Dec 23rd - 4:21 pm
Republican Carl Paladino in a radio interview remained characteristically defiant over his comments at President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, blaming “retarded liberal people” who attack him.
In the interview with WBEN, Paladino insisted his remarks — that the president should die of mad cow disease and Michelle Obama should “return to being a man” and live with a gorilla in Africa — weren’t meant to be racist.
“It’s only these retarded liberal people that’ll find it necessary to come out and call me names and not really listen to the issues,” he said.
Paladino’s remarks were roundly condemned on Friday, including by Donald Trump’s presidential transition team.
“Carl’s comments are absolutely reprehensible, and they serve no place in our public discourse,” the transition committee said in a statement.
In the radio interview, Paladino insisted that he has “many, many friends in the black community” and that’s taken on issues facing the.
“Why would a person who is racist or had racist thoughts take on these challenges constantly? Are you serious?” he said.
He added: “I wanted somebody to wake up so I did a little funny type article to get their attention and I certainly did, I guess.”
Dec 23rd - 1:29 pm
Carl Paladino doubled down on his inflammatory remarks made to a Buffalo newsweekly, insisting in a lengthy statement that they were “nothing to do with race.”
Paladino in a “wish list” survey for the ArtVoice suggested he wanted President Obama to die of Mad Cow disease and First Lady Michelle Obama to “return to being a man” and live with a gorilla in an African cave.
“It has nothing to do with race,” Paladino said. “That’s the typical stance of the press when they can’t otherwise defend the acts of the person being attacked. It’s about 2 progressive elitist ingrates who have hated their country so badly and destroyed its fabric in so many respects in 8 years.”
Paladino, the 2010 Republican nominee for governor and Buffalo businessman, is a prominent supporter of President-elect Donald Trump having served as state campaign co-chairman. Earlier this month, Paladino met with Trump at his 5th Avenue tower to discuss the transition.
In his response, Paladino airs a series of grievances with Obama’s presidency, ranging from the targeting of political groups by the IRS, the administration’s handling of the Syrian crisis and how the president did “nothing for black children in our urban centers held prisoner by the cycle of poverty and illegitimate black leadership more interested in power and preserving their voting base by keeping them hungry and uneducated in the inner cities.”
He concludes: “And yes, it’s about a little deprecating humor which America lost for a long time. Merry Christmas and tough luck if you don’t like my answer.”
Calls are growing for Paladino to be removed from his post on the Buffalo School Board from state lawmakers and the Parent Teacher Organization. For now, the state Education Department won’t comment on the remarks given the potential for disciplinary action.
Dec 23rd - 11:46 am
Buffalo businessman and political activist Carl Paladino hopes President Obama contracts mad cow disease after having intercourse with a cow and dies, while his advisor Valerie Jarret is killed by “a Jihady cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her.”
Paladino, meanwhile, hopes Michelle Obama is returned to “being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”
Those were some of the sentiments expressed by Paladino in a Buffalo-based newsweekly, ArtVoice, published this morning online.
Contacted by our colleagues at TWC News in Buffalo, Paladino confirmed he had written the responses as sought by the newspaper, which published them without comment.
Paladino was the 2010 Republican nominee for governor and has not ruled out running in 2018.
He was a co-chair of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in New York and sits on the Buffalo School Board.
Paladino’s comments caused an immediate uproar on social media.
“The statements are so incredulous,” wrote Democratic Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. “If they were made by him there can be no room in our civil discourse for such hate and anger.”
Paladino has a history of making racially inflammatory and insensitive remarks and forwarding racially-tinged emails.
Dec 8th - 6:00 am
From the Morning Memo:
Former Trump NY honorary co-chair Carl Paladino quietly visited the president-elect in New York City earlier this week. The Buffalo real-estate developer spoke Wednesday with TWC News reporter LaMonica Peters about the get-together.
While he didn’t want to go into too many details, Paladino clearly hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for Trump.
“I think you’re going to see a president with so many talents,” the onetime gubernatorial candidate and current Buffalo School Board member said. “To even imagine him not being president is going to become difficult, because he’s going to do so many good things.”
The meeting also included Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is helping lead the transition team. Paladino said the question of whether he would be interested and/or willing to serve in the administration in some capacity did come up.
The businessman insists he’s keeping an open mind on the matter, but isn’t actively lobbying for a position.
“You know, I’ve got a pretty good situation right now,” he said. “I’m a happy guy. But if they gave me something that would light my spark, yeah I’d probably strongly consider it.”
Paladino said he learned the transition team has received 50,000 applications for about 4,500 positions. He said he’ll continue to support the president-elect in whatever way he’s asked, regardless of whether that includes a formal, paid position in the administration.
Nov 10th - 6:45 am
From the Morning Memo:
As Rep. Chris Collins left the stage following his victory speech Tuesday night, Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy gave voice to what plenty of people in the room were privately thinking about the Buffalo congressman’s future.
