Tag Archives: Michael Caputo

The Caputo Arrest: Curious

5 Dec

On March 12, 2011, the Buffalo News reported on two seemingly unrelated matters:

1. Investigative reporter Jim Heaney wrote that former campaign workers and contractors retained by the Paladino for the People gubernatorial campaign were accusing Mr. Paladino for non-payment; and

2. T.J. Pignataro and Bob McCarthy wrote that former Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo and his father had been arrested and charged by Orchard Park police on March 1st with various and sundry disorderly conduct-type offenses.

I’m not one for grand conspiracies, but could the two be related?

Heaney claimed in this online chat that he first learned of the non-payment issue via online chat that took place on March 6th.  But the bad blood between Caputo and Paladino can be traced back at least to February 2011, when Caputo publicly endorsed Governor Cuomo’s budget plan, calling it, “conservative, responsible and absolutely necessary“, and asked tea party members throughout the state to join him.

In response to that, the New York State tea party movement was thrust into more turmoil than usual, with accusations and counter-accusations over whether they should back Cuomo or not. The kicker, however, was this email that Carl Paladino sent out to some of his trusted associates on February 6, 2011. I’ve cut out the irrelevant portions, but check out the highlighted bit:

From: “Carl Paladino”

Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 20:53:54

Subject: Re: Caputo’s reach and breach

Well this is a second attempt to write you.  I’m terrible on the computer and accidentally erased the first 3 hour version of this? Everyone please be assured that Caputo does not work or speak for me. He is in the wind and probably on Cuomo’s payroll.  The last conversation I had with him the week before Oneonta I told him that Cuomo’s budget was unacceptable and at best a very small step in the right direction.  He went on to interpret that as an ok to tell the group that I supported Cuomo and to issue a letter and oped which are totally unacceptable to me.

The result was a week of rhetoric wHich I believe was healthy for all.  It coalesced the group and pointed out the need for a strong organizer/coordinator who commands the respect of all, is resourceful, determined, loyal and smart which defines all of you but I also think when you think about it the one name that sticks for the great majority is Sheryl, and don’t you dare spell her name wrong.  Remember that in every group there are extremes and that is good as long as the center is strong and well planted.  Some will push the envelope. Others want to be hanging off the end of the merry-go-round where everything is a blur and the wind blows in your face.  Still others are content in the middle where they can see everything clearly.  It takes a little of each to have a winning team.

Forget about Caputo.  He can’t hurt anyone.  He’s off on a trip to his home planet thinking that he can revise history.  At the NYC press debriefing event he was the only person to dump on me.  Not even the Cuomo people said anything. He said I liked the sound of a turd in the punchbowl never acknowledging that he was solely responsible for the Hassidic/homosexual tragedy in NYC.  He’s a political junkie/whore with no values, for sale to anyone.  The authorities are aware of his misuse of the lists assembled on my nickel and what goes around will come around.

Seems like “what goes around” came around on March 1st, just three weeks later.

It’s also worth noting that Paladino has interests in Orchard Park, namely Skibbereen Farms, the website for which indicates that it’s owned by “The 1147 Group, Inc., owned by Chrissie Hannon, Paladino’s niece. His wife and daughter are the property managers there.  It’s the largest horse farm of its kind in Orchard Park, with about 50 horses. It’s not like he has no pull in that particular one of the Southtowns, where Caputo lives.

It certainly seems like a retaliatory set-up, but no one’s talking. For his part, when asked whether he thinks Paladino might be behind this, the usually loquacious Caputo gave me a very uncharacteristic, “no comment”.  Yet one thing’s for sure – Caputo was tailed for some time before being pulled over, and he and his father were arrested on charges dubious enough that an Aurora town justice dismissed each one.

Caputo Dismissal

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The question now becomes – why did Orchard Park bring out the big guns over what should have been a routine traffic stop?

Household Help to Remove Corwins’ Sour Grapes?

6 Jul

Corwin? More like Cor-LOSE...

Both major political parties in western New York, it seems, are going through some upheaval. The Democrats have been fractured into oft-warring factions since time immemorial, but a massive push by Governor Cuomo to broker peace has been largely successful, at least for the current election cycle. There has been some grumbling, but when the most popular governor in America tells you to knock it off, you probably will.

