Paladino issues apology for comments; school board schedules special meeting

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The president of the Buffalo School Board has scheduled a special board meeting for this Thursday, December 29 to “…discuss Board Member conduct.” The meeting will be held at 2:30PM in the Common Council Chambers.

Much has been said online in the wake of Carl Paladino’s comments about the president and first lady. As News 4 has reported, many feared the cramped quarters of the board of education would not be large enough to support expected attendance. Many are expected to air their grievances — or their support — of the local developer.

Common Council President Darius Pridgen offered Common Council Chambers on Monday. “When we talk about the public discourse and the information that’s come forward, the statements that have been made, I think it’s important that all people be heard, whether they agree or disagree with him,” Pridgen said.

Paladino’s comments appeared in Thursday’s edition of ArtVoice, and set off an international firestorm of response. In a Christmas Eve Facebook post, Paladino’s own son distanced himself from his father and the company he founded, Ellicott Development, saying they don’t support the comments of their chairman.

William Paladino, Ellicott’s CEO, also wrote his father hasn’t had day-to-day control of the company in years.

Carl Paladino said in response to an ArtVoice question about predictions for 2017, that he hoped Barack Obama dies from Mad Cow Disease that he would contract from sexual relations with a bovine, and that Michelle Obama chose to live out her days with a gorilla in a Zimbabwean cave.

Carl Paladino responded to the public outcry with a lengthy statement late last week, that he was in no way referring to race, and that his comments were made in jest.

Pridgen said he believes such comments from a public official have the potential to set the city back.

“We still live in the United States of America,” Pridgen said. “However, I do think that, as leaders and as elected leaders, we have to be responsible for what we put out in the public domain. What you say in your bedroom, what you say in your living room, that’s up to you. But when you put something out in public, then it gives the public the right to respond to what you say in public.”

“I think it hurts the whole race relations issue and situation in our city,” he added. “We’ve come too far to go backwards now.”

Paladino issued a statement apologizing to some about his comments. It reads:

“I never intended to hurt the minority community who I spent years trying to help out of the cycle of poverty in our inner cities. To them I apologize. I thought about them every day as I fought against unqualified and incompetent superintendents, administrators, teachers and School Board members, unfair union contracts, broken homes and children who can’t get the education they need to break that cycle of poverty because our school system is a failure, for reasons that needn’t be. I have shown those who chose not to watch but to enter the arena how to fight the demons. Nevertheless, I won’t be judged by those timid souls who sit uninvolved in the gallery always prepared to criticize.  Nor do I have any respect or regrets for the insane education activists who hover over and defend the dysfunction of the BPS.

I received Jamie Moses’ emailed survey at an emotional moment after I had just listened to Obama’s statement that he regretted the slaughter in Aleppo that, in fact, resulted from his failed and cowardly foreign policy. His policy is to look the other way while innocent people were murdered and starved.  I view Barack Obama as a traitor to American values. We don’t stand down and leave soldiers to die on a battlefield when we can send help. We don’t lie to the American people and the parents of our fallen to get re-elected.  Obama has not led America to a better place by disregarding the rule of law and standing with his elitist brethren as above the law; nor has his wife Michele Obama who told our children and the world after the election that now there is no hope for America.

Those survey questions provided me with the spark to vent and write deprecating humor about a bad President for whom the main stream media continues to seek an undeserved legacy. I wanted to say something as sarcastic and hurtful as possible about the people who are totally responsible for the hurt and suffering of so many others. I was wired up, primed to be human and I made a mistake. I could not have made a worse choice in the words I used to express my feelings.
 
It’s all too easy to make mistakes when you’re emotional about the rigged teachers’ contract by an incompetent Board of Education majority who sold out the school district as payback to teacher’s union leader Phil Rumore for his election support. They couldn’t care less about the children of Buffalo. I’m bewildered about the Supreme Court Judge who tried to dismiss a lawsuit to recover $450 million fleeced from the children of Buffalo by LP Ciminelli during the $1.4 billion schools building project.

I publicly took responsibility for what I said and confirmed those were my answers, but believe it or not, I did not mean to send those answers to Artvoice.  Not that it makes any difference because what I wrote was inappropriate under any circumstance.  I filled out the survey to send to a couple friends and forwarded it to them not realizing that I didn’t hit “forward” I hit “reply.” All men make mistakes. 

What is horrible is explaining to my 17 year old daughter how her hero could be so stupid. 

What is horrible is watching my family and friends react to the rabid hordes of attacking parasites we now call activist progressives. 

It’s been a sick, combative year for America. We changed the direction of our country and beat back the demons for a few decades. I am proud to have been a part of the making of history.

As for the vanquished progressive haters out there spewing their venom at anything that is a reminder of their humiliating defeat, irrelevance is tough to chew on. 

For the mean-spirited, disoriented press trying to find grounding and recover legitimacy on my back, pray that you still have a job next year because you have lost all credibility with the people. 
 
No, I’m not leaving the school board, not when it’s time to help implement the real choice elements of Trump’s plan for education reform.  I’ve spent years dedicated to the mission to defeat the thought that the liberal progressive elitist establishment can continue to hold our minority children captive in the cycle of poverty simply to provide their voting base. I don’t intend to yield to the fanatics among my adversaries.  I certainly am not a racist.
 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”

The Buffalo Parent-Teacher Organization is also calling for Paladino’s ouster, and hosting a rally this week to demand the state education department take action against Paladino.

The rally will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Niagara Square.

The board is also expected to host a work session on January 11 ahead of their regular meeting January 18.

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