GOP Convention Gets Off to Contentious Start - NBC New York

GOP Convention Gets Off to Contentious Start

Carl Paladino tells GOP convert to Steve Levy to scram -- and the convention has even started



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    New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Levy speaks to reporters during the New York State Republican Convention Tuesday.

    The GOP convention had barely started yet when Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino told NBCNewYork Republican convert Steve Levy should "call his car" and leave.

    "He can go," said Paladino, "and he can take Ed with him," a reference to embattled state GOP chairman Ed Cox.
    Cox has angered Republicans by backing Levy, the Suffolk County Executive,  in what some suspect was a deal to win support for Cox's son Chris, who's running for Congress on LI.   

    Some Republicans tell NBCNewYork Levy will get on the ballot "over their dead bodies," despite what they described as Levy's last minute attempts at horsetrading.
    This kind of infighting and tension is not what Republicans need as they prepare for a tough battle against Democrat Andrew Cuomo.  But there was plenty of drama on display on the way into the convention.  

    GOP staffers tried to move the media out of the way as Ed Cox, Richard Nixon's son in law, was mocked by a man in a Nixon mask,  ranting about "dirty tricks."

    And as the convention began, Cox was welcomed to the stage with reserved applause, a visible side effect of the controversy over his decisions as Chairman.

    But despite the infighting on display, Republicans tried to keep the focus on their battle against Democrats in November.
    Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino mocked Democrats' efforts to reinvent themselves as the "new Democratic party" at their convention last week in Rye.

    ”'New democrat' is really one for the ages,” said Astorino, implying a disconnect between the party's labels and reality. 
    Cox vowed the Republicans will win some of the statewide elections in November, but the Democratic opposition is fierce and well funded.  

    In some races the chances may be slim but the slogans were catchy -- for instance:  "It's time to chuck Schumer."

    To that end, the GOP nominated retired CIA agent Gary Bernsten as their nominee for a senate candidate to take on Sen. Charles Schumer.

    The Republicans also nominated former hedge fund manager Harry Wilson to run for state comptroller against incumbent Democrat Thomas DiNapoli.

    Wilson worked at four different financial firms, including Goldman Sachs. The Westchester County resident says his experience assessing investments and making decisions for those companies would serve him well as comptroller. Wilson also served on Democratic President Barack Obama's automotive industry task force. The auto task force was responsible for the overhauls of General Motors and Chrysler.

    The comptroller is the sole trustee of the public workers pension fund and responsible for auditing government.

    DiNapoli was endorsed by the Democrats at their convention last week.