Dunne and Zalewski to Mayor: Withdraw Paladino Endorsement
Two members of the Troy City Council want Mayor Harry Tutunjian to withdraw his endorsement of Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for Governor. Tutunjian announced his endorsement on September 12 in Troy, just days before the primaries, saying that Paladino is the person to "take the burden from taxpayers".
Now, Bill Dunne, D-District 4, and Ken Zalewski, D-District 5, have issued a press release calling for Tutunjian to retract the endorsement because of "countless bigoted and sexually perverse" e-mail forwarded by Paladino earlier this year before announcing his candidacy. The e-mails have a been a recurring source of criticism for the Gubernatorial candidate, who has apologized for them. Just last week members of the NAACP and other minority groups held a protest regarding the e-mails.
"In his recent endorsement speech, Mayor Harry Tutunjian described Mr. Paladino as someone we can relate to," said Dunne in the release. "Personally, I can related to him and I'd love to know exactly what the Mayor means by this. Does he share Mr. Paladino's off-putting sense of humor? I, for one, don't find racism to be funny."
Zalewski continues the theme of whether or not Paladino is relatable, focusing on his personal wealth, his affair, and 31 years as a registered Democratic as examples of Paladino being "the dictionary definition of hypocrisy."
Commenter kzalewski, reasonably believed to be Zalewski himself, made multiple comments regarding the endorsement on the above-linked article that contain links to the e-mails and similar language to the press release.
The full press release is below:
Members of the Troy City Council are calling upon Mayor Harry Tutunjian to withdraw his endorsement of Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, after it was revealed that Mr. Paladino enjoyed and forwarded countless bigoted and sexually perverse e-mails. In addition, Mr. Paladino laughed at offended responders, claiming the overtly racist e-mails were “funny”.
“In his recent endorsement speech, Mayor Harry Tutunjian described Mr. Paladino as someone we can relate to. Personally, I can't relate to him and I'd love to know exactly what the Mayor means by this. Does he share Mr. Paladino's off-putting sense of humor? I, for one, don't find racism to be funny,” stated Councilman Bill Dunne(Democrat - District 4).
“Troy's citizens do not relate to a multi-millionaire who pretends to be 'one of them'. We do not relate to a hypocrite who criticized Governor Paterson for having an affair, when it turns out that he had his own affair. We do not relate to a "pay-to-play" government insider who made millions by buying out politicians, and who now wants to cast himself as an outsider and reformer,” commented Councilman Ken Zalewski (Democrat - District 5). “Mr. Paladino is the dictionary definition of hypocrisy, and his campaign is divisive and dishonest.”
Zalewski also noted that Tutunjian used the Uncle Sam parade as a vehicle to give Paladino a platform, then had to back-pedal when Paladino showed his true colors. “It wasn't enough that the Mayor politicized the Uncle Sam parade by endorsing this individual,” said Zalewski. “He then had to cover up for Paladino‟s extremist remarks.”
“We are at as sad a point in this country as I can remember. At a time when we should be coming together to build consensus and solve problems, candidates like Carl Paladino are playing on peoples worst fears, dividing Americans along socio-economic lines. There is nothing 'maverick' about this. This is right out of the playbook of Republican strategist Karl Rove and Bush era political divisiveness,” continued Dunne.
“Councilman Dunne and I call on Mayor Tutunjian to disavow Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino and his racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic comments,” stated Zalewski. “Troy is a city of working class people who reject the politics of division and who can easily see through Paladino's veneer of righteous indignation: He is not a change agent – he is part of the problem – a government insider who exploited the system to build his massive fortune.”