NY House candidate posts mass shooting plots
A New York Republican who is running to represent a congressional district that includes suburban Buffalo, New York, has shared and deleted a conspiracy-laden Facebook post suggesting a racist shooting in Buffalo and other mass killings were part of a conspiracy to take away people’s guns.
The lengthy June 1 post shared by Buffalo developer Carl Paladino said that in nearly every mass shooting, including the grocery store shooting in Buffalo last month and an elementary school shooting in Texas, ” there are strange occurrences that are never fully explained”. The message also included theories about CIA mind control and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and John Lennon, and vaccines.
Reached Wednesday on his cell phone by the Associated Press, Paladino said, “It’s water under the bridge” and “I didn’t write it,” before hanging up. He did not answer a call.
The politician initially told The Buffalo News and WIVB-TV in interviews on Tuesday that he did not personally post the message and that it was posted by someone else who had access to his account. .
But in a follow-up interview with the Buffalo News on Wednesday, he changed his story and said, “Yeah, I did.” “I just didn’t remember the fact that I had published it; I couldn’t remember. It was written by Jeff Briggs, a good friend from Rochester. I posted it because he’s a friend,” he said.
Paladino told the newspaper he recalled on Wednesday that he only “scanned” the post before sharing it and sometimes forwarded things he disagreed with. He said he didn’t subscribe to the “conspiracy theories” in the post but did accept some of its points.
It was unclear which points he had agreed to.
Paladino was on the Buffalo school board in December 2016 when he wrote that he wanted to see President Barack Obama dead from mad cow disease and first lady Michelle Obama “go back to being a man and going wild in the back -country of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.Amid an uproar, he said the comments, published in local newspaper Artvoice, were not intended for publication, but he nevertheless qualified as “inappropriate”.
The state education commissioner fired Paladino from the Buffalo school board soon after for disclosing confidential school board business.
During his unsuccessful bid for governor in 2010, Paladino apologized for forwarding emails containing racist jokes and pornography to friends.
Paladino is currently running in a district that is currently held by Republican Representative Chris Jacobs, who announced last week that he would not seek re-election after facing backlash from his own party for expressing support for many new gun control measures. Jacobs, following the recent mass shootings, said he would vote for a federal ban on assault weapons and other measures if he had the chance and voiced his support for limiting capacity of the magazine, to banning bulletproof vests for civilians and raising the age limit to buy semi-automatic weapons to 21.
Jacobs currently represents New York’s 27th congressional district, but was running for the newly redesigned 23rd district. Prior to his gun control comments, he was considered a frontrunner in the new district, which includes large swathes of new voters, including from rural counties.
Shortly after Jacobs announced last week that he would not run, Paladino was endorsed by New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, a member of the GOP leadership and a rising star in the party.
Stefanik’s campaign did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Paladino’s post.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)