Carl Paladino Gets it Exactly Right

A Tweet from Bloomberg’s Dave Weigel, who is in Maryland covering the Conservative Political Action Committee’s annual confab.


I applaud Mr. Paladino for saying exactly the correct thing about Rudy Giuliani.

Seriously. Kudos.

Carl Paladino Threatens “Sisterhood”

Let’s get one thing out of the way: “blurt” is not a noun.

What follows is the text of an email that Carl Paladino sent to four women of color; three of whom sit with him on the Buffalo School Board. The fourth is the board’s attorney.

To: Ms. Barbara Nevergold

Ms. Sharon Cottman

Ms. Theresa Harris-Tigg

Ms. Rashondra Martin

Cc: Everybody

From: Carl Paladino

Date: February 24, 2015

Re: Slander

Over the last few months each of you has slandered me with blurts or the use of incomprehensible illogic and accusations that I am a racist and sexist or that I have a conflict of interest.

Slander may be defined as an intentional tort which means that I can initiate a lawsuit against each of you personally and you may not have the benefit to claim defense and indemnity from the Buffalo Public Schools.

Insofar as I am a public person, in order to establish slander I must also prove malice. Under New York case law, actual malice can be shown if prior to the slander you were put on notice that the slanderous statement is false and is not supported by fact.

This letter shall serve as notice to you that there is absolutely no discernible basis for your accusation that I am a racist or sexist. Further, there are two legal opinions from two different competent, qualified and objective attorneys that show that I, as a member of the Board of Education, have no conflict in dealing with issues involving charter schools.

This letter shall serve as further notice that in the event that you continue to offer false and defamatory statements, I intend to protect my reputation and will take all appropriate legal or other action at my disposal to do so.

Anyone with a checkbook can bring a lawsuit. It doesn’t mean anything. Anyone with a mouth or a pen or a computer can threaten a lawsuit. That, too, is meaningless.  The underlying question is whether the lawsuit has any merit.

Cutting again to the chase, were Carl Paladino to bring this threatened defamation lawsuit against the four women of color who serve with him on the board of education, his lawsuit would not likely withstand a motion to dismiss, because it would be completely without merit. In fact, anyone bringing it should be sanctioned for wasting the court’s time with utter frivolity.

Why? Because the underlying rationale behind defamation jurisprudence is that the plaintiff is protecting his reputation: his standing in the community, his good name. Alas, Carl Paladino’s reputation is not all that good. Sure, some people like him, and the Buffalo News has been his apologist-in-chief for decades, but Paladino is as reviled as he is beloved. Were Paladino to actually bring a slander lawsuit, and it made it past a motion to dismiss, he would by definition open his character and reputation up for scrutiny. The discovery process—the exchange of documents and things, and depositions under oath—would be compelling indeed.

Mr. Paladino accuses Ms. Nevergold, Ms. Cottman, Ms. Harris-Tigg, and Ms. Martin of slander because they have accused him of being racist, sexist, and of having conflicts of interest with respect to board action on charter schools. He threatens to sue them for slander. Mr. Paladino is not, however, a victim of actionable defamation. 

Firstly, the alleged defamation must be a false statement of fact. “Pastor Jones beats his wife,” if untrue, would be slander. On the other hand, “I think Pastor Jones is a violent jerk” is opinion, and not actionable defamation.  

Secondly, insofar as these women of color have made these allegations against Mr. Paladino within the context of their shared service to a school board, their statements are likely immune from any action for libel or slander. 

Mr. Paladino notes that he is a public figure. In the US, it is more difficult for public figures to bring successful defamation suits. They must prove that the false and defamatory statement of fact was made with “actual malice,” which the law defines as “knowing or reckless disregard for its truth or falsity.” But here, is it a statement of fact or a statement of opinion to say that Carl Paladino is racist or sexist? If a statement of fact, is it “false and…not supported by fact,” as Mr. Paladino alleges? 

One need only go back five short years to find ample evidence of Mr. Paladino’s purported sexism or racism. In email caches WNYMedia.net published on two occasions in 2010, there exist myriad supporting examples. 

Racism? Here’s the first batch of emails. Public official and Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino sent an email in 2008 featuring a video of African tribal dancers and it was captioned, “Obama Inaugural Rehearsal.” An email dated October 2009 shows President and Mrs. Obama photoshopped into 1970s-style “pimp and ‘ho” outfits. It’s captioned, “White House Ball.” Another email showed an image of black males running from what appears to be an airplane bearing down on them. It’s captioned, “Holy Shit! Run, Niggers, Run!” In April 2008, Mr. Paladino, “told an educational gathering that School Superintendent James A. Williams was hired ‘because he was black.'” The Common Council condemned Mr. Paladino’s remarks as “racially divisive.”

