Carl Pasquale Paladino

isn't as wealthy as Mayor Bloomberg, but he is still damn wealthy; it's been estimated that he's worth around $150 million, and he's already pledged to use at least $10 million of that toward his campaign for governor. Yesterday, he made another pledge: to work for free if he is elected. "If I had to take the salary, I'd donate it. When I say donate it, I mean the whole thing...I'm not motivated by money. I'm not motivated by power. I have no ego to fulfill and I don't need praise or a pat on the back."

Paladino didn't discuss that he was already getting paid during the campaign, by himself: the millionaire has forwarded at least $1.9 million in campaign money to seven separate companies he controls, paying himself to buy TV ads, provide space for campaign offices and even hire an accountant, according to the Daily News. Election law doesn't forbid such an arrangement, as long as he is charging a fair-market rate, but it is still an unusual circumstance.

But Paladino is certainly no strange to having to deal with unusual circumstances and allegations. The Voice reports on an incident where he bullied an employee during a labor management dispute; Politico points out several people who contradict Paladino's story about helping negotiate a student standoff in college: “He’s either living in Cloud Cuckooland or, shall we say, his historical memory is clouded by whatever it is,” said David Bennett.

Maybe this shouldn't be surprising coming from a student of the king of caginess, Roger Stone, who gave a masterclass in politics today: according to reports, Stone has been the secret guardian/guider of Paladino's campaign. His former secretary is Paladino’s scheduler; Michael Caputo, Paladino's campaign manager, used to be Stone's driver. Stone has been giving Paladino advice behind-the-scenes, quietly encouraging him (he told NY Magazine, “I think more voters in New York can relate to Carl Paladino than the reporters of the New York Times.") even as he publicly criticized him today.

With all of these swirling storylines and chaotic contradictions, we can't imagine what the Paladino campaign office must look like right now.