The Tea Party-backed Republican candidate for governor of New York State sent dozens of sexually explicit and racially insensitive mass emails as a matter of course in recent years, including one featuring bestiality and another that was made popular by a neo-Nazi organization.
An online news source in western New York has uncovered dozens of emails from Carl Paladino, a Buffalo-area land developer who threw his hat into the ring for governor last week.
Among the emails Paladino forwarded to numerous people was one of a photo of President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama dressed in pimp and prostitute outfits. The email subject line read "White House Ball."
Another email featured an embedded clip of a hard-core bestiality video featuring a woman and a horse; yet another email was entitled "Miss France 2008 f**king."
According to WNYMedia, in December 2008 Paladino sent around a YouTube video under the title "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal." The video features African tribesmen dancing in a village square. WNYMedia noted that the video had been posted to the Web site of Stormfront, a neo-Nazi organization.
The "inauguration" video elicited at least one angry response from Paladino's recipients.
"You really degrade yourself when you forward this s**t, Geep," the unidentified emailer stated.
Paladino wrote back: "I apologize to you and everyone if that is offensive. To me it's just humor. I'm not a racist and have never related Obama's color to my political distaste for him." He added that "the oversensitivity to black/white is wrong and in itself demeaning."
Paladino announced his campaign for governor last week with what the New York Times described as a "Palinesque populist message."
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m mad as hell, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not going to take it anymore!Ã¢â‚¬Â Paladino told a crowd in downtown Buffalo. That also appears to be the motto of his campaign Web site.
He is the third Republican to join an increasingly contentious race for the Republican nomination. While Paladino appears to have the backing of many Tea Party organizations, the Times notes that "securing the Republican nomination will not be easy for Mr. Paladino. He has decided to forgo the traditional route of seeking a spot on the ballot at the stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Republican convention in June. Instead, he will use the petition process, which requires him to collect 15,000 signatures from registered voters in at least 15 of the stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Congressional districts."
And even before his campaign was officially launched, Paladino found himself the subject of controversy. One day ahead of his announcement, the New York Daily News reported that Paladino had had a love child during an extramarital affair with a former staffer at one his real estate development business.
Paldino has described himself as "the only Republican in the race who agrees 100 percent with conservative values." Of his political beliefs, the Times reports:
He calls his campaign Ã¢â‚¬â€ his first run for public office Ã¢â‚¬â€ a Ã¢â‚¬Å“crusade.Ã¢â‚¬Â He has excoriated state political leaders as Ã¢â‚¬Å“a parasitical ruling classÃ¢â‚¬Â and pledged to send corrupt legislators to the state prison at Attica. He has railed against the health care legislation passed last month by Congress as an affront to personal liberty...
Mr. Paladino used his outspokenness as a selling point on Monday, telling his supporters: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have a tendency to speak my mind Ã¢â‚¬â€ and in many cases, your mind. I can be blunt, maybe sometimes too blunt. But youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll always know where I stand.Ã¢â‚¬Â
On Monday, Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo told TalkingPointsMemo's Zachary Roth that Democrats are trying "to change the subject from substantive issues to 'having sex with horses.'"
He said Paladino had "forwarded close friends hundreds of email messages he received. Many of these emails he received were off color, some were politically incorrect, few represented his own opinion, and almost none of them were worth remembering. ... We're not surprised the political establishment feels threatened by Carl's drive the take Albany back for taxpayers. Our campaign won't be wading through the details of what is just another liberal Democrat blog smear."