On the other hand, the Republicans are just now getting a taste of what “disunity” means. Chris Collins is a wholly unliked and unlikable personality, and his brain trust just got through handing Jane Corwin an incredible, epic loss to a Democrat in Tom Reynolds’ hand-made NY-26. The strife was on full display during this past weekend’s Hardline program on WBEN, with Dave Debo hosting former Erie County Executive (and no friend of Collins’) Joel Giambra, Artvoice’s Geoff Kelly, Rus Thompson by phone to talk tea party, and Michael Caputo, Paladino campaign manager also by phone to talk about how Collins’ people screwed Batavia Iraq War veteran David Bellavia.

The discussion was touched off by this Buffalo News article and this commentary, written by Caputo and posted to WBEN.com. Caputo made the point that, in his opinion, the young guys running the Erie County GOP and Collins’ campaign apparatus are blatantly anti-veteran, pointing to their treatment of Gary Berntsen in 2010, and David Bellavia in 2011.

After Caputo emailed a link to the WBEN commentary to his contact list, he received the following email from Assemblywoman Jane Corwin’s husband, Phil. (Phil is the treasurer for the Collins campaign):

On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 3:40 PM, philcorwin1@__.com wrote:
Michael,David Bellavia is a spoiled child who didn t get his way. I ve watched his public temper tantrum with disgust. He is also a liar who distorted my wife’s voting record. For the record she was the best candidate endorsed by Republican, Conservative, and Indepence parties based on her record in the Assembly, involvement in the Community and private sector job creation. David is a war hero and we all acknowledge it and respect him for his service but that doesn’t automatically make him a good person or a qualified candidate.

Take me off your email list and get a fucking life!

Phil Corwin

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

How about that! A demand that Caputo “get a fucking life” from an unemployed Range Rover Republican millionaire in the Chris Lee inheritance-mold. Remember: when Corwin says that Bellavia “didn’t get his way”, what that translates into is: Bellavia was promised the Republican nomination by Nick Langworthy in 2008 in exchange for Bellavia’s exit from the NY-26 race and endorsement of Chris Lee, along with a promise from Tom Reynolds that Langworthy would set up a PAC for that very reason. Seems as if Bellavia held up his end of the bargain, but the party apparatchiks lied. Twice, minimum. Phil Corwin likens Bellavia’s reaction to that breach an agreement to a “temper tantrum”.

Seems like he should know.

In response, Caputo sent the following to Mr. Corwin:

Phil:Until this email I thought you were a good guy, that you and your wife were just poorly served by a childish group of gutless punk kids. I believed you were above all the dirty tricks and so did David. But I was wrong: now I know you were a part of it, and you disgust me.Don’t tell me what David Bellavia said about Jane’s record; I know precisely what he said. He was truthful at all times, albeit in opposition. You have clearly never been in a competitive campaign because your sensitive skin is chafing.I know you don’t understand the honor and integrity inherent in a veteran’s service: you never deigned to serve your country. Many of us did that for you. We feel a man who is decorated for heroism – for taking bullets for your family, for watching his men die for your family, for holding the head of a friend as he gasped his last breath for your family – is far above the crap you, your wife and your sick allies in the Erie GOP pulled on him.

In fact, now that I know you and Jane were clearly behind all the dirty tricks, it may be time for a primary in Assembly District 142.

When a man fuels his campaign with integrity, he becomes the target of those who have none…

…Click on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of your email. Most folks understand that’s the easy and legal way to stop political mail, protected speech under the First Amendment. Maybe your butler can show you.

Finally, keep your foul language to yourself; it reveals your education. You’ve already shown your patriotism.

Don’t poke bears, Phil. They bite.

Sincerely,
Michael Caputo

There’s a battle being waged for the heart and soul of the local Republican Party – a war brought by those who see the Collins camp as dishonorable and led by a bunch of incompetents. Could Collins get his come-uppance this year due to his own hubris?

UPDATE: I inadvertently wrote that Phil Corwin is an “unemployed Range Rover Republican”. This ignores the fact that Mr. Corwin has an office on the 16th floor of the Manor Rath Building, as a Director of Noblesse-Oblige Vice-Chairman of the Erie County IDA. Even though he’s a dollar-a-year type of guy, he is not technically “unemployed” and reports directly to the man for whom he is the re-election campaign treasurer.

Gov. Cuomo on Budget “Sham” and “Permanent Law”

1 Feb

This editorial piece penned by Governor Cuomo was published yesterday by several newspapers statewide.  It could very well be the most important and informative pieces every written about the Albany budget process, and how broken the system has become.  Cuomo’s aggressive efforts procedurally and substantively to bring genuine change to Albany are something that makes me proud to have supported for him and voted for him.  Even Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo released a statement yesterday saying that, although he “can’t stand” Cuomo,

I must admit the Governor’s early fiscal moves are conservative, responsible and absolutely necessary.

