Carl Paladino, Democrat

12 Apr

How long has Carl Paladino been a “Real” Republican?  In various campaign videos on his website, he gives the impression that he’s been a longtime member of the party.  “I’m a registered Republican…and not just yesterday” he says in this video.


I guess by “and not just yesterday”  he means since 2005.  Prior to 2005, he was a registered Democrat, for 31 years.

Why does it matter?  Paladino is currently push polling information that potential opponent Steve Levy is really a Democrat in Tea Party clothing.  Carl is making political hay from Levy’s donations to the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee, totaling $650 since 1999.

He’s also made vague threats that he is gathering ammunition to use against his rivals and sent out a press release yesterday that read:

The Paladino campaign pointed to campaign finance records showing several Levy contributions to the Silver-controlled Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee (

“Time and again, Democrat Steve Levy contributed to the extension of Sheldon Silver’s rule in Albany – and Silver drove our state into the ground,” said Paladino, a Republican candidate for Governor of New York. “His longtime support for Speaker Silver is a fundamental problem for our party and a dealbreaker for most rank-and-file Republicans watching the governors race.”

Paladino said, “Monday I’ll join the Republican Govneror’s (sic) race against one professional politician who is still a pure Democrat and another who had a lot of chances and can’t get it done.”

Paladino also said his belief in core Conservative and Republican party values particularly sets him apart on abortion, gay marriage and the gun rights.

Essentially, Carl is trying to force a purity test between himself (a true Republican) and a guy who donates to Democrats.  Seems like an odd strategy when Carl was a registered Democrat for the better part of thirty years, don’t you think?

Certainly, people can change party affiliations, not a big deal right?  But did Carl also stop donating to Democratic candidates?  Certainly, he wouldn’t make a stink about Levy’s $650 if he had any Democratic donations lurking in his closet, right?  Well…

Carl has been one of the most loyal, reliable and generous donors to the Erie County Democratic Party and various statewide Democratic candidates for decades.  Note the use of the present tense in that sentence.  Carl still donates reliably to Democrats as a quick check of New York State Board of Elections Campaign Finance Reports would indicate.  Has he donated to Republicans?  Absolutely!  He has given a lot of money to local and statewide Republicans over the years, but that’s not the issue.  Paladino has forced the issue that a Conservative Republican doesn’t donate to Democrats, much less Sheldon Silver!

Carl has donated to many Democrats under his own name, including State Supreme Court Justice Tim Drury, Judge Diane Devlin, Judge Penny Wolfgang, Denise O’Donnell and Eliot Spitzer.  However, he also donates donates under various names and corporations in an attempt to hide his tracks.

Donations have been recorded in his name, under the name of his primary business, and various other business entities bearing his stewardship.  All of these organizations share the same address, 295 Main Street, Suite 210, headquarters of Paladino’s real estate development firm and legal offices.

These are just the corporate entities that Carl has established using the Ellicott Development offices, we’re still digging for more.

Staats Street Group, Inc. has given nearly $5,000 to local and statewide Democrats, including $150 to the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee, which Paladino uses as evidence that Levy is really a Democrat.

Swan Group LP, has given nearly $27,000 to various Democrats, including Robin Schimminger, Byron Brown, Brian Higgins, the New York State Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee, Erie County Democratic Party (ECDC), Len Lenihan, Jim Keane, and Dennis Gabryszak.

Mohawk Group LP, has given $9,600 to Democrats including David Paterson, Mark Poloncarz, Sam Hoyt, the ECDC and the Lackawanna Democratic Committee.

Niagara Group, LP has given $4,790 to local and statewide Democrats including Spitzer for Attorney General, Higgins, Dan Ward, Paul Tokasz, Hoyt and the ECDC.

Slade Group, LLC has given $10,500 to corrupt former candidate for Erie County Executive Paul Clark.

Michigan/Seneca Group, LP has given $14,750 to local and statewide Democrats including Spitzer for Attorney General, Paul Clark, Len Lenihan, the ECDC, Denise O’Donnell, Higgins, Paterson and Spitzer for Governor.

8246 Group, LP has given $6,600 to local and statewide Democrats including the ECDC, Spitzer, Paul Clark and Jim Keane.

2468 Group, LP has given $13,600 to local and statewide Democrats including Hoyt, Higgins, Denise O’Donnell, the ECDC, Jim Keane, Carl McCall,  Spitzer, Paul Clark, and Crystal Peoples.

Ellicott Development has given over $12,500 to local and statewide Democrats including Denise O’Donnell, Gary Parenti, Joe Nicoletti and Spitzer

Ellicott Group has given $700 to local Democrats including Hoyt and Higgins.

Ellicott Group, LLC has given $1,200 to local Democrats including the ECDC.

Ellicott Group A Partnership has given $5,600 to local Democrats including the ECDC, Hoyt, Paterson and Mickey Kearns.

