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Cuomo in Yonkers; Paladino with rabbis in Brooklyn

Monday Oct 25 2010 12:37:00 PM COMMENTS

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo campaigned Sunday at an African-American church here, while Carl Paladino held an unannounced, closed-door meeting with Orthodox Jewish leaders in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

After the church service, Cuomo, whose campaign has issued a series of books detailing his policy proposals, told reporters that, while the transit needs of New Yorkers was a "major priority," he had no plans to offer more specifics before next week’s election.

"Why isn’t there a transit book?" Cuomo said, responding to that very question after speaking at the Kingdom Christian Cultural Center. "Just because when you’re prioritizing the top issues for the state, transit was more of a metropolitan issue, a downstate metropolitan issue."

The Democratic nominee for governor, who often refers the media to his policy books for details of his proposals, said his administration "will have transportation policies and transit policies and the MTA will be a major priority."

Cuomo, who also reiterated that pushing for legalizing gay marriage will be "a major priority," explained why he largely stayed out of last year’s debate on the issue.

"I wasn’t the governor last year, I was the attorney general," he said. "Hopefully next year I’ll be the governor and the governor has the ability to lobby, I think effectively, in the Senate."

Cuomo said he could have lobbied for the bill last year, but said, "it was the governor’s agenda item. It was his fight."

Paladino’s Williamsburg visit, meanwhile, was the Republican’s first to the neighborhood and his first-known meeting with Orthodox leaders since his speech two weeks ago in which he said he didn’t want children "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option."

Paladino dodged reporters after his 40-minute meeting, saying he was late to a meeting.

Earlier, he predicted to WABC-AM radio host Bob Grant that he would win the election.

At the Williamsburg meeting, Isaac Abraham, a housing advocate and 2008 candidate for New York City Council, said Paladino used the gathering as a way to move beyond the anti-gay rhetoric that dominated his prior encounter with Orthodox rabbis.

Sunday, a Suffolk tea party group announced that Paladino would be appearing at a Hicksville rally Tuesday, but Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo declined to confirm that the candidate will be there.Boston Herald

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