Most of the attention for this year's election is on Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino's fight for the Governor's Mansion, but one big state race that's happening is the one for State Comptroller. The state has serious budget problems, thanks to the poor economy, and the state pension's fund has taken a serious hit as well. Last night, current Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and his Republican challenger Harry Wilson had a debate where they tried to haunt each other with their pasts.

DiNapoli has the job because the last one, Alan Hevesi, used state workers to chauffeur his sick wife—plus, allegedly, had investment firms give him and his aides kickbacks. When Hevesi stepped down, the Assembly—yes, the Sheldon Silver-led Assembly—appointed one of its members, DiNapoli, to the position, in spite of having no financial experience. His selection was received very poorly by the dailies and his office has also eyed in the state pension probe. This came up last night, with Wilson saying, "I have a relatively novel idea that the comptroller should actually have actual investment experience." Which might or might not be the kiss of death! Also the a possible kiss of death—Albany itself!

Wilson: I think Mr. DiNapoli’s forgetting which position he was appointed to. he wasn’t appointed to U.S. Senate. He was appointed to comptroller.

DiNapoli: Actually, I was elected comptroller by a lot of Republicans and a lot of Democrats.

Wilson: How many?

DiNapoli: One hundred and fifty.

Wilson: One hundred and fifty? How many voters in the state?

DiNapoli: Oh a lot, and they’ll be voting for me this November 2.


Wilson slammed DiNapoli as a "24-year creature of Albany" (though admitted he was a "nice man") while DiNapoli said Wilson, who used to work at a hedge fund, was "one of the Don Juans of Wall Street," noting that Wilson's old firm had investments in subprime mortgages, "He made millions, and people lost their homes. That shows you were a part of that great 'wizardry' on Wall Street." But Wilson fired back, saying that the state pension fund (which DiNapoli oversees) had similar kinds of investments, adding, "I didn’t work on it, because I didn’t work on financial services investments."

FWIW, Wilson still hasn't endorsed Paladino.