Carl Paladino

Paladino Defends Using Phrase “Racoons In The Basement”

Western New York mega-Trump supporter Carl Paladino was riding high Tuesday night. His candidate for president had just claimed a resounding victory in their home state and Paladino got the prime spot for the victory speech, standing right behind the New York City billionaire.

Paladino was on television sets all over the country and perhaps in the most influential position he’s been in since winning the Republican nomination for governor in 2010. Paladino granted an interview to NPR’s David Greene early Tuesday morning.

For those who interview Buffalo’s outspoken businessman regularly, his remarks were pretty typical. He criticized the Republican establishment and President Obama.

But it was his comment right at the end of the interview that’s now drawing criticism.

“People that get onto this bus, on the Trump Bus, are people that are very, very frustrated with their government as it’s been. That’s the most important thing. It doesn’t matter what kind of person is the exterminator, okay? They want the raccoons out of the basement,” Paladino said.

It appeared Greene had heard enough. He cut Paladino off before he finished his thought, thanked him and ended the interview. A number of publications wrote about the exchange including

“Trump surrogate Carl Paladino likened President Obama to a ‘raccoon in the basement,’ a racial slur that promptly reminded people why he was such an unpopular candidate for governor in 2010,” author Aaron Rupar wrote.

Never one to be called a racist, Paladino fired back in a mass email.

“Aaron apparently listened to me on NPR this morning and got all his delicate sensibilities out of sorts and panties bunched up over a reference I made relating to getting the raccoons out of the basement, interpreting it as a racial slur,” Paladino continued. “My words were referencing a widely circulated piece written by and 80 year old American who used the analogy.”

Paladino included the original email written by an “anonymous author.” It’s a tactic he’s used in the past to share viewpoints with a large audience.

Although it’s a little bit unclear, the analogy does appear to compare the establishment to raccoons that take over the basement when somebody goes on vacation. Donald Trump would be the aforementioned “exterminator.”

“There is one guy however, who guarantees you he will get rid of them, so you hire him. You don’t care if the guy smells, you don’t care if the guy swears, you don’t care how many times he’s been married, you don’t care if he was friends with liberals, you don’t care if he has plumber’s crack… you simply want those raccoons gone,” he wrote.

That’s not saying the author stays away from racial overtones. Here’s an excerpt from another part of the letter:

“We are becoming a nation of victims where every Tom, Ricardo and Hasid is part of a special group with special rights, to the point where we don’t recognize the country we were born and raised in,” he wrote.

But that’s not the part of the letter in question.

So is the term “raccoons” a racial slur? A quick google search suggested raccoons could be short for “coons,” a pejorative for African-Americans. Here are a few links about the history.

Another wrinkle is Paladino has been fighting this battle for years. When he ran for governor in 2010 there was the controversy over allegedly racist emails he shared and he’s faced a steady stream of negative comments since he joined the Buffalo Public School Board in 2013.

As for the most recent development, Paladino called it a hit piece and said he expects a retraction from Rupar.


Paladino: Trump Will Win NY With ’60 To 65′ Percent Of The Vote

Mark it a landslide, dude.

New York’s top Donald Trump booster Carl Paladino on Wednesday in an interview with Fox Business predicted the New York mogul and GOP presidential candidate will win this month’s primary with at least 60 percent of the vote.

“Donald Trump should win 60 to 65 percent of the vote across New York state,” Paladino said in the interview. “I’ve been out in the boondocks, I’ve been in the cities, the festering anger that brings that loyalty to him, you can’t affect that relationship with the people he has right now.”

Paladino has been an early supporter of Trump, who in turn has garnered support from western New York officials ranging from Rep. Chris Collins to Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy. Paladino has also pushed New York’s GOP House delegation to endorse Trump. Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican from the Southern Tier, endorsed Trump last month.

Paladino, meanwhile, in the interview defended Trump’s reaction to his loss in Wisconsin on Tuesday night that had him lashing out at his chief rival for the GOP nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz, and sympathized with a “human reaction.”

