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Poloncarz calls for Paladino to step down over Artvoice comments

BUFFALO -- What began as a simple year-end survey of local movers and shakers by Artvoice, has led to Erie County's top elected official calling for the resignation of Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino.

Artvoice posed four questions about 2017:
1. What would you most like to happen in 2017?
2. What would you like to see go away in 2017?
3. Who would you like to see run for mayor of Buffalo in next year’s election?
4. Should the new $50 million Amtrak station be at Central Terminal or Canal Side?

It sent those four questions to a number of local business owners and community leaders, including Paladino. It was his responses to questions one and two that have raised the ire of some in the community, including Poloncarz, who said "there can be no room in our civil discourse for such hate and anger."

Paladino's words that drew the criticism from the Erie County Executive? To question one, he said, "Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford.  He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret, who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her." And to the second question, he responded: "Michelle Obama.  I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla."

Paladino has confirmed that the words were his own and that he stands by them. He denies any suggestion that they're racist, but has acknowledged that they may be considered hateful.

To this, Poloncarz said, “While the First Amendment of our Constitution protects the right of free speech, no matter how deplorable it may be, there can be no room in our civil discourse for such hate and anger,” Poloncarz said. “These comments harken back to the darkest days of racism in our nation’s history. Anyone who has these beliefs is unfit to hold public office and especially unfit to oversee the education of children. In order to focus on the educational needs of the children of the City of Buffalo, and not on the outlandish behavior of a Buffalo School Board member, I hereby call on Mr. Paladino to immediately resign his position as a member of the School Board.”

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