Carl Paladino

Paladino Not Buying Public Presidential Race Poll Results

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.

Paladino To Represent Trump At National Education Forum

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.

Petition Calls For Paladino’s Removal From Buffalo Public School Board

More than 700 people have signed a 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.


Gender Policy A Hot Topic At Buffalo Public School Board Meeting

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.

Paladino: ‘I Think (U.S. Attorney) Preet Bharara Will Stay There And Stay In That Job”

U.S Attorney for New York’s southern district, Preet Bharara, has a fan in Carl Paladino. The Buffalo businessman said he’s going to start a foundation to commission a bronze bust of the prosecutor… and he said he’s not joking.

“We’re going to place in the state capitol and I think that would be an appropriate signal to those in state government whenever they walk by it that they better behave themselves,” Paladino said.

Earlier this week, the New York Daily News wrote about how many politicos are expecting Bharara to close cases before the next President takes office. From Paladino’s perspective, there’s no hurry.

“I think Preet Bharara will stay there and stay in that job,” he said. “I don’t think he’s going to be replaced by the Trump campaign and that certainly wouldn’t be my vote if I was asked.”

The developer once had his own private law practice. He sheepishly mentioned someone had suggested to him that he could be the U.S. Attorney for the Western District.

He said he’s not jockeying for that job or any other appointment from a potential Trump White House.

“I’m not particularly interested in being the U.S. Attorney but it would probably be a very fun experience, a lot of low-hanging fruit in New York state.”


Paladino Says Trump Coming Back To Buffalo As Soon As September

The honorary co-chair of Donald Trump’s New York campaign team, Carl Paladino, is encouraging Republicans to take a drive to Erie, PA. Donald Trump will be speaking there at 2 p.m. on Friday.

“We’ve announced it to the entire state, but particularly Western New York that if you can get there, please do. I think it will be a good experience,” Paladino said.

The plans come a bit last minute, but Paladino believes Trump’s message in Pennsylvania will resonate back home.

“The issues are the same in Pennsylvania. They’re suffering the same that we are with the same progressive governments that have literally destroyed the fabric, the economic fabric of New York state,” he said.

At the same time, the Buffalo businessman is planning to bring Trump back to New York in the near future. Paladino said Trump will hit all the major cities in September or early October, just as he did during the primary season.

“We’re for sure going to do Buffalo. Buffalo will be a key location. It will be, hopefully, a weekend night when people can for sure get there,” he said.

If the Republican nominee does hold a public rally in Western New York, it will be unprecedented. Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said he believes the last time a Republican candidate made a stop in Western New York during the general election was 32 years ago.

President Reagan dedicated the Santa Maria Towers and spoke at a luncheon on September 12, 1984. That election was also the last time a Republican won New York.

Paladino insisted the state is not only in play again this year, but that Trump will win it.

“New York has never been a battleground state because it’s been so blue, but I think the blue is shading over to red right now and times are changing,” he said.

In December of last year, Paladino promised to bring Trump to Buffalo before New York’s April 19th primary and “fill the arena.” On April 18th, the candidate spoke before more than 11,000 people at First Niagara Center.

Paladino said he’s planning something similar this time.

“It’s going to be an arena event,” he said. “If we can count on the weather and no rain, we’d even take the football stadium but I’m not sure we can count on that.”

Paladino Says Questionable Loretta Lynch Tweet Was a Mistake

Carl Tweet
Former gubernatorial candidate and Donald Trump mega-supporter Carl Paladino is no stranger to accusations of racism. Two months ago, I wrote a blog detailing some of that history.

So when this tweet surfaced on Paladino’s Twitter account Wednesday morning referencing United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch, an African-American woman…

Let’s just say his critics weren’t ready to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Paladino said it was a mistake though, and one for which he wasn’t even directly responsible. He said it was his assistant who sent out the tweet.

“It was well-intended. We are novices learning how to tweet. My assistant thought that was the way to direct the tweet at Lynch,” he said.

The Buffalo business man said they realized something was wrong when media started calling and deleted it.

Paladino is the honorary co-chair of Trump’s New York State campaign. He says he’s not heard anything from the campaign about the tweet.

Of course, the candidate himself has been accused of tweeting bigoted content throughout his campaign, most recently an image of the Star of David.


Bipartisan Support For Tea Party Activist Charged With Voter Fraud

Western New York Tea Party activist Rus Thompson was arraigned on voter fraud charges in State Supreme Court Thursday. At the recommendation of his attorney, Thompson isn’t commenting on the case but he has plenty of people speaking on his behalf.

Among the most vocal was former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino. Thompson is accused of voting in the Town of Grand Island during the last three elections, even though he was a resident of Niagara Falls.

