The Public Accountability Initiative has published that developer Carl Paladino’s top ten contributors are all white men, which has unsettled many voters who find his racially divisive and homophobic comments deeply troubling and incongruent with the modern and diverse city that younger Buffalonians are building. But to almost everyone’s surprise, the second largest recipient of Paladino’s money has been County Executive Mark Poloncarz — to the tune of $37,000. Poloncarz’s supporters are outraged.
The first term county executive claims that he is a proud liberal, far to the left of other Democrats. In fact, his little known Republican opponent has publicly stated his intention to use video footage of Poloncarz vocalizing how liberal he is on Time Warner’s Capitol Pressroom with Liz Benjamin. In the interview, he comments that he gets along better with downstate leftists rather than with locals. But that liberal image may now be badly tarnished in light of the — seemingly copious — sums of Paladino cash.
Even his most loyal supporters are asking, “what’s Carl getting for that kind of money?” Poloncarz is a divorcee whose wife enjoys talking. After his marriage ended badly, he had a series of relatively public relationships. A particular relationship with a campaign worker has raised eyebrows.
Most moderates and conservatives don’t see much controversy in the Paladino cash. But liberals have become deeply suspicious of the relationship between the two men.
Why would Paladino, who is known for his racist antics and divisive style, support someone who espouses the opposite social values, they ask. Is there congruence in some shared policy agenda? The answer to that question could shake Poloncarz’s reelection prospects — but only if the long shot Republican challenger is willing to attack from the left. As of yet, that remains unlikely. The Public Accountability Initiative reports that Paladino has received $13.8 million in tax subsidies since 2003 alone.