From the Morning Memo:

A new website, boycottpaladino.com, is now live and calling for the public to avoid any businesses connected to controversial Buffalo developer Carl Paladino.

The website features a nearly 3.5 minute video, with news clippings about many of the former gubernatorial candidate and current Buffalo Public School Board member’s controversial and racially-charged comments and actions over the years.

With the help of watchdog websites like Littlesis and the Public Accountability Initiative, this new site also lists more than 100 buildings and businesses with which Paladino or his company, Ellicott Development, is associated.

“I think most people think he owns some buildings, has the ear of other hard right politicians, sits on the school board, and has some of Buffalo’s power players in his pocket,” said the website’s creator, who agreed to speak about it under the condition that his or her identity be kept a secret

“I don’t think most people realize just how entrenched he is in our community. The team at Little Sis and PAI have done great worko But the average person is getting their news in tiny sound bites on Facebook, so non-profits seem to have a hard time connecting to anyone who is not already an active community member seeking out information.”

The Boycott Paladino website was registered privately and is not owned or operated by any organization.

“Since this came together over the holiday break I have not yet had a chance to discuss this project with my employer,” the creator said. “Additionally, my web developer and I are both pretty well recognized community members who work outside of politics and the non-profit sector. We felt that making the story about us was a bad move given how much of the information came from outside sources who deserve all the credit.”

The website creator said no New Yorker who has paid even a passing amount of attention to politics in recent years should be surprised by derogatory comments Paladino made about President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, but most people don’t realize how much power he actually has.

This project seeks to streamline that information.

“It’s a shareable and easy way to make the point,” the creator said. “That point can be that we as a community have the ability to stand tall and demand better, that we won’t tolerate racism. But it can also be that Carl Paladino is bad for our community and we as a community need to let him and his ilk know they aren’t welcome in New Buffalo.”

Paladino’s son William, the CEO of Ellicott Development, has criticized his father’s comments and tried to distance the chairman from day-to-day operations of the company. 

But the Boycott Paladino site’s creators believe and point out that the two still work closely together, and don’t think William Paladino – or Ellicott – should be let off the hook.

“We hope to make it as easy as possible for people to boycott his businesses and any business directly or indirectly putting money in his pocket,” the creator said. “Sadly, our impact will be limited due to the sheer number of government contracts he holds – that’s our next battle.”

Boycottpaladino.com also noted the developer has made significant contributions to elected officials including Republican Rep. Chris Collins, a close Trump ally and prominent surrogate for the incoming administration; Democratic Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, (who has actually stopped accepting contributions), and Democratic Assemblyman Mickey Kearns.

Paladino himself was not impressed by the website when we reached out to him for comment, dismissing its creators as “a few sick activists making more noise than they are entitled to because the press eats it up.”