“You’ve got to feel a little bit of that pain when he’s facing what he’s facing,” he said. “We’ve got a guy who this is his first time out running for office, just like me.”

Trump Campaign To Open Office In Paladino’s Buffalo Building

The campaign of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will open an office in Carl Paladino’s Ellicott Square Building, the 2010 gubernatorial nominee and businessman confirmed to TWC News in Buffalo.

Trump’s campaign is expected to open the office sometime next week, possibly Monday or Tuesday, a month before the New York presidential primary.

At the same time, Paladino has been in contact with Trump’s campaign about a potential visit and rally to New York ahead of the April 19 primary.

Paladino added Trump is likely to visit upstate cities as well, including Rochester and Syracuse.

Paladino has been a prominent supporter of Trump’s insurgent bid for the White House and has urged Republican office holders, especially members of the GOP House delegation, to endorse the real estate mogul’s campaign.

A Siena College poll found Trump leads both Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by 27 percentage points, gaining ground since last month over his GOP rivals. Rubio dropped out of the race last night after a disappointing showing in his home state primary.

Paladino Warm To Stefanik Primary Challenge

Carl Paladino, the Republican nominee for governor in 2010 and prominent Donald Trump supporter, wrote in an email on Wednesday he was open to having someone challenge freshman Rep. Elise Stefanik in a GOP primary.

“She drinks the cool aid. Clearly she’s a fraud,” Paladino wrote in an email, which was sent widely and in response to a supporter’s question about a Stefanik challenge. “She never told the people she was a RINO Washington elitist establishment sell-out.”

Paladino, perhaps unintentionally, noted Stefanik’s ties to House Speaker Paul Ryan (she was part of his debate preparation during his 2012 run for vice president).

“She blindly followed Paul Ryan to join the Democrats and pass a wasteful and bloated unaffordable budget with the very lame excuse that otherwise the government would shut down,” Paladino wrote. “Her constituents would love for the government to shut down.”

Paladino has been pushing Republican members of New York’s House delegation to fall in line behind Trump’s presidential campaign. So far, only one congressional member from New York has backed Trump: western New York Rep. Chris Collins.

Stefanik was first elected in 2014 to the North Country congressional seat that has been considered a hotly contested battleground since 2009, when President Obama plucked Rep. John McHugh to become the secretary of the Army.

This year, Stefanik is expected to face Democrat Mike Derrick. Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello is also expected to run again for the sprawling Adirondack district.

Former State Senate Candidate And SAFE Act Critic Arrested For Weapon Possession

Former New York State Senate candidate Gia Arnold was arrested for criminal possession of a weapon and obstructing governmental administration. The Niagara Falls Police Department said officers found an AR-15 assault rifle and magazine, a handgun, a K-Bar combat knife and a black half ski mask in Arnold’s vehicle during a traffic stop.

Arnold ran for NY’s 62nd Senate District in 2014 on an anti-SAFE Act platform. Then a 24-year-old mother of three, she dropped out of the race after admitting she cheated on her husband but stepped back into the race a week later.

Niagara Falls police said Arnold was a passenger in her vehicle with 18-year-old Halim Johnson driving. Officers said they noticed both occupants moving around and one of them reaching under the seat as they approached the vehicle.

According to a friend who set up a crowd-funding page, Arnold’s bail was set at $5,000 when she was arraigned Thursday morning. Because of the government holiday, he said bonds are not available and she remains in the Niagara County Holding Center until the full bail can be posted.

The same friend said the AR-15 was non-compliant under the SAFE Act but would not have been illegal before the law was passed. He also alleged that the officers profiled Arnold’s boyfriend, Johnson, because he was black.

But some of Arnold’s supporters during her failed senate campaign were not as quick to back her up on Friday. Tea Party activist Rus Thompson said he was concerned for Arnold but didn’t want to make any comment about the situation until he had all the details about what happened.

