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Barbaro: NY State GOP Candidate Paladino's 'Outrage-Filled Campaign' Full of Tea Party Sleazebags

Michael Barbaro on the "tainted past" of Carl Paladino's Tea Party staffers: "And the issue highlights a growing problem across the country for the Tea Party, which has backed Mr. Paladino: the outsider status and ragtag style that have fueled many of the movement's best-known candidacies this election season often come with unexpected personal baggage."

Reporter Michael Barbaro, moving on from trashing the "bluster and belligerence" and anger of Carl Paladino, Republican candidate for governor of New York, is now going after Paladino's campaign staff, evidently filled with "Tea Party outsiders" with past criminal records, including one who served time for DUI in another state almost 20 years ago: "Paladino, Angry Crusader Against Albany, Has Aides With Tainted Pasts." A text box read: "Angry Tea Party outsiders often arrive with unexpected baggage."

As he mounts an outrage-filled campaign for governor of New York, Carl P. Paladino has vowed to forcibly rid Albany of the wayward officials and misbehaving bureaucrats who he says have demeaned state government, promising to "take out the trash."

But some of the people whom Mr. Paladino has recruited to run his campaign are plagued by brushes with the law and allegations of misconduct, an examination of public records shows.

His campaign manager failed to pay nearly $53,000 in federal taxes over the last few years, prompting the Internal Revenue Service to take action against him. An aide who frequently drives Mr. Paladino on the campaign trail served jail time in Arizona on charges of drunken driving.

 

Another adviser has been indicted on charges of stealing more than $1 million from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's re-election bid last year. And Mr. Paladino's campaign chairwoman left a local government position amid claims that she had steered $1 billion in public money to a politically connected investment manager.

Their backgrounds could raise questions about the kind of cabinet Mr. Paladino, a Republican, would assemble if elected in November and cast doubt on his ability to radically remake the dysfunctional culture of Albany, government watchdogs said.

And the issue highlights a growing problem across the country for the Tea Party, which has backed Mr. Paladino: the outsider status and ragtag style that have fueled many of the movement's best-known candidacies this election season often come with unexpected personal baggage.


Barbaro quoted Blair Horner of the unlabeled Ralph Nader-affiliated organization the New York Public Interest Research Group pronounced the findings "unsettling." The Times also went after Paladino's driver (and "Tea Party organizer") for a DUI in Arizona from 20 years ago.

Barbaro only briefly confessed that political corruption and checkered pasts aren't exactly unique in the notorious world of Albany politics.

The legal problems of Mr. Paladino's aides could prove especially potent in a race in which both Mr. Paladino and his Democratic rival, Andrew M. Cuomo, are trying to turn the page on the administration of Gov. David A. Paterson, who surrounded himself with troubled aides. One resigned after being accused of not paying taxes; another was suspended after being accused of domestic violence.

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