Last week, Democrat Andrew Cuomo announced he had nearly $24 million in the bank for his gubernatorial campaign. This number was especially astonishing given that the Republican nominee, Rick Lazio, had less than $700,000 in the bank (his team emphasized Lazio had raised $3 million overall). So why does Cuomo need so much money? Yesterday, the Attorney General explained it was all because of Carl Paladino.

Paladino has Tea Party support plus his wealth as a real estate developer in Buffalo to help propel him in the election season; his spokesman recently mocked Lazio's campaign finance numbers, "Rick Lazio’s embarrassing finance report is another boldface reminder that he can’t win." When asked about his war chest, Cuomo said yesterday at an event in Albany County, "One of the opponents is a multi-millionaire who has said he can put his hand in his own pocket and spend millions of dollars. And if you don’t have the money to run a campaign you’re not competitive... By the way: I don’t think politics should just be for millionaires. I don’t. But you have to raise millions, so I had to go out and raise millions of dollars."

The question was posed by Capital Confidential's Jimmy Vielkind, who wrote, "It’s interesting to me that Cuomo is now acknowledging Paladino may be his opponent in a general election, which given Lazio’s anemic fundraising and his stated willingness to spend $10 million of his own money on a campaign could come to pass." Cuomo also said, "I have to raise money to be competitive... I did not make a lot of money, much to the chagrin of myself, but even more my daughters. I don’t have family money, so I can’t look to my family to support the campaign, so I have to raise money."