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Paladino says it's too soon to evaluate Cuomo

 ALBANY -- Carl Paladino says it's too soon to judge whether Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is doing a good job in office.

"Nothing's been done yet. There's been a lot of talk, so let's see how it goes," the Buffalo businessman who lost to Cuomo last fall said today during a brief stop at the Capitol.

Paladino is in town attending a state Conservative Party gathering. Paladino, who said he has had no contact with Cuomo, was asked if he had plans to return to Albany to offer his insights on the state.

 "What does a bull in a china shop do?" he Responded. The Republican said he would not run for governor again. Paladino suggested Cuomo's property tax cap -- which the state Senate will pass later today but is so far stalled in the Assembly -- does not go far enough. In his campaign last year, Paladino called for property tax reductions, not just an annual cap based on current levels.

"You can't keep this level of taxation on the people because they're moving away," Paladino said. He added, "We're a mess. Let's not forget that. We are a mess, and the only way we're going to straighten it out is by some really strong leadership, and I hope Mr. Cuomo provides that."

As for talk of Cuomo laying off possibly 10,000 workers or more, he said, "What's wrong with that?"

"You're saying that every state worker has an absolutely fulfilling job responsibility? That's not true," Paladino added.

If he were governor, he would have fired 25,000 state workers, he said.

--Tom Precious

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