Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Carl Paladino APOLOGIZES!

After first trying to deny his words, or some of them (the ones he had in his written speech but didn't read), Carl Paladino has done something unusual - he has actually apologized.

The actual and unedited text of his apology is below. While I still disagree with him on a large number of issues and I still support his Democratic opponent in the New York gubernatorial election, the issuance of an actual apology that has a minimum of weasel wording is worth noting. As a reward, I am editing my earlier post to remove the caricature of Mr. Paladino's head with the Charlie Chaplin moustache photoshopped onto a picture of one A. Hitler, former Fuehrer of the Third Reich.

Here is the text of the apology, followed by my comments:

I am Carl Paladino, a father, a husband, a builder and a business owner. I am neither perfect, nor a career politician. I have made mistakes in this campaign - I have made mistakes all my life- as we all have. I am what I am - a simple man who works hard, trusts others, and loves his family and fears for the future of our State.

Yesterday I was handed a script. I redacted some contents that were unacceptable. I did also say some things for which I should have chosen better words. I said other things that the press misinterpreted and misstated. I sincerely apologize for any comment that may have offended the Gay and Lesbian Community or their family members. Any reference to branding an entire community based on a small representation of them is wrong. My personal beliefs are:

1) I am a live and let live person.

2) I am 100% against discrimination of any group. I oppose discrimination of any kind in housing, credit, insurance benefits or visitation.

3) I am 100% against hate crimes in any form.

4) I am in support of civil agreements and equal rights for all citizens.

5) My position on marriage is based on my personal views. I have the same position on this issue as President Barrack Obama. I have previously stated I would support a referendum by New York voters. I have proposed Initiative and Referendum so New Yorkers can decide important issues like this.

6) The portrayal of me as anti-gay is inconsistent with my lifelong beliefs and actions and my prior history as an father, employer and friend to many in the gay and lesbian community.

I am concerned with the future for all our citizens, gay, straight, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim and Agnostic. Although I am not perfect I do admit my mistakes. I will reach out to leaders of the gay community to educate me on how to better represent my support for the rights of all citizens. If elected as your governor I will stand and fight for all gay New Yorkers rights. I ask you for forgiveness on my poorly chosen words and the publication by others not involved with our campaign of unredacted script that did not reflect my oral statement or match my personal feelings. Please go to my website to learn more detail about the issues including my staunch support for civil rights for all New Yorkers.

The only weasely words?

I did also say some things for which I should have chosen better words. I said other things that the press misinterpreted and misstated.

The "should have chosen better words" part requires some amplification, as does the "misinterpreted and misstated."

It's really hard to misinterpret and misstate an unaltered video.

Essentially, what Carl biggest mistake was to read someone else's words as his own, slightly edited. That someone was most probably the ultra-conservative right wing "Rabbi" Yehuda Levin, the leader of a tiny ultra-Orthodox but not Hasidic Jewish sect.

Carl was trying to garner support from these people by telling them pretty much what their leader wanted them to hear. So, if he doesn't believe what he told them, he was lying to them to get their vote, possibly not thinking that the terribly nasty things he was saying to pander to this small group was going to be spread to the rest of the world by way of the news media and the blogosphere.

This is the sort of campaign trick that used to work fairly well - a candidate would tell a small group what they wanted to hear without fearing that the words would be recorded and broadcast, and then promising something else to some other group.

In this case, Mr. Paladino got caught.

His hiding behind Barack Obama's skirts as if the President is his mommy, on the issue of marriage equality, is rather disingenuous. President Obama is wrong on this issue, and he is another example of a lying politician who has told many different stories to many different groups on many different issues, though President Obama's actual record is mixed.

If Carl really believes in "live and let live," he would be willing to put the Constitution above his religious prejudices - why should the Catholic Church decide whether gay Unitarians should be able to get legally married?

The fact remains that no one who places the immoral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church ahead of the Constitution of the United States or that of the State of New York, is and remains unqualified to be Governor.

The addition of "Initiative" and "Referendum" like they have in California, particularly if not limited so that individual rights are unaffected, is likely to result in what Alexis de Tocqueville referred to as "the tyranny of the majority." Popular votes taken to limit the rights of people who are different that they don't like, can result in injustice - the majority is not always right.

Carl - if your apology was genuine and sincerely intended:

- Will you openly sponsor a civil marriage bill as a Governor's program bill? (It has to be civil marriage, because "live and let live" does not work any other way unless you abolish civil marriage for everyone in New York and leave it up to the churches and individuals to decide for themselves on the basis of their own personal beliefs). It is okay for you to be personally against marrying a man yourself - you already have a wife, and a female concubine (well, how else am I supposed to describe the mother of your daughter . . .) - you don;t have to choose to marry a man - so that's where your personal beliefs are appropriate.

- Will you make GENDA a Governor's program bill? It would extend human rights and hate crimes protections to the trans community.

- Will you direct insurance companies and Medicaid to provide for medically appropriate care for all, including transgender New Yorkers?

- Will you pledge to let the federal government deal with immigration issues and leave the State out of it?

- Will you support abolishing city, town and village governments (excepting New York City) and provide for consolidation of services (including school districts) at the county level?

- Will you support making Medicaid costs the sole responsibility of the State without passing the cost off to the counties?

- Will you support the abolition of "member items?"

- Will you support the elimination of all loopholes in the mortgage recording tax?

- Will you support the adoption of the ACRIS recording system on a statewide basis, with local recording officers acting only as agents of the state? Will you provide for free online public access to land records (as they do in the State of Florida?)

I have much longer laundry list, but something along these lines would be a start.

Taking the Medicaid burden off county governments and consolidating local municipalities and districts to the county government level would go much farther toward reducing the real property tax burden than the things you're foolishly promising already.

But Carl, I do thank you for the apology - it's not something that a Ruben Diaz or a Sally Kern would ever do. It may be that all you need is a little education.

If you don't follow through on your apology, would you prefer I find a photo of Benito Mussolini to use as the basis for a caricature?

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