Would-be King Carl (Tea Party Hypocrisy, New York State of Mine)

A man named Carl Paladino is running to be governor of New York.  You’ve probably heard of him thanks to his infamous endorsements of, and dalliances with, bestiality videos and forwarded emails full of porn and racist images of Barack and Michelle Obama dressed up as “pimps” and “hoes.”  Bob Herbert (his excellent NYT column on Paladino is now behind a paywall) said it best regarding this issue:

“Is the Republican candidate for governor of New York a racist, sexist, pornography-loving creep? Or are there other, more benign, explanations for the stomach-turning e-mails distributed by Carl Paladino?”

Paladino and his lackeys (The suicide rate among his “staff” has to be high) lazily attempted to dismiss the emails as indicative of  “bad judgment,” which, besides being cynical and pathetic, begs the question: Why should New Yorkers entrust their vote to someone with such admittedly “bad judgment.”  If he’s not smart enough to realize that sending his co-workers puerile, disgusting emails might be a  bad idea especially when he has designs on the governor’s mansion, how can he be expected to handle grown-up stuff like the Empire State’s staggering $5.5 billion deficit.  I can just hear the shallow, deluded voices yelling back at me through the void: BUT, PALADINO’S A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSMAN, HE’S A MILLIONAIRE, BUDDY!  HE KNOWS HOW TO RUN THINGS.  I hate this damn near pathological strain of blind worship in far too many Americans that holds that someone like Paladino’s worth and success not only automatically guarantees them to be a genius, but also automatically washes away their, in this case, hideous faults and glaring deficits of character.

Let’s look a little further into Paladino’s success.  Much like fellow Tea Party hypocrite Wisconsin Senate Candidate Ron Johnson, Paladino has staked his electoral claim as a fiery, unhinged avenger against Government HANDOUTS and WASTE, but right on cue the New York Daily News found out that Paladino has “received millions of dollars in tax breaks over the years.”   Blatant hypocrisy. Check.   But it gets worse (emphasis mine):

In 2002, one of his companies, J-P Group LLC, won a major tax break from the Empire State Development Corp. by promising to upgrade 16 properties scattered near downtown Buffalo within what was then designated as an Empire Zone.

The properties included a doctor’s office, a shopping center, several retail shops, a bank and a handful of vacant lots.

The program’s incentive was to generate jobs and inject investment into a downtrodden area that would, in the end, offset the sales and real estate tax revenue lost.

It didn’t work out that way.

From 2001 through 2007, Paladino’s company received $1.47 million in tax breaks, but invested only $1.1 million in payroll and capital improvements. The end result was a net loss of $300,000, defeating the purpose of the program.

Also, when the tax break began, J-P Group had one full-time employee. By 2008, that number had grown to two”

This is why the blind worship of success and money that I mentioned before is so naive and galling.  It is almost always a scam or a shell game with people like Paladino leaving cut throats and destroyed lives in their wake while they plumb loopholes to steal money from the governments and/or investors as demonstrated here by the Daily News.  This man has nothing if not balls and is desperately fighting the good fight “to hold on to a $1.4 million tax break for a company that created  only one job and put back into the economy less than it took out.”  Yep.  An Anti-Big Government Tea Party candidate sustained and subsidized by Government handouts is actually fighting tooth and nail in court to keep his corporate welfare while braying incessantly about its EVILS to the rubes on the campaign trail day and night–Who would have thunk it??  And as Rachel Maddow astutely and insistently points out: They’re not ashamed.    When the state rightfully reexamined and then revoked Paladino’s tax break due to his company’s failure to “provide economic returns to the state” he took them to court to get it restored and as of this past August he succeeded, brazenly taking an arrogant parting shot at “the fools in the legislature” on the way out the courtroom door.  Of course those “fools in the legislature” would be his colleagues were he to win, so at least they won’t have to worry about seeing people have sex with animals whenever they open one of his emails.

But let’s look at another predictable layer of Paladino’s appalling hypocrisy.  True to a long, loud and proud conservative, “Chickenhawk” lineage ole’ Carl was a big proponent of the Vietnam War until…wait for it…it was his time to go and then it was deferments all day, every day.  Take it away, Greg Mitchell (from an excellent column entitled “Carl Paladino’s School Days”)

“like so many gung-ho types, Paladino took his ROTC money and commitment to serve and… took a pass for three years, getting a deferment to go to law school at Syracuse in 1968 at the height of the Vietnam escalation, not joining up for his tour until 1971, when withdrawals were well underway. He did not go off to war, spending less than a year on active duty—yet has bragged about his military record and compared his campaign to the exploits of Gen. George Patton.”                                                                                                                                   (emphasis mine)

His feverish, delusional “chickenhawk” equation of his ROTC exploits with Gen. Patton’s service goes along way to explaining his already legendary surreal, cartoonish, tough-guy confrontation with the New York Post’s Fred Dicker a few days ago.  It also goes to show that, all hyperbole aside, this man is unfit for office by any measurable standard.

Besides calling the state legislature “fools,” Paladino bragged to the Associated Press (via HuffPo) that his time in office “wouldn’t be pretty” and that he “would only work with people of his choosing” while in the same breath lamenting the dictatorial tone of those currently in Albany.  Think about that sentence.  Paladino is openly bragging that he would only work with other elected officials of his choosing because the people who currently run Albany do so like dictators.  It’s a surefire gold medal winner in the Orwellian Olympics.  I’m confused because I thought dictators were the type of tough-guy, manly men who only worked with the people of their “choosing.”  You also find out in this priceless AP article that Paladino hates campaigning:

“Doing this, this campaigning, is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever got myself involved with, but it’s a necessary evil so that I can do the real job,”

Translation: I’m rich, I have enough money to buy the governor’s seat, but I have to go through the motions, interacting with these ‘disgusting’ rubes and mongrel races when I should be in court making sure my corporate welfare keeps flowing.  It just isn’t fair.  Handouts for me: legally mandated right of God and Country.  Handouts for you: a disgusting, unconscionable waste of money, and a breach of the Constitution, or something

Again, all hyperbole aside, this man is not fit for ANY public office.  He somehow survived the racist emails with his lazy, half-hearted denials and insistence that the people they offended didn’t have a “sense of humor,” but when you look deeper at this man the picture, amazingly, only becomes more seedy, appalling and unsettling.  Paladino is emblematic of a new breed of openly brazen “pay to play” avatars in American Politics, like his fellow gubernatorial candidates Medicare embezzler/fraud king Rick Scott and bumbling idiot/accidental CEO Meg Whitman, whose only talents are the ability to game the system and accumulate wealth, while creating nothing as the New York Legislature affirmed in Paladino’s case, and whose only principles consist of using said wealth to purchase elections and titles so that they may perpetuate the system they so expertly game, insulating it from any meaningful change by holding official levers of power.

A true parade of the horribles.

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