Pssst... Wanna know why Buffalo School Board member Larry Quinn is in trouble? He's a wienie. And if there's one thing B-lonians will not abide it's a wienie. Carl Paladino, on the other hand, is a loose cannon. He's got a trail of wreckage in his wake that includes racist and bestiality emails and threats to journalists (if you can call Fred Dicker a journalist). He's got conflicts of interest all over the place with his charter school leases in place as he sits on a public school board. Carl can be profane and abusive as seen in this encounter detailed by Alan Bedenko aka "Buffalo Pundit" a month or so ago when he was still with Artvoice:
As we both extended hands to shake in greeting, I hesitated and said, “you don’t like me. I’m Alan Bedenko”. At this he recoiled and inquired whether I was fucking serious. When I answered in the affirmative, he took a step or two back to tell me that I’m “a real fucking asshole, you know that?” I replied that yes, indeed, I am, as I grinned from ear to ear. He went on to berate me as a “disgrace” and a “fucking coward”. I continued smiling as this old man angrily spat expletives at me on a sidewalk, in front of people, on a cool Buffalo night. He then went inside in disgust, informing the people with whom I was chatting that he would not speak to them while they were talking to an asshole like me. It was surreal.
Yeah, that's the guy. You can read the rest of this bizarre but not uncommon tete a tete HERE. What's really true of this profanity laced interaction is that BP sums up the communal response to a guy, a public figure, an elected school board member no less, laying into another adult publicly with the dysfunctional summary statement of "That's just Carl being Carl." Whut? Anyone from outside our little snowglobe here by the lake night say "Are YOU fucking serious?" Yes, we somehow tolerate this guy in all of his invective spewing rage fueled misbehavior because he's Carl. He used Harley Davidson colors in his campaign when he ran for Governor. He strutted around with a baseball bat menacing Cuomo and anyone like him. His love child from an extramarital affair emerged from the shadows after ten years or so. But Carl buys drinks. He got rid of the Ogden Street and Niagara toll booths. He lost a son in a tragic car accident. And for all of this we accept Carl and even those of us who think we hate his guts know he's at worst a broken clock that still manages to be right twice a day.
Larry Quinn, on the other hand, has no such charms. Where Carl swings a bat we expect to see Quinn hefting a Polo mallet and awkwardly at that. If Carl unloads on a local journalist with a fountain of F-bombs, Quinn snatches a hairpiece off the head of a guy who goes about 5'3" and whips it across the room. Where Carl gets a free pass and ringside seats, Quinn will get the doorman's forearm stretched across his chest with a "Where you think you're going fella?" Since Carl brought Quinn with him to visit Lafayette High School and Quinn showed everyone what a contemptuous, dismissive prick he is, everyone is going to be watching. And now that we've seen Quinn's petulance -- saying of the faculty "I only came here as a favor to Carl I didn't want to meet with these clowns" his disdain for working people, calling teacher leader Pat Foster "an idiot" you can be sure Larry will make some half hearted obligatory attempt to reign in his tongue. But we all know better. A guy like Quinn is not going to negotiate these waters with grace or skill. He's going to be spending a lot of time out of his boat getting bounced around in the rapids. The peek he gave Buffalonians of his true self at Lafayette is just the beginning of Larry Quinn's unraveling. Carl tried to apologize away Quinn's boorish antics when pressed about it by a news reporter. He admitted Quinn was rude and unprofessional in his dealings with school officials and teachers. He then tried to slip a card from his sleeve hoping nobody would notice describing the performance as "a bad hair day." He should have said "That's just Larry Being Larry."