied his chance at re-election because calls were made to the girlfriend of an aide about their domestic incident. But then how come Cuomo gets a pass when he let the admitted wife beating Judge James Peck go by having the charges dropped? Just because a judge might be corruptly working for white collar organized crime as he decides how billions of dollars are split in the Lehman case doesn’t mean the corrupt Cuomo should be allowed to barter “favors” with a dirty judge.

  2. Government Handout says:

    “Freedom Party candidate Charles Barron said the way to solve the budget crisis was simply to tax the rich.”

    Obviously a student of Obamanomics.

  3. gary g says:

    If 70 percent of New Yorkers said they are unhappy with the dysfunction in Albany…Then it’s only practical that CUOMO HAS TO GO!!

  4. Alfred C. Martino says:

    People make fun of New Jersey, but at least our state finally had the smarts to vote in a governor who’s making the necessary and difficult decisions to improve our situation. New York will vote in Cuomo. Nothing will change. The state will continue to be a mess, and its people will suffer more than they needed to.

  5. Vee says:

    NY1 is the best!!!!! The Lame stream propaganda organs won’t cover the debate because the third party candidates aren’t talking about austerity, privatization, and tax abolition for Wall st.. Plus, the third party candidates might “steal” the thunder (and votes) from the corporate medias two pro Wall st. candidates.

    More unemployment and FRAUDclosures… Bring on the robo signers..

  6. Vee says:

    Why no mention of Barron bashing Cuomo on HUD and his selective prosecutions as AG. A theme taken up by the madame who noted Hevesi received no jail time in a sweetheart plea bargain. Or the Libertarian candidate talking about the $20 million Cuomo has received from “special interests,” including the 50 grand he received from the KoCH brothers… Talk about lopsided coverage. DO NOT LET MEDIA BIAS CHOOSE OUR NEXT GOVERNOR

  7. Vee says:

    Why no mention of Barron bashing Cuomo on HUD and his selective prosecutions as AG. A theme taken up by the madame who noted Hevesi received no jail time in a sweetheart plea bargain. Or the Libertarian candidate talking about the $20 million Cuomo has received from “special interests”. Or Howie Hawkins mentioning that Cuomo received 50 grand Koch brothers.

    Talk about lopsided coverage. DO NOT LET MEDIA BIAS CHOOSE OUR NEXT GOVERNOR

  8. justavoter says:

    Some of you people make fun of the Taliban, but if you made the comments you made here the Taliban would have your head cut off so you could not make these comments ever again. That is the difference between American law and Sharia law.

  9. Dave says:

    I don’t know. The “Rent is too high” candidate made a lot of sense. I’m voting for him instead of Cuomo.

  10. Bobbi says:

    Let’s face it everybody. New Yorkers are the most dumbed down people in the country. We are overtaxed and we continue to elect the same people over and over and over again. Nothing gets better it just gets worse. WAKE UP NEW YORK. We’re going down the tubes fast. Only in New York would HIllary Clinton be elected to the Senate. She never even lived in New York. Dumb Dumb!!! Now we hand it off to sweet Gillibrandt. OMG!!!! She’s in the pocket of good old boy Charlie. I think New York needs more migration to other states. Let the politicians figure out how to live in NY. The debate looked like a circus because NY is a circus. Run by a bunch of clown.

  11. Frank says:

    There are Makers and Takers in this state.
    The Takers already have their man.
    The Makers must unite and go with either Pal or Libertarian.
    Perhaps then, those who contribute to this society can throw a wild card win and defeat all of those who simply want a handout.

  12. jeff says:

    Cuomo won’t agree to a debate with just he and Palladino. Cuomo is hiding behind these moonbats. He has a lot to hide from. Daddy can’t help you here Andy !

  13. Jeff says:

    Cuomo as HUD chief is largely responsible for the sub prime loan crisis by forcing banks to make loans to unqualified candidates. He facilitated the defaults that came later (to nobody’s surprise)

  14. Joe Mama says:

    speaking as a master of karate, this debate was a joke.

  15. LydiaInNY says:

    Hopefully a 2nd debate will be scheduled.
    Hoping for a 2 or 3 candidate debate..

