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Roberto says he had role in Paladino’s upset win

September 28, 2010

Not satisfied with the political system?

Leonard Roberto was and he set out to do something about it. The Republican candidate for New York's 27th Congressional district explained what he did and how he got involved in the political process.

"I started Primary Challenge, which is basically a teaching aid for anyone who wants to enter into political life," he explained. "We teach them how the processs works, how to get on the ballot, how to circulate a petition, where the landmines are and teach you not to step on them, because if you do you're not going to be on the ballot and so on.

"Carl Paladino's campaign, his petition drive, was in large measure a product of Primary Challenge. We got more than 50 percent of the signatures on his petitions, both of them. We helped put Carl Paladino on the ballot."

Roberto was asked what Carl Paladino's win in the Republican primary says about the party in the state and nationally.

"The reason that Primary Challenge and the Tea Party has the momentum and strength that it has is because of the total dysfunction of both major political parties, Democrats and Republicans," he replied. "We have Democrats with us as well so it's not just being disenfranchised by one party or the other, it's being disenfranchised by both parties.

"Parties that wouldn't let people run for public office, would literally use the power of the office they were holding, or the power of the party, to harass the people in their business, in their personal life to wash them out of the system. Those days are over.

"Primary Challenge is equipping people statewide to go after these people. To give them the tools necessary to affect the political process from a nominating standpoint but also to run for public office, get on the ballot and be effective in your race. We have candidates running for the Assembly and the Senate right now in New York state, obviously we have Congressional candidates running this year as well. In fact we have two."


Roberto was asked for his take on the national Republican Party at this point if they were to get the majority and how he would be able to influence the party.

"I think nationally the Tea Party is pulling the Republican Party, in particular, back to its philosophical roots," he replied. "I think we're going to have much more of an effect bringing government back within the confines of the Constitution, bringing fiscal responsibility back than we would have had, had the Tea Party not had the effect it's having today. They're very conscious of the fact now with the internet with Primary Challenge. In fact Primary Challenge has been replicated in 34 states in the union, right now before the campaign started.

"Their game is over, both political parties. We unwound the maze they created for the political process. Average people are running for public office and winning.

"The committees are being manned now by average people who want to have an effect on the nominating process and over time, it's going to take some time, but over time we're going to see the benefit of those things. Better representation, more fiscal responsibility, more conservative values being brought to bear, more consistent with the philosophy of our forefathers than the philosophy of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi."

Roberto has been in contact with the National Republican Committee

"They're helping us with the issues books to let us know what the issues are, what the positions are of my opponent, his voting record and things like that," he said. "Because I'm a Congressional candidate they can't give directly to the candidate, they have to fund advertising and things like that on their own apart from the campaign. I can have no part in what they advertise and things of that nature. They will do that if I close the gap. If I can show them that we're within seven points within 14 days of the end of the campaign so my job is to close that gap."



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