JP Group has donated nearly $20,000 to local and statewide Democrats including Spitzer, Bonnie Russell, the ECDC, Paul Clark, Alan Hevesi, Lynn Marinelli and Joe Mesi.

Jefferson Utica Group, LP has given $1,200 to local Democrats.

9274 Group, LP (Who by the way have won 62 GSA contracts for a total of $738,171 in government money) has given $4,200 to local Democrats.

Paladino and his various shell companies and associations have donated over $135,000 to Democratic candidates since 2000, including several hundred dollars for Sheldon Silver’s Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee.  We’d have to consult paper records to go further back than that.

I think there’s a lesson in all of this for Mr. Paladino…

The Ellicott Square Building, where Paladino has his corporate headquarters is a world renowned architectural masterpiece which features a majestic glass skylight.  Perhaps he should remember not to throw stones from inside that glass house.

45 Responses to “Carl Paladino, Democrat”

  1. Steve March 31, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    Carl Paladino is the only candidate that has the business acumen to pull our great state from the brink of disaster. I trust a career businessman over a career politician, everyday. Don’t we need CHANGE?

    • Marc Odien March 31, 2010 at 9:12 am #

      Are you blind? The man you think will come and save us from the status quo has been the BIGGEST SINGLE SUPPORTER of the status quo for 35 freakin years!! Carl is the worst kind of career politician. The enabler! He just hasn’t actually been elected to office and probably never will be.

      • Jerrod March 31, 2010 at 9:43 am #

        Your argument is flawed. Should we not be holding the corrupt local politicians accountable for their pay to play economic development policies? This is how business is done in NYS and its pathetic! Carl simply played by the rules of the game. Did Paladino break any laws??? Is Paladino now railing against the corruption when it very well may cost him significantly financially in the long run? How many more years do you want to see this surreal life we call NYS government go on!?

  2. Drew Ludwig March 31, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    I am now more convinced then ever that this site has the best political coverage of Western New York. It’s easy to blog opinions (I know from experience) but you do the hard work of journalism. Excellent work.

    The only regret that I have is there is no note on whether you attempted to reach Paladino for comment. I am pretty sure we all know what the answer would be, but it is still the right thing to do.

    • Jerrod March 31, 2010 at 9:44 am #

      And you dont think Carl thought that this would come out? Please give the man some credit not the lame ass nerdy bloggers on this site

      • Alan Bedenko March 31, 2010 at 10:02 am #

        There’s nothing more pathetic than a blog commenter calling someone “nerdy”.

      • Christopher Smith March 31, 2010 at 10:24 am #

        I don’t know if he thought it would or not. Frankly, I don’t care.

        Carl has positioned himself to run for the Conservative Party and Republican Party lines with a narrative of “I’m just a self made business man and long time Republican…unlike that Democrat hack Steve Levy and career insider Rick Lazio”.

        Turns out, Carl isn’t a long time Republican, he’s the ultimate insider, has been sucking off government money for decades (more coming on that later), and is a major donor to Democrats, Democratic Committees and the very organization (the DACC) which he says should disqualify Steve Levy as a Republican candidate.

        If you don’t find that to be “newsworthy” or you think it’s crap or whatever, that’s your right.

    • Dan March 31, 2010 at 10:13 am #

      “The hard work of journalism” – Like taking a photo of a registered Republican and drawing an arrow and writing the word Democrat on it?

      Or the “expose” that a businessman who exists in a pay to play world has made donations to such “partisan hacks” as Judge Drury and Robin Schimminger.


  3. Mike in WNY March 31, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    I think the time has come that WNYMedia should come clean and stop trying to portray itself has a “news” site.  You are entitled to publish anything you want, but be honest and admit that you are advocates for the progressive agenda and more than willing to jump in with both feet to smear anyone opposed to your beliefs.

    • Alan Bedenko March 31, 2010 at 10:08 am #

      What “smear”? Is there something written here that’s untrue? If so, produce it.

      But if you’re suggesting that the individual writers on this site each has an independent political bias, no shit sherlock.

    • Christopher Smith March 31, 2010 at 10:08 am #

      I fail to see how linking to factual documentation of Carl Paladino’s political donation history is a “smear campaign”. Reality tends to have a liberal bias…

      • Mike in WNY March 31, 2010 at 10:17 am #

        The news you choose to pursue has a liberal bias . . .

      • Alan Bedenko March 31, 2010 at 10:19 am #

        Carl probably shouldn’t have gone after Levy for his Democratic past. It makes him look like…what’s that word? Oh yeah.


  4. Dan March 31, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Truth has a liberal bias. ROTFL
    Question – is Carl Paladino a Republican? Is Steve Levy a Democrat? Was yesterday 2005? Did Steve Levy donate $650 to Silver’s Committee? Did Carl?