“He might be the Secretary of Commerce by January. Who knows?” Langworthy quipped.
Since Collins became the first sitting congressman to endorse Donald Trump for president in February, he quickly emerged as a top surrogate for the now-president-elect, making regular appearances on the cable TV news circuit and staunchly defending the nominee – even during his campaign’s darkest days.
Now that Trump has beat the odds with his surprise victory, political observers have been speculating about what Collins might gain from his loyalty.
With his seat secure for another two years, Collins himself said he plans to be a voice in the Trump administration, but he also left the door open for a cabinet appointment – should one come his way.
Then there’s former gubernatorial candidate and mad-as-hell Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, a huge Trump supporter from Day One, who jokingly mentioned to me a few months ago that he could be a candidate for U.S. attorney for New York’s Western District. Paladino has a law degree, but hasn’t practiced in years.
The post was recently vacated by William Hochul, husband of LG Kathy Hochul, who, like most Buffalo Democrats, was a big Hillary Clinton booster.
A more likely fit for Paladino might be some sort of involvement with the U.S. Department of Education. Paladino, a Buffalo Public School board member, served as a Trump surrogate on education reform issues during the campaign.
Though he has been light on details, Trump is pushing an agenda that includes more charter schools and a voucher system for students who want to attend private schools. Those are proposals Paladino supports, but he nevertheless insists he has no formal plans to become a member of the Trump administration.
“I don’t need a job; I’m just fine,” Paladino said. “I’m not the one to sit down there and sit behind a desk. That’s not going to work for me anymore, not at this point in life.”
Paladino said he doesn’t lack for work at home in Buffalo, noting he has a stack of paperwork to catch up on at his development company after spending a good part of the past year focusing on Trump’s campaign.
Nov 1st - 6:45 am
From the Morning Memo:
The Trump for New York team has been critical of public polls showing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton with an overwhelming lead in the Empire State, insisting her GOP opponent, Donald Trump, is actually running a lot more competitively in the candidates’ shared home state than the conventional wisdom allows.
And now it believes it has some evidence to back up its claims.
The state campaign effort commissioned its own poll conducted by McLaughlin and Associates, a national research firm with a New York office in Blauvelt. According to that poll, 49 percent of voters said they are likely to vote for Clinton, while 38 percent said they’re with Trump.
While these numbers still represent a double digit margin for the Democratic nominee, it’s a far cry from the projected 24 point lead in the most recent Siena Poll conducted Oct. 19th.
“We want New York voters to know that New York State is in play for the Presidential election and the down ticket,” CEO John McLaughlin said.
Trump NY honorary co-chair Carl Paladino, who has long maintained the Republican candidate will win New York, took things one step further, insisting the state is indeed “in play, alive and well, and will send its electoral votes for its favorite son, Donald Trump.”
The Buffalo developer is one of Trump’s most steadfast and outspoken supporters. During a recent interview on Capital Tonight, Paladino took aim at the Siena poll, claiming the research institute is biased toward Democrats.
In a press release, McLaughlin compared his poll’s sample to the one employed in the most recent Siena poll. Both questioned approximately the same number of likely voters – 600 to 611.
The key difference though, is that McLaughlin is predicting the electorate will be 47 percent Democratic and 29 percent Republican, a 3 point difference both ways in favor of the GOP. The firm believes turnout will look more like a mid-term election in New York, with Clinton probably taking a “big hit from corruption nationally,” while “Trump’s people are energized.”
According to the McLaughlin poll, about 96 percent of people questioned were likely to vote. Before being asked who their favored candidate was, the pollster asked voters: “All things being equal, would you be more likely to vote for a candidate for president that will continue many of President Obama’s policies for the next four years or change and take the country in a new and different direction?”
The poll also focused on the supposed “hidden Trump vote” – a theory Paladino has also championed. Voters were asked if they knew anybody who planned to vote for the candidate but wasn’t telling people.
Forty percent said yes.
Oct 25th - 6:13 am
From the Memo:
When it comes to polling, Western New York mega-Trump supporter Carl Paladino shares the same opinion as the candidate he backs. While Trump spent yesterday criticizing national polls, Paladino took a more local approach.
The most recent Siena Poll, which came out last week, showed Trump running 24 points behind Hillary Clinton. Paladino said he’s not buying that.
“We know that we’re a lot better off than the Siena poll,” the Buffalo businessman and School Board member said. “…the Siena poll has been right up the back end of (Gov.) Andrew Cuomo and all the Democrats.”
During an interview with TWC News anchor Casey Bortnick, Paladino also criticized Republican leaders who indicated last week the Empire State appears out of reach for Trump. He said that kind of talk only discourages people from voting.
