Tag Archives: Bob McCarthy

Bob McCarthy’s (g)O(p)-Face

3 Feb

Photo via @MichaelRCaputo at Twitter

The Buffalo News’ political columnist Bob McCarthy has fallen in love. Like the woman who married the Eiffel Tower, and Quasimodo’s love for the bells, McCarthy has a deep crush on Donald Trump’s private 757

At first, poor Bob was sad.  A promised tour of Trump’s jet didn’t materialize, so he was left to examine his love by transcribing the voice-over from a YouTube video. You could feel his disappointment. He recited its most intimate details – its $100 million cost; the fact that, like a trophy wife, it replaced a much older, less attractive 727. Bob lovingly quoted people who explained how Donald Trump spares no expense to surround himself with only the loudest and tackiest accouterments; gold plated things, silk things, personal bedroom with a desk, big screen TV, Rolls Royce Engines – the politics column took its writing cues from Robin Leach or 50 Shades of Grey.  

Well, little Bob’s whining got him better than a tour of the plane, he went inside it; he got to ride it

Dissecting the strategies of a statewide race around an exquisite oak table is exactly the kind of political scene you might envision involving a top Republican like Donald J. Trump, especially when he’s mulling a challenge to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

But when the conversation takes place thousands of feet above New York State, aboard what he proudly calls “the world’s most luxurious airplane,” you get a sense of just how unique this campaign might be.

Oh, it’ll be unique, alright. Will Bob get to see the plane again? Its oak table – it’s so…exquisite. Giddy like a schoolboy, the man with the mustache and tan blazer is inhaling his surroundings. He’s mentally noting every detail, as if he was trying to design the setting of his every future dream. This gorgeous bird soars above the depressed landscape below. Look down at it – so common, so unluxurious; so unworthy of being under this plane. 

So during a Friday afternoon interview with The Buffalo News aboard Trump’s $100 million Boeing 757 en route from New York to Buffalo, the Manhattan real estate mogul laid down his conditions in the clearest language yet.

The cost of that aircraft – that pricetag is Bob noticing the plane from across the room.  A furtive glance; he smiles.  The mighty 757 smiles back. It looks him up and down.  It bites its lip. He hastily gulps his drink and looks away. What to do?!

Bob tries to regain his composure. His heart rate is elevated, and he’s playing out scenarios in his mind, while sitting in that plane and pretending to pay attention to Trump’s demands of complete party unity. 

[State Repubican Chairman Ed] Cox, who attended the Salvatore’s event Friday evening and has clearly favored Astorino, continues to feel the brunt of Trump’s barbs. From his customary luxury seat around a small meeting table, glancing occasionally at the snowy landscape below, Trump on Friday dialed up his criticism of the chairman.

The luxury seat. What other sort would there be on this beautiful, gold-encrusted, silk-strewn beast? Oh, Trump. He doesn’t appreciate this plane, glancing down as he is at all the potential fracking sites, dreaming of ways to scar the upstate landscape. Bob isn’t looking out – he’s looking around. He is inside his love, they are in a warm and passionate embrace, and he has no time for snow or landscapes; no interest in the black-and-white winter tableau below. 

“He’s a nice guy, but he hasn’t won anything,” he said, adding Cox is pushing Astorino because “he doesn’t know any better.”

“You’ll never see him in a plane like this,” he said of Cox.

So Trump in essence is inviting Cox to either climb aboard the Trump bandwagon – or in this case, the Trump 757 – or face what he calls an inevitable pummeling. Ditto for Astorino.

Wait a second. Trump’s getting wise to Bob’s shenanigans. Trump can see the passion in Bob’s eyes, and he knows that the plane’s heart is not fickle. No, N757AF loves Trump, and Trump loves it, and no two-bit reporter from some upstate hellhole can rend the two asunder. Not Ed Cox, and certainly not the likes of the News’ political columnist.  But all the while, McCarthy is mentally scribbling “Bob N757AF” dreaming of a wedding day that will never come. 

Trump has no problem dwelling on that “very nice life.” Watching a golf tournament on the 57-inch screen stretching across mid-cabin, he casually drops the fact he has won a string of club championships.

“I’m a good golfer,” he said.

But he also thinks the opulence that surrounds him could prove his point.

“People want to see success; I would like to show my financial statement,” he said. “I’m one of those guys who says let’s make a lot of money so we don’t have to cut, even though I know that last part doesn’t sound very Republican.”

