NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino says if elected he will do the job for absolutely nothing.
The multimillionaire Buffalo real estate developer said Tuesday night at a fundraiser at a winery in Perinton, N.Y., that he would forgo the $179,000 salary if possible. If he can't for legal reasons, he would give the money to charity.
"If I had to take the salary, I'd donate it," Paladino said, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. "When I say donate it, I mean the whole thing. I think there are a lot of worthy causes that could use the money."
Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo has said the campaign was looking into ways for Paladino to dispense with the salary. At this point, they're unclear whether there are certain rules or restrictions on him forgoing a salary or donating it to specific charities.
However, many wealthy politicians work for little or no pay. And more candidates are promising to do the same.
For example, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California gives his $206,500 salary back to the state. Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire and New York City mayor, does the job for just $1.
California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO and billionaire, also has promised not to take a salary.
In August, Robert Bentley, a retired dermatologist and the Republican nominee for governor in Alabama, offered an accountability measure that would tie his pay as governor to his performance. He said he will not take the office's $113,000 salary until the state reaches full employment -- or a 5.2 percent jobless rate.
Paladino, a Tea Party-backed Republican, is facing popular Democratic candidate, Andrew Cuomo, at the polls in November. Cuomo is New York's current Attorney General.
According to a Siena Research Institute poll, released on Tuesday, Cuomo is ahead of Paladino by 24 points.
The survey found about six of 10 voters had a negative view of Paladino and agreed that he is "a loose cannon, who doesn't have the temperament to be governor."
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.