Get ready to go to the windows and start shouting this evening, because at precisely 5:13 P.M. Carl Paladino will be making a “major announcement” on TV and it’s going to be look out below. “I must make my witness,” he was heard telling aides yesterday as he ordered them to buy up time slots on every available station.
Actually, that wasn’t Paladino. It was his hero, Howard Beale, mad prophet of the airwaves on Network, the ’70s movie, who went on to urge listeners to shout incoherently into the wind. Paladino cites Peter Finch’s “mad as hell” rant as his key inspiration, and so far the Republican gubernatorial candidate has been living up to his credo.
Paladino’s team is keeping mum about what he’ll be saying tonight. Politico‘s Maggie Haberman says he’s “in seclusion” — always a dangerous thing. The News‘ Celeste Katz says the one thing he won’t be doing is dropping out of the race. Which is all to the good for reporters.
Today, one of the longest-serving Paladino watchers, James Heaney of the Buffalo News, offers the fullest analysis yet of the Mad as Hell man’s pre-Tea Party political contributions.
Heaney’s careful count of Buffalo landlord’s campaign giving since 1999 yields a new figure of $468,787. And Heaney confirms an interesting pattern observed here and elsewhere since Paladino launched his jihad this spring:”The more Paladino has given to politicians, the more government contracts he has been awarded.”
Meanwhile, even the malleable folks at Quinnipiac polling are reporting that the Paladino shtick is faltering, even with those who say that they’re also angry. Democrat Andrew Cuomo’s opened up an 18-point lead, the Q poll finds. That’s triple the six percent gap that Q’s poll last month reported, an easy-to-bridge gap that briefly put both wind and cash into Paladino’s sails. But his sails started luffing windlessly shortly thereafter, and he’s been dead in the water since his Lake George rumble last week with Post reporter Fred Dicker. Buffalo Carl’s “I’ll take you out, buddy,” threat to Dicker may wind up the quote of the season, unless of course he can top it tonight. We know he can do it.