Gun control, fracking protesters greet Cuomo at Buffalo fundraiser

Nov 20, 2013

A large fundraising affair for Governor Andrew Cuomo brought protestors to downtown Buffalo Tuesday night.

The crowd included an intermixing of people opposed to the governor's gun control SAFE Act and a smaller group seeking a ban on hydrofracking for natural gas.

Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

"This is what democracy looks like," many chanted.

Both were behind police barriers on the Pearl Street side of the Hyatt Regency while perhaps 500 people were inside kicking in an estimated half-million dollars to Cuomo's campaign coffers.

Carl Paladino, who lost to Cuomo three years ago, bought radio ads to encourage protestors to show up.

"This is four years later and I don't think many of us can say that things are better today than when he took office. We suffered through the SAFE Act nightmare. We suffered giving us gambling, more gambling to take more money from the poor people in Upstate to ship it Downstate. It does nothing for the economy because the profits of those gambling casinos are going to go right out of state," Paladino said.

Paladino says he is considering another run against Cuomo next year, saying his decision depends on the Republicans finding an opponent to the governor who shares the developer's views on guns, taxes, and the economy.

Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Not everyone was critical of the governor's record. Kaleida Health CEO James Kaskie was at the fundraiser. Kaskie says the governor is helping this area.

"I'm here because our governor, Governor Cuomo, is absolutely an advocate for Western New York and he is working with the 'Billion for Buffalo' and working in so many ways to advance the economy, advance the community for the people of Western New York," Kaskie said.

Aides to the governor didn't make him available to talk to reporters, saying he doesn't do interviews when involved with fundraising.