Characterizing their intentions as "malicious and hostile," Paladino accused the Buffalo News of spreading "unsubstantiated, libelous and defamatory lies" with their front page story on March 12.
In response to direct allegations in the story, regarding money owed to campaign staffers Michael Caputo and Michael Johns, Paladino has this to say:
My campaign owes nothing to Michael Caputo or his band of parasitic malcontents against whom we have defenses, offsets or counterclaims. None were employees. All were independent contractors on nebulous oral agreements made without authority by Caputo. Their plan was to see what they could rip off before they get caught.
Michael Johns was retained to study and produce a get-out-the vote plan utilizing Tea Party volunteers. He conspired to change the terms of his oral contract and got caught. He was paid in advance over $18,000 for two months of services and expenses. His bill for $8,000 is more than offset by our claim for services and work product never rendered.
Paladino went on to reject the idea that the Buffalo News could judge his campaign and suggested that the paper was being used.
"It's the same basic story for the rest. People with legitimate campaign obligations were paid in full. The scam artists can sue us," concluded Paladino.