Paladino: No Mosque Or Islamic Center Where Dust Cloud Was And Use Eminent Domain To Seize Site


I thought these "Tea Party" candidates were supposed to be against "big government". Rick Sanchez had a somewhat contentious interview with the winner of the Republican gubernatorial race, Carl Paladino, yesterday on CNN. Paladino advocated seizing the site where the Park 51 Islamic Center is being proposed by using eminent domain, and he also said that no mosques or Islamic centers should be allowed to be built anywhere the dust cloud that carried human remains was located around ground zero. As Rick Sanchez pointed out to him, that stretched out quite a bit farther than the 1/4 mile or so Paladino was claiming.

I think this wingnut just handed his Democratic opponent Andrew Cuomo a huge gift with his election. And as Digby reminded us today, here are some of the things he sent out in some emails awhile backm, if you haven't already seen them -- All In "Good Fun".

This vile man was also very glib on his stand on abortion and stated that a woman should be forced to have the baby even cases of rape and incest and "the baby can be adopted". How charitable of him.

Here's the transcript via CNN where Sanchez followed up after arguing with him for almost 10 minutes over the building of the Islamic center:

SANCHEZ: All right.

We're back with Carl Paladino, who was the victor last night in the Republican gubernatorial race. He's kind enough to join us.

And we are -- we have congratulated him for -- for this win, which takes him on to the general now in November.

You -- you said something interesting a while ago that caught my attention, because I was there during 9/11. I witnessed the second tower falling down. And I remember what you were explaining a little while -- when you said the dust cloud.

You said the dust -- you said you want to respect that whole area anywhere in the dust cloud that carried the human remains of the victims who died there that day. So, I -- I -- I believe what I hear you saying is, then, that you wouldn't want any mosque or Islamic center built anywhere in that area where the dust cloud was?

Because that was a vast -- if you recall, I mean, it stretched all the way to Weehawken, to parts of Hoboken, to, you know, all -- block -- miles from where this thing happened, right?

PALADINO: No, I don't think it went out that far. It went out about a quarter-of-a-mile, I think.

SANCHEZ: You would -- OK. So, is that what you're saying?


SANCHEZ: Within a quarter-mile radius of Ground Zero, you do not want any --

PALADINO: Well, I -- I don't know the -- I don't know the exact distance. I don't mean to make out that I know the exact distance.

But wherever it went, wherever that dust is caught in the crevices of buildings or in the crevices of sidewalks, that's human remains, and it should be treated that way.

SANCHEZ: What -- under what legal ground would you be able to postulate that position?

PALADINO: As I said, I don't treat it as a First Amendment right under freedom of religion. I treat as a First Amendment right the right of American people to speak out on this issue --

SANCHEZ: Oh, no, I get that. I -- I --

PALADINO: -- and to say what's on their minds.

SANCHEZ: No, sir --


PALADINO: And I -- I -- I also --

SANCHEZ: We -- we -- we understand that.

PALADINO: I understand that -- I -- Rick, I understand. You have some -- some very liberal, progressive views on this thing, OK? You believe in political -- the political correctness of those views.

I don't. All right? I'm different. And I have a right to speak as I feel.

SANCHEZ: Well, no, no, no. I -- my -- my job -- my job is to question you on the words that you have on this document that you sent to the people.

PALADINO: No, you're doing more than that. You're --

SANCHEZ: I'm asking a question. Here's what you --

PALADINO: You're advocating.

SANCHEZ: Here's what you say.

I am not advocating anything.

Here's what you say. "As governor of the state of New York, I will have the legal power to use the state's right of eminent domain to seize this site and make it a memorial of which we can all be proud. That is exactly what I will do if I am elected governor."

So, as a journalist, then I ask you, if you're so sure you can do this, and this is what you have promised to the people who voted for you last night, how is it that you will be able to do this? Under what legal grounds will you be able to take that property away from those people?