Oh, how you’re teasing Bob. 57-inch screen in a plane? Not 56″ or 50″ – that’s for the lumpenproles toiling away 25,000 feet below. And it’s tuned to golf – something slow to help Bob calm down. Maintain, Bob. Maintain. Of course it’s golf – Bob’s new Boeing-built mistress knows what he likes. It understands him. It gets him. It’s like he’s re-born. Like the world is new. All it needs now is Steve Pigeon on its speed dial. 

The plane landed  in Buffalo, gracefully classing up a joint more accustomed to mere 737s and commuter jets. McCarthy had to leave his crush. Maybe he promised to keep in touch. Maybe they exchanged Snapchat usernames or followed each other on Instagram. Maybe Bob is liking all of the plane’s pictures on Facebook. OMG, he thinks, it’s totes adorbs. 

But the $100 million lover with the exquisite oak, the 57 inches of lovin’, and the gold-encrusted seatbelts is gone now. As soon as humanly possible after leaving Salvatore’s, Trump and his plane – which has been compared to those belonging to Middle Eastern kleptomaniacal despots like Muammar Qaddafi – flew down to Palm Beach. 

Oh, they’re soaking up the sun, Trump and that 757 beauty. But Bob’s waiting longingly for his reunion with his love. 

Poor Bob. When Trump decides that the party isn’t unified enough and decides not to run, Astorino’s chartered turboprop is going to be so lame. 

A Confluence of Horrible Politics

24 Sep

When it comes down to less than 100 votes between the two candidates, you don’t get to be a sore winner and gloat over an exceedingly narrow victory. When the victory came about as a result of a relentless, libelous campaign whereby a young and promising legislator is defamed as a “Republican” sellout, it’s nothing to boast about. When the beneficiary of that campaign is one of the most toxic and corruptible figures ever to skulk through government, it’s shameful. Barbara Miller-Williams didn’t win for herself, had Steve Pigeon not formed a PAC and funded it with almost $300,000 within the course of a week, there’d have been no blitz of “Tim Hogues is a Republican” mailers that went to every home in the district every day. 

Betty Jean Grant – she was a victor, completely obliterating the opponent who stood to benefit from the same mailing blitz. Nice try, Tim Kennedy, but you didn’t get your revenge directly against your nemesis this time

Zydel and Moore – the Pigeon/Mazurek top of the marquee – both lost big to HQ-backed candidates Dearmyer (who, in turn, lost to Pat Burke), and Wynnie Fisher, respectively. Not a day for a Pigeon victory lap at all. 

Bert Dunn, on the other hand, lost dramatically to Dick Dobson. Dunn ran his own campaign with his own people and his own money, eschewing help from the party apparatus. Zellner stayed out of that race, for the most part, and Dunn lost big. Too big – it was embarrassing, but all he seemed to do was put signs up at Bert’s Bikes locations and let Pigeon’s committee beat him up on TV. 

Now, Dunn is pledging to continue his run on the “Law and Order” party line he created for himself. This is a foolish endeavor that will not work and is a stupid thing to do at a time when Democrats should be rallying around Dobson. Dunn failed and should step aside and perhaps try again another time. 

By the same token, Democrats should all be supporting Fisher and Burke in their general election battles. It’s one thing to run a primary campaign, it’s another to actively support the Republican to get one over on the party apparatchiks you don’t like. 

Finally, as the Buffalo News’ Bob McCarthy reported, complaints have been made to the Moreland Commission on public corruption. Let’s examine. 

- Senator Tim Kennedy gave $85,000 to the Pigeon/Mazurek PAC, half of which came from a defunct, closed campaign account in apparent violation of election law. Kennedy tells McCarthy that his donations followed the “letter and spirit” of the law. The facts and disclosures show the exact opposite, yet this is omitted from the article.  

- Pigeon told McCarthy: 

Pigeon labeled the Grant-Hogues letter a “frivolous action” and questioned whether Cuomo’s Moreland Commission is even charged with probing political campaigns.

“The charge is to investigate corruption of public officers,” Pigeon said, “not to be a campaign watchdog. That power still lies with the Board of Elections.

Yet the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption was formed earlier this year, and the announcement read, in part, as follows

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the formation of the “Commission to Investigate Public Corruption” under the Moreland Act and Executive Law Section 63(8) to probe systemic public corruption and the appearance of such corruption in state government, political campaigns and elections in New York State

…”I am formally empanelling a Commission to Investigate Public Corruption pursuant to the Moreland Act and Section 63(8) of the Executive Law that will convene the best minds in law enforcement and public policy from across New York to address weaknesses in the State’s public corruption, election and campaign finance laws, generate transparency and accountability, and restore the public trust.”

