CHARACTER COUNTS (NOT)
I was going to do a post about this little detail from a story about Carl Paladino's campaign headquarters in Buffalo:
On the wall near [receptionist Laurie] Kostrzewski's desk were several cartoons, one of which depicted an old man. "At my age, I don't miss sex," the caption read. In crude language, the cartoon explained, the man gets that service provided by the state.
Well, charming. I suppose this is a step up for Paladino, given that there's no horse involved.
Then I read this story, which seemed to say a bit more about character in the Paladino camp:
As he mounts an outrage-filled campaign for governor of New York, Carl P. Paladino has vowed to forcibly rid Albany of the wayward officials and misbehaving bureaucrats who he says have demeaned state government, promising to "take out the trash."
But some of the people whom Mr. Paladino has recruited to run his campaign are plagued by brushes with the law and allegations of misconduct, an examination of public records shows.
His campaign manager failed to pay nearly $53,000 in federal taxes over the last few years, prompting the Internal Revenue Service to take action against him. An aide who frequently drives Mr. Paladino on the campaign trail served jail time in Arizona on charges of drunken driving.
Another adviser has been indicted on charges of stealing more than $1 million from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's re-election bid last year. And Mr. Paladino's campaign chairwoman left a local government position amid claims that she had steered $1 billion in public money to a politically connected investment manager.
Their backgrounds could raise questions about the kind of cabinet Mr. Paladino, a Republican, would assemble if elected in November and cast doubt on his ability to radically remake the dysfunctional culture of Albany, government watchdogs said....
I'm particularly fond of the driver, a tricorn-wearing teabagger named Rus Thompson:
When initially asked on Monday about his arrest for driving under the influence, Mr. Paladino's driver, Rus Thompson, erupted in an expletive-laced tirade and told a reporter, "I fight a lot dirtier than Carl does." Soon after that, he hung up, but later consented to a longer interview.
Um, Mr. Thompson? Didn't you try to run for state comptroller? Weren't you profiled recently in The Wall Street Journal as the guy who persuaded Paladino to run? Haven't you appeared on Glenn Beck's show? What -- do you think it's swell to be in the public eye, but you have some inalienable right to be exempt from bad publicity?
What I can't help thinking is that if Paladino somehow wins, he's going to lionized by some of the same people who needed the fainting couch when they learned that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama sometimes went jacketless in the Oval Office. They'll cheer the pornographic and racist e-mail forwarder with the sex cartoons in his campaign office and the sleazebags on his staff all the way to Albany.