Based on these materials alone—which Carl Paladino approvingly forwarded to a wide array of local bigshots, politicians, bureaucrats, and developers—certainly the women of color who serve the Buffalo Board of Education can easily establish that their charges of racism against Mr. Paladino are “supported by fact.”

Sexism? That first email blast contained a handful of hardcore pornography, including a video of a horse having anal sex with a human female. A second batch of emails, published later in 2010, shows more hardcore pornography and degradation of women. One email shows video of a woman expressing breast milk onto a pane of glass, and there’s a lesbian scene that a vocal anti-gay Paladino labeled “awesome.” This current school board trustee sent around a video of a woman getting a Brazilian wax, and another video—from “fistflush.com”—of a woman shoving a bunch of bananas into her vagina.

Based on these two sets of released emails (more exist that have not yet been publicly released), the women of color against whom Mr. Paladino is waging war can easily establish that their charges of sexism against Mr. Paladino are “supported by fact.”

These women of color are, after all, referred to as the “Black Sisterhood“—sometimes by themselves, and sometimes by Mr. Paladino. There’s a significant difference, however. When they use that term to refer to themselves, they do so out of mutual respect, pride, admiration, and teamwork. When Mr. Paladino spits it at them with his characteristic vitriol, it drips with racial animus and misogyny, and it’s not accidental.

All of this comes just two weeks after Paladino publicly tore into Martin, calling her “ignorant” and threatening her license to practice law. This led Martin to make a formal complaint about sexism and racism by the Board of Education to the New York State Division of Human Rights. This is no way, incidentally, to “run a business.” It’s a waste of time, money, and resources to expose yourself and the school board to a civil rights complaint because you can’t keep your own “blurts” to yourself. Uncontrolled, hateful lurching from tantrum to tantrum is not how responsible adults behave in a professional environment. Even if you disagree strongly with someone, you don’t provoke them by calling them “ignorant” or otherwise trolling them.

“He’s gone after every female, African American female who’s an authority,” she said. “He’s done a lot of bullying. It’s typical of what he does. You can’t sit in an administrative position and do whatever you want to do.”

In her complaint, Martin alleges Paladino subjects African American female employees to a “racially and sexually hostile work environment.”

She also named the school board claiming it has taken no action to “admonish or address Mr. Paladino for his comments.”

Paladino maintains that Rashondra Martin has aligned herself with the four African American women on the board against the five-person majority, which is mostly white males.

“These people, devoid of any other plausible or reasonable argument to defend their positions on things, play the race card and that’s just what she’s doing,” Paladino said. “And that’s getting to be a burden.”

Finally, we turn to the allegation that Mr. Paladino has a conflict of interest as it relates to his advocacy in favor of charter schools. Companies associated with his Ellicott Development lease space to charters in Buffalo. Mr. Paladino rightly notes that a few lawyers have examined these dealings and concluded that there is no conflict of interest. That’s because Paladino quickly divested himself of any interest he personally had in these properties and transferred them to his children. Convenient. If his decisions on the board have a direct pecuniary benefit to Paladino’s children, that’s not legally a conflict of interest, but as a practical matter? None of this has been adjudicated or challenged in any adversarial way. The women of color on the Buffalo school board are well within their rights to continue to voice their opinion that Mr. Paladino is conflicted. They are well within their rights to accuse him of such conflict, and to do so in the press.

It’s not the first time Mr. Paladino has been accused of such conflicts. In 1993, then-Common Council President James Pitts told Paladino that he sits “on the top of the City of Buffalo like a vulture on dry bones,”; adding, “Mr. Paladino has mined the political fields very, very lucratively…If you begin to look at his involvement on all of these boards, his involvement is not based on public service but on private gain. Clearly there needs to be a separation of interests.” Pitts said Paladino’s conflicts of interest were “as blatant as Danny Thomas’ nose.” Indeed, in the 1990s, Paladino targeted his ire at African-American council members James Pitts and George Arthur.

If Mr. Paladino chooses further to escalate this fight that he picked by suing these women of color for defamation, it will make for entertaining copy. It will not, however, further any of the interests he purports to be promoting or defending. A defamation suit isn’t going to fix any failing schools, it won’t raise attendance or graduation rates, and it won’t do anything positive for the district’s overall reputation.

Paladino Mistakes Windmill for Giant

paladino2The Paladino descent into self-parody continues apace, as he opens up yet another front in his relentless war on everyone.