  • [The commission will investigate] Campaign financing including but not limited to contribution limits and other restrictions; disclosure of third-party contributions and expenditures; and the effectiveness of existing campaign finance laws.

So, the facts directly contradict Pigeon’s assertion about the commission’s mission, yet this key fact is shunted down to the bottom of the article, completely outside the context of Pigeon’s assertion. 

The way in which New York conducts is elections is horrible, rife with opportunities for bad people to do questionable and corrupt things. PACs can spend unlimited money and its campaign advertising doesn’t need to disclose the source. Electoral fusion allows our system to be more about dealmaking with otherwise irrelevant minor “parties” and does nothing to enhance electoral democracy. Ballot access is unreasonably complicated and rife with traps for the unwary, and should be simplified. Money flowing to and from PACs – which are not even formally recognized under state law – should be accounted-for, disclosed, and limited to prevent monied interests from stealing elections. 

The problem now is whether money in politics will prevent the needed reforms from being openly discussed and implemented. 

Paladino and Thompson Either Lied or Hacked

5 Mar

In Sunday’s Buffalo News, Bob McCarthy lazily transcribed tea party guy and Paladino henchman Rus Thompson thusly: 

[Rus] Thompson said the Paladino campaign engaged investigators to track the email trail.

“So we know where it came from,” he said.

I wrote about that here, yesterday. Paladino and Thompson both cite the release of the emails as being the last straw in the Higgins – Paladino relationship, because Paladino accuses Higgins of leaking them. Thompson tells McCarthy that they had proof via some “investigation”. 

But others who were involved in that campaign say there was no such “investigation”. 

Anyone with even minimal knowledge knows that you can’t “investigate” and “track” an outgoing email trail unless you have access to the recipient’s email. One can’t go into Paladino’s outbox and determine what the recipients of a particular email did with it. You can’t determine what any of the recipient’s recipients did with a particular email, etc. If Paladino felt it was embarrassing and caused “anguish” for his racist, pornographic emails to reach the general public, it was his responsibility to not share them. 

On the other hand, if Paladino and Thompson are alleging that an investigator really did learn who sent the email to me, the only way that could have happened is if they hacked into or otherwise illegally accessed my personal Gmail account – i.e., committed a crime. It’s lose:lose. Had Bob McCarthy verified the information his dopey source mouthshat at him, he could have factored that into the semi-informed, drool-moistened nonsense he wrote regarding a turning point in the relationship he was profiling.  

Here’s what McCarthy’s source had to say for himself when challenged yesterday

That’s pretty definitive and not open to interpretation. Rus KNOWS. 

Watch Rus take the “investigation” bike and start pedaling backwards: 

 

The timestamp is about 3 – 4 hours later than EST, and as of this morning there’s no reply to that. Why? Because there is no “investigation”. There was no fantastical “tracking” of what one of the people on Carl’s email list did with the emails once they received it. They can’t produce the name of the person who disclosed the emails to me, and they have absolutely no proof that Higgins or his staff provided me with the emails. 

When you let sources lie to you on the record, and you don’t reach out to other people involved to verify the information, you’re committing some pretty shoddy “journalism” there.

Paladino, Higgins, and McCarthy

4 Mar

In an article that appeared in Sunday’s Buffalo News, Congressman Brian Higgins and his cousin-by-marriage Carl Paladino exchanged metaphorical f*ck yous. Frankly, it’s hardly news that a Democratic politician is at odds with opportunistic tea party figurehead Carl Paladino. 

But in Bob McCarthy’s article, it was revealed that the rift became irreparable after Chris Smith, Marc Odien, and I reported on Paladino’s happy forwarding of ugly racist and pornographic text and images to political figures and developers around the region

Release of the emails

Paladino’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign seemed doomed after a Buffalo website revealed his practice of emailing racist and pornographic jokes to friends.

At the time, Caputo (who has since broken with Paladino) told reporters he had been approached by a Higgins “emissary” who promised “everything would come out” if Paladino ran for governor.

Though he sent jokes to many friends on his email list, Paladino then and now blames Higgins’ staff for the leak.

“That was the end,” Paladino says now. “I knew he did it. And it only caused more anguish in the family than we already had.”

