On Tuesday night, Buffalo-based businessman and tea party favorite Carl Paladino clinched the GOP nomination for the New York gubernatorial race. Given Paladino’s history, it’s clear why he has become a tea party favorite.
In emails obtained by WNYMedia.net and verified for their authenticity, Paladino was caught forwarding racial messages about President Obama, birther claims, pornography, and bestiality. When confronted about his emails, Paladino blamed the Democrats. Paladino’s big outside-the-box policy idea is to construct prison dorms for welfare recipients.
But perhaps what has made Paladino most loved among his base is his fervent, angry opposition to the Islamic center project near Ground Zero. He has called Park 51 an “affront to the American people” and claimed “it’s about the Islamists wanting to illustrate that they have conquered America by taking down the World Trade Center.” If elected governor, Paladino has pledged he would use the power of eminent domain to take the site.
Paladino’s radical, divisive, and disturbing record isn’t setting well with one of New York’s most famous Republicans — former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato. “He is dangerous, at the least, he is mean spirited and he tries to divide people,” D’Amato told WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell. Along with former New York City Mayor Ed Koch and former State Comptroller Carl McCall, D’Amato also signed his name to an open letter declaring Paladino unfit for office:
The victory of Carl Paladino in the Republican Primary was a disappointing day for all New Yorkers. This state has a long history of electing highly qualified, forward-looking statewide candidates — both Democrats and Republicans. Yesterday, however, anger overcame reason and enabled a fringe element to choose the Republican nominee. The end result was the selection of Mr. Paladino, a divisive figure simply not fit to lead this great state.
At a time when we need leaders who can bring New Yorkers together, Mr. Paladino practices a destructive brand of politics that will divide our state. […]
We need a governor who can take on the special interests, not one who is a special interest. We also need a governor who will bring New Yorkers together to take on our common challenges, not drive us apart. Through his own words and actions Carl Paladino has proven himself unfit to serve as Governor – he is exactly the wrong person to lead our state.
Paladino called former New York Republican Gov. George Pataki a “degenerate idiot.”
,D’Amato to GOP guest: “Shut up, I listened to your racist bullsh*t.”