Governor's Race Goes to the Dogs, Literally

October 21, 2010 Updated Oct 21, 2010 at 3:09 PM EDT

By WKBW Programming

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Credit: New York Times

Carl Paladino and dog Duke. Courtesy: New York Times

October 21, 2010 Updated Oct 21, 2010 at 3:09 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - In a political climate that has seen mud-slinging ads, paparazzi-style reporting and a campaign based on rent being too high, there is little left that will surprise mid-term voters.

In the latest twist, however, it appears the coverage of the New York State governor's race had literally gone to the dogs.

According to Michael Caputo, campaign manager for Carl Paladino, the New York Times visited Buffalo City Hall to try and dig up dirt on Duke, Paladino's pit bull.

In a release sent to the media, Caputo says representatives from the New York Times visited the The Office of Vital Statistics for the City of Buffalo asking to see Duke's dog license.

The Paladino camp assures the public that Duke is properly registered.

The Paladino campaign has been critical of the media for delving deep into the businessman's personal life while claiming they give his Democratic opponent Andrew Cuomo a free ride on similar issues.

The latest Siena poll numbers show Paladino trailing Cuomo by 37 points among likely voters. The full release from the Paladino campaign can be read below:

Media colleagues:

The Office of Vital Statistics for the City of Buffalo alerted the
Paladino family that the New York Times was visited City Hall asking
to see Duke's dog license. I want to alert the media right now that
Duke is properly registered as a canine resident of Buffalo.

Every day I get calls from reporters carrying water for Andrew Cuomo.
They read the same allegations, word for word, from memos provided by
the Cuomo campaign. We spend time shooting them down, one at a time.
However, when one embarrassed reporter drops the story the Cuomo camp
simply passes it down the food chain. Eventually, the Cuomo opposition
research hits bottom at the New York Post - they invariably write it
word for word.

To all of you who do your own reporting and reject the Cuomo script -
thank you for your responsible journalism. To those who pretend to
come to me with original ideas jumping off Cuomo's memos, word-for
word - we're on to you. You are irresponsible, ridiculous and lazy.

Fred Dicker and the New York Post are gutter rats for stalking and
photographing a ten-year old girl. I don't know what to think of the
imperial Gray Lady tailing a dog. Any reporter who is compelled to put
Duke under the spotlight, I give you an understated word of advice:
Beware of Dog.