Kerplunk goes the Turd

2 Dec

About a month or so ago, the New York Observer’s David Freedlander wrote an article about’s quite prominent role in stopping the Carl Paladino for Governor train dead in its tracks.  The article called us the “site that saved Andrew Cuomo”, noting that Carl’s emails helped shore up Cuomo’s support among women and blacks.

Last weekend, Paladino’s campaign manager, Michael Caputo, all but confirmed that fact.

A discussion among top insiders from all the major gubernatorial campaigns was held at the New School last weekend.  From WNYC’s report:

“We found that to be very problematic. Not the pornography but the perceived racism. We found that to be a bullet to the head. It was something that we had to look at very carefully. I actually had the dubious honor of going through Carl’s outbox.” (On Paladino’s controversial emails.)

“I do believe that Carl fell in love with the kerplunk of the turd in the punchbowl.” (On Paladino’s self-inflicted wounds in the campaign.)

Caputo probaby had the least enviable job of any campaign manager, ever – I liken it to a lawyer with an out-of-control client.  He likened it to holding “a tiger by the tail”. You do your best to maintain control over the candidate and the message, but nothing works.

When Carl Paladino would say something outrageous during the race for governor, his aides would put their best spin on it. But now, a month after the election, they confess he was often acting against their own advice, like when the Republican nominee accused Andrew Cuomo of womanizing, something his campaign manager pinpointed as the start of a downturn.

Carl Paladino killed his own chances – the weekend after he defeated Lazio in the primary, I had predicted that he’d win the whole thing.  And he probably would have, but for his own lack of impulse control.

But make no mistake – this little upstate blog saved New York from a Governor Paladino.

You’re welcome.

14 Responses to “Kerplunk goes the Turd”

  1. Tom Dolina December 2, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    Is “Kerplunk goes the Turd” like “Boom goes the Dynamite”?!

  2. Leo Wilson December 2, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    This was the most disappointing election I ever participated in. I never liked Carl, as Tom could attest to, and cannot abide the guarantee of no change from what’s broken that Cuomo represents. I disagreed with the focus on forwarded joke chain letters, which you guys exploited to great advantage… it seemed dishonest, as anyone that ever watched Def Comedy Jam will tell you that there are just no boundries when it comes to tasteless humor. Nothing in what Carl forwarded was worse than things I’ve seen from that venue.
    You guys did great, though. Congratulations, WNYMedia, both on the impact and the recognition for it.

  3. Leo Wilson December 2, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    There’s a chance I might be mistaken about Cuomo. I can only hope.

  4. pirate's code December 2, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Turd in the Punchbowl…?  Wasn’t that the name of Mike Hudson’s band?

  5. Dick Kern December 2, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Happy birthday Alan!
    It is indeed ironic that your “Gold Member” birthday is being ‘observed’ on SpeakUpWNY, as you are celebating your significant impact on the election,
    In contrast, Tony & SU pulled all the stops FOR Paladino & had no apparent impact on the election at all!

  6. BobbyCat December 2, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    I hate to be a skunk at the garden party (or more appropriately) another turd in the punch bowl, but plaudits and atta-boys should come from others, not from yourself. Under “self-congratulation” Webster lists “egotism,pomposity,pridefullness,conceit, vainglory, vanity”,

    You might have linked to Freelander’s article…and ended it there. Leave it at that. It’s why we don’t sing “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME….”. It’s………vainglorious. I always wanted to use that word.

    • Christopher Smith December 2, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

      Get used to it, we love to applaud ourselves. Egotistical, pompous, arrogant, prideful, conceited…these are a few of my favorite things.

  7. Tom Dolina December 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    Only time will tell if Leo is right about Andrew Cuomo, but in the end, Carl was “hoisted by his own petard”

  8. Ward December 2, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    I think you “wroted” on syllable too many, Tom.
    But you’re right.

  9. Tom Dolina December 3, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    Ward, I was quoting a Batman cartoon, not the Bard directly. Layers upon layers are my wisecracks!

  10. Hapklein December 3, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    I wouldn’t bank too much on any single events or critical moments.
    Like many of our wanabees leaders Paladino overall did not exhibit the gravitas I would expect.
    He often spoke in pretty feeble sound bites with more emphasis on the decibels rather than the content. His anger was the scowl rather than the passionate outpouring of meaningful remedies to be applied to specific problems.
    In this day of all sorts of media and campaign experts, business people like Paladino and Colesano and small timers like Palin feel that once they create a campaign they can lead.
    Thankfully democracy saves us.
    Also Paladino’s campaign reminded me of a 19th Century Politician about whom was said, “His campaign began as a deep torrent, and finished as placid as the River Platte’s mouth, a mile wide and an inch deep.”

  11. BobbyCat December 3, 2010 at 10:17 am #


    Maybe you’re right, Chris, I’ll try it.

    If you doubt that, just ask me.

    Gee, that’s felt good.
    I should boast more often.

    • Alan Bedenko December 3, 2010 at 11:50 am #

      BobbyCat, every month or so, Margaret Sullivan writes something on the Sunday op ed page patting the Buffalo News on the back for this ‘n that. Every day, Channel 2 touts itself for being on your side. Every day, WBEN calls itself “the voice of Buffalo” (shudder). So, it’s ok if we pat ourselves on the back from time to time, particularly when the issue at hand has to do with destroying an entire gubernatorial candidacy. K?


  1. 2010: This Year in Fail « - December 27, 2010

    […] made his final argument, Kerplunk went the turd, and the vote was over. We types finally made the FCC-regulated airwaves to cover […]

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