  16. Hikepark says:

    The way to prevent a farce of a debate like this is to have only the candidates who have at least 10% rating in the polls three days prior…
    That way, the voters would at least get to hear what the viable candidates have to say and not be subjected to the ridiculous waste of time that occurred..

  17. MissJusticeNY says:

    Redlich did amazing last night. People need to realize that if they don’t like Cuomo or Paladino, there are other options out there. As one of the candidates stated last night, don’t allow yourself to be bullied into believing there are only two choices..,.

    1. LydiaInNY says:

      I like Warren too but he doesn’t have enough of the percentage.
      A vote for him is a vote against Paladino.

  18. Flynn says:

    Has anyone seen the vids of Jimmy “The Rent Is Too Damn High” McMillan? He’s awesome! I’ll wager he gets some extra votes just for last night.

  19. Steve says:

    Multiple parties could work if there were runoff elections for the top two vote recipients. That would make it more palatable to vote for a third party candidate if there was an opportunity to vote later for one of the two finalists.

  20. sick of cuomo says:

    i like davis and paladino
    no to cuomo god please no ny’rs wake up

  21. jim says:

    we are officially now a banana republic .

  22. U.S. Common Sense says:

    “The front-runners found themselves upstaged at Hofstra University by five fring candidates — some spouting a series of bizarre one-liners.”

    I think you meant to say “fringe candidates.” Editors … do your thing.

  23. Steve says:

    Sounds like a great idea. That way we can only elect Democrats or Republicans because they do such a good job.

  24. DWL says:

    And they refer to California as the nuthouse of the nation.

  25. Mike Smith says:

    CBS, eh? Someone needs to copy edit your work… “about the about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.” C’mon now…

  26. Vee says:

    Vince.

    It was Pal who wanted this inclusive debate. Cuomo probably accepted because he knew the lame-stream media wouldn’t air it through out the state, plus the yankees game was on.

    Just like Bloomberg tweeted last night: “go Yankees” lol…

    1. ladysforest says:

      Palladino wanted to debate, Cuomo refused repeatedly. Cuomo only agreed to this particular debate. Why? I suppose that he has his own reasons.

  27. unger389 says:

    Fring? Is that like Bling?

  28. Vince says:

    This was a complete sham to provide cover for Cuomo so that he would not have to debate Palladino one on one.

  29. Darrel says:

    The real joke is career politicians. TERM LIMITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Jones21 says:

    Love the Libertarian, but he’ll never win so that leaves Paladino. At least he won’t be the status quo like family career politican Cuomo. Status quo has lead to this so, try something new, and fiscally responsible. Paladino cannot do really much socially, especially in 4 years, so who cares. It not like we’ll wake up in 1960s Mississippi cause we got a Repub as Gov. He’s NY, and he has a shot so no vote throw aways to 3rd party this year because it is too important!

  31. Erik says:

    The front-runners found themselves upstaged at Hofstra University by five fring candidates — some spouting a series of bizarre one-liners.

    I believe you’re looking for the word “FRINGE”?

  32. Vee says:

    NY1 is the best! The Lame stream propaganda organs won’t cover the debate because the third party candidates aren’t talking about austerity, privatization, and tax abolition for Wall st.. Plus, the third party candidates might “steal” the thunder (and votes) from the corporate medias two pro Wall st. candidates.

    More unemployment and FRAUDclosures… Bring on the robo signers..

  33. Chris says:

    Having the other candidates present reminded us why we have a 2-party system. I welcome more choices, but not when the inclusion of these fringe groups undermines the opportunity for people to hear a reasoned, productive dialog.

  34. Frank says:

    Andrew Cuomo was by far the most articulate. Ironically, he made a strong case for why he should remain as Attorney General. The Republican Party needs to step up and start putting serious contenders in play. Give the people of NY real, substantive choices!

  35. Phil says:

    This just makes me want to move to Texas.

  36. geff says:

    This is a reply to Eddie’s comment: “No offense but this was a complete joke. Have only the top candidates only.”
    Time for Democracy in NYS. Open up the process to all parties.

