Like a real-life Michael Scott, Carl Paladino must be getting used to apologizing for his continual gaffes and goofs: Paladino took the advice of the Mayor of 9/11 Town and formally apologized for the comments on homosexuality he made to orthodox Jewish leaders over the weekend. He wrote, "I sincerely apologize for any comment that may have offended the Gay and Lesbian Community or their family members. Any reference to branding an entire community based on a small representation of them is wrong."

Even so, he focused on his "poorly chosen words" rather than disavow the substance of his speech, which was anti-gay marriage. He still maintains that he dislikes gay pride parades and doesn't believe homosexuality should be discussed in schools. But he made it clear that he was a supporter of gay rights, and he was worried about the ramifications of his remarks. "My entire life, I have never equivocated at all on defending gay rights...Ugly. Horrible. My God. I didn't want any questions on this topic, because I don't want this feeding frenzy of nonsense going on in the press to hurt anybody," he said while campaign stumping.

His campaign manager, Michael Caputo, took the blame for helping craft the more incendiary language of the speech with Orthodox leaders: "I bear a lot of responsibility for that. Carl has a lot of family and friends who were surprised by what came of Carl's mouth that day. I am responsible for the message of the campaign." None of the apologies impressed City Council speaker Christine Quinn: “This is not a question of choosing poor words or a misinterpretation of his remarks. His beliefs are wrong and filled with hate.”

Amazingly, Paladino doesn't seem able to please anybody right now. Rabbi Yehuda Levin, the Orthodox Rabbi who has been campaigning for Paladino as his liaison to the Jewish community and who claims to have written Paladino's anti-gay speech, revoked his support for the candidate today, saying he had caved to political pressure by apologizing.

Even Paladino's Republican cohorts (Ann Coulter withstanding) are at their wit's end because of the endless cycle of unnecessary shenanigans; one Republican consultant working on several down-ballot races told the Observer about the larger effect he's having on the party: "He's killing everybody. The worst thing that he's doing is changing the subject. The subject that Republicans are winning on across the country this year is overtaxing, overspending and debt. Every poll in America is saying that. And now we're walking around talking about Speedo bathing suits."