Last week, Gary Orfield, a UCLA professor and head of its Civil Rights Project, complained to the federal Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights about Paladino’s efforts to dictate to and intimidate Orfield and his group. Orfield is not Paladino’s employee, but the head of an organization that the Buffalo school board retained to investigate complaints of racial discrimination in criterion school admissions. Orfield had strongly urged the board majority, including Paladino, to holf off on committing to any charter plans for the four “failing” schools until his group could finish its work and issue its recommendations.

Orfield’s complaint to the OCR was made public, and apparently threw Paladino into a rage. His skin is far too thin to tolerate any criticism, however mild. So, he fired off an intemperate, now-irrelevant letter to the OCR blasting Orfield. Most of it is just an ad hominem attack against Orfield.

Witness the reaction of a man whose companies rent space to – and profit from – charter schools:

To: Timothy Blanchard Director New York Regional Office Office of Civil Rights,U.S.Department of Education

From: Carl P. Paladino

Date: August 14, 2015

Cc: Everybody

Re: Gary Orfield

Mr. Blanchard, this is in response to an uninformed Buffalo News editorial and Gary Orfield’s letter to you dated February 10, 2015. I am writing as an individual member of the Buffalo Board of Education, (BOE) and I speak only for myself.

Contrary to Orfield’s letter, I am not the Chairman or leader of the BOE, however, I am a member who is incapable of being cowed by an academic elitist who knows nothing about our BOE’s reform intentions and actually seeks to have you admonish me and delay the implementation of our reform agenda. I intend to do what I was elected to do.

Orfield has an MA and PhD in political science. He appears to be a self-absorbed charlatan. He is not a person conducting a study, but rather an activist anti-charter zealot. He is an advocacy researcher, not an unbiased researcher. He is a paid lobbyist who uses Harvard and UCLA after his name because he admires himself much like Jonathan Gruber the MIT professor who wrote Obamacare.

Orfield purportedly was selected by a Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) committee because he was the cheaper of the two people who responded to the RFP. Actually I suspect a much more sinister process took place. Apparently, as has been past practice, no one from the BPS bothered to Google Orfield or look beyond his self-serving and deceitful response to the RFP to see who he really was. Appearances are he is a plant on a mission commissioned by the BOE minority to delay and frustrate the implementation of the reform agenda.

Orfield holds himself out as a “published anti-charter expert and noted speaker.” He ascribes an astonishing fraction of America’s educational failings to America’s obvious lack of “civil rights” in the public schools. He is known as the “segregation professor.” He has been accused of “breathtaking intellectual dishonesty.” He lobbies for busing and stands and speaks extensively against neighborhood schools and charters claiming they create segregation. See attached. He refers to New York schools as Apartheid schools. He supports “social passing-feels that testing is a means to force children out of schools. He has a predisposition to find segregation everywhere, especially in New York. He lacks any discernible objectivity. When considering the requirements of the RFP, he has fraudulently presented himself. Why would the BOE imagine hiring someone who intends to impose his socialist will on the District?

Buffalo’s only civil rights issue comes in the form of the desperate attitude of the BOE minority which consistently plays the race card for lack of any plausible argument against the reform agenda. They were the majority until this year and on their watch the BPS slid into the abyss of total dysfunction. The people of Buffalo voted overwhelmingly for change and reform installing the new majority. Self -empowerment and the ability to control money and jobs is more important to the minority than ending the urban cycle of poverty and giving 34,000 kids a fair opportunity for education no matter what the vehicle, which ironically is the mission of the BOE majority’s reform agenda.

Orfield lacks any objectivity and when considering the requirements of the RFP, he has fraudulently presented himself. We can expect him to include in any report he prepares language that would exclude any Charter School considerations.

Orfield’s letter to you illustrates that he intends to use the Buffalo Public Schools as his Petri dish for his socialistic social re-engineering. He concludes that obviously the BOE majority could not possibly have good intentions for minority children, an insulting and racist remark that illustrates his lack of objectivity. The majority’s reform plan was being prepared when the misguided complaint of the District Parent Coordinating Council (DPCC) was filed with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR.) Knowing what they know today about the majority’s intentions, I expect that the DPCC would agree to withdraw their complaint.

The majority’s plan specifically addresses compliance with the “No Child Left Behind” legislation by using an array of vehicles to create seats in performing schools for implementation in 2015. It is shameful for Orfield to suggest that our children must suffer in underperforming schools for another school year so that he can finish his report sometime in the future.