  37. Sam Bolivar says:

    Interesting how CBS is trying to be the decider of what political discourse is acceptable (to The Powers That Be), and what is not. Go ahead and deride ‘non-mainstream’ points of view, CBS. Someday you’ll be bankrupt, and what will you have to show for your years of writing what you’ve told to?

    Let’s all give a big round of cheers for the gatekeeper presstitutes in the corrupted U.S. MSM!

  38. The Good Samaritan says:

    Kristin Davis should be elected

  39. marty says:

    Again, Mr Baron brings out the race card when he asks where are the black or latino reporters asking the questions during this debate. The whole debate was a bore!

  40. corruption says:

    The player of American politics is :DEMOC-RATS&REPOBLI-CON-ARTISTS.
    Vote for the third party,you think they do wors than these guys??come to Hawaii and see it yourself how these corrupt politicians are doing.funny is you get profiled by an Asians.

    1. What the Eff?! says:

      First day with the new language?

  41. BARAMBA says:

    Well it’s a comedy all over American politics!!

  42. hittt man says:

    thats because the new york government or lack there of is a joke

  43. Bob says:

    To have only the entrenched two parties is offensive. Thats why the country and state are a complete disaster. Time to bury this anachronistic dual party monopoly which is an offense to democracy

    1. jason says:

      “dual party monopoly”? dont you mean duopoly?

    2. Frank Watson says:

      The problem, Bob, is look at these “third parties”–all jokesters, pranksters… undermines any need for even having third parties. “Rent is too damn high”? Really? You’re a clown for thinking otherwise… these 5 imbeciles proved that 2 parties is better than 7

  44. Joe says:

    The “melting pot” debate, all flash no dash.

  45. BlueWaterGuy says:

    Yes the performers on stage were a joke to say the least. Who would take them seriously? I certainly didn’t and this was a complete waste of time taken away from what should have been a serious debate between the two contenders – Paladino and Cuomo. Let’s get real here folks; Cuomo came off as the polished politician, talking much from both sides of the mouth and in the end giving us no real answers to how to solve the problems facing Albany and the people of New York State. Listen to what he said and you will recognize that his program is basically a repackaging of the same old rhetoric and policies now in existence. He should be selling medicine bottles outside the circus big top – a real charlatan, in deed. On the other hand Paladino, somewhat blunt and a true businessman stuck to his guns and proposed radical solutions that would best serve the interest of ALL the people of New York state and turn this dysfunctional state government away from bankruptcy. After all, Paladino does has 20 major successful corporations all doing well, employing over 1,000’s of people and paying their fair share of the taxes to Albany. Paladino’s medicine may be too hard to swallow at first but the cure is eminent. Bottom line, it will take a businessman to turn this State around and not another polished politician. As for the rest of the 5 jokers on stage, I guess they were meant to serve as comedy relief for the audience and TV land.

    1. chip says:

      Paladino????
      The Taliban brought some order to Afganistan too.

      1. JoeM says:

        I’m going with the “Rent is too High” candidate. Far better than Cuomo, man.

      2. Omeca says:

        They raped women to prove points. How dare you compare him to them.

        That is so horrible.

    2. geff says:

      Let’s get rid of the two major parties who have been running roughshod over the people for decades and have diminished any semblance of Democracy, while at the same time sending our young men overseas to die for Democracy. We need it here in NYS. The Libertarian made sense: smaller government means more freedom for us and fewer crooks in government. If we support Democrats or Republicans, we support their organized crime.

      1. Melted Ice says:

        I may be a registered Republican, but my vote changed to Redlich last night. An Economics degree and a small business owner, these are the kind of people we need running government. Beyond that the rest of the debate seemed more like an SNL skit.

      2. Dannyboy says:

        Democracy? Why is this word constantly thrown around like it means something, get it right people this is not a democracy we live in. The United States is a constitutional republic, we have an electoral college and our leaders are not decided by mob rule. So for all of you people spouting off at the mouth about democracy like you have a clue about what you’re speaking, just stfu and go learn something because you come off as ignorant and uninformed.

      3. eric says:

        YEA! lets cut the wings off the eagle! ARE YOU THAT STUPID? No wonder NY is such a friggin mess. you idiots are running this circus. good luck east and west coasts. you both are doomed.

  46. KMar says:

    The whole line of people running for NY governor are a joke.

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