The New York Governors' took on an even Kafkaesque quality this week when The New York Daily News attacked New York Republican Gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino for adhering to New York State election law. Under the election law, when a candidate utilizes anything of value from a commercial company he or she owns, they must either declare the value of those items as an in-kind contribution, or they must pay for them. The only crime exists if the candidate utilizes, say, computers, office space, office personnel, or office supplies, and neither reports nor pays for them. In one of the most twisted pieces of reporting in 40 years in journalism, The Daily News actually faulted Buffalo builder Carl Paladino because his campaign utilized people, office space, word processors, and office supplies from his real estate business for his campaign and properly paid for them. In view of the fact that 90% of Paladino's campaign funds came from Paladino personally, he, in essence, paid for legitimate campaign expenditures with legitimate campaign funds.

Mort Zuckerman
The Daily News also criticized Paladino for setting up his own media production and buying firm to make radio and television commercials, and purchasing television radio and cable airtime. Such an arrangement is legal and far more cost-efficient than purchasing the services from some existing media production and placement company. The real fault of The Daily News is the way they attempted to make these various, perfectly legal, and largely unorthodox financial actions sound sinister or illegal. If Paladino is funding his own campaign, he is entitled to use those funds for any legal purpose, including paying his various commercial companies for the use of goods and services utilized in the campaign. In fact he is required by law to do so. The Daily News also ran a hatchet job criticizing Paladino for participating in a number of state programs which give tax and other incentives to developers -- the kind of programs Daily News Publisher Mort Zuckerman has fully participated in. Oops!