Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gov. Paterson's team 'deeply disturbed' by gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino's e-mail conduct

Wednesday, April 14th 2010, 4:00 AM

Gov. Paterson wants to distance himself for controversial governor  hopeful Carl Paladino.
Groll/AP, Noonan for News
Gov. Paterson wants to distance himself for controversial governor hopeful Carl Paladino.

ALBANY - Rogue Republican gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino's outrageous behavior is too much even for Gov. Paterson.

Paterson's team was scrambling Tuesday to cut its contracts with the millionaire Buffalo businessman.

Administration officials were "deeply disturbed" by revelations Paladino had forwarded racist and smutty e-mails - the latest in a string of offensive and bizarre behavior.

The e-mails included hard-core pornography and a bestiality video. Others portrayed Africans as monkeys, including one that dubbed an African tribal ritual as an Obama inauguration rehearsal.

"The things we saw are just disturbing, offensive, racist and unacceptable," a Paterson administration source said.

Angered New Yorkers have inundated Paladino's office with complaints, including a bomb threat that was phoned in, an aide said.

Paterson staffers powwowed to determine whether the state could cancel leases it has with Paladino's real estate company.

Paladino, Buffalo's biggest private landlord, founded Ellicott Development Co. in 1973.

He has 27 contracts to lease office space to the state totaling more than $85 million.

Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo said Paterson's team will "lose at this as they've lost at other attempts to politicize contracts."

Still, even Paladino's fellow Tea Partyers were hustling to toss him overboard.

Mark Williams, chairman of the Tea Party Express, called Paladino "a total fraud if he's calling himself a Tea Party candidate. ... Those e-mails are absolutely the antithesis of what the Tea Party is."

Paladino, a Syracuse law school graduate and former Army officer, acknowledges being politically incorrect, but insists he's no racist.

"I'm human, I'm imperfect, as are all of God's children," he told Albany's Talk 1300 radio yesterday.

He and his wife of nearly 40 years have three kids, the youngest of whom died in a car accident last year, leaving the couple devastated.

He confessed to his wife around then that he'd fathered a child in 2000 during an extramarital affair with an employee.

A well-known figure in Buffalo for speaking his mind, Paladino revels in mixing things up:

- He's called for putting Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in Attica prison.

- He angered 9/11 families by saying President Obama's health reform would kill more people than the terrorist attacks.

- The Buffalo Common Council once voted to condemn Paladino as "racially divisive" after he said a school superintendent had been hired "because he was black."

- And he's used derisive terms for various ethnic groups, including fellow Italians.

The anti-abortion, pro-gun, and anti-gay-marriage Paladino served up a meat-and-potatoes Republican and conservative agenda in announcing his candidacy on April 5.

He promised to serve only a single term if elected, and to slash spending and taxes by 10% in his first six months.

klovett@nydailynews.com

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