Tip O’Neill told us that “all politics is local.” It certainly is and we’d better pay attention, lest some of these wingnuts, who are running for public office, turn around and try to bite us.
It’s becoming clear that one of the oddest of the odd candidates is the Tea Party/Republican choice for New York State Governor, Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino. He’s already promised that if he is elected, “there’ll be blood on the floor.” [Here] His campaign is weird, his public statements are weird and we are learning things about his personal life that could only be described as low-down, if not weird. We must conclude that that is precisely the way Carl wants to present himself to the voters of the State of New York.
We could make a long list of the foolish and distasteful things that Carl Paladino has said, but the most sober and responsible commentator so far about Paladino is Bob Herbert in Tuesday’s NYTimes. [Here] Herbert has taken on the issue of the pile of vile emails that Paladino sent to a wide swath of folks. Most are so offensive that editors have simply alluded to them.
Herbert doesn’t play coy, but punches through to the heart of the issue: [Here]
The e-mails raise legitimate questions about the fitness of the sender to hold the highest office in the state, and Mr. Paladino should feel an obligation to put those questions to rest.
Michael Caputo, Paladino’s campaign manager, has simply said that his boss has apologized a number of times and said what the candidate has repeated, viz. that he used “bad judgment.” With that statement, Mr. Caputo acts as if the case is closed.
It isn’t nor should it be. Bad judgment, Mr. Caputo? One email was a picture of a large airplane, either taking off or landing, with a group of black men scrambling to get out of its path. The caption under the picture said, “Run niggers, Run." This was not a judgment call, but a flat out racist remark. The bad judgment was in demonstrating so vividly one’s racism.
There were other emails, including a video of a nude couple having sex, titled “Miss France,” a woman copulating with a horse, and so on.
Bad judgment, Mr. Paladino? Certainly, but that’s not all. I’d say these showed his true stripes as a sexist and a racist. When one adds these emails to other comments that Paladino has made in the past, a picture of a crude boor emerges with comments such as this one to the Buffalo News when he said, “I go after all of them. I don’t care if they’re a Dago or a Polack.” [Here] (He also needs a grammar lesson.)
A few days ago the NYPost published an interview with Mrs. Mary Catherine Paladino and she revealed to us another unpleasant chapter in Carl’s life. [Here] About a year ago their 29-year old son was killed in an automobile accident. Shortly after that tragic shock (the Post tells us "hours"), Carl informed his wife that he had fathered a 10-year old daughter by another woman. He added that everyone in their family and most of their friends already knew. (Yes, the poor wife was the last to know.)
Carl is certainly a nasty piece of work. I certainly hope that he will not be the governor of my state any time soon. If elected, he promises to slash the state budget, particularly medicaid. He also promises not to work with the most powerful person in the state legislature, Sheldon Silver. (Nifty, eh?) He’s against all abortions with the only exception to preserve the life of the mother. He also has proposed to use prisons as dorms for welfare recipients and to retrain the guards as counselors.
I’ll stop here. And let’s hope the voters of the State of New York with stop him, too.
One last question: How in the world did he get this far?...