BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - He's been a fiery cannon with his calls for change. Buffalodeveloper and gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino has alsostirred up a cauldron of controversy with his welfare reform plan.What exactly does he have in the cards?
Carl Paladino says some of the statewide reporting on his planto get people back to work is a bit off the mark. For one, he sayshe does not plan to send welfare recipients to prison.
Paladino wanted to meet our cameras in front of Buffalo's St.Luke's mission, stating, "This is my inspiration right here. Theytake them in. They help them along. They move them out into thework force."
Paladino believes the state of New York can and should be doingthe same thing. The local developer wants to call it "DignityCorps."
"We're talking about a bold proposal," said Paladino.
Paladino says his plan would offer support for people onwelfare, unemployed or lacking job skills.
Paladino explained, "If you're an able-bodied man or woman, youwill be compelled. If you want to get your help from the state ofNew York, you're going to have to join this program and work forit."
The Buffalo developer envisions reusing old prisons and collegesand other buildings to teach life skills.
"You take down all the barbed wire. You take out all thenonsense about being a prison. We're reusing a facility," explainedPaladino.
Pelle Grant said, "No, no. Not a prison."
Grant says she likes the idea, but can't get past the idea of aprison backdrop.
"Not as good as it would be," said Grant.
Deborah Quarles questioned, "Why would anybody disagree withthat?"
Quarles thinks the idea of getting people back to work, nomatter where they're trained, is a good idea.
Quarles said, "It's a building. It was a prison. They're goingto convert the old prisons into centers, basically. They're notsending them to jail. They're sending them to train."
"And give them an opportunity that maybe they never had before,okay, to leave the welfare system, and to become fulfillingresidents of this state," said Paladino.
Republican Rick Lazio's camp declined to comment on the Paladinoplan.
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