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Albany-area GOP leaders withdraw invite to Paladino

BUFFALO - Racy and racist e-mails forwarded by Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino have cost him an appearance at a political forum being hosted by Albany-area GOP leaders.

The local Republicans say they've withdrawn an invitation for the Buffalo businessman to attend tomorrow's regional forum for statewide candidates.

"Given the circumstances, there is no chance Mr. Paladino will be receiving our endorsement," said Albany GOP chief John Graziano.

Paladino finds himself in the national spotlight after a Web site revealed he had forwarded e-mails featuring images of bestiality. Another showed an altered photo of President Barack Obama and the first lady cast as a pimp and a prostitute.

Paladino's spokesman says yesterday the candidate was never invited to the meeting and had a previous commitment anyway.

The Paladino campaign also said it received a bomb threat at its Buffalo headquarters. Spokesman Michael Caputo said Tuesday a man called the office at 12:35 p.m., saying he represented a "black militant group" that planned to "bomb all of you."

Caputo said the building was evacuated for 40 minutes and Paladino "remains in an undisclosed location." Buffalo police were investigating the incident.

Staff and wire reports

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