One of the newest heroes of the Tea Party movement is “outspoken” Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, a multimillionaire who has railed against “liberal elites.” Earlier this month, he officially declared his Republican candidacy for New York’s gubernatorial race. However, WNYMedia.net reveals that Paladino has “regularly forwarded pornography and racially degrading material to friends on the Internet.” The Buffalo News reports:
[WNYMedia.net managing director Marc] Odien released e-mail pictures that supposedly show Miss France having sex with a man, a photo of dancing African tribesmen entitled “Obama Inauguration Rehearsal,” a photo of President Obama and the first lady doctored to simulate a 1970s pimp and prostitute, and an e-mail showing chimpanzees doing an Irish dance entitled “proof the Irish discovered Africa.”
As WNYMedia.net notes, the “Obama Inauguration Rehearsal” was “very popular in the white supremacist community and has been posted at the Neo-Nazi Stormfront website.” Here’s the picture from the October 2009 e-mail that shows “President Obama and the First Lady dressed in 70s-era blaxploitation pimp and prostitute costumes while attending a formal event at the White House”:
Today at a Tea Party rally in Buffalo, Paladino first said he had no idea what was in the e-mails, but when pressed further and told the nature of the messages, he blamed it all on…Democrats:
Q: Do you condemn the stuff that was forwarded in those e-mails?
PALADINO: I don’t know. I don’t know what e-mails you’re referring to specifically. I wouldn’t even know half of them if I saw them.
Q: Let’s take a look at some of them. … Is that appropriate for somebody who’s running for governor to forward to other people? It’s a very simple question.
PALADINO: Is it appropriate for the Democrats to want to smear —
Q: Carl, I’m not asking about the Democrats.
PALADINO: They can hear the rumblings, okay, of something happening.
Q: What does this have to do with the Democrats?
Paladino later said that Democrats were trying to “mischaracterize” the messages and he didn’t know if they were “true” because he was just forwarding what was sent to him by other people. Watch it:
The statement from Campaign Manager Michael Caputo is equally confusing, with Caputo arguing that the “political establishment” must feel “threatened by Carl’s drive the take Albany back for taxpayers.” “It figures that members of the Party who brought us record taxes, record spending and record debt would want to change the topic from reform to having sex with horses and S&M parlors,” he added. The organizer of the Buffalo Tea Party is standing behind Paladino, stating, “He’s not a racist. He was just passing on some nonsense in an e-mail. Everybody does things that are not 100 percent pure.”
A spokesman for state GOP Chairman Ed Cox, however, also condemned Paladino: “The racially and sexually inappropriate nature of Mr. Paladino’s emails is disturbing to say the least, and stands in stark contrast to what the Republican Party stands for and the values it promotes.”