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The Trouble with Carl

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How did Carl Paladino become the Republican candidate for Governor of New York? Guess #1 is that it's an anti-incumbent year and, as people had heard of Rick Lazio, he took on the incumbent stench. Guess #2? There is no guess #2 — just the lingering question and answer: could Republicans possibly have picked a more inept candidate? No. No, we could not.

For the record, I am not one of those Republicans who regularly bashes other Republicans to get my pat on the head from my liberal friends. It is, in fact, very rare that I break Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment and bash my own side. My feelings on Carl, that he is a loose cannon who is capable of serious damage to himself and the party, are unfortunate.

I wanted to like Carl Paladino. I read the stories of his forwarded kooky email "jokes" and thought, "eh, most men I know over 60 forward around inappropriate jokes. They're new to the internet and it's a dirty joke wonderland. I get it."

When he got into a verbal altercation with New York Post political reporter Fred Dicker I thought, "Who in the political world has not wanted to swing at Dicker? He's mean and can rile up the calmest of people. Give Carl the benefit of the doubt."

When the story emerged that he had fathered a daughter out of wedlock and then told his wife about it the week their son died because the son had apparently known the daughter and Carl wished to bring her to the funeral I thought..."Uhh, you're losing me here, Carl." But while I was disgusted by his life choices, his wife seemed to have more than forgiven him, so who was I to take his infidelities personally?

When he wouldn't stop commenting on Andrew Cuomo's alleged infidelities, I started to lose it. For one thing, Andrew Cuomo isn't married. Who cares if he cheated during a marriage that is over? And, as Carl obviously cheated and hid the resulting child, perhaps those who live in huge glass mansions shouldn't throw boulders.

But the latest Carl Paladino controversy involving his unintelligent comments on gay people is the last straw for me.

To be clear, my issue is not the statement he denies making, the one about gay people being dysfunctional. My problem is everything else he admits to saying. He doesn't dispute that he said kids get "brainwashed" into thinking homosexuality is a "valid or successful option." Putting aside the fact that there are few left who still can seriously believe homosexuality is a choice into which one can be "brainwashed", you know what isn't a valid or successful option? Cheating on your wife and fathering a child out of wedlock! Hiding behind his Catholicism is just weak, as clearly he's been picking and choosing which part of his faith he practices. Does the Catholic Church support heterosexual infidelity? Let me check. Oh, there it is — no, they don't. They don't consider that a valid or successful option.

Just like I don't consider Carl Paladino a valid option to be our next governor.

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at and about life in the city with her husband and baby at http://www.212baby.comShe can be followed on twitter: