What Happens When You Email Carl PaladinoS

A gay man wrote an angry email to New York's homophobic governor candidate Carl Paladino. Carl responded, "Learn how to read." So the man wrote back, even more angrily—and so did Carl. Here is their full, 8-part exchange.

Zach, age 22, lives in Atlanta. He used to live in New York and has interned for two Democrats (summer in Rep. John Lewis's office and Hillary Clinton's NYC office during her transition from Senate to State Department) but isn't currently employed in politics. Zach told me he doesn't usually write to politicians, but when Paladino's anti-gay remarks coincided with Zach filming an "It Gets Better" video, he felt compelled to speak up. He used Paladino's business email. (He found it here.) This is his exchange with the New York Tea Partier, as forwarded to us by Zach.

From: Zach [Redacted]
Date: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 11:08 AM
Subject: Request
To: Carl Paladino

Mr. Paladino,

You are a bigoted, homophobic asshole of the first order.

You owe the people of New York - and the American people - a sincere, honest apology for your discriminatory remarks against homosexuality.

It is because of people like you that so many gay teenagers in America kill themselves.

Sincerely,
Zach [Redacted]

From: Carl Paladino
Date: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Re: Request
To: Zach [Redacted]

Learn how to read and don't believe what you read

Carl Paladino
[redacted]@[redacted].com
716-[redacted]

From: Zach [Redacted]
Date: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 11:26 AM
Subject: Re: Request
To: Carl Paladino

Please rest assured that, being a college graduate, I know how to read. Being literate is something I sometimes regret, especially when I read such ridiculous and bigoted things that spew from your discriminatory mouth. I have read carefully your statements made to the other day and they are unequivocally homophobic.

You are a slimeball who doesn't deserve the honor of being New York's governor. Not to mentin a hypocrite - I saw the email of the image depicting same-sex intercourse which you forwarded, labeling "awesome."

Asshole.

From: Zach [Redacted]
Date: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 1:46 PM
Subject: Re: Request
To: Carl Paladino

Also, you say I should not believe everything I read. But there is video of you making degrading and belittling remarks about homosexuals. So should I not believe everything I see too? Let me take a wild guess: those comments were "edited" by the "liberal press" to make you appear to be a bigot...

From: Carl Paladino
Date: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 5:51 PM
Subject: Re: Request
To: Zach [Redacted]

You seem to enjoy reading crap

Carl Paladino
[redacted]@[redacted].com
716-[redacted]

From: Zach [Redacted]
Date: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 6:00 PM
Subject: Re: Request
To: Carl Paladino

Your homophobic remarks were covered extensively by some of the finest publications in the country, including the New York Times. The Times is one of the most credible and venerable sources of information in our nation. But I can see how you would consider that crap, considering you spend your time looking at raunchy pornography and bestiality images.

From: Carl Paladino
Date: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 6:30 PM
Subject: Re: Request
To: Zach [Redacted]
Cc: Michael Caputo <[redacted]@gmail.com>, John Haggerty Jr.
<[redacted]@gmail.com>

Did u take your meeds today Zachary?

Carl Paladino
[redacted]@[redacted].com
716-[redacted]

From: Zach [Redacted]
Date: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 6:35 PM
Subject: Re: Request
To: Carl Paladino

First of all, what are meeds? Do you mean meds? Perhaps you should
spend more time with a dictionary and less time trolling online porn.

And by meds, do you mean my medication to help me become straight and
eradicate this homosexual sickness from my body?

We contacted Carl Paladino and his press office to verify the exchange and ask for comment, but have not heard back. We also contacted the two men Paladino CC'ed in his final email, Michael Caputo—the Paladino campaign manager who offered to resign during the homophobia scandal—and John Haggerty, Jr.—Paladino aide indicted for stealing millions from Bloomberg. Caputo responded from his personal email account:

From: Michael Caputo
To: Maureen O'Connor
Date: Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 5:03 PM
Subject: Re: Gawker Question: Paladino email exchange

I don't think this happened; I received no CC. What are "meeds?"
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/meeds

***
Michael R. Caputo
Caputo Public Relations, Inc.

CPR North
243 South Grove Street
East Aurora, NY 14052
716-[redacted]

CPR South
12864 Biscayne Blvd, #332
North Miami, FL 33181-2007
305-[redacted]

WEB: CaputoPR.com
BLOG: ReasonableShadeofGreen.com

"If we had any nerve at all, if we had any real balls as a society
or... real character, we would make an effort to really address the
wrongs in this society, righteously." -Jerry Garcia (1942 – 1995)

Did Caputo miss the email, or is someone lying here? (Maybe after all those pornographic email forwards, Carl's messages are getting stuck in his spam filter?) Zach spoke on the record and offered information verifying his identity and many details of the story. "I have the emails saved in my inbox," he says. He didn't expect Paladino to respond; his best hope, at the time, was that Paladino would merely see his email. Caputo's denial, Zach says, is "outrageous." In case you're wondering, here's Zach's "It Gets Better" video:

We'll update if the Paladino campaign offers an official response.

Update: Zach's last name has been removed from this post at his request.

[Image via Azi Paybarach/Flickr]