“I think we’re going to see such a wave out of Upstate New York and Long Island that it’s going to overcome the liberal vote that’s going to come out of New York City,” Paladino insisted.
To back up his assertions, Paladino said local volunteers have been conducting polling of their own, surveying voters in the Erie County town of Cheektowaga – an area known for having, in his words, “blue-collar” and “hardworking” people.
According to Paladino, 44 percent of those surveyed from Cheektowaga favored Trump, while 42 percent said they were planning to vote for Hillary Clinton.
“Cheektowaga is 75 percent Democrat and the saying goes, like with Ohio back in 1965, the way Cheektowaga goes the nation goes with a presidential election,” Paladino predicted.
Oct 21st - 7:00 am
From the memo:
Buffalo Public School Board member Carl Paladino, who continues to be a staunch defender of Donald Trump even as fellow Republicans shy away from the increasingly controversial presidential nominee, is taking to the air – literally – to represent his candidate in Florida.
The honorary co-chair of Trump’s New York campaign will act as a surrogate for the candidate at the Council of the Great City Schools 60th annual fall conference, which is being held this week in Miami.
Paladino said more than 1,000 big city school leaders from across the country will be there. The debate, moderated by Dan Rather, will also be live-streamed at 2:30 p.m.
The Buffalo businessman will likely talk about privatizing public schools – a focus of his since becoming a school board member.
“The only solution for dysfunctional urban school districts which promote the urban cycle of poverty is to dismantle them and replace them with a competitive system based in charters, vouchers and tax credits,” Paladino said.
The surrogate for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is Mildred Otero, a former adviser for the nominee when she was a U.S. senator for New York. Otero currently is the vice-president of Leadership for Educational Equity.
The panel also includes superintendents from Miami-Dade County and Philadelphia and a school board vice president from Cincinnati.
Oct 10th - 2:04 pm
More than 700 people have signed a Change.org petition asking Buffalo Public School Board President Dr. Barbara Seals Nevergold to remove Carl Paladino from the board. The petition is in reaction to statements Paladino, the honorary co-chair of Donald Trump’s New York campaign, recently made to the Washington Post, regarding a leaked video of Donald Trump published by the Post Friday.
In the video, Trump can be heard bragging to then “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush that, as a star, women let him do anything. That included, he said, grabbing them by the genitalia (he used a more vulgar term).
Paladino told the Post Trump’s “gutter talk” was something “all men do, at least normal men.” The petitioners calling for Paladino’s removal said it’s evident not only that he condones sexual assault and rape but tries to normalize it.
They said allowing him to remain on the board makes the other members complicit.
“Paladino’s statements show a critical lack of good judgment. He does not deserve a position to make decisions about school youth and should resign immediately,” they wrote in the letter to Nevergold.
The Buffalo business man and former gubernatorial candidate, Paladino, said it’s unfair for the mainstream press to continue to dwell on Trump’s comments. He said 99 percent of the time, that kind of locker room talk is untrue or severely exaggerated.
As for the 737 people who had signed the petition as of 2 p.m. Monday, he called them “uninformed, racist types.”
“When someone wrongly accuses me of such heinous things, of course every idiot on the street will believe it and sign a petition. It doesn’t mean it’s true,” he said.
Aug 25th - 11:09 am
Did you remember that Carl Paladino is a Buffalo Public School Board member? The polarizing developer and former gubernatorial candidate spent the summer helping the Trump campaign in New York, but with students preparing to go back to school, it’s back to politics at the local level.
Paladino and his fellow board members met for the first time in more than a month Wednesday evening. If he was looking for a reprieve from the controversial social topics surrounding the presidential race, he didn’t get it.
Just hours before the meeting began, the board decided to table a vote on a gender policy aimed at making district school’s more accommodating to transgender students. Paladino said the issue should not have been on the agenda because it’s still playing out in federal court.
Sunday, a judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction blocking an executive order that would’ve required public schools to allow students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity.
“A judge has issued an injuction against Obama’s rule and what (other board members) were trying to do in discussion was obey Obama’s rule. Well, Obama has been told by the court that they need to follow proper procedures. So for that reason, it probably should have been withdrawn. But we tabled it,” Paladino said.
That did not stop dozens of members of the community from speaking out about the issue at the meeting. The board changed venues to accommodate the crowd.
The district had been working with the Pride Center of WNY to form the policy.
“There was a lot of discussion tonight people were passionate. People went so far as to say that we would have on our backs the responsibility for suicide if somebody committed suicide over this. I think the passion was over the top. There’s no place for it here and the discussion basically is we have the rights of 32,000 kids and we have the rights of the few for which this is a problem and if we can’t find some other way of addressing it I don’t think it should be addressed, Paladino said.
He went on to say that he does not believe the activist who spoke out represent the opinions of many Buffalo parents. Despite Paladino’s objections to the discussion the board plans to take it up again during a committee meeting next month.