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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dunne and Zalewski to Mayor: Withdraw Paladino Endorsement

Update: Dunne sent out a corrected version of the press release, which now appears below. Also, Zalewski confirmed that he is in fact kzalewski on The Record's website.

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.”

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7 Comments:

Blogger The Dartlady said...

I believe the mayor has every right to support the candidate of his choice. It is his personal choice. Simply because he is supporting this candidate doesn't mean every real citizen of Troy must. These two councilmen should focus on promoting the candidate of their own chosing rather than using this as an opportunity to attack Mayor Tutunjian.

September 24, 2010 at 7:58 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really have to love these two clowns....Where were they when Eliot Spitzer was ordering call girls?.....When Hevisi was doing his deeds?....When Dunne left the Dorm Authority with an agreement to never return?....When Zalewski gor a $100,000 state job without a civil service test?............Just amazing and you wonder why we are tired of politicians.

September 24, 2010 at 4:38 PM 
Anonymous kzalewski said...

Peggy, you are 100% correct. The Mayor can support any candidate of his choosing.

However, when the Mayor decides to make his choice public by using the Uncle Sam parade as a tool to bring a candidate to our city and issue a public endorsement of that candidate, he is then open to criticism.

As a public official, I have a right to take issue with any action that the Mayor takes, in his capacity as an elected official, with which I disagree.

I disagree strongly with using a parade that is meant to celebrate Uncle Sam as a venue for issuing an endorsement to a very divisive and demeaning individual.

I disagree with Troy's Republican party, by their presence at the endorsement, giving their implicit approval of this candidate. The Republicans that I know in Troy are decent people who do not support racist and factious rhetoric.

I disagree with a candidate who portrays himself as an outsider, as an everyday person, and as an angry citizen, when he is actually a government insider and a multi-millionaire. Heck, he received a $1.4 million tax break for a project that created only a single job. Most of us won't see $1.4 million in our entire lives, but this guy took $1.4 million of taxpayer money - a government handout - and what did Buffalo get for it? One new job.

Where are all the true conservatives screaming about "corporate welfare"? Why would any of us be fooled by a political game player trying to pretend that he is not part of the system?

I don't fault the Mayor for endorsing him. Harry might not have known about Paladino's checkered past - the racist remarks, the sexist and perverted e-mails, the government handouts, the buy-out of politicians, the malfunctioning moral compass.

However, we now know these things, and Bill Dunne and I call on him to rescind the endorsement and reject this man's politics of division. Anger is not a platform, and while anger resonates with voters, it does nothing to correct the problems that our state faces.

September 25, 2010 at 11:00 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Dunne is really going to attack someone for making inappropriate statements? This is the Dorm Authority pot calling the kettle black.

September 25, 2010 at 12:29 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe they are trying to point out the unacceptable behavior of Mr. Paladino. I guess your not offended by racism? And, as this is America, they have the right to point our a baffoon when they see one. Good job guys.

September 26, 2010 at 11:06 AM 
Anonymous Anonna Mus said...

Hey Kenny, let's say you had a job...where would you be at on September 25, 2010 at 11:00 AM?

September 29, 2010 at 9:38 PM 
Anonymous al miller said...

I find it funny the Troy Republicans are completely incapable of addressing the issue at hand. You always resort to personal attacks. Just answer a simple question - Do you support a bigot or not?

September 30, 2010 at 10:31 AM 

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