Carl Paladino won the Republican primary for governor last night, beating his opponent 62% to 38%. He’ll face the Democratic attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, in November.
But who is Paladino? He’s an ultra-conservative who’s appeared in the pages of TPMmuckraker before for a series of, to be gentle, gaffes. As they say, all publicity is good publicity. Here’s a refresher.In April, Paladino apologized after dozens of emails he had forwarded — racist, sexually explicit emails — found their way into the press. The emails included one that showed President Obama as a pimp, another with a video of an African tribal dance titled “Obama Inauguration Rehearsal,” and some hardcore pornographic videos.
His apology was couched, saying he was sorry if the emails were offensive to any “ladies,” but welcomed the votes of men who have ever “opened a graphic image on the Internet.” He later said, “That activity is not Carl Paladino.”
In August, he offered up a way to help the poor and welfare recipients get on their feet: Putting them in prison.
Of late, he has been most vocal in his opposition to Park51, the Islamic community center proposed near Ground Zero. He said the center is “about the Islamists wanting to illustrate that they have conquered America by taking down the World Trade Center. It’s a claim of triumph.” His opponent, Rick Lazio, also came out against the “Ground Zero mosque,” making it a central issue in the campaign.