The BOE majority seeks to correct bad policies administered in the past by the BOE minority when they controlled the majority together with an incompetent Superintendent which resulted in the conditions addressed in the complaint. We have 46 out of 57 schools failing. Our overall proficiencies in Math and English are approximately 10%. There are over 27,000 kids in failing schools who need to be relocated to performing schools. The suburbs and Catholics are closing schools for lack of students. High quality charters want to expand. We filled every seat in the performing schools and we now seek to expand or duplicate them. Is OCR going to delay these good efforts for another year to satisfy Orfield?

Orfield’s fraud in the inception of his contract and belligerency in trying to delay and frustrate the reform intentions of the BOE majority are not tolerable.

I will move to terminate his contract at the next meeting of the BOE.

Fraud? Orfield should sue for defamation – fraud is a crime, and Paladino should prove that up.

Query: the BOE’s minority-as prior-majority presided over not only the “failing” schools, but the “performing” ones, too. There are myriad reasons why the underperforming schools can’t seem to educate or graduate kids, but blaming it all on the BOE minority or the teachers’ union misses the mark.

“Petri dish for his socialistic social re-engineering” what on Earth does that even mean? This stems from Paladino figuring out that Orfield isn’t a Paladino clone anti-SAFE Act tea party activist, and is therefore a socialist. “Self-absorbed charlatan”, “activist anti-Charter zealot”, “sinister process”. Orfield has the nerve to oppose racial segregation, and this apparently sets Paladino into a rage.

Note the very careful, repeated (improper) use of the word “socialist”—Paladino uses “socialist” as an adjective for someone who opposes racial segregation. It bears mentioning, then, that Paladino is rather expressly advocating for illegal racial segregation; integration is “socialist social re-engineering”.

Following up on his intemperate segregationist rant, Paladino reproduces an article written by a xenophobic conservative activist slamming Orfield. He then reproduced a laundry list of things that Orfield has said or written about a variety of topics in order to establish that Orfield is a liberal academic who has the nerve to disagree with positions that Paladino holds. If you’re interested, you can visit a local tea party website and see the whole thing: it is basically a compendium of ad hominem attacks and character assassination by a state official against an academic who dared to raise an objection. Who cares if Orfield didn’t like John Ashcroft? Who cares if Orfield is a Democrat or a liberal? To Paladino, that alone is enough to disqualify anything from anything.

Except, of course, for the Democrats whom Paladino supports.

That is the danger of all of this. While it’s arguably ok for private citizen Carl Paladino to hurl his hateful invective at anyone who dares to even mildly disagree with his dogma, Paladino is an elected state official. Not only does he owe the schools a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of all students, but if he decides—as a state official—to issue fatwas and wage jihad against everyone who dares to threaten or thwart his thinly veiled efforts to privatize and profit from schools, Constitutional and civil rights issues suddenly arise.

As we already know from Orfield, Paladino clearly “shows deep disrespect for federal civil rights laws.” They – and Orfield – are mere impediments standing between Paladino and his ultimate goals.

Perhaps more chilling than Paladino’s own efforts to defame and censor a critic, the Buffalo News’ editorial page gently chides Paladino for his behavior. The News has been a friend to charter schools, so its tsk-tsk tone is to be expected; however, the Buffalo News gets everything right except two: that Paladino sincerely wants to help, and that he can be a force for positive change. There is no evidence of the former, and while he could be a “force for positive change”, he’ll have to start acting like a responsible adult and less like a petulant toddler. The News says that Paladino sets back his own goals if he “self-destructs”. Unfortunately, self-destruction is what Paladino does. No one is as good at it as he.

Let the anti-intellectual insult follies continue, I guess. But it’s 2015 and reversion to what arguably worked in the 1930s isn’t the way forward.

Paladino Bullies the Wrong Guy

People of New York, be happy today. Be proud and pleased that you so effectively and decidedly dodged the “Carl Paladino for Governor” bullet that was aimed right at your heart back in 2010.

People of Buffalo, be concerned. Concerned not only because Paladino comports himself like a toddler in the throes of a perpetual temper tantrum, but because you have elected him to public office and he speaks for some of you – represents some of you. This isn’t about his general abhorrent demeanor and hateful joie d’ennui, but about bad governance, racial animus, intimidation, and interference.

Forget for a moment the hypocrisy of Paladino’s complaints about another board member forwarding around an email he didn’t like.