    • Tom March 31, 2010 at 11:04 am #

      Paladino has given to Silver, it’s in the article and in the links.

      • Dan April 1, 2010 at 9:23 am #

        Please re- read the post. I will type slowly for those Tea Baggees out there – Has Carl Paladino contributed to Sheldon Silver’s Committee?

      • Christopher Smith April 1, 2010 at 9:54 am #


    • Marc Odien March 31, 2010 at 11:50 am #

      From now on all posts will be in picture book form for illiterate tea baggers. 

      • John April 2, 2010 at 8:36 am #

        I found this website while searching for info on candidates for Governor. I heard Carl Paladino at a meet and greet and wanted some more background info. I found the info helpful until I started to read the comments. When I saw the derogatory term “teabaggers” I realized this is probably a hit piece on Paladino and you are just trying to undermine his campaign. Way to alienate the Tea Party people like myself. It didn’t take very long to start the name calling did it? You are obviously not a conservative. I am still not sure who I will support for governor and I do want all the history on the candidates but you don’t do yourself any favors by insulting the tea party.

      • Alan Bedenko April 2, 2010 at 8:45 am #

        Captain Obvious, to the rescue.

  5. Eisenbart March 31, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    A developer in Buffalo who’s registered Democrat but isn’t really? Wow how unexpected.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I have to recover from a bad case of whiplash from my eyes rolling to the back of my head.

    I think Carl Paladino is whatever makes him the most money. Isn’t that what all politics and business are?

  6. TDS March 31, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    With all due respect… the research you’ve done also indicates that these groups have donated to both sides of the aisle, often competing with each other (e.g. Swan donated to the ECDC and the ECRC in the same year). Since you have conveniently left out who Paladino’s partners are in these ventures, it’d be very difficult to determine who made the decisions to make those donations.

    I don’t know what this article is intending to do, other than perhaps propagate a smear campaign. Clearly it doesn’t seem to come from someone who is pro-Levy.

    • Marc Odien March 31, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

      @TDS Just because the word “group” is in each one of these political slush funds, doesn’t imply there are more than one person involved. They are all registered to Carl and its all carl’s money. KTHXBI

      • TDS March 31, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

        “LP” does. “Limited Partnership” requires more than one person– otherwise it’d be a sole proprietorship. The additional partners may or may not have say in the company’s management (hence “limited”) but in every one of those cases, at least one other person’s money is involved in the LP.

      • Christopher Smith March 31, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

        All of these were checked out prior to posting, I didn’t include it in the article, but since you asked…

        The New York State Secretary of State shows the following records:

        Niagara Group, CEO, Carl Paladino
        Mohawk Group, CEO, Carl Paladino
        Swan Group, CEO, Carl Paladino
        Slade Group, CEO, Carl Paladino
        Michigan-Seneca Group, CEO, Carl Paladino
        8246 Group, CEO, Carl Paladino
        2668 Group, CEO, Carl Paladino
        Ellicott Development, CEO, Carl Paladino
        Ellicott Group, CEO, Carl Paladino
        Ellicott Group, LLC CEO, Carl Paladino
        Ellicott Group A Partnership, CEO, Carl Paladino
        9274 Group, CEO, Carl Paladino
        Jefferson-Utica Group, CEO, Carl Paladino
        JP Group, Never registered as corporation in New York State

      • Alan Bedenko March 31, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

        And the limited partners in a limited partnership don’t generally get a say in how the partnership is operated, and their liability is thereby limited. The general partner makes the decision and absorbs the brunt of the liability. In this case, the partnerships in question ran their donations out of Paladino’s office. It can therefore be concluded that Paladino was the general partner.

      • Christopher Smith March 31, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

        The better way to say it is that Carl is the CEO and registered agent of the corporation/partnership. The end.

  7. Jack March 31, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    What a dumbass – how could he be criticizing Levy when he did exactly the same thing? This is the exact reason why he’d make such a moronic candidate.

    • Samthebarber April 14, 2010 at 1:42 am #

      The MAJOR difference is…Carl Paladino was a BUSINESSMAN playing the game that has to be played in order to be successful in E. Germany..I mean Upstate NY. LEVY was and is a POLITICIAN and therefore his political contributions are or more interest in that he has been apart of this corrupt political class. Wake up and smell the roses boys…Carl may not be perfect in his personal life but as a businessman he is one of the smartest most qualifies men in this State and his firsthand experience with the basically pay to play policies in this State (None of which are illegal) gives him the unique opportunity as a political outsider unbeholden to the special interests in going after the people who perpetuate this ridiculous game.

  8. Mike In WNY March 31, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Just to put things in a bit of perspective, Paladino was a registered democrat in a city filled predominantly with democrats. Steve Levy is the Democrat Suffolk County Executive. Comparing the two is like comparing the two is like comparing a glass of water to Lake Erie, yes they are both filled with water . . .