…I am a die-hard Republican who fought in the trenches for Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp and Carl Paladino. I’m as conservative as you can get, and last year I spent most of my time criticizing Andrew Cuomo.”

It is starting to look like I may end up eating a few of my words. But I would happily sit for that meal if the Governor delivers real fiscal reform. In fact, I am writing to tell you I will work to push Cuomo’s fiscal agenda.

Right away, I will contact my legislators and ask them to vote for the two percent property tax cap, but only if it includes mandate relief for local governments. I’ll ask them to cut spending, not raise taxes, to balance the budget. And I am writing to encourage you to do the same.

Caputo’s message was sent to the email list of Paladino supporters, and was accompanied by a form letter recipients could use to contact their legislators.  – BP

By Gov. Andrew Cuomo

As attorney general, I uncovered schemes by lenders to exploit students, plots by insurance companies to defraud patients and attempts by Wall Street to deceive homebuyers. In the past 30 days, as I have prepared the state’s budget, I was shocked to learn that the state’s budget process is a sham that mirrors the deceptive practices I fought to change in the private sector.

The budget process is a metaphor of Albany dysfunction: special interests dominate the process with little transparency; programs continue with no accountability and the taxpayers get the exorbitant bills. The greatest challenge — and opportunity — in this year’s difficult budget is to expose this chronic problem and reform it once and for all. Here’s how it works.

This year it is widely accepted and often reported that the state has a $10 billion “deficit” (I myself have often repeated this number). What does that mean? It is the difference between state revenues and the state’s growth in spending in next year’s budget. The next question is: Who is responsible for setting the growth in the state’s budget? The answer is, shockingly, no one.

It is dictatedby hundreds of rates and formulas that are marbleized throughout New York state laws that govern different programs — formulas that have been built into the law over decades, without regard to fiscal realities, performance or accountability. The formulas operate year after year, generating liabilities that when totaled define the state’s budget growth. The one thing the rates do well is increase year after year. These formulas (predominantly in education and Medicaid funding) are often inserted into the law by pressure from well-connected special interests and lobbyists. When a governor takes office, in many ways the die has already been cast.

Unbelievably, this year these rates and formulas in total call for a 13 percent increase in Medicaid and a 13 percent increase in education funding next year. A 13 percent increase, in this economic climate, is wholly unrealistic. Wouldn’t you like your salary or savings account to be based on a formula that gave you a 13 percent increase even though inflation was under 2 percent? The world doesn’t work that way — except in Albany.

Besides dictating numbers, this process frames the dialogue around the budget and biases the political discourse. First, the rate of increase is rarely discussed. The 13 percent increase this year is close to a state secret. I spoke with numerous experienced Albany hands who had no idea the programs increased 13 percent.

In Albanyspeak, “deficit” means the amount needed to fund the 13 percent increase (as opposed to a normal rate of increase). For example, if one assumed these programs would increase at the rate of inflation (instead of 13 percent) the $10 billion deficit is really a $1 billion deficit. A “cut” is then defined as anything less than a 13 percent increase. By forcing the debate to start with such a large hike — the final budget ends up spending much more than the year before — even after the governor attempts “cuts.” For example, what is called a 7 percent cut in spending is actually a 6 percent increase over the prior year.

The expression used to explain this budget process is that the rates are in “permanent law,” and thus, cannot be changed. “Permanent law” is a term to suggest differentiation from the state’s annual budget bills, which are “temporary” as they only exist for one year. This “permanent law” is really the way the “permanent government” of lobbyists, special interests and political friends manipulates the entire system and misleads the public in the process.

This is the system that has brought New York to the brink, and it is why we are the highest “spending-and-taxing” state in the nation with programs that fail to perform for the people.

This all must end. We need fundamental reform in the budget system that allows us to recalibrate spending this year to a sustainable level and replace “the special interest protection program” of automatic, unrealistic increases. There is no such thing as “permanent” laws and they must all be reviewed and replaced or modified when necessary. The state budget should increase based on objective, fair criteria such as the rate of inflation, enrollment, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or personal income growth. Programs should be reviewed for effectiveness and terminated if they are not working well. Reimbursement rates should be negotiated to get the best bargain. Performance should be measured.