Carl Paladino believes that, by dint of his control of a Buffalo School Board majority, he is its dictator and can act in complete disregard of the rules or law. For a guy who enjoys referring to Governor Cuomo as “il Duce”, the hypocrisy is palpable. For someone who purports to be a defender of the Constitution, the hypocrisy is disappointing. For someone who pretends to be acting in the students’ best interests, the whole sordid thing is embarrassing. From the Buffalo News’ reporting, there was a letter that the Buffalo School Board had received from Gary Orfield,

“…a director at the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, an independent civil rights research group. In September, the district hired the Civil Rights Project to review the admissions policies of the Buffalo Public Schools’ criteria-based schools, following complaints that the policies were racially biased.”

The letter is reproduced here, along with three emails between Mr. Orfield and Carl Paladino. Cue the “that escalated quickly” meme.

Orfield wrote to the director of the New York Regional Office of the federal Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. In it, he references an exchange of emails he had in late January with Board Member Carl Paladino. He expresses concerns that  Paladino made “a clear effort to control my work and intimidate me.”

The local victims of Paladino’s intimidation and bullying are all to used to and familiar with his hate-filled vitriol, and more importantly the ease with which he gets away with it. But Dr. Orfield is from California and isn’t used to being pushed around.

The Buffalo school district and Office of Civil Rights agreed to carry out a study into the fairness of admission to Buffalo’s so-called “Criterion” schools. Orfield’s Civil Rights Project out of UCLA was hired to undertake an investigation and survey, and to make recommendations to the District and OCR regarding its findings. Its investigation is not yet complete.

When one group came to Orfield for his opinion on a turnaround proposal for a high school facing closure, Orfield said he could not offer any such opinion, and added that no major decisions regarding school space should be undertaken until his group had completed its investigation and made its recommendations, pursuant to their contract. Any decision to rededicate school space to some other use before Orfield’s investigation is complete, “could make solutions less workable or more expensive, possibly undermining the agreement”.

Paladino wrote to Orfield in response to that, and the emails are here and speak for themselves.

Orfield’s takeaway from Paladino’s reaction was this:

Orfield says that in 35 years of doing this,

He goes on to say what few have the courage to say,

Orfield responded to Paladino’s whining by maintaining his professionalism, starting with, “I was very sorry you could not make it to the session where I met with interested board members”. He continues,

It seems to me that hurrying major changes in the midst of a serious civil rights investigation needlessly risks more civil rights complaints because it limits future options and limits the work…it is much better to work things out professionally than to get involved in escalating investigations or possible enforcement or litigation that could risk federal funds and put great stress on the district and its leaders.

To this, Paladino lost what was left of “it”.

“Nonsense” with respect to the Justice Department? The federal government became involved in response to complaints of racial discrimination in the admissions process for Buffalo’s eight criteria-based schools. The team of researchers from UCLA just began its work in December.

Another pressing matter relates to four “failing” or otherwise underperforming schools, and proposals to turn them around. Paladino’s majority submitted a plan recently, which can be found here. It blames the Buffalo Teachers’ Federation for refusing to agree to adjust its work rules, and proposes phase-outs of three schools, setting up four new charter schools, and using “surplus” space in the schools being phased out for new and existing charters. It proposes to use the threat of closure as a negotiating tactic to force the BTF to surrender. Members of the community from each affected school also presented turnaround proposals.

The fact that these schools are labeled as “failing” aside, little if any of what is happening in the Buffalo district smacks of good governance.  Even more tragically, at a time when that district needs strong but responsive – if not compassionate – leadership, it has nothing of the sort.  Devolving instead into political grandstanding and backbiting, the reputation of the district suffers, and the students are used as pawns in a colossal game of chicken.

This is why Dr. Orfield’s accusation against Paladino’s apparent bad faith is so critical here. Without responsible people coming together in good faith to resolve differences, negotiate in the kids’ best interests, and to reach consensus, nothing gets accomplished. Threats and ultimatums don’t generally lead to good results – only resentment and power struggles.

If these people all truly have the kids’ best interests at heart, then it’s imperative that someone lead. Not just by barking orders, but by example.

Pity the poor parents and kids who suffer under this bombastic collection of self-interested amateurs calling themselves a board of education. For all the good progress that Buffalo has enjoyed over the past several years in other venues, the epic dysfunction of the city’s educational system casts a depressing pall over that progress.

Paladino: New Year, New Lies

Carl Paladino _ Flickr - Photo Sharing! - Google Chrome 2015-01-06 13.49.18Carl Paladino loves to send emails. In fact, outside of WNY, that’s sort of what he’s famous for. Anyone who was on the email list for his gubernatorial run gets these, but this one is special.

From: Carl Paladino

Sent: Monday, January 05, 2015 9:10 AM

Subject: FW: ACTION ALERT To FIRE John Boehner as Speaker of the House.