    • Alan Bedenko March 31, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

      Suffolk County’s enrollment is overwhelmingly Republican and Conservative.

      I didn’t even need to look that up – I knew it instinctively. But I was right.

      So, what’s your point?

      • Mike In WNY March 31, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

        The point is that Levy’s historical political affiliation is more relevant than Paladino’s.

      • Alan Bedenko March 31, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

        They’re both relevant. Carl made them so.

      • Ike March 31, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

        I’d bet dollars to donuts that being registered democrat is one of the costs of doing business in the real estate development world in Buffalo and New York State in general…

  9. Starbuck March 31, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    None of this matters much since Cuomo will win easily, so by definition any of us who even comment on it are politics nerds. Now with that out of the way….

    Mike in WNY, you make a good point about some people in places like Buffalo registering as D for a practical reason of that choices are only in primaries. Perhaps Levy can’t make that same claim in Suffolk, but on the other hand maybe there’s very little ideological difference between the D and R parties down there and it doesn’t matter for that reason. So by itself I don’t think their history as D’s makes either Levy or Paladino in any way worse than Lazio.

    However, in that donation list don’t you agree Paladino’s support of Jim Keane (presumably for the election vs. Collins since he had also donated to Paul Clark), and of Marinelli and Mesi, were strange decisions and make him look very unprincipled? His donations to Hoyt’s campaign against Kavanaugh don’t matter because both of them are so far left. But favoring Keane over Collins, and Marinelli and Mesi – all taken together look like weird choices for a Tea Party hero, along with his donations to Lenihan and the EC Dem party. This is one of the few times I agree with Pundit and Geek about anything.

    • Paws April 1, 2010 at 7:52 am #

      Paladino was contributing to Collins and Ranzenhofer as well as Keane and Mesi.

      • Starbuck April 1, 2010 at 11:44 am #

        But why even donate to both sides in competitive races like that where there’s a clear choice? And it was so recent. Doesn’t that make him look ideologically unprincipled and greatly weaken his criticism of Levy?

  10. Paws April 1, 2010 at 7:50 am #


    I suggest adding up yearly contributions on his corporations. In 2008 it appears that on multiple corporations he exceed the corporate contribution limit. I have him around $8,000 with the Mohawk Group, INC in donations in 2008, that would be $3,000 more than $5,000 corporate contribution limit.

  11. konall April 2, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Chris…….good job and thank you.

  12. Myron Levy April 10, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    The City of Buffalo school system is a wreck. Bennett H.S. used to be one of the best high schools in the city. It is now described as a “troubled” school by the state education officials. The state of New York is an economic mess. Wait until the 2010 census figures come out. You will be rocked to your very core at the population losses across the state. The economy of NYS is not healthy. How come you people at WNY Media cannot see what has happened to the WNY area? Why can’t you see that the local politicians have done nothing? Is it because you are so young that you have no perspective? Is it because you are so blinded by your loyalty to current politicians who are liars, frauds, cheats, thieves, and scam artists? Change or die. NYS has not changed. It is dying. Drip, drip, drip. The life blood drips away. Do you ever travel to the east side of Buffalo? Take a drive. It was not always in the condition that you now see it. It is a disgrace to those of us who have a memory. Your knowledge base is myopic and narrow. Paladino is the only one who offers any real change. You will be a slave to Cuomo. Cuomo, if he wins, will do nothing. The state is running out of money and all it can do is propose taxes and borrowing. Suicide is coming. The state is dying. 500,000 manufacturing jobs lost under the first Gov. Cuomo. They have no ideas. It is business as usual. SEIU and the public sector unions rule the state. Why is that fair? Why should taxpayers be slaves to these elites? Tell me, why it is fair that I should pay for someone else’s health insurance? Why can’t public sector employees save for their own retirements? Where is the equality? Where is the fairness? You are phonies and frauds. Why can’t other taxpayers in the private sector save for their retirements, instead of paying obscene taxes? WHY? WHY? WHY? There is no law against forming corporations. Paladino can form as many corporations as he desires. How come you don’t write about how the private sector has been driven out of NYS? Where are the private sector companies and jobs in NYS and WNY? Since you apparently are so clever, why not provide a detailed and comprehensive article about the Fortune 500 companies in WNY? Oh thats right, there are no Fortune 500 companies in WNY. Thay all left. WHERE ARE THE PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS? EVERYONE CANNOT WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT. Your deliberate ignorance is nothing short of unprofessional and outrageous. You liberals always talk about “obscene profits” earned by corporations, yet you never write about the “OBSCENE TAXES” that we pay in NYS. The taxes in NYS are 78% above the national state average. You are phonies. Your loyalty to the political elites who have destroyed this State is disgusting.


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