Carl Paladino, who has thrown buckets of mud at Andrew Cuomo, may be preparing for a further escalation with documents alleging that Cuomo is anti-Semitic, The NY Post reports.
The Paladino campaign has boasted of having a massive amount of negative research on Cuomo.
Nearly 500 pages of the anti-Cuomo documents were obtained by The Post from a source with ties to Paladino’s gubernatorial campaign adviser, Roger Stone, a self-styled GOP trickster whose protégé Michael Caputo is Paladino’s campaign manager.
Caputo bragged to an Albany newspaper in July that, “We have six binders on Cuomo. We’re going to win the campaign on it.”
The massive collection obtained by The Post dates to 2002 and looks like it might have been prepared for former Gov. George Pataki’s re-election campaign, which was preparing for a possible challenge from Cuomo, the former federal Housing secretary who unsuccessfully sought to become the Democratic nominee for governor eight years ago.
The collection of anti-Cuomo material is marked as coming from Drake Ventures, a Florida-based public-relations firm owned by Stone.
“Memorandum. Date: June 21, 2001. Re: Andrew Cuomo an anti-Semite?” one page of the material begins.
“While Americans are sleeping in the streets and rundown HUD housing, their landlord Andrew Cuomo is in bed with terrorists?” it continues.
“First: Instead of focusing on the poor and homeless here in the United States, HUD Secretary Cuomo traveled to the Middle East to befriend terrorist Yasser Arafat and Palestine.
“Now: Cuomo names Russell Simmons, a supporter of anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, a ‘senior black advisor’ to his campaign,” the document continues.
Cuomo, as HUD secretary, met with Arafat and Palestinian leaders in 2000 to discuss housing and refugee issues during an official visit to the Mideast.
Hip-hop entrepreneur and Phat Farm fashion creator Simmons has been a longtime Cuomo supporter and financial backer, as well as an aggressive opponent of anti-Semitism and racism. He hosted the Nation of Islam leader and his sons at his lower Manhattan home last year when they were in New York to greet Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy.
Asked if the Paladino campaign possessed the documents obtained by The Post and planned to use them in the campaign, Caputo responded, “No comment.”
Cuomo campaign spokesman Josh Vlasto angrily claimed the documents prove “Paladino had a premeditated plan to disseminate false and vicious rumors.”
“His hypocrisy knows no bounds as he falsely tries to smear someone as anti-Semitic when he himself refers to a Jewish elected official as a Hitler and an antichrist,” continued Vlasto.
“That’s why Paladino’s campaign is being called one of the dirtiest in the country.”
Paladino came in for considerable criticism last month for backing up a political ally’s comparison of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, an Orthodox Jew, to Hitler and the “Antichrist.”
“What…is wrong with him? Assemblyman Dov Hikind, an Orthodox Jew, said of Paladino.
“Is he out of his freakin’ mind?” he continued.