Noted coot, Buffalo real estate rich guy, and gubernatorial also-ran Carl Paladino momentarily regained a place in the public eye during the presidential race as New York co-chair of Donald Trump's campaign. Then, with the exception of a visit to Trump Tower, Paladino returned to the relative obscurity of the Buffalo school board. Until, that is, a local alt weekly called Artvoice sent around a questionnaire to prominent local figures. For weekly papers, these kinds of end-of-year form letters to local bigwigs are a handy way to pad the pages during the holidays, when staffers are out of town and not much is happening news-wise.
But in response to questions about what he would most like to happen in 2017 and who he would like to see go away, Paladino wrote:
1. Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford. He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret, who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her.
2. Michelle Obama. I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.
Artvoice published the response (and for some reason, buried it) on December 23rd, and the outcry was immediate. Speaking to reporters the same day, Paladino was unrepentant.
"A little bit of humor, old-style humor is good," he told the assembled news crews. "Deprecating humor, yeah, it's the appropriate time. It's the appropriate time to say goodbye to a couple of people."
Goodbye Barack, Goodbye, Michelle. The woman who hated America, and then stuck around for all the bennies[?], and then at the end she says she's lost hope. America has no hope, it's the end. Well, Michelle go pack your bags and go over to Zimbabwe and go over there. Okay? And I just happened to pick a country. But from my perspective, it's time that these things were said. And I say it with all sincerity, and I also say it with a little bit of humor. If people don't like it, that's just too bad. I don't care.
Yesterday, four days later, Paladino's unapologetic, just-so-happens-to-be-racist racism was national news and pressure was mounting for the school board to remove him. So he wrote a non-apology apology to Artvoice, including a curveball variation on the "I was hacked" defense.
Paladino writes, "I never intended to hurt the minority community who I spent years trying to help out of the cycle of poverty in our inner cities. To them I apologize." Okay, sorry if you were offended, and I'm a great white savior, got it. Paladino goes on to lash out at Obama, "a traitor to American values," as well as the school board, the teachers union, and "those timid souls who sit unbloodied in the gallery always prepared to criticize."
Then, towards the end, he offers this:
I publicly took responsibility for what I said and confirmed those were my answers, but believe it or not, I did not mean to send those answers to Artvoice. Not that it makes any difference because what I wrote was inappropriate under any circumstance. I filled out the survey to send to a couple friends and forwarded it to them not realizing that I didn’t hit “forward” I hit “reply.” All men make mistakes.
What is horrible is explaining to my 17 year old daughter how her hero could be so stupid.
Paladino apparently considered another tack in a partial response to the New York Times. As the paper recounts:
After his statement was published by WBEN, a Buffalo radio station, on its website, The New York Times contacted Mr. Paladino, who said he would send a reporter the statement. Instead, he forwarded what appeared to be part of a different statement. It picked up in the middle of a thought, and took to task the “pathetic heathens” it said had criticized him, including Mr. Cuomo and the president of the Buffalo school board, Barbara Seals Nevergold.
Mr. Paladino said that statement was a draft written by his brother-in-law, which he did not intend to send.
But wait, why give this bigoted Buffalonian any oxygen for his toxic views and bizarre rationalizations, you might ask. Well, dear reader, just six years ago, he was the New York Republican Party's candidate for governor, more recently he was a prominent surrogate for Trump's campaign, and he is now an adviser to Trump as part of the transition process. The Washington Post reports that Paladino visited Trump Tower as recently as December 5th, telling reporters afterwards, "We're friends. The meeting was good."
“I don't think Mr. Trump particularly cares what I have to say," Paladino told the paper. "He knows me. I was active with him, and I still am active with him."
We have reached out to the Trump team for comment, but given that we have never heard back from them about any previous request, we don't have high hopes here.