Albany must give up its insistence on pleasing the special interests rather than serving the people. This is the real budget battle that I will wage this year. We must balance this year’s budget, but we must also reform the process so that the cycle finally stops. This year’s budget is not merely about the numbers. It’s about our values and our future.

Wendt Foundation: Bullying WNY Entrepreneurs?

3 Dec

If you’ve been reading WNYMedia.net for a while, you’ll recall that two years ago, I wrote a relatively benign post wondering why Buffalo’s Wendt Foundation was funding anti-casino litigation rather than spending $2 million on funding artistic endeavors in Buffalo – which is its stated mission.  In response, then-Artvoice-columnist, casino opponent, and UB Professor Bruce Jackson accused me of being part of some nefarious local media cabal out to “swiftboat” the Wendt Foundation.

Always game for a good internet fight, WNYMedia.net looked further into the Wendt Foundation, which was (and probably still is) instrumental in funding any and all anti-casino litigation affecting Western New York, had significant multi-year holdings in Harrah’s, a casino operator.  We also disclosed for Bruce that his kids were among the lawyers representing the anti-casino group.

In the wake of these revelations, we tried to penetrate – and expose – the byzantine way in which this financing went from the foundation to the lawyers involved.  We couldn’t, however, because the money was all filtered through the Network for Religious Communities.  Faith-based non-profits such as the NRC are not required to disclose where they get their money, nor how they spend it.  It’s a perfect vessel through which transparency goes to die.

Despite numerous requests, no one from any of the myriad anti-Casino groups agreed to let us see where the money for its lawsuits came from, nor where it went. No one from the NRC ever responded to similar inquiries, and the whole thing ultimately got the Donn Esmonde, “hey let’s ignore all of this – these are my friends” treatment.  The facts are laid out below, and specific questions remain, such as:

  • The Wendt Foundation has paid about $2 million to fund the legal battle, and this is available at its IRS 990 disclosure;
  • The Wendt Foundation paid the money to the Network for Religious Communities, which as a faith-based organization does not have to disclose to the public where it spends its money;
  • The Citizens for a Better Buffalo, the membership of which includes all three Wendt trustees, is not a party to the pending lawsuit, but has been mentioned as being a recipient of Wendt Foundation funds via the Network for Religious Communities in furtherance of the lawsuit (to which it isn’t a party). The CBB is a non-profit corporation that does not have IRS tax-exempt status; and
  • The $2 million-ish has gone through at least one or two organizations before then being paid out to various and sundry lawyers, but no one knows exactly who and how much.

Why am I bringing this up?

You may recall Michael Caputo – political dirty trickster, the Robin to Roger Stone’s Batman – the guy who ran Carl Paladino’s campaign for governor.  During that campaign, I Googled him and came upon this item.  Evidently, Caputo had decided to move back to WNY even before Carl hired him for his recent gubernatorial run, and he and his wife intend to open a tea shop in East Aurora. They intend to name it the “Roycroft Tea Company”.

That is to say, they intended to do so, until the Wendt Foundation got involved.  In an April post at his personal blog, Caputo writes,

Maryna and I have been working for months to build a small business here in East Aurora – the Roycroft Tea Company – in a building on the historic Roycroft Campus. Our goal: to bring high-quality organic loose-leaf teas to Western New York, then open more stores outside the area.

We traveled to India and looked over some of the finest tea plantations in the world, searching for top notch teas. We’ve visited some of the nation’s finest tea rooms to investigate the business. Now Maryna is nearly done selecting 24 teas we will offer “From Farm to Family.”

Now we are ready to open!

Not so fast. A local group that claims to be a non-profit has decided to oppose our business idea. Never mind that the Roycroft is a part of history. Never mind that there are businesses across the United States that use the name. Never mind that we will employ at least ten local people.

The Wendt Foundation (no Web site – make you suspicious too?) says they own the rights to the name “Roycroft” just because they bought one of the buildings on the historical campus.

We have vowed to fight these bullies to the death

Evidently, the Wendt Foundation claims ownership to the rights and use of the word “Roycroft” because it owns and runs the inn that goes by that name. Yet both the Roycroft Inn and the Caputos’ tea company are sited on what is called the “Roycroft Campus”.

Michael Caputo seemed confident the legal process would result in a favorable ruling for Roycroft Tea: “I’ve been involved in patent and trademark litigation in the past. I was a plaintiff in MercExchange v. Ebay, which lasted 77 months, so I’m quite familiar with that type of litigation.We’ve done our homework. You can’t buy history. It’s been proven over and over again.”

