Friday, October 01, 2010

Paladino's Driver/Adviser Has Open Criminal Warrant Pending?

Nice company that Carl Paladino keeps. He wants to be governor of New York and complains bitterly that the Albany political environment is toxic and needs to be cleaned up. He says he's the guy to do it and has the backing of the GOP and Tea Party.

He better start by cleaning up his own political advisory committee, because he didn't exactly do a good job of vetting his advisers.

In fact, it now turns out that Rus Thompson is on the lamb and has an open arrest warrant pending in Arizona under a different pseudonym. Thompson for his part claims that he has done nothing wrong and that it's probably a paperwork error:
He resolved the DUI charge by pleading guilty in September 1990, serving jail time and paying a fine, but the suspended license charge somehow remained on the books.

Nearly nine years later in October 1998, an arrest warrant was issued for Thompson under yet another name - John Lloyd Thompson-Alden.

The warrant said Thompson-Alden had failed to appear in court on the misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license.

In the meantime, he'd moved to Buffalo and obtained a New York license under yet another name - John R. Thompson, records show.

Running for state controller on the Tea Party line, he uses Rus Thompson, a name he claims to have had since he was a child. He is registered to vote in Erie County under that name.

Thompson said yesterday he has no idea why there's a warrant out for him.

"This is nuts," he said. "Everything was resolved. My probation officer advised me to leave Arizona."

He said he couldn't remember why he switched from John L. Thompson and John Lloyd Thompson-Alden to John R. Thompson when he got his New York license.

He also vowed to get to the bottom of the outstanding arrest warrant.
Of course, it doesn't quite explain why he kept changing names.

Meanwhile, candidate Paladino now says that he didn't intend to smear Andrew Cuomo when he made unsubstantiated allegations that Cuomo had an extramarital affair.
The Tea Party-backed Republican told his hometown paper that his remarks had been misunderstood.

He said he meant only to question coverage of his own extramarital escapade when he urged a reporter for to ask Cuomo "about his paramours."

"I'm sick and tired of people asking me about if I've had affairs," Paladino told The Buffalo News last night.

"I was talking to [Politico] and said, 'Why don't you ask Andrew Cuomo if he has had extramarital affairs?' It's not that I was accusing him."

He was busy trying to go after the New York Post and Fred Dicker after the Post tried to get photos of Paladino's love-child and threatened Dicker Wednesday night after a business event when he made those comments.

Paladino's trying to divert attention from his own philandering ways and lack of family values by casting aspersions on Cuomo, who divorced from Kerry Kennedy after Kennedy admitted to having an affair with Bruce Colley. Kennedy also now supports Cuomo's run for governor.

The Village Voice goes through Paladino's political filings and finds quite a bit of interesting information - both in what was revealed, and what it was meant to hide, and who is responsible for backing Paladino: Roger Stone.
The $53,000 tax lien against campaign spokesman Michael Caputo unearthed by the Times got a taunting "so what" from Caputo himself. Stiffing the IRS just proved again, as Caputo put it, that this is "a campaign of junkyard dogs."

No wonder Caputo, Carl, and the rest chat so comfortably with Duke, the untethered pit bull that accompanies Paladino on baby-kiss-free campaign swings. "Carl knows each of us comes to the campaign with warts," Caputo continued, acknowledging even that the candidate "has his own" warts. "We don't hide anything."

Actually, the so-called disclosure forms that People for Paladino filed with the State Board of Elections were designed to hide a lot, in apparent violation of state law.

Most hidden was the viral hand of the man who manufactured Paladino but never directly appears on his campaign filings, Roger Stone, the infamous Republican dirty trickster who suggested to the Times in August that he was advising Paladino pro-bono, which literally means "for the public good."

With a tattoo of Richard Nixon's head on his back, Stone's scandals started with Watergate, when he was 19, and peaked in 1996 when ads he placed in Local Swing Fever picturing himself and his wife seeking "athletes and military men" cost him a key role in Bob Dole's presidential campaign. He reached legendary proportions in a New Yorker profile in 2008 subtitled "Campaign tips from the man who's done it all," lodged over a bare-chested photo of a smug Stone, who'd described himself as "handsome body builder husband" in that long-ago ad.

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