Something stinks in the campaign of New York GOP Senatorial nominee Carl Paladino. Over 200,000 citizens received a mailer that Paladino intentionally scented with a “landfill” odor in his campaign against Democratic nominee Andrew Cuomo.
Paladino felt that the landfill laced mailers were are perfect way to add another sense to photos of seven Democrats featured in their involvement in corruption scandals.
The mailer labeled “Something STINKS in Albany” contains a vile odor to drive home the point. It is an increasing twist on winning votes by turning stomachs. Democrats can respond with mailers on oil spills that smell like dead otters. Soon we will need a hazmat suit just to retrieve the morning mail.
In the meantime, former Senator Al D’Amato has signed an open letter with former Mayor Ed Koch and former State Comptroller Carl McCall that calls Paladino not only unfit to be governor but outright dangerous.
Here is the letter:
An Open Letter to New Yorkers
The victory of Carl Paladino in the Republican Primary was a disappointing day for all New Yorkers. This state has a long history of electing highly qualified, forward-looking statewide candidates – both Democrats and Republicans. Yesterday, however, anger overcame reason and enabled a fringe element to choose the Republican nominee. The end result was the selection of Mr. Paladino, a divisive figure simply not fit to lead this great state.
At a time when we need leaders who can bring New Yorkers together, Mr. Paladino practices a destructive brand of politics that will divide our state. He first came to the attention of most New Yorkers when it was revealed that, for years, he has shared racially offensive emails with associates. Including videos popular with white supremacists, these emails are beneath the dignity of a candidate for high office.
This, however, was merely a preview of what we have seen along the campaign trail. Mr. Paladino was justifiably condemned by the AntiDefamation League and editorial boards alike for referring to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver – a prominent Jewish leader – as the closest thing New York has to an anti-Christ or a Hitler. Most recently, Mr. Paladino offended basic New York values when he suggested that low income New Yorkers should be sent to prison work camps for lessons in “personal hygiene.” That type of hateful comment has no place in our discourse, dehumanizing the poor and playing off of despicable racist ideas.
Mr. Paladino is also running a disingenuous campaign. He has portrayed himself as an anti-government crusader, while embodying the very worst of Albany’s pay-to-play culture. To quote his own slogan, he is the reason that New Yorkers are “Mad as Hell.”
He has personally distributed close to a half a million dollars to federal and state candidates, bankrolling the campaigns of numerous allies. This has allowed him to pocket millions of dollars in tax incentives, sweetheart deals, and scores of government contracts. Paladino’s real estate empire takes in over $10 million each year in government rents alone.
There’s a reason why even the chairmen of the Republican and Conservative parties disavowed Mr. Paladino’s candidacy, noting that he “stands in stark contrast to what the Republican party stands for,” that Paladino is a “dangerous candidate,” and that he “tries to appeal to the mean spiritedness” of people.
We need a governor who can take on the special interests, not one who is a special interest. We also need a governor who will bring New Yorkers together to take on our common challenges, not drive us apart. Through his own words and actions Carl Paladino has proven himself unfit to serve as Governor – he is exactly the wrong person to lead our state.
EDWARD I. KOCH