Typical narcissistic tween stuff, that. Paladino doesn’t blame himself for sending out images using the word “nigger” or showing the President of the United States and his wife as a pimp and whore – it’s someone else’s fault that he got found out, causing “anguish” to his family.  Had he kept his racism and pornography to himself, Mr. Paladino could have saved his own family all that “anguish”. 

[Rus] Thompson said the Paladino campaign engaged investigators to track the email trail.

“So we know where it came from,” he said.

I publicly challenge Rus Thompson – Paladino’s driver and errand-boy – to release the “investigation” that “tracked” the email trail. I would like to see proof in some form to back up what he’s talking about. Does Rus really think, for instance, that if he forwards one particular chain e-mail that Microsoft and Bill Gates will pay him money

Higgins denies that he or his staff leaked the emails, pointing out that Paladino’s email list included dozens of people who could have released the jokes.

Here’s a question – at any point do you think that the Buffalo News’ Bob McCarthy contacted Chris Smith, Marc Odien, or me to ask us to confirm or deny whether we received the Paladino emails from Brian Higgins or his people? Do you think that the author of this article made the effort to take to Facebook, Twitter, this blog, Artvoice, WNYMedia.net, or asked one of his colleagues for our numbers to see what we had to say about this particular matter? 

At no time did McCarthy ask the people who published the emails where they came from, or whether they came from a Higgins source. Think about it – the emails were sent to a long string of people. They were not secret – many, many people knew about them and former campaign manager Michael Caputo has stated that he knew about the emails, that he knew they were an issue, and that they focus-grouped them, finding that the racist ones were particularly problematic. 

When your campaign knows that the emails are an issue, and that any one of the recipients – or the recipients’ recipients – could have leaked them to the press, pointing the finger at the local Congressman who disagrees with your conclusion that Obamacare is worse than 9/11, to maintain a feud over them is idiotic. 

In the end, Carl Paladino is unable and unwilling to acknowledge that his own behavior is his own fault. These are things that normal people learn before they enter middle school. And journalists learn to check their sources – if Paladino and Rus Thompson say they know how the emails got to Chris, Marc, and me, you should probably check with one of us. 

McCarthy's Quote of the Week: Roll Call

18 Nov

Why won’t Buffalo News political columnist Bob McCarthy cite his sources?

In Sunday’s column, he writes

• Quote of the Week comes from Congressman-elect Chris Collins, who while in Washington a few days ago mistakenly found himself in a caucus room with people like Nancy Pelosi – and not John Boehner.

According to one congressional source attending, Republican Collins – breakfast plate in hand – suddenly rushed over to him and asked: “Wait … what meeting is this?” – only to be told he was in the Democratic caucus.

“Oh s***, I’m in the wrong meeting,” Collins was quoted as saying. “Where are the Republicans meeting?”

New Chief of Staff Chris Grant seems to be getting the hang of Washington spin.

“Congressman-elect Collins believes very strongly in reaching bipartisan solutions to fix this country’s problems,” Grant said. “What better way to accomplish that than introducing himself to his colleagues on the other side of the aisle?”

Quoted where? To whom? Why did McCarthy so cavalierly write this up without mentioning his source; that it was printed online several days ago? The way in which he writes it for the News, you’d think it was his story – that some source of McCarthy’s provided him with these quotes. 

Well, if you read AV Daily, you’d have known on Thursday that the story came from the “Heard on the Hill” section of Roll Call. The byline for that story is Warren Rojas, and every single quote that McCarthy co-opts as his own come from Rojas’ story posted last Wednesday. An NYU handbook for journalism students explains

“Sources” may also be defined as research material, including newspapers, magazines, books, research reports, studies, polls, radio, television, newsreels, documentaries, movies, audio podcasts or video from the Web. All such sources, particularly secondary sources, should be carefully vetted. Good journalists don’t simply extract information, or claims, from written or broadcast material; they check that material against other or similar material for accuracy. Just because something is published doesn’t mean it’s accurate or fair. Wikipedia, for example, is not always an accurate source and should not be cited as such. 

The reporter must clearly indicate where information comes from. Failure to disclose your reliance on someone else’s work is unethical, and can leave readers or viewers in the dark about the legitimacy of the information. This does  not hold true if something is a well-known fact that is beyond reasonable dispute. For example, it would not be necessary to cite a source for “John Adams was the second president of the United States.”

McCarthy’s quote of the week comes from Roll Call, not Chris Collins. Omitting the source for his material is unethical. 

McCarthy’s Quote of the Week: Roll Call

18 Nov

Why won’t Buffalo News political columnist Bob McCarthy cite his sources?