Paladino had no interest in arguing Thompson innocence Thursday.

“I’m here primarily because I have a severe disagreement with the Erie County district attorney over the way they’re handling this matter. I think it’s overkill,” he said.

Thompson’s attorney, Tom Eoannou, said the district attorney’s office offered them a terrible plea deal, the highest felony he’s accused of with the option to request state prison. Paladino believed his friend should’ve been offered a misdemeanor to be adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.

“If a man can’t use his good judgment on something like this, how is he going to use his good judgment in the future in the other cases that he’s supposedly going to handle,” he said.

It’s not just Republicans coming to the Tea Partier’s defense. Current Grand Island Town Supervisor Nate McMurray, a Democrat, was also at the arraignment.

“Everybody knows Rus on Grand Island. He is part of that community. Does it make sense to try to put this man in jail for years because he voted in a place that he believed is his home and that everybody sees him as part of,” he said.

Thompson’s friends said he was evicted from his rental home in Grand Island last year for political reasons. Acting DA Michael Flaherty said he received the complaint from the Erie County Board of Elections.

“They brought it to us and we were under an obligation because I promised the citizens, I promised the citizens that I would take seriously allegations of election law violation and we did. I don’t care what his enrollment is. I don’t care who he is and who his friends are,” he said.

Eoannou said these kinds of charges have only been prosecuted in New York five times since the 1800’s. He plans to ask the judge to dismiss the case for selective prosecution.

“We’ll ask the court to take a long hard look as to not only why this prosecution was brought but why you would afford, recently, murderers reduced pleas, but not Rus Thompson,” he said.

If it does go to trial, he said although Thompson wasn’t technically allowed to vote where he did, he believes the law is unclear. If convicted, Thompson could receive up to four years in prison, but there’s no mandatory term of incarceration.


WNY Tea Party Activist Indicted For Voter Fraud

Western New York Tea Party activist Rus Thompson has been indicted by an Erie County Grand Jury. Thompson posted a photo of a letter he received from acting District Attorney Michael Flaherty on his Facebook page Monday.

He’s charged with voter fraud after sources said he moved from his Grand Island rental to Niagara Falls, and then voted in the November election with an affidavit ballot using his old address. The usually outspoken Thompson has been advised by his attorney not to speak publicly about the case but that hasn’t kept him off social media.

“The Grand Island republicans AND the Erie County republican leadership should feel proud of what they are doing to my family,” he wrote on Facebook just a few hours after he posted the letter.

Thompson is known in Western New York as one of former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino’s most loyal supporters. His friends say he’s being punished for his political views.

“(He) Went to his polling place to vote in the primary as he always does. He went there, he was told his name was not on the voter registration. He used an old address so he could vote where he always has and chooses to vote. He’s now being prosecuted for that in the felony posture. This statute is seldom if ever used, we believe there are four or five reported cases since Susan B. Anthony in the 1850s who was prosecuted under this very statute,” Thompson’s attorney, Thomas Eoannou, said after they appeared in court last month.

They rejected a plea deal for a felony disposition that would’ve carried a max sentence of four years in prison. According to the notice, the arraignment is scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. in State Supreme Court.

The District Attorney’s office said it’s prepared to go to trial.

Teen Who Challenged Paladino For School Board Is Arrested

Buffalo teen Austin Harig is getting to fully experience what it means to be a public person. No, Harig’s not an elected official.

He came just short of winning a seat on the Buffalo Public School board, but when you come within 100 votes of beating one of Buffalo’s most polarizing politicians and a former gubernatorial candidate, you get a lot of attention.

A month ago Harig was the darling of the Buffalo Teachers Federation and the anti-Carl Paladino contingent. He was a wide-eyed, idealistic David who nearly took down Goliath.

Even when Paladino said Harig was suspended from the school district he was running to represent, while he was campaigning, Harig seemed to come out okay. He suggested Paladino must have abused his power to know and share that information, and frankly a lot of people agreed.

Now, he’s back in the news again. Buffalo Police confirmed Austin Harig was charged with unlawfully dealing with a child and criminal nuisance early Wednesday morning.

Police say Harig was providing alcohol to three people under the age of 21 in his South Buffalo home. He’s also accused of letting them smoke marijuana there.

Give the 18-year-old credit, like when he was accused of being suspended, he was happy to get right in front of the camera and respond. He never mentioned drugs or alcohol in his story, but said he was letting a friend stay at his house and that the friend brought stolen property into it.

Would this be a story if Harig was a normal Buffalo teenager? Of course not, but that’s what he signed up for when he ran for office.