The only story in the race for governor of New York as compelling as Republican candidate Carl Paladino’s upset victory has been his personal back story: Mr. Paladino was a member of a secret “cheat club” for several years and fathered an illegitimate child with one of his mistresses.
According to his wife of 40 years, Cathy Paladino, “He said he was very very very sorry to cause me pain, that the relationships with the other women are over … and that there was only one child that he knows about.”
Mr. Paladino then told his wife about the “cheat club” that he and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford founded years earlier.
According to Mrs. Paladino, her husband went on a hike on the Appalachian Trail with Mr. Sanford several years ago. During their hike, the two men discussed an underground club for men which would allow them to secretly cheat on their wives. That way, they could continue campaigning for political office on traditional family values issues without looking like gigantic hypocrites.
The “cheat club” attracted crowds of men, who hired college-educated women in their 20s who were paid $275 to $300 per sexual encounter. The “cheat club” was run out of church basements, hotel rooms, and politicians’ offices across the country.
The rules of the “cheat club” were as follows:
1. You do not talk about cheat club.
2. YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT CHEAT CLUB.
3. If you get caught, the affair is over. Immediately inform your wife and then hold a press conference with her by your side. Act sincere and beg for forgiveness.
4. Only heterosexual affairs are allowed. (Sorry Larry Craig)
5. Only one affair at a time.
6. The sexual encounters are purely physical. No kissing, no talking, and no cuddling. Role-playing is strongly encouraged.
7. Ignore that pesky Seventh Commandment (“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”)
8. If this is your first night at cheat club, you must cheat.
According to Mrs. Paladino, several well-known politicians were members of her husband’s “cheat club,” including Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Louisiana Senator David Vitter.
Mr. Gingrich regularly attended the Washington D.C. “cheat club” chapter even as he led a charge against President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair.
According to Mr. Gingrich, “There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards. There’s certainly times when I’ve fallen short of God’s standards. But I’ve never fallen short of eight rules which I cannot talk about.”
Mr. Gingrich, divorced his second wife after having an extramarital affair with his current wife, Callista Bisek, a former congressional aide more than 20 years younger than he is. His first marriage ended in 1981. According to his first wife, Jackie Battley, Mr. Gingrich asked for a divorce (which he is vehemently opposed to) while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery.
Mr. Vitter, whose telephone number was disclosed by the so-called “D.C. Madam,” said he was sorry for a “serious sin” and that he had already made peace with his wife.
On his Senate website, Vitter says he is committed to “advancing mainstream conservative principles” and notes that he and his wife are lectors at their hometown church. Ironically, Vitter’s local “cheat club” was run out of that same church’s basement.
As for Mr. Paladino, he told his wife about his cheating the same week that their 29-year-old son, Patrick, was killed in a car accident. According to Mrs. Paladino, her husband pulled her aside as she was looking for family photographs to bring to the wake.
When asked if she had any reservations about telling voters about her personal life, Mrs. Paladino said she did not. “Everybody knows anyway,” she said. “And they should know the background of people running for office. They should know that my husband cheated on me, that he had a child with another woman, that he formed a nationwide cheating club, and that he decided to tell me about it all for the first time as we were preparing to bury our dead son. Voters should know that that’s the kind of person Carl Paladino is.”
He’s also the kind of person who supports transforming New York prisons into dormitories for welfare recipients. “These are beautiful properties with basketball courts, bathroom facilities, toilet facilities. Many young people would love to live in these prisons,” Mr. Paladino said.
One can only hope his “prison club” is more successful than his “cheat club.”https://docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1EKIQDCrvuUUruD1zsLBH9ZsBIIMLqYq3g8Rr6gWEd48&hl=en