Meanwhile, former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, who attended Arnold’s announcement when she entered the senate race in 2014, had even less to say. When called for comment, he asked who Arnold was.

Paladino: “Collision Courses Are Good In Government”

Carl Paladino didn’t waste a chance to take a dig at one of his potential competitors, if he’s serious about another run for Governor in 2018.

“I’m always in campaign season. I’m the same way now that I’ll be two years from now when we’re actually running,” Paladino said.

On Bill Samuels Effective Radio show Sunday Paladino accused Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Rockville Center, of having “Washinton-itis.” He elaborated Monday saying he’s been disappointed with how Gibson has voted, particularly on budget bills.

“I told him privately that I was very upset with what he had done. I wrote him a note and I told him that,” he said.

Gibson’s office declined to comment on the criticism. Paladino said he’s not done speaking his mind about the congressman and he encouraged him to return the favor.

“Collision courses are good in government, okay. We should have a lot more of them. They should stop trying to dance together and start being adversaries as to properly vet out what they’re doing,” Paladino said.






Paladino On FBN: Trump Should Pick Me As Running Mate

Is former Republican Gubernatorial Candidate and Buffalo Businessman Carl Paladino making a case to become Donald Trump’s running mate?  It certainly appeared that way Thursday during an appearance on the Fox Business Network.

During a segment on “Cavuto Coast to Coast” Paladino unveiled a “Trump/Paladino” bumper sticker when asked who the GOP front runner should choose as his running mate.  Paladino then suggested he’d be a good choice because he’d have no problem telling Trump when he didn’t agree with him on a subject.

Paladino later clarified to Time Warner Cable News Buffalo that despite having a bumper sticker made, he was simply joking.

“This was all in jest.  I’m not anywhere near that point in my life,” Paladino said.

Paladino Backs Dadey’s Bid To Unseat Cox

paladinoCarl Paladino, the 2010 Republican nominee for governor, is backing Tom Dadey’s potential bid to unseat Ed Cox as the chairman of the state Republican Committee.

“Hallelujah,” Paladino wrote in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon titled “It’s Time For Change.”

In an essay Paladino blasted out via email on Wednesday afternoon, the Buffalo real-estate mogul wrote Dadey had the “courage and credibility to unite conservatives and moderates” in the state GOP.

“To win elections again Republicans must relate to the hard-working middle-class taxpayer who ought to be voting Republican,” Paladino wrote. “The Washington establishment is feeling the rebellion of the rank and file, fed up with complicit leadership lacking the guts to lead and fight for party values.”

Paladino credits Dadey with GOP successes in Onondaga County (even as no Republican ran for mayor of Syracuse in 2013 and the county executive, Joanie Mahoney, is a key Republican backer of Cuomo).

“Tom’s Onondaga County GOP recently won a supermajority on the County Legislature even though Onondaga is inhabited by more Democrats than Republicans,” Paladino writes. “Republicans in Onondaga now hold every countywide office.”

Paladino’s support for Dadey, the Onondaga County Republican chairman, is not surprising. Paladino has never seen eye-to-eye with Cox, who did not support the businessman’s 2010 bid for governor. More >

Paladino Criticizes Fox’s Trump Coverage

paladinoThe 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate has a message for Fox News and its chairman, Roger Ailes: Get on the Donald Trump train before its too late.

In an essay sent to supporters via email, Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, a supporter of Trump’s presidential bid, takes Ailes to task for backing an “old guard” who boosted Mitt Romney and now Jeb Bush’s White House campaigns.

Ailes and Trump this summer began a publicly heated feud that erupted this month after the real-estate mogul and GOP candidate criticized the debate questions leveled by Megyn Kelly.

