Photo and story by Danny Maerten
More than 150 people were in attendance at the Niagara County Patriots' Feb. 22 meeting to listen to guest speaker Carl Paladino.
Rus Thompson of TEA New York informed the gathering of life on the campaign trail with Paladino, stating it was one year since Paladino announced his candidacy for governor of New York. They did a majority of the campaigning and strategies from the front seat of a Suburban, which accumulated thousands of miles in a short time frame.
Thompson noted that while being involved in the political arena he had many attacks on his personal life, even digging up miniscule items from 30 years ago. He went on to say the big egos of politicians and even among some Tea Party groups are a significant hindrance toward compromise and obtaining goals.
Paladino was next on the agenda and as he made his way to the podium, the crowd quickly stood and applauded. He started by admitting he made many mistakes along the campaign trail and indeed did learn a great deal.
Paladino said he should have fired almost all of his advisory crew; they were advising him to be more attractive to garner more votes, not the same style that lead him to win the Republican primary election. Paladino acknowledged he should have continued on the same path.
He also admitted he received bad advice from the conservatives in the New York City arena. In fact, he should have stayed completely out of New York City and concentrated more on Long Island and the Hudson River areas, Paladino said. He spent $9 million of his own money during the run for election.
Paladino affirmed he'll be more vocal dealing with local and state issues, "(the) beginning of a long journey, act 1, scene 1," he said.
As far as running again, he indicated he most likely would not. Duke, his faithful dog, will be very happy just to stay warm and lay around quietly, he said.