Andrew Cuomo (Democrat) defeated Carl Paladino (Republican) in the gubernatorial race in New York state. Cuomo was the attorney general of the state and had led in opinion polls. Paladino is a businessman who was supported by the Tea Party movement and beat frontrunner Rick Lazio in the Republican primary.
Highlights of Cuomo's economic plan include:
- give businesses a tax credit of up to $3,000 for each unemployed New Yorker hired for a new job.
- replace the "Empire Zone" tax credit program with another program in which
- Businesses will be eligible for a rebate of up to 80% of New York State personal income tax withheld on the qualifying additional jobs they create in the State for up to 10 years;
- In order to qualify, a business must sign an agreement with New York State under which the business commits to creating a specific number of jobs, and demonstrates that the tax credit incentive was a material factor in
making its decision to relocate to or expand in New York; and,
- The net new jobs must last at least 10 years or the tax benefit will be clawed back by the State on a pro rata basis for each job that is promised but not created or maintained.
Paladino's plan is based on less government spending and lower taxes. Highlights include:
- Cut taxes and spending by 10% in the first 6 months of his administration and cut spending by a total of 20% in his first year;
- Cut the State's income tax on manufacturing
- Cut optional Medicaid benefits back by $20 billion
- Eliminate the State Legislators' pension plans and their discounted lifetime health care coverage since serving in the State Legislature is a part-time position - or make them work full time for full benefits;
- Require a super majority of 60% of both Houses of the State Legislature in order to raise any state taxes;
Paladino is staunchly opposed to the healthcare refrom bill passed in March 2010. He has said he "would ask the Attorney General to join in unison with the ten-plus of [sic] states that will file suit against the federal government" (to overturn the bill). Paladino also wants to cut Medicaid benefits in an effort to save $20 billion of government expense (half of it federal, the other half borne by NY state).
Cuomo is a supporter of the healthcare reform bill. However, he also complains about New York's Medicaid costs being too high. His plan for reining in spending calls for restructuring Medicaid by:
- Transferring the responsibility to administer Medicaid from the counties to the state
- Shift the authority for setting reimbursement rates from the legislature to the Dept. of Health
- Group purchasing of pharmaceuticals by state and local governments and school districts for more pricing leverage against drug companies
Position on Social Issues
Park51 (Islamic Community Center in Manhattan)
Paladino is vehemently opposed to the Park51 project, and has said that he would use any legal means necessary to stop it from being built.
Cuomo has defended the right to build the mosque on the grounds of religious freedom.
Cuomo's policy on immigration is "to fight immigration fraud, by prosecuting individuals and companies who target vulnerable immigrants by providing unauthorized and fraudulent immigration services and continue make sure that immigrants do not face discrimination and receive fair wages and a safe workplace."
Paladino favors legal immigration and proposes that the government should take tough action against illegal immigrants. He has said "I am completely opposed to any form of amnesty or other political solution aimed to absorb illegal immigrants into the fabric of America."
Paladino is staunchly opposed to abortion. He has said "I oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and, as Governor, I will not fund organizations which advocate the procedure. "
Cuomo has said that he "will continue to vigorously protect a woman’s right to choose".
Cuomo is a supporter of marriage equality. He has said "Marriage equality is a question of principle and the State shouldn’t discriminate against same-sex couples who wish to get married."
Paladino has said he opposes same-sex marriage, but expressed flexibility if it were passed by a referendum. 
Cuomo believes gun violence is a serious problem, and wants to enact gun safety laws, such as requiring the microstamping of guns. Paladino is a staunch supporter of the right to bear arms. He has said he "will look for opportunities to roll back any existing state law that infringes upon the right to bear arms."
Early Life and Political Career
Cuomo was born in Queens in 1957. His father Mario Cuomo was New York Governor for 12 years. Cuomo attended Fordham University and received his J.D. from Albany Law School. He was a top aide to his father during his father's 1982 campaign for Governor. He then joined the Governor's staff as one of his father's top policy advisors. He was appointed to the Department of Housing and Urban Development as Assistant Secretary in 1993, as a member of President Bill Clinton's administration. In 2002, Cuomo ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for the Governor of New York. Some expected him to run for Governor of New York again in 2006, but Cuomo decided against a run when New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer entered the race in late 2004. Cuomo declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for New York State Attorney General in 2006, and on May 30, 2006, captured the Democratic Party's endorsement. He won the election for state AG in November 2006. On the personal front, Cuomo was married to Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, for 13 years. They were separated in 2003 and divorced in 2005. He is currently dating Food Network host Sandra Lee.
Paladino was born in an Italian-origin family in 1946. He attended St. Bonaventure University and the Syracuse University College of Law. Paladino is also qualified as a lawyer, receiving his J.D. in 1971. Paladino has spent three years on active duty in the army. Paladino was a registered Democrat from 1974 until 2005. On the personal front, Paladino has a ten year old daughter from an extramarital affair with an employee.
Paladino vs Cuomo in Opinion Polls
While Andrew Cuomo once had a comfortable lead in opinion polls, his lead has shrunk considerably. Most analysts believe that this will be a three way contest with Rick Lazio (the Republican candidate who Paladino defeated in the primary) choosing to run as an independent.
|Poll Source||Dates administered||Andrew Cuomo||Carl Paladino|
|Quinnipiac||September 16-20, 2010||49%||43%|
|Rasmussen Reports||September 20, 2010||54%||38%|
|Quinnipiac||July 20–26, 2010||55%||25%|
|Rasmussen Reports||July 20, 2010||58%||29%|
|Rasmussen Reports||June 24, 2010||55%||25%|
|Siena Poll||May 17–20, 2010||65%||22%|
|Marist Poll||May 3–5, 2010||67%||22%|
|Rasmussen Reports||April 27, 2010||55%||25%|
|Quinnipiac||April 6–11, 2010||60%||24%|
|Rasmussen Reports||March 29, 2010||51%||28%|
|Rasmussen Reports||March 2, 2010||56%||27%|
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