Love him or hate him, Carl Paladino is one colorful character. He was the guest of honor and Executive of the Year at the Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives (BNSME) gala on Monday night. Carl pulled no punches.
Paladino is calling for revolution. I don’t think I have the backbone to follow him, or maybe it’s just that I don’t think it will do any good – Buffalo and Albany are just too corrupt to be influenced by whiny voters. It would take balls – lots of them – to foment any real change. Or maybe I’m just to busy trying to survive, and can’t find the time to take on New York State government.
Quick story: The Albany Legislative complex is built like a fortress. It is massive, surrounded by high walls and not pedestrian friendly. 100,000 protesters could show up (they’d have to walk – not enough nearby parking), break into the main entrance…and they would barely be noticed in the cavernous underground mall. Dispersed throughout the complex they would not raise the people density enough to be taken seriously. I’m sure the Capitol was built this way, for that reason.
Anyway, Palidino lit into every politician, by name, that has eaten from the public trough for all these years. He blasted, just blasted, the Buffalo News and Margaret Sullivan’s leadership of it. He vilified James Williams, Phil Rumore, the Buffalo Board of Education and the 800 million dollar school system they are supposed to be running. He spat venom at labor unions, Buffalo city government and especially Albany.
How angry was he?
Prior to his speech – and in order to set the tone of what was to come – a letter that he wrote to Margaret Sullivan of the Buffalo News back in January was distributed to the dinner guests. It starts like this:
Here’s my two cents on the News. It’s a monopolistic predator imposing its liberal views and superficial journalism on a community seeking to pull itself out of fifty years of decline as a result of impotent public and private sector leadership. As the only show in town during most of that time, it became lame and lazy serving up assenine [sic] slop without any guilt for failing to mobilize the community with objective, call to arms journalism. You’ve been in a box so long that you have no idea how to get out of it. Your subscriptions are falling and you are frustrated. You have no follow through and you wonder why you can’t hit the ball.
There’s lots more (after the jump)
You know Esmond and Heaney’s articles on Albany demand consistent follow up with depth. They must stick with the issues and finish the job. But you’re more interested in preserving the status quo because you think reporting on failure is good for your paper and you have little real regard for the community. It’s called elitism.
The News’ primary mission should be to report on issues important to the community in depth, drive honest leadership and expose incompetency. Howard Smith, Stan Evans, Bill Flynn and you, all from the Murray Light school of song and dance, don’t have a clue what is going on below the surface nor are you inclined to search out truth or identify the bad guys. Our schools were destroyed and in turn the City lost half of its population when Curtin decided to bus only the City and not the entire County.
The middle class fled and are still fleeing a school system that repeatedly fails year after year and you hold no one accountable. An unfit Board of collectively “in the box” malcontents more interested in the political opportunity and “unions forever” than in the children is elected by less than 5% of the electorate in a rigged May election and you say nothing.
Our caretaker City government is a corrupt train wreck of unskilled, pay to play misfits devoid of any sense of vision, ability or desire to dismantle the status quo and you give front page to the idiotic 10 useless officials elected by an archaic party system that has no regard for competency. Your editors told us that Byron Brown should have been considered a viable candidate to be our Senator with no comment on how they formed that insane conclusion. Are they serious? What planet are they from? How much more can we embarrass ourselves sending idiots to represent us in Albany or Washington?
You endorse the same impotent legislative delegation back to Albany each year and you had the nerve to endlessly question Sarah Palin’s credentials? You actually endorsed Stachowski, Volker, Peoples and Thompson? Informed citizens in the community laughed at you.
Your editors refuse to support an issue unless it is their idea. Their liberal elitist mentality actually put Caroline Kennedy on the entire front page of the paper. It’s hypocrisy. A wholly dysfunctional school system, a City government that resembles plant life and a train wreck in Albany and they are preoccupied with Princess Caroline?
I suggest that you fire your senior editors and resign. The paper should then pay whatever it costs to hire the editor of the New York Post.
It’s time for change. The salient issues are voluminous but your editors choose to print down to the people with nonsense. You’re falling into the abyss because people are smarter today and they go elsewhere for real news and information.
Upstate New York will continue to suffer until our private sector leadership, including the press and the Partnership decide to mobilize the people to dismantle Albany, weaken the power of party leaders, recognize that the reality of the 21st century is Upstate vs. Downstate and not Republican vs. Democrat and expose gamesmanship and fraud, the nonsensical incestuous and corrupt lobby and special interest power over the legislature, the chicanery of the three men in a room with the glutinous State employee and trade unions and the ridiculous tax and spend mentality of the most liberal legislature and Governor ever. Simply allowing the corrupted, slick Shelly Silver to dominate policy in what is supposed to be a Democratic government has been abrogation by the News of all sense of responsibility and decency. On deciding the worst budget in the history of New York State, Patterson [sic] incredibly deferred to Silver, the one person responsible for the last decade of our decline. They swept $350M in surplus cash from PASNY generated by Upstate assets to feed the Downstate bloodsuckers. The money should have been used to lower Upstate rates and assist in development. You should be demanding the resignation of any of our legislative delegation and Elise Cusack who voted for it.
The destruction that the three men in a room are doing will affect us all for many years to come.
Think about it. You still print Murray Light’s nonsense. He obviously lives in a bubble. The man is a dinosaur and an anachronism. He is in the box. If the News if going to survive, you must influence and inspire people to rise up and exercise control over their destiny.
Read Henley’s “Invictus”. We live in “the Horror of the Shade” and you, Margaret, have passed up the opportunity to get “bloodied but unbowed” and be the journalist that you dreamed of being in your younger years when principles and values were attainable and meant something to you.
Somewhere between Carl Paladino’s outrageous anger and the Walter Mittyish electorate are a great many frustrated voters. How do we motivate ourselves into action? Or do we damn ourselves to our own fates within this community, within this State? I lack the energy, and the nerve, to take on the bureaucratic nightmare that is New York: There are simply too many of them. We are outnumbered.