We always look at developer Carl Paladino with a mixture of awe and fear, which I suppose can be the same thing from time to time.
He knows what’s wrong, says what’s wrong, and sometimes…he goes somewhat off center. He can deliver an insult deftly, and he doesn’t stop at buying air and billboard space to do so. No one in their right mind would want to be caught in Carl’s crosshairs. Then there’s the delivery; no matter how salient his argument, there is always that extra little twist of the knife. And at some point Carl gets to name calling – some of those have made us spew coffee on our keyboard, others leave us with our jaw hanging.
Like he says on his blog page: “I think of my role as the guy who can call out the bad guys because I can.” (Has anyone watched Dexter lately?)
In his latest blog entry, Carl has a look back at those people who disappointed him most in 2009, starting with a “worst of Albany” list. I think back to a day in 2007, when Carl was in my office to talk to me about the Buffalo Creek Casino and said, “Mark my words, Brian Davis will be in jail before the end of the year.” He didn’t say why, and he may have had the date and circumstances wrong, but the guy knows something – always. And the rest of it? Carl may have an extra sense, or he may be blinded with rage, but sometimes one has to wonder if he sees things the rest of us don’t – and then we have to wonder how real they are.
Carl has asked Buffalo Rising to go after a number of people in town, and his displeasure at our resistance brought some ire our way, but he seems to get over it (we hope). There’s always bigger fish to fry, and let’s face it, with his own platform, there’s nothing to stop him from being the guy that can, or at least the guy who will keep on pushing back.