“Hey Roger Ailes, you and FOX are missing the political revolution of our lifetimes,” Paladino wrote in the email. “You can no longer hide your allegiance to the Old Guard and 50 Billionaires who want to give us another Romney who thought that having off shore accounts and siding with the 1% against the 99% wouldn’t be noticed and would win the day. Your candidate, Bush the wimp, looks like a deer in the headlights. He rings no bells with the rank and file. Afraid of his own shadow he’s on his way to the graveyard of political has-beens.”

As Politico New York noted this morning, Paladino has seized on the presidential campaign of Trump and his ability to upend the political establishment. Paladino himself has appeared on Fox Business, a sister network to Fox News. More >

Western New York Conservatives Angered Over Flanagan Selection

Despite the fact the newly minted Senate Majority Leader’s son goes to the University at Buffalo, John Flanagan hasn’t exactly gotten a warm reaction from Western New York so far.  Senate Democrats, as you would expect, are less than enthused about the choice, while Conservatives are downright livid.

“Nothing good is going to happen for Upstate New York with this change,” said Buffalo-Area State Assemblyman David DiPietro.

DiPietro, a gun rights advocate, said Flanagan’s vote in favor of the SAFE Act alone should have disqualified him as a candidate for Senate Majority Leader.

“Totally upset that we’re going to get no movement from our own Republican Senate because the leader is pro-SAFE Act,” DiPiertro said.

The member of the Assembly with the most conservative voting record, Rochester-area Assemblyman Bill Nojay directed his ire at the reported five Upstate GOP Senators who voted for Flanagan over Syracuse-Area Senator John De Francisco.  Nojay took to Twitter to vent his frustrations.

“Q (question) for the 5 Upstate GOPers who voted for Flanagan: what price to sell your soul?  Biggest winner today in Senate: Andrew Cuomo. He got a RINO he can control.  Biggest loser: Upstate NY, which is now politically irrelevant,” Nojay wrote.

The vote for Senate Majority Leader happened behind closed doors but most Western New York Republicans told us they supported DeFrancisco, including Michael Ranzenhofer, Rich Funke, Robert Ortt and Joe Robach.

Ranzenhofer confirmed the SAFE Act was a part of the closed door conversation. Ortt, an Afghanistan War Veteran and consistent advocate for repealing the controversial gun control measure, seemed optimistic Flanagan will move to the right on the issue.

“I think Senator Flanagan knows he’s going to have to work toward that (repealing the SAFE Act) to be successful as a leader and I think he’s going to do that and I’m willing to work with him on that issue,” said Ortt.

“John Flanagan voted for the SAFE Act. The people from his district knew it and voted to send him back to Albany.  I think he respects the Second Amendment.  I don’t see it as an issue,” Robach added.

Watching from outside the GOP conference, Senate Democrats in WNY saw the move as a lifeline for Skelos to hold on to some kind of power.  Buffalo-Area Senator Marc Panepinto even suggested Skelos “extorted” his own conference.

“Dean Skelos threatened his colleagues on Friday and said if you don’t do John Flanagan I may resign my seat and that may put the leadership up for grabs,” Panepinto said.

Still, it’s the way Flanagan ascended to Majority Leader that bothers conservatives as much as the fact he’s there.  Several sources suggest it was two Upstate New Yorkers who sided with the “Long Island Nine” to tip the scales in Flanagan’s favor.

“It was Cathy Young and Mike Nozzolio who sold us out,” said Former GOP Gubernatorial Candidate and outspoken Skelos critic Carl Paladino.  “The votes are here (Upstate) and this is where the Majority Leader should come from.”

Senator Young did not reveal how she voted behind closed doors.  In a statement Monday night she would only say:

“Every single member of the Republican Conference united behind Senator John Flanagan to ensure balance in state government and safeguard the future of the state.”

Senator Mike Nozzoilo’s office said he was not available for comment Monday night.

“Senator’s Young and Nozzolio sold their soul,” DiPietro said.  “If one of them would have voted against him (Flanagan) we could have had a different leader.  I’ll tell you up here in the Assembly right now we’re just beside ourselves.  We feel like we’ve been sold down the river,” DiPietro added.