The Wendt Foundation’s lawyer claims that people will be confused over whether they’re going to the big hotel or the little tea place in the town that is synonymous with Fisher-Price and Roycrofters.

The word “Roycroft” was chosen by Elbert Hubbard to describe his arts-and-crafts movement because it was the last name of a pair of London bookbinders in the 17th century, and because it means “king’s craft”, evoking the guilds of yore.

I don’t see any reason why it would be unreasonable for an East Aurora-based business located on the Roycroft Campus to use the “Roycroft” name, provided the wares being sold are made skillfully with craftsmanship, rather than imported teabags in a box.  I may not agree with Caputo’s politics, but I even more strenuously dislike some uber-wealthy local foundation bullying a small-business local entrepreneur.  I don’t think the Wendt people realized whom they were up against.

More on this later.  Stay tuned.

Kerplunk goes the Turd

2 Dec

About a month or so ago, the New York Observer’s David Freedlander wrote an article about WNYMedia.net’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.

Hot Carl News

23 Jul

So, what’s up with our ol’ buddy Carl Paladino?  It’s time for our weekly update on what’s new in Carl Paladino news, a feature I’m going to call “Hot Carl News”.

This week, Carl got himself on the Republican ballot after turning in 28,000 petition signatures.  Prior to the campaign finance filings, I thought that Lazio would challenge Paladino’s signatures, but the endorsed Republican nominee did not have the resources to mount a lengthy and costly challenge.   As of the July 15th filing, Lazio had $688,821 in his campaign fund. He had raised $1.6 million in the last six months and spent almost that much on the campaign trail.  After spending that money, Lazio hasn’t made a dent with a message either upstate or downstate.  We’ll now have the first Republican primary for New York Governor since 1994.

Carl is circulating petitions to establish his Taxpayers ballot line/party and has until August 15th to submit 15,000 signatures to get the line on this year’s ballot or 50,000 to guarantee the line on the 2010 and 2014 ballot.  He has the support of Ralph Lorigo in this pursuit as Ralph is still squatting on the Conservative Party line, keeping it from Lazio.

If Carl were to lose the Republican primary, but secure enough signatures to get on the ballot with the Taxpayers line, Carl guarantees a split vote amongst the minority Republicans in the general election.  Do you think Andrew Cuomo is going to challenge those Taxpayer petition signatures?  Not on your life, a split GOP vote means even easier sailing for Cuomo.

This is a perfect opening for Carl and his buddy Ralph to kill off the Conservative line (as Lorigo won’t get the 50K votes necessary to keep the line on the next ballot), establish their own line and use it in the future for their own purposes.  Wait, I think I hear the Hokey Pokey being played, “…and that’s what it’s all about!”

Since his dramatic and unexpected victory to get on the Republican ballot, Carl has been talking about the real issues.  You know, having a guy in a duck costume follow Andrew Cuomo asking why Cuomo won’t join the pointless lawsuits being filed by right wing attorneys general across the country in opposition to the healthcare reform bill.  Carl is also upset about the mosque being built in NYC.  The real frontburner stuff that appeals to intellectually incurious headline readers like Dave DiPietro and WBEN listeners.

This is how a Michael Caputo/Roger Stone campaign works.  Backroom maneuverings (Lorigo, etc.), stunts to get press coverage, creating fake controversies, never focusing on the issues at hand, etc.  Caputo is a public relations guy who knows how to keep Carl’s name in the news.  He knows that toilet trained political journalists around the state need copy/interesting content and Caputo gives it to them for dictation and repetition.  The duck and mosque stories made it into every newspaper and political site in the state (accompanied by Carl’s press release).

The next step in a Caputo/Stone campaign is the dirty tricks or the scandal mongering.  Lazio better hope to the flying spaghetti monster that he doesn’t have a Client 9 type scandal lurking in his closet.   This is what is known as a political puncher’s chance, which Carl now has that he is on the primary ballot.  If he can get himself a spot on the general election ballot (either by beating Lazio in the primary or on his own line), he’ll pull in 20-25% of the statewide vote unless he radically centers his message.  The voter demographics just don’t suit much more than that.

I digress…to close out the week, Carl rolled out Erie County Executive Chris Collins to endorse his campaign.  Which he did enthusiastically on (WNYMedia content partner) YNN’s Albany television show, Capitol Tonight.

