Well it looks like the Gubernatorial race is kicking off to a civilized start, with Republican candidate Carl Paladino saying Andrew Cuomo has "No Cojones" and won't "be a man" and debate (even though Cuomo's rep said he's very much open to a debate whenever Paladino wants to bring it). Now, the Democratic candidate is really firing back at Paladino's antics, reportedly saying in a talk to his team, "If a guy says you have no cojones, how do you punch him back, call him an a--hole?" It's on!

A Rasmussen Reports poll says that the Democrats have a 54%-38% lead against "Crazy Carl," so Cuomo has been reluctant to stoop to Paladino's level (save for the occasional photoshop job). But he allegedly griped to his team, "We have all this stuff [on Paladino] and we're on the defensive." And considering Paladino has a "Lack-of-Courage Counter" on his website, tracking the days since Cuomo was challenged to a debate, it might be time to do away with the "no comment" approach.

Cuomo and his team have spoken out a bit against Paladino, with State Democratic party leader Jay Jacobs saying, "He is definitely holding true to my sense that he is truly a wacky candidate who doesn't deserve any consideration by moderates or fair-minded individuals." Cuomo respectfully disagreed with Paladino's opinions, saying, "l don't know Mr. Paladino, and I don't think my characterization is all that relevant or appropriate, you know. That's why we have a democracy, that's why we have elections. And the people of the state are going to tell you what they think." Assemblyman Dov Hikind simply asked, "What the hell is wrong with him? Is he out of his freakin' mind?" At least he's no racist.