The Sunday before the Primaries

Siena’s timing couldn’t have been any better – thanks undoubtedly to Steve Greenberg’s guidance. They released a poll on Saturday showing Carl Paladino has reached parity with Rick Lazio in the race for the GOP nod for the right to lose to (I mean run against) Andrew Cuomo.

All kidding aside, this could create a very interesting situation because if Rick Lazio loses the primary, it puts the NYS Conservative Party in a bind. Will they switch their endorsement to Paladino – the Tea Party candidate or stick with Lazio? 40 years ago the Conservative Party was the tea party — the upstarts who were tired of Rockefeller Republicanism and who challenged the regulars and pushed them to the right.

The emergence of the Tea Party movement in 2010 must be an embarrassment to the Conservative Party — a reminder of the role they should have been playing. But for them to endorse Paladino, should he win the GOP nomination, would be inviting an elephant into the Conservative’s china shop. It would threaten the party’s leadership and the comfortable existence they have carved out for themselves.

Good reads for Weekend Politicos.

  • Dan Lynch’s piece — “Interesting Times equal Nasty Politics” — on Obama and the national elections.
  • Gannett’s Brian Tumulty discusses another aspect of the Tea Party/GOP relationship: will the Tea Party run third party candidates in Congressional races if their person loses the primary?
  • Have you read the Koran (Quran)? Carl Strock, the long-standing columnist for the Daily Gazette has. You’ll have to subscribe to the Gazette’s online edition or be in a location where you can purchase the paper on newsprint in order to read Strock’s column, so here’s one of his more interesting comments: “Reading it is like sitting in a classroom with a humorless schoolmaster lecturing you hour after hour, day after day, and cracking you across the knuckles every time you look out the window. It is one of the most tedious things I have read.” Here’s another: “Like the God of the Bible, the God of the Quran is an egomaniac, the most important matter in the world to him being that we believe in him. The main difference is that Christians are enjoined to love God, Muslims to fear him. Hardly a Quranic page goes by without the injunction, ‘Fear God!'”
  • Read today’s editorial — State culture must change or we’ll die — in the Utica Observer-Dispatch. It refers to the case of the state employee who “routinely traded favors and gifts with favored businesses that were rewarded with millions of dollars in state purchases,” but whose corrupt behavior was allowed to persist over a 17 year period. This case exposes two problems: (1) a culture that allows this kind of behavior — and this is not the only example of its kind — to exist unreported and (2) the fact that those who are supposed to police state employees — the comptroller’s office and the state inspector — general rarely seem to uncover this behavior while it’s happening. What can be done about it? That’s the subject of an upcoming Empire Page roundtable.

Vote on Tuesday!

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