Republican gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino, in Albany today to launch his petition drive to gain a spot on the primary ballot and start a third-party line, actually had some nice words for Gov. David Paterson’s latest budget tactic.
Paterson inserted the majority of his health-care budget in an emergency budget extender bill, which are needed to pass to keep the functions of government going while state leaders continue to debate a 2010-11 spending plan, now two months late. Some lawmakers derided the plan as “blackmail.”
“He finally figured out how to do it. Blackmail? They call it blackmail? Try calling it government,” Paladino said in a brief interview in the Capitol Building.
“That’s the way government functions, that’s the way it’s meant to function. He should have done it months ago.”
But if elected, Paladino said he wouldn’t do such a tactic except in the case of health and public safety.
“On Jan. 1 when I take my hand off the Bible, I’m going to turn to the lawmakers and say listen ladies and gentlemen, no extenders — only health and public safety,” he said.
And risk a government shutdown?
“Fine, well, that’s good. Let’s shut it down,” he said.
Paladino is launching a primary campaign, challenging former Rep. Rick Lazio of Long Island, who received the backing of the state Republican Party last week.