We’re off to the races, with everyone’s favorite cranky uncle Carl forwarding other people’s emails. But here, he adds his own two cents.

John Boehner is an establishment boy who was conditioned to think that you go along to get along. He’s a pro at the Washington 2 step. He was a complete bust on Benghazi never ostracizing Obama for the stand down order, the IRS, (the criminality of which just vanished in the night), the disaster of Obamacare, etc., etc., etc.

The Republican effort to turn Benghazi into a scandal is notable because it has been an utter and repeated failure. When efforts to blame the Obama Administration for lying to the public about what caused the attacks went nowhere, they pivoted to accusing the government of ordering troops to “stand down”.  That is the lie that Paladino is parroting in this email, and it’s an especially repugnant one.

The Republican-led House Armed Services Committee expressly considered and rejected the notion that any “stand down” order was issued.  Paladino is lying.

Ingrained in that carefully crafted lie is a central theme that Obama is the “other” – not “American”.  That he is so foreign in name, visage, heritage, birth, and religion that it is believable that he would have done anything short of personally ordering or directing the terrorist attack on the compound that killed four American diplomats. This endlessly repeated “Obama let Benghazi happen” lie has its roots in xenophobia and racism. It’s not surprising, then, that Paladino – who famously forwarded emails depicting the Obamas as a 70’s-era pimp and whore, Africans as apes, and an image containing the n-word – believes that the President would deliberately put American diplomats in harm’s way.

As for the IRS “scandal”, its “criminality vanished” because there never was any to begin with.

It’s time for real leadership. Send the establishment gang-led by Boehner and McConnell- packing. That is what the American people want. Grow a set balls. How could any representative of the people give any respect to a President who ordered his military to stand down and leave American soldiers on the battlefield.

All of that is [sic], by the way. I’m hard-pressed to remember an incident where Boehner or McConnell gave a whole lot of respect to Obama in the first place, but again – Paladino thinks that these two Republican Congressional leaders aren’t extreme enough.

Incidentally, the 246 Congressional Republicans held their vote for Speaker of the House on Tuesday. John Boehner won 216 – 25. Another Paladino / tea party victory.

How can any American family allow their child, father, or husband to put his or her life at risk and feel comfortable with the military leadership.

You know, the Commander in Chief is a black man. First one, ever.

Wake Washington up. If it is to be Jeb Bush and business as usual, forget about 2016.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. If Jeb Bush is the nominee, forget it.

The American people want the lying and scheming Obama politically destroyed.

When was that? In 2008, or 2012? The irony of Paladino – in this missive – accusing anyone of being a liar is fantastic.

They want the likes of Gruber and the liberal elitist crowd to be gone from the landscape.

Gruber is the MIT economics professor who said something stupid about how Obamacare (Romneycare) was passed thanks to the stupidity of the American voter. In what way does Paladino want MIT professors whom he hates, or with whom he disagrees, “gone from the landscape”? Which landscape? “Gone” how? He was never an elected official. He’s not on any landscape, except MIT’s.

They want a strong military, respect from the rest of the world and a domestic policy that encourages achievement and is fair to all. They want leadership they can be proud of.

Our military is the most expensive thing in the federal budget. We throw money at it like there’s no tomorrow. What, exactly, does Paladino think is so weak about it? The fact that it’s been mired in two Asian land wars in the last 14 years? What part of the domestic policy discourages achievement or is unfair? Obama is well-admired domestically, and our country is respected by some, and disrespected by others, same as it’s ever been.

One thing is for sure – Americans do want “leadership they can be proud of.”

That’s why, since 2011, the title of Governor of the state of New York has been held by Andrew Cuomo.

New Yorkers know a disgrace when we see one.

Carl Paladino Has Important Things to Say About Things

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Carl Paladino ran for governor of the state of New York.

The market has improved for residential development. It’s fairly good right now for apartments…Young people – and it’s just a trend thing – they’ve had it with … mowing lawns and all that. They want the urban life they see on TV, and to live approximate to things

Carl Paladino is a wealthy developer who is well-respected in the community.

Paladino said he hopes the mostly vacant Commodore Perry housing complex nearby will eventually be torn down.

“We’re just praying that they don’t rehab those apartments and put people back in them. Hopefully, they will get rid of the whole thing and tear it down. That Perry Street has caused a lack of interest in any development there.”

Carl Paladino is an elected school board member who has his finger on the pulse of goings-on in WNY.