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Collins was a presumptive nominee for New York Governor until he called Assemblyman Shelly Silver the anti-christ and asked a professional woman for a lap dance during the state of the state address.  Carl sent emails featuring a video of a horse performing anal sex to completion on a woman along with dozens of racist images, yet gets on the ballot…weird double standard.

Carl’s problem in a state with a 70/30 Democrat/Republican enrollment split, is not just the numbers.  Carl has a massive credibility problem downstate, on Long Island and in NYC.  He has an appeal with the underemployed upstate ne’er-do-wells who blame government for their lack of success/wealth, but his background and demonstrated lack of judgment will be an issue for him if he is to be a serious candidate.

That is something that the endorsements of Chris Collins (also a downstate liability) and Nick Langworthy (who?) cannot fix.

Michael Caputo on Twitter

12 Jul

I wonder what Carl Paladino’s campaign manager is so afraid of?

Manhattan Grand Jury Indicts Paladino Petitionmeister

14 Jun

I’m looking around, and I think it’s safe to say that this site was the first and only news portal of any kind in WNY to report on the legal troubles surrounding John Haggerty, whom Carl Paladino tapped several months ago to coordinate his petition-gathering effort.

Just 10-ish days later, a Manhattan grand jury has indicted Haggerty for allegedly misappropriating, laundering, or otherwise converting about $1 million in campaign contributions made by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the state Independence Party.

One of the attractions of the Paladino campaign is that he will ostensibly run an ethical administration, pledging to clean Albany up, with blunt instruments, if necessary. He accuses Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver of crimes for which he should be sent to Attica, yet Silver has been indicted by a grand jury on zero occasions. Mr. Haggerty, on the other hand, is under indictment for grand larceny, money laundering, and falsifying business records.

You’ll note that Haggerty is the member of a rogue group of Republicans that has broken away from the Queens GOP establishment – a group which includes Paladino’s running mate, Tom Ognibene.

One would expect a reform campaign that bases part of its platform on transparency, openness, and responsive government would disassociate itself from an indicted alleged felon, if for no other reason to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Instead, they’re doubling down, as seen here in the reviled comments section of the Buffalo News:

Touchiest Campaign Ever®

27 Apr

Carl Paladino’s wife seems like a really nice woman, and I can’t blame her or his campaign for setting up an overly friendly look at Paladino’s character issues. Who better to try and defuse questions concerning his decency than his wife? It’s genius.

But the taintlicking “article” then takes a weird detour into what we’re supposed to believe is internal campaign discussions about potentially damaging information. Roger Stone’s mini-me, Michael Caputo claims that the campaign set up:

  • Focus groups to gauge reaction to the out-of-wedlock kid issue.
  • Focus groups to gauge reaction to the emails featuring an historically derogatory term for black people, and also horsefucking videos.

The candidate’s and campaign’s reaction to the release of the emails in question reveals that this is utter bullshit.  There is no way – no chance – that Paladino and his campaign retained the services of a pollster or marketer to gauge reaction to the emails.  This is because Paladino still doesn’t think the emails were any big deal.  They’re just jokes.  Everyone does it.  Everyone forwards jokes containing the word “ni**er” and videos featuring graphic horse-on-woman sex.  Right?

Just the other day, Paladino doubled down on the dumb by sending around this pathetic excuse masquerading as a poignant parable about how sending horsefucking videos to your buddies is exactly like loving your friends and going to heaven.

He doesn’t comprehend what’s wrong with them, and his WBEN-listening, tea party constituency is eating it up. He speaks to them – to their insecurities, to their inferiority complexes, to their prejudices, to their misguided but earnest victimhood.

That Buffalo News article featuring Mrs. Paladino was very nice, and I suspect that it was set up to ensure that the Buffalo News writ large wouldn’t join WNYMedia.net, WGRZ‘s Josh Boose, and the News’ Jim Heaney as persona non grata on the Touchiest Campaign Ever.®

The Thick Skin Express.

But it wasn’t news, and gave Michael Caputo an opportunity to spin what’s been a truly stunning display of clumsy campaign mismanagement.

Unapologetic

20 Apr

Courtesy of Paladino for the People campaign manager Michael Caputo and the strategic political marketing & messaging shop they’ve retained, “Grasstop Concepts“, comes this:

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The fact that Caputo has inserted himself into the campaign as a personality is hilarious in its narcissism.

It also reminds me of this. A lot:

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