Paterson Staff "Deeply Disturbed" by Paladino E-mails

Administration scrambles to cut ties with Buffalo businessman after racist, lewd e-mails go public

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino announced his candidacy for New York State Governor at a rally in Buffalo, N.Y. on Monday, April 5, 2010.

    A flurry of racist, lewd e-mails that gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino described as humorous notes he forwarded to friends does not amuse Gov. David Paterson

    The e-mails, released this week by a political Web site, dropped a public relations bomb on the fledgling campaign of the Buffalo businessman, who prides himself on being politically incorrect. But his incendiary remarks continue to get him into trouble. 

    Paterson administration officials hurried yesterday to distance themselves from Paladino amid public and political backlash over the e-mails, by which they said they were "deeply disturbed," according to the Daily News.

    The e-mails included an array of offensive messages; one featured an image of bestiality aimed at insulting the French. Another included a photo of President Obama and the first lady altered to appear to be a pimp and hooker. Another forward, entitled "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal," featured a video clip of African tribesman dancing.

    The governor's staff discussed Tuesday how it could cut its business ties with Paladino, who currently has 27 contracts with the state involving office space rentals worth more than $85 million, reports the News.

    Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo told the paper that the state won't be able to get out of them, saying the administration will "lose at this as they've lost at other attempts to politicize contracts."

    But the backlash against Paladino hasn't been based on party affiliation. Even the Tea Party blasted his remarks.

    Paladino is "a total fraud if he's calling himself a Tea Party candidate," Mark Williams, chairman of the Tea Party Express, told the News. "Those e-mails are absolutely the antithesis of what the Tea Party is."

    Caputo doesn't deny the private e-mails released on the western New York Web site WNYMedia.net, but says the "off-color" messages were simply forwarded to close friends. He also said Paladino doesn't agree with most of the content and blamed the political establishment for releasing them publicly.

    Paladino debuted on the political scene when he announced his candidacy April 5, delivering a rabble-rousing speech and pledging to cut spending and taxes within his first six months in office. He also said he'd only serve one term if elected.