“They made a big mistake by making [Ohio Street] into a two-way highway when it should have been a four-lane. It’s a terrible mistake. You can’t park a car. And if you’re on it and stuck in traffic, you can’t even turn around. And they’re talking about it being one of the feeders to the Outer Harbor,” Paladino said.

Carl Paladino is on the board of Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps, which is so forward-thinking and consumer-oriented that its ramps take only cash, even in 2014.

“How many people are riding bikes in this community? For four or five months a year you can’t ride a bike in the snow. If you want to ride a bike, do it on the sidewalk. That’s why they have sidewalks,” he said.

It is against the law for adults to ride bicycles on the sidewalk. It’s a sidewalk – not a sideride. Just shut up and run your company. No one gives a shit about your lunatic crackpot opinions.

Free Speech Confounds Tim Wenger

A recent Tweet from WBEN’s operations manager / program director / director of digital content:

Good question. What does protesting and shouting slogans “do for anyone”? In February 2013 WBEN featured wall-to-wall “news” coverage of a pro-gun rally that took place in Albany to protest Governor Cuomo’s NY SAFE Act. Albany sees protests on a daily basis, but in this case WBEN sent reporters, commentators, and organized a bus charter to Albany and back for its listeners. (Here’s the photo album!) Tim Wenger was on the bus, too. But while Wenger doesn’t understand what all these people think they’ll accomplish by protesting the fact that Eric Garner’s killer won’t be brought up on criminal charges, he had a completely different opinion when it came to busing a bunch of listeners to Albany and back for a gun law that’s still on the books over a year later.

It really doesn’t matter to me or WBEN where you stand on this issue of the NY SAFE ACT.  What matters to us is that people have the passion for their beliefs and that they’ll fight within their Constitutional rights for what they think is right. .These people aboard both our buses, more than eighty strong, are working Western New Yorkers who are taking a day of their life to rally for what they believe in.  That’s what it’s all about. I’ve met every single person on the buses and all are friendly and excited, despite being a tad tired.  There is a sense of excitement aboard the buses as a group of mainly strangers who came together on the radio make a day-long trip to have their voices heard. What will happen when the rally is over and the people and buses leave?  No one knows for sure.  The hopes of those aboard the buses is that a repeal will be in the works. But when all is said and done and the last person leaves the rally and the buses arrive back home, one thing is for sure. Democracy worked and allowed a group of people passionate about an issue and their rights to be heard. Tim

But when it’s people passionate about an issue he doesn’t agree with, then WTF LOL, right?

I love the banner here.

The answer, of course, is that there’s nothing to “figure out”. Tim Wenger “can’t figure out what good protesters screaming “hands up don’t shoot” at BPD officers is doing for anyone” because he’s a Republican partisan who operates a Republican news outlet. Yelling “hands up don’t shoot” or “I can’t breathe” during a protest is as meaningful – or pointless – as a radio station sponsored bus trip to yell “Skelos is a traitor” and “Down with il Duce Cuomo” in Albany.

Oh, and this was hanging in the WBEN Newsroom:

gun rally

 

Maybe Wenger just couldn’t find sponsors to list along the bottom of a banner? Incidentally, the businesses shown there – Country Inn & Suites, Wingate by Wyndham, Thrifty Car Rental, Hampton Inn, Dollar Rent-a-Car – those are all Paladino-owned franchises of national firms. (Remember when Paladino had his people smack “Vote for the American” bumper stickers on cars rented from his franchises at the Buffalo Airport?) Do you think that the corporate bosses for the national brands know, or are supportive, of their trademarks being used so blatantly for a partisan political purpose?

Anyhow, everybody gets to shout slogans pointlessly in the cold and dark – gun huggers as well as people protesting the homicide by cop of a guy standing on a sidewalk selling loose cigarettes.

 

 

Paladino Gets Cuomo Back

Remember last week, Cuomo trolled Paladino by using a picture of Paladino’s snowbound home to raise money for local charities?

It was, on its face, harmless – no one was attacking or criticizing Paladino, and not all that many people realized it was his house.

So, Paladino sent an email around, entitled “This Westchester House”, featuring a picture – poached from the New York Times – of Andrew Cuomo’s Mount Kisco manse:

This Westchester House - buffalopundit@gmail.com - Gmail - Google Chrome 2014-12-01 14.16.43

 

Of course, Paladino had to take a political swipe at Cuomo. It’s Carl being Carl®.

UPDATE: Don’t forget that Carl’s candidate, Astorino, only released one year’s worth of tax returns when he ran for governor this year.

