Candidate’s Scented Mailing Says Albany ‘Stinks’

By DAVID W. CHEN, The New York Times

There could be a surprise waiting in your mailbox this weekend, courtesy of Carl P. Paladino, a Republican candidate for governor. Not the front of the brochure, which states that “Something really stinks in Albany.” Nor the back, which features images of tarnished Democrats like Gov. David A. Paterson, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and former State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi.

But open it up, and you will be greeted by an unmistakable odor: rotting vegetables.

The tactic is emblematic of the in-your-face and unconventional insurgent campaign that has been waged by Mr. Paladino, a Buffalo businessman, against Rick A. Lazio, a former congressman and Wall Street lobbyist.

Mr. Paladino may have begun as a long shot with a knack for making insensitive remarks. But with a big financial advantage — he has pledged to spend $10 million of his own money — he has gained in recent polls and even persuaded some Republican leaders to abandon Mr. Lazio.

And what has helped him has been a blunt media strategy portraying Mr. Paladino as a disgruntled outsider and Tea Party conservative, and savaged Mr. Lazio and the presumptive Democratic nominee, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, as career politicians.

The new mailer states that “the stink of corruption in Albany is overpowering” and it provides a photo gallery of Democrats, most of whom have been mired in ethical or legal troubles.

The mailer includes, a bit incongruously, Representative Charles B. Rangel, though he has not been a state legislator since the 1960s. It also misspells the name of Hiram Monserrate, who was expelled from the State Senate, and conveniently omits Joseph L. Bruno, a Republican former Senate majority leader, who was convicted of federal corruption charges.

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