By Adam Schwartzman
Carl Paladino, real estate mogul and Rick Lazio’s main competition for the Republican nomination in the upcoming gubernatorial election, was not surprised at Wayne Barrett’s recent and painfully explicit exposé of Lazio’s corporate past. He relayed some of his thoughts in an interview with the Voice.
“I’ve met Rick Lazio, and I thought that he was a little bit light on integrity when I met him. He’s your typical run-for-anything politician,” Paladino said. “Always running, not necessarily knowing where he’s going. He doesn’t understand the weight and responsibility of the job, especially the job of governor.”
Paladino, who came under fire earlier this year for sending some very racy emails, had some strong opinions on “Joe Lobbyist,” as he called Lazio. “I think we’re looking at another Hevesi,” referencing Alan Hevesi, the disgraced ex-state comptroller who pled guilty to using a state employee as a chauffeur for his wife. “Same scandalous activity. Selling out the taxpayers. It’s not what public service is about. Public service is an honor, and these people miss it somehow.” Interesting thought for someone who forwarded a video of an African tribal dance entitled “Obama inauguration rehearsal.”
But Paladino did make some good points when discussing what voters should take away from Barrett’s article: “It illustrates that the guy doesn’t have the competency, sense of judgement, or sense of integrity to be governor.”
“He’s not a congressman anymore. He’s at Chase Morgan in a back room somewhere, trying to get his boss Dimon to give him a fat bonus,” Paladino said, referring to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Lazio’s current employer. “Historically, [he has] absolutely no track record of good judgment.”
Paladino and Lazio will face off in the Republican primary election on September 14.