Buffalo's Carl Paladino Weighs In On Governor Cuomo's State Budget

5:07 AM, Feb 4, 2011   |    comments
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Carl Paladino

BUFFALO, NY - "He's moving in the right direction. Now, ...is it enough? No."

That was the assessment of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget by the man he bested for the job in the election held last November, Republican Carl Paladino.

Cuomo seeks to slash state spending by $3.7 million primarily through cuts in aid to education, municipalities, and medicaid...as well as reducing the number of state employees by close to 10,000.

Paladino says that while he has not fully delved into all the details of the Governor's budget proposal, he is already concerned about one thing he hasn't detected as being part of it.

"The only way your going to help our economy is creating jobs. Nothing in that document so far that I have seen creates jobs," Paladino told WGRZ-TV.

Paladino referred to Cuomo's economic development policies as a "total waste of money", including Cuomo's creation of ten regional economic development councils.

"They're going to have staffs for those ten regional councils ...and those ten regional councils and those ten staffs are going to prepare presentations and compete for $200 million dollars worth of taxpayer money...he's creating an even bigger bureaucracy than we already have!" Paladino exclaimed.

But even some of Cuomo's harshest critics, who could also be described as hard core conservatives, have been laudatory of the Governor's early efforts to get the state's spiraling deficit under control.

These would include Paladino's former campaign manager Michael Caputo.

In an e-mail to Tea Party supporters, Caputo, while making clear he's still no fan of Andrew Cuomo, wrote:

"I must admit the Governor's early fiscal moves are conservative, responsible and absolutely necessary...
I'm as conservative as you can get, and last year I spent most of my time criticizing Andrew Cuomo..
It is starting to look like I may end up eating a few of my words. But I would happily sit for that meal if the Governor delivers real fiscal reform. In fact, I am writing to tell you I will work to push Cuomo's fiscal agenda."

"He (Caputo) was way off the reservation if he was trying to speak for the tea party people," said Paladino, who told 2 On Your Side he will reserve his praise for Gov. Cuomo until he hears that Cuomo is prepared to take a step beyond merely putting a cap on taxes.

"The only real way to encourage business to expand, stay here, retain jobs, and expand jobs is by lowering business taxes," Paladino said.

Click on the video player to the right to watch the story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Norm Fisher from Eden.

WGRZ-TV, wgrz.com

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