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At Paladin’s final outburst, the Democratic Chairman calls out Zeldin’s silence

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News Politics: Republican congressional candidate Carl P. Paladino’s latest controversial comments are now entering this year’s election for governor.

State Democratic Chairman Jay S. Jacobs Thursday criticized Rep. Lee Zeldin, the GOP gubernatorial candidate, for ignoring the Wednesday revelation that Paladino suggested to a radio interviewer that Attorney General Merrick Garland “probably should be executed” for authorizing the FBI search of former President Donald J. Trump’s Florida estate.

“As a member of Congress, Zeldin should apply that principle across the board whether the threats are made to Republicans or Democrats,” Jacobs said. “It’s no surprise that when a threat is made by someone in his own party, Zeldin chooses to stay silent given his continued alliance with far-right extremists like Carl Paladino.”

Now Jacobs, a key backer of Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, is making every possible connection between Zeldin and Paladino. He noted the congressman’s acceptance of Paladino’s 2021 endorsement, and taking almost $7,000 in his donations since 2014. Jacobs also pointed to increasing threats toward law enforcement across the nation from groups opposing the FBI action. He singled out an armed suspect attempting to breach the Cincinnati FBI office, threats of a dirty bomb outside Washington FBI headquarters, and far-right social media posts calling for attacks on FBI agents.

“It’s important for all of us – everybody in government, everybody out of government who cares and have a medium, to tell everybody that political violence in every form has no place in this country,” he told Fox News.

His campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Paladino spokesman Vish Burra reiterated Wednesday that the candidate was joking and that no further comment was needed.

The congressional candidate has a history of incendiary statements, such as his 2021 comment calling Adolf Hitler an “inspirational” leader that surfaced in June. Paladino has often backtracked from those statements. “I should have used Churchill,” he told The Buffalo News on June 9. While originally denying claims that he shared a Facebook post linking mass killings in Buffalo and Texas to “false flag” ideas, Paladino a day later acknowledged sharing the content because it was posted by a friend, and that he often shares content with which he does not agree.

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