(WBEN) The biggest, most expensive and possibly most controversial school board election ever in the city of Buffalo is coming this spring and it starts with the candidacy of outspoken developer Carl Paladino- three years after his run for governor of New York.
During that campaign he got into a shouting and shoving match with the New York Post's Fred Dicker, he came under fire for insensitive, sexual, and some say racist e-mails that he passed off as humor, and has sent out hotly-worded open letters on a range of issues.
And now that he's running for Buffalo School Board, with hopes of funding candidates to join him-- he hasn't toned things down much. In just the past month he was kicked out of a recent board meeting and returned to Albany to flip Dicker the middle finger.
Is he too hot to handle? Or is his bombast just what an ineffectual school board needs? Buffalo's Early News and WBEN.com take a look
|When it comes to Carl Paladino, which is it for you?|
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GOP Analyst Carl Calabrese
former Paladino Campaign Manager
Pollster Barry Zeplowitz says there's a raw appeal to Paladino that works- even if you disagree with his message, you surely can't ignore it he says.
"The personality is what really drives the message," says Zeplowitz, President of Barry Zeplowitz Assoc., a political polling firm in Amherst. " Personally I don't agree with what he says and believes, but I think that his position on a lot of things is very clear...people listen because he is very eloquent in his own ways on issues that he obviously feels passionate about."
Zeplowitz says Paladino has a base of support that will serve him well in a school board run- but not necessarily anything larger.
And he speculates that while his local popularity may have peaked during the gubernatorial race of 2010, he says Paladino has enough support that " I wouldn't be surprised if he were successful."
Paladino's 2010 Campaign Manager Michael Caputo (pictured at right, with Paladino at the Dicker incident in 2010) has split from Paladino on several issues but says Carl is ideally suited for the school board race .
"Nobody on the school board knows more about education... he practically lives in his office , no board member is going to outwork him and he has resources..." Caputo says. "...he brings at least those things to the table, which is much more important than bombast,"
Hear Carl Paladino
with WBEN's Sandy Beach
from Tuesday's " Beach & Co."
Former School Bd. Pres. Hopes Paladino Can Channel Anger & Frustration
Buffalo (WBEN) -- A woman who previously served on and led the Buffalo School Board has some advice for Carl Paladino as he embarks on his crusade to join the panel.
Marlies Wesolowski says Paladino's attitude would play a role on how successful he could be as a board member.
"It also is very dependent upon how much he's willing to work as a member of a team," she says.
Wesolowski also says he'll have to remember that he's one of nine members, and won't get anything accomplished unless four other people share his thinking.
Wesolowski says a lot will depend on how Paladino can channel his anger at the board in a positive way.
"I certainly can understand his anger and frustration and his wanting to make a difference in the lives of children," Wesolowski says.
She also wishes him well if the voters see fit to award him a seat on the school board.
Wesolowski is now serving as the director of the Matt Urban Human Services Center in Buffalo.