A top adviser to firebrand Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino owes the U.S. government more than $400,000 in unpaid taxes, according to a published report.
In the latest storm to cloud the upstate businessman's campaign, the Internal Revenue Service filed a $405,035 lien against Roger Stone, a veteran Republican consultant and partner in a now defunct firm based out of Florida, reports The New York Post.
Stone, a longtime operative with roles in the campaigns of former President Richard Nixon and former New Jersey governor Tom Kean, among others, told the Post he found out about the lien when a reporter called him for a response to the filing.
A stone-faced Stone said a hearing in the next few months would likely clear up the issue, but his tax situation shouldn't be of any concern to voters because he's not the one running for office.
"Since I am not a candidate for public office and have no interest or intention of joining the government regardless of who is elected governor, I'm not sure what the relevance is," Stone wrote in an e-mail to the Post. "I have no intention of answering questions about my family's personal finances."
Paladino, meanwhile, has been dogged by a series of gaffes, primarily involving the LGBT community, that sent high-ranking members, including former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Gov. George Pataki, scrambling madly to distance themselves from the rabble-rousing politician.
Even Stone, who's clearly facing his own troubles, quickly distanced himself from Paladino's anti-gay remarks.
"It's astounding," he told the Daily Beast. "Based on his anti-gay rant, any advice that I'm giving this guy is no longer having any effect."