PALADINO: Well, we will -- we will declare it, under the law, to be a property -- a right for -- which is within the definition of public use, and as long as it is within the definition of public use, which -- which comes -- which includes the zoning restrictions, then we would have a right to use eminent domain to place such a restriction over all the properties in that area.

Obviously, it could not -- it could not cover the present use of properties. If the properties are presently legally used for a different purpose, they would be nonconforming uses.

But any future use that might be proposed, where there's a change of use or a new use to a new building, say, then -- then, in that case, they would have to go before a zoning board. And the zoning board would have to consider whether or not it is -- it is an affront to that memory of those people.

SANCHEZ: Have you thought through, though, the possibilities of what this could lead to in the future? I mean, today, we're arguing about Muslims, and it's a perfectly viable argument in that part of New York.

But, tomorrow, we could be arguing about Jews or Catholics or whatever the controversy of the day is. And --

PALADINO: And that's -- that's why you have to take every --

SANCHEZ: -- if you start setting precedent -- I'm sorry. Go ahead. I think you get the gist of my question.

PALADINO: That's why -- that's why you have to take every question on its facts. And that's what we learn in law school.

We learn to take the facts of a specific case, outline the facts, figure out what the issues are, come out with our feeling on it, and give our rationale.

SANCHEZ: Well --

PALADINO: And, when we give the rationale on this, it's -- it's not that difficult to comprehend.


PALADINO: This mosque is an affront, and we -- I will stand and I will always stand --


PALADINO: -- for the American people.

SANCHEZ: I under -- I understand that, sir.

PALADINO: And I'm not --

SANCHEZ: But, by the way, when you say you will stand for the American people, I think you're saying you will stand for a certain sector of the American people who you believe agree with you, just -- just for the record.

Let me ask you some questions about your positions that people would want to know about.

Same-sex marriage, where do you stand on that?


SANCHEZ: Man -- how do you feel about unions between same-sex couples?

PALADINO: It's fine. I think the -- well, if the definition of unions is what we have right now --

SANCHEZ: Uh-huh.

PALADINO: -- I'm fine with that. I have no -- no anxiety over it.

SANCHEZ: Abortion.



PALADINO: -- carry it further into -- no.

SANCHEZ: How do you feel -- what is your position on abortion?


SANCHEZ: Should a woman have a right to have an abortion if she's -- if she's been raped?


SANCHEZ: She should not? She should have to have the baby?

PALADINO: And the baby can be adopted, yes.

SANCHEZ: What if it's -- what if it's a case of incest?

PALADINO: The baby can be adopted, yes.

SANCHEZ: To what do you attribute, finally, your victory last night, which was, by the way, according to a lot of people who have been watching this, a huge surprise?

PALADINO: It's a clear, definitive message.

We put out a clear, definitive message of who we are and what we intend to do. I'm not -- I'm not a person looking for money. I have no political ambitions whatsoever. I don't seek power. I don't seek any kind of praise. I have no ego to fulfill.

I'm going to -- I'm going to Albany to take out a government, to take out a culture, to bring that culture down once and for all, and to -- and to restore a government of right size to -- to tend to the issues and the desires of the taxpayers who pay for that government.

And we're -- in -- in doing that, I have illustrated, I believe, an intestinal fortitude to take on the demons. I'm not afraid. I'm not -- I'm not intimidatable (ph). I'm certainly not politically correct.

SANCHEZ: Mm-hmm.

PALADINO: I'm an outsider. I have -- I have a life of my own right now I totally enjoy.


PALADINO: And I will enjoy this task of going there and -- and doing the right thing for the people of the state of New York.

SANCHEZ: Mr. Carl Paladino --

PALADINO: The people listened to my message. They accepted it.


PALADINO: Mr. Carl Paladino, my thanks to you for taking the time. It's -- it's been a good interview. I know you took exception to some of my questions when I challenged you. I was only trying to do the best I can to get people the perspective on where you stand.

PALADINO: Well, thank you, Rick.



PALADINO: I appreciate the opportunity. And -- and I will come on any time you would like.

SANCHEZ: Thank you, sir.

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