Andrew Cuomo, by contrast, has released every single tax return he’s filed going back to 1992.  To answer Carl’s question re: “walk[ing] the walk”,

Mr. Cuomo reported $16,000 in charitable contributions, more than 4% of his income. All went to HELP USA, the affordable housing nonprofit he founded.

Carl Paladino never released a single year’s worth of tax returns when he ran in 2010.

What’s Up, Larry Quinn?

Courtesy of Sean Crowley at the B-LoEdScene blog, Larry Quinn made an ass of himself during a recent Buffalo Board of Education visit to the beleaguered Lafayette High School. Carl Paladino, of all people, comported himself professionally and respectfully, and stayed after the visit to try and smooth things over, leading to an unexpected thank you call from the Buffalo teachers’ union boss, Phil Rumore.

Quinn was reportedly dismissive and rude to teachers and staff at the school, and Crowley contrasted Paladino’s reputation with Quinn’s,

…now that we’ve seen Quinn’s petulance — saying of the faculty “I only came here as a favor to Carl I didn’t want to meet with these clowns” his disdain for working people, calling teacher leader Pat Foster “an idiot” you can be sure Larry will make some half hearted obligatory attempt to reign in his tongue. But we all know better. A guy like Quinn is not going to negotiate these waters with grace or skill. He’s going to be spending a lot of time out of his boat getting bounced around in the rapids. The peek he gave Buffalonians of his true self at Lafayette is just the beginning of Larry Quinn’s unraveling. Carl tried to apologize away Quinn’s boorish antics when pressed about it by a news reporter. He admitted Quinn was rude and unprofessional in his dealings with school officials and teachers. He then tried to slip a card from his sleeve hoping nobody would notice describing the performance as “a bad hair day.” He should have said “That’s just Larry Being Larry.”

and from the News’ account,

Teachers also said Quinn acknowledged attending the meeting only out of respect for Paladino, who had asked him to come, and even said to Paladino, “Why would I want to go there and talk to those clowns?” He also reportedly referred to a teacher and BTF representative who had left the room as an “idiot.”

Finally, Quinn questioned [Principal Naomi P.]Cerre’s leadership in front of her staff, pointing out that the district clearly has qualms about her leadership since the administration did not grant her tenure this year, instead only offering her an extension of her probation.

 

Even Carl Paladino was embarrassed,

Paladino, however, did not disagree with Rumore’s account of what transpired and agreed that Quinn’s behavior was “rough” and “harsh.”

“It wasn’t pretty,” said Paladino, who described Quinn’s behavior as an exercise in self-induced frustration. He added that Quinn’s remarks were not badly intended and chalked up his behavior to “having a bad hair day.”

After Quinn left, Paladino said, he stayed behind and worked to smooth over hurt feelings. That earned him a thank-you call from Rumore – a first-of-its-kind event for two men with a history of animosity.

Paladino said he was so surprised to hear from Rumore that he initially thought someone was pulling a prank on him and demanded to know if it was really the BTF president on the phone.

Rumore said he was genuinely appreciative that Paladino listened to Lafayette’s presentation in a thoughtful and open-minded manner.

What bizarro world is this?

“He actually was there to listen,” he said, “and the teachers felt he was really interested in what they had to say.”

Wha? After the News pressed Quinn on the matter, he gave a classic ‘sorry, not sorry’.

“If I offended anybody, then I was probably stupid because I know we’ve got a big fight on our hands with people who don’t want to change anything,” Quinn said. “So it’s my fault. My point is, I should be smarter than that.”

Well, you were elected to be smarter than that, so your conclusion is spot-on. You were elected to be a trustee for the school district, and these people may be answerable to you, and they may be employees of the entity you serve, but they’re fallible human beings who are doing their best under difficult circumstances.  One thing they probably don’t need is a preening, monied, rookie know-it-all to tell them all how badly they all suck, and how they’re all idiots.

Quinn signed up for a job that puts him in the same damn boat as all of those teachers, students, and administrators.  If he doesn’t like they way others are rowing, then he should take the oars himself.

Cuomo: Epic Trolling of Paladino

On Tuesday, Governor Cuomo’s official Facebook page displayed this message:

Governor Andrew Cuomo - Google Chrome 2014-11-26 11.36.45

 

An observant local Twitter user identifies the house on the left as that belonging to Carl Paladino.

Indeed, a check of relevant records, and of Google Maps reveals that the house on the left in this image is the one belonging to Paladino – you can tell by the flags and political signs.

An epic troll by Governor Cuomo of his 2010 rival and consistent critic – using Paladino’s house to raise money for the Food Bank and Meals on Wheels.

slow-clap

 

Slow clap.

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