Sunday, September 12, 2010

Is Staten crazy enough to vote Paladino?

We just might be.

At a recent rally on Staten Island Carl Paladino was the talk of crazy town, as he comforted the right-wing nuts like a weirdo uncle that sends you racist e-mails.

"You gotta come to one of our NRA rallies, we'd love to have you," says the burly intimidating man to Paladino, the wanna-be nominee for governor of New York.

"Which part of me do you want," said the GOP hopeful, waving his limbs in the air like a marionette.

"I want all of you," said the burly man, "and bring you right up to Albany."

It was a genial exchange, like old buddies from high school. And Paladino was hamming it up everyone: kids, moms, people in patriotic gear, local politicians -- they all wanted a piece of Paladino.

A recent poll puts Carl and Rick Lazio neck-and-neck for Tuesday's GOP primary. (Lazio leads Paladino, 43 percent to 42 percent.)

Carl has made repeated trips to Staten Island, made his distaste known for other boros, and his most recent stunt is the proposal to "abolish the Verrazano toll" gimmick. We've heard that one before.

(Btw, SILive, or Advance: his name is spelled Paladino not Palladino.)

But, the Buffalo businessman's most contentious proposal is the one that seeks to house welfare recipients in upstate prisons, where they can work and take lessons on "personal hygiene." Really.

So it'll be a close one, and Staten Island can put this guy over the edge. We could be a game-changer.

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