Carl Paladino also spoke to the crowd of around 75-100 people gathered in the large, yet intimate conference/dining area of Brother's 2. He spoke softly, and paused frequently, his tone was stoic, yet filled with emotion. He presented his case to the people in a clear, and reasoned manner. He didn't simply spout rhetoric, he presented in-depth ideas of how to reform New York, and get it back on track. He outlined his plan to cut taxes, to help businesses flourish, and in great detail, he presented his thoughts on how we will scour every department, group, committee, etc in the State, find ineffective, or mismanaged divisions, and fix or eliminate the ones that are doing the most damage.
Andrew Cuomo said he was going to bring a mop, to mop up the State, Rick Lazio would bring a whisk broom, I will bring a baseball bat." "The baseball bat is a metaphor. You are my baseball bat. The people." I did not have the forethought to record tonight's event, so the wording may not be exact.
After Mr. Paladino finished his speech, there was an open Q&A in which both candidates answered questions from the audience. Senator Libous gave concise and insightful answers, as did Paladino. Mr. Libous had to leave early, as he had a previous engagement to attend. However, Carl Paladino continued to answer questions for another solid hour at least. After he left the stage, he spent a lengthy amount of time talking with members of the audience, and posing for photographs, and even signing autographs. Mr. Paladino, was warm, friendly, and genuinely interested in the thoughts of the people he may be working for come January 1st, 2011.
Both Men showed a level of interest in the thoughts of the local populace, and were gracious, and down to earth with the crowd. Each man praised the other for their ideas, and accomplishments, and were genuinely friendly toward each other. This is an unusual break for Tom Libous, whose fellow Republicans are throwing their support squarely in Rick Lazio's corner. Libous seemed unphased by the idea that his speaking together with the outsider candidate might cause some tension between him and his peers. He did mention early on that before the event, Democrats in the Senate had said of him that he would stoop to any level, and speaking along side Paladino was his lowest yet.
John Maczko, was also on hand. He asked Candidate Paladino questions, and gave his opinions on some topics of interest. Other local candidates made appearances and spoke with local residents about their campaigns. Jason Stokes who is running for state assembly was their long after the event ended, talking to many of the attendees. Stokes has been working hard since he announced his bid for state Assembly, and appears to be a tireless campaigner. Stokes, a father of two, who spent 6 and a half years in the army, and 9 years between the Reserves and the National Guard. He has also spent 5 years as a full time fire-fighter.
Stokes, a conservative, will be running against republican Art Garrison for the party nomination for state assembly. I will be interviewing both candidates in the next week, and am looking forward to both mens' perspectives on what they hope to accomplish should they be elected.
One of the highlights of the evening was an impromptu video by one local Tea Party enthusiast, who is a retired sign painter. He gave his powerful rendition of the famous line from the movie "Network" to show his support for Gubernatorial candidate, Carl Paladino.