The old gray lady doesn’t put all of its propaganda in the editorial section; sometimes it just presents bits of information as news using pejorative headlines, words and paragraph placement to help the reader reach a certain conclusion. This morning we have an exhibit headlined “Paladino Has Aides With Tainted Pasts” Uh Oh.
The GOP candidate for NY governor has according to reporter Micheal Barbaro recruited aides “who are plagued by brushes with the law and allegations of misconduct” To wit: His campaign manager owes the IRS back taxes, his driver had a DUI about 20 years ago, an advisor has been accused of taking $ 1.1 million and his campaign chairwomen left an Erie County NY position “amid claims that she had steered $1 billion in public money money to a politically connected investment manager”
Their backgrounds the reader is warned cast doubt on the kind of cabinet Paladino would assemble and call into question his ability to reform Albany. And the Tea Party gets tagged too. Because you see “the outsider status and rag tag style that have fueled many of the movements best-known candidates this election season often come with unexpected personal baggage”
Mr. Barbaro continues: “Rather than dispute the troubled past of his advisers, or distance himself from it, Mr. Paladino’s campaign appears to be embracing it, adopting a warts-and-all approach that has defined his insurgent candidacy from the start. ”
Buried deep in the story we learn the details of just what is “plaguing” these four Paladino help mates. His driver Rus Thompson was involved in the early ’90’s in a property damage accident and subsequently charged with drunk driving and driving with a suspended license. When interviewed by the reporter Mr. Thompson recalled he had served an unspecified amount of jail time and quit drinking as a result of the affair. So we could have had a sidebar on Thompson quite credibly headlined, “Paladino’s Driver Tells of a Lesson Learned”
Micheal R. Caputo, Paladino campaign manager, told the paper the IRS placed a $52 thousand dollar lien on him in 2008. Caputo admitted his book keeping skills were poor, but to the point noted that he now owes less than $10 thousand. Trouble with the IRS eh? Like the sitting Secretary of the Treasury?
Reporter Barbaro’s claim that campaign chairwoman Nancy Naples left Erie County NY employ amid alleagations of steering money to a financial advisor is a classic example of “because of this, that” Ms Naples job was Erie County Comptroller, an elected post. She decided in 2005 not to seek re-election. While she was comptroller she directed a substantial part of Erie County’s bond business to a financial advisor who had also donated to her campaign. She was never charged with any wrongdoing. May I say that I was a stock broker for some 28 years and am totally sceptical of the implication here. Every bond house or department in the US stays cozy with government finance officials. Further, even as a retail broker I had to disclose any campaign contributions I made. If the Times can demonstrate Ms Naples acted against taxpayer interests I’ll be a lot more interested, but since five years has passed and NY state regularly audits local governments I don’t believe there was any smoke much less a fire.
Finally campaign strategist John F. Haggerty Jr has been indicted for allegedly taking $1.1 million while working on the Micheal Bloomberg campaign. Haggerty pleaded not guilty. I’ve read the indictment and the news stories which followed. Haggerty accepted payment to provide security for the Bloomberg re-elect effort, and the dispute is whether the service paid for was delivered. I’ll let the legal process decide, but a dispute whether the Bloomberg campaign got what it paid for sounds less scandalous than “stealing”.
“This is a campaign of junkyard dogs, not pedigreed poodles.” That quote was part of campaign manager Caputo’s interview with the Time’s reporter. That’s not a typical political response, but Carl Paladino is definitely not a typical politician. I doubt those voters seeking real reform will be swayed.