An appointee to Staten Island's Community Education Council District 31 has stepped down after an uproar over an e-mail he forwarded. The Staten Island Advance reported that the "mock photo strip, sent Jan. 4 by Salvatore Ballarino, features cartoon-like speech balloons drawn out of McCain's mouth referencing lynching African Americans and equating African American babies with excrement... The widely forwarded email also questions black fathers' ability to support their families and states Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles are always smiling, because they did not know they were black." S.I. Borough President James Molinaro, who appointed Ballarino to the panel in 2004, apparently asked him to resign. Ballarino told the Advance yesterday, "Did anybody ever accuse of me of doing anything racist before? No. I have black people who are my friends; I work with black people; I have black people sit at my dinner table with me." And in today's Advance, he said he's still forwarding e-mails, "If I get an e-mail and I think it's funny, I'm going to send it out."