Buffalo Union, Minorities Protest Paladino

By Michael Gormley
|  Tuesday, Sep 21, 2010  |  Updated 11:30 PM EDT
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Buffalo Union, Minorities Protest Paladino

AP

Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino announces his candidacy for New York State Governor at a rally in Buffalo, N.Y. on Monday, April 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Don Heupel)

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A Buffalo union, Long Island Latinos, and an Albany minority coalition on Tuesday were the latest groups aligned with Democrats to rally against Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino.

Paladino says the drumbeat of protests is part of Democrat  Andrew Cuomo's campaign for governor to use surrogates, while Cuomo tries to seem above the fray and ``ducks'' a public debate.

On Tuesday, Paladino, who was campaigning in New York City, was protested by the Buffalo Central Labor Council and the Buffalo
Building and Construction Trades Council, the Albany area NAACP and the Suffolk County Latino community.

``Andrew Cuomo keeps throwing live hand grenades at us, and we keep throwing them right back,'' said Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo. Cuomo ``doesn't understand that politics as usual he's familiar with sending surrogates is not working this time
because voters are angry.''

Paladino recently won the support of conservative Latino ministers in the Bronx at a stop in his campaign that now includes
former Buffalo Bills star Thurman Thomas, who is black and says Paladino isn't racist.

``We feel confident Carl will win the share of votes necessary from all communities to beat Andrew Cuomo,'' Caputo said.

The Buffalo AFL-CIO criticized Paladino, a millionaire Buffalo developer, for getting a $1.4 million state tax break, but creating
just one job. The state AFL-CIO endorsed Cuomo in August.

``Keeping those tax dollars our tax dollars would reveal that your professed commitment to clamp down on government waste is
 just a hollow promise,'' the labor leaders wrote in a letter provided to The Associated Press.

Paladino said Monday that he complied with the requirements of a developer and that the retailers who occupied the five buildings he renovated in a distressed neighborhood each employ at least 15 people in neighborhoods in which few developers would invest.

The Suffolk County Latino group criticized Paladino for sexist and racist e-mails he once forwarded to friends but now says was
wrong.

The NAACP and related groups in Albany said Paladino is polarizing New Yorkers and declaring a war on poor New Yorkers and
 minorities. Paladino has suggested the state offer jobs and ``life skills'' training to families on welfare at renovated minimum
security prisons and other underused state facilities, based on the Civilian Conservative Corps under President Franklin Roosevelt.
 

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