Both Carl Paladino and Andrew Cuomo took time out of their frantic gubernatorial schedules this week to meet with Jewish leaders in Brooklyn to kiss some rings and try to scrum up some votes. Paladino, who called himself "unintimidatable" during his meeting, was introduced by Rabbi Yehuda Levin, who defended Paladino's comments against "baby killing" Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and thinks by "spiritual perspective" that Paladino will be governor: "...our values are too important to be left to the left-leaning losers of the Orthodox community who are selling our heritage and our Godly values for a bunch of lentils, scheckles and pottage. No more. Carl Paladino is the arising of a new era."
Rabbi Levin's support aside, Cuomo definitely had the more productive outing, despite an uncomfortable run-in with embattled party boss Vito Lopez. According to a new Siena College poll, three-quarters of Jews favor Cuomo, and only 16 percent said they'd vote for Paladino. “Even if the margin of error was 10 percent, you’re talking about a blowout among Jewish voters for Cuomo,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg. Interestingly, the largest share of ethnic support for Cuomo is African Americans, who chose Cuomo at a rate of 94 percent to 0 for Paladino according to Siena.
One Jew who is definitely voting for Cuomo: former Mayor Ed Koch, who gave his official endorsement to the current Attorney General, saying he "has put forth a thorough agenda to achieve independence, accountability and transparency." It's an endorsement that carries some weight, considering all the bad blood and innuendo that has gone on between the two after the infamous 1977 “Vote For Cuomo, Not the Homo” smear campaign, which Rabbi Levin also brought up this week. Koch told Esquire that he doesn't attribute it to the Cuomos however: "Andrew says he didn't do it, and I believe him. Mario says he thinks he now knows who did it. I was very angry at the time...But I've forgiven them. I'm eighty-five now, and grudges take your energy away. I've forgiven them all."