In Sunday’s column, he writes

• Quote of the Week comes from Congressman-elect Chris Collins, who while in Washington a few days ago mistakenly found himself in a caucus room with people like Nancy Pelosi – and not John Boehner.

According to one congressional source attending, Republican Collins – breakfast plate in hand – suddenly rushed over to him and asked: “Wait … what meeting is this?” – only to be told he was in the Democratic caucus.

“Oh s***, I’m in the wrong meeting,” Collins was quoted as saying. “Where are the Republicans meeting?”

New Chief of Staff Chris Grant seems to be getting the hang of Washington spin.

“Congressman-elect Collins believes very strongly in reaching bipartisan solutions to fix this country’s problems,” Grant said. “What better way to accomplish that than introducing himself to his colleagues on the other side of the aisle?”

Quoted where? To whom? Why did McCarthy so cavalierly write this up without mentioning his source; that it was printed online several days ago? The way in which he writes it for the News, you’d think it was his story – that some source of McCarthy’s provided him with these quotes. 

Well, if you read AV Daily, you’d have known on Thursday that the story came from the “Heard on the Hill” section of Roll Call. The byline for that story is Warren Rojas, and every single quote that McCarthy co-opts as his own come from Rojas’ story posted last Wednesday. An NYU handbook for journalism students explains

“Sources” may also be defined as research material, including newspapers, magazines, books, research reports, studies, polls, radio, television, newsreels, documentaries, movies, audio podcasts or video from the Web. All such sources, particularly secondary sources, should be carefully vetted. Good journalists don’t simply extract information, or claims, from written or broadcast material; they check that material against other or similar material for accuracy. Just because something is published doesn’t mean it’s accurate or fair. Wikipedia, for example, is not always an accurate source and should not be cited as such. 

The reporter must clearly indicate where information comes from. Failure to disclose your reliance on someone else’s work is unethical, and can leave readers or viewers in the dark about the legitimacy of the information. This does  not hold true if something is a well-known fact that is beyond reasonable dispute. For example, it would not be necessary to cite a source for “John Adams was the second president of the United States.”

McCarthy’s quote of the week comes from Roll Call, not Chris Collins. Omitting the source for his material is unethical. 

McCarthyisms: Lorigoist Stenography

13 Feb

Buffalo’s sleepiest political columnist™ strikes again!

Speaking of the Grisanti district, much has been made in some quarters about the efforts of Kitty Lambert — a same-sex marriage advocate and head of a group called Grisanti Grassroots – to register about 300 sympathizers in the Conservative Party. The idea would be to build support for Grisanti in the minor party should he face a primary over his 2011 vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

But Erie County Conservative Chairman Ralph Lorigo says about one-third of those new Conservatives hail from Niagara County, which is not expected to be part of the new district. And he points out that Conservative honcho Billy Delmont signed up another 200 Conservatives himself over the past few months. Those new Conservatives may not be as enthusiastic about the Grisanti vote.

His mustachioed somnolence also stuffed Sunday’s column with the third or fourth mention of Barry Weinstein and Chris Collins stalking NY-26, and how Collins in particular loves that he won all the Erie County towns in the district when he ran. 

This is because much the suburbanite electorate is comprised of low-information WBEN voters. 

But that Grisanti thing – “much has been made in some quarters”. Passive voice + strawman, paired with supposed information from what amounts to the boss of a political gang, just shouldn’t be in the paper. 

Same-sex marriage and civil rights advocate Kitty Lambert set Stenographer Bob right.  She runs a group called “Grisanti Grassroots” which has been working to register same-sex marriage proponents as Conservative Party members to help Grisanti should there be any primary. 

Dear Bob:

I was pleasantly surprised to see my name in your column today, especially since I had not spoken to you. I was more surprised to see that you relied solely upon the Conservative Party to provide you with information about our registration drive. Of course, they know none of the details; we didn’t provide them with courtesy copies of our work…

… only 12.5% of the 304 Conservative Party members we registered are from outside Erie County – and nowhere near one-third are from Niagara County.

They lied to you.

Also, my election attorney advised me that, according to NYS Election Law Section 5-304.3, only voters whose registrations were collected and submitted before October 15, 2011 can legally vote in the 2012 Erie County Conservative Party Primary. That’s why we hurried to get it done. That’s also why we did it quietly: so the homophobes in the National Organization for Marriage wouldn’t do the same thing and negate our efforts. We caught them by surprise and they aren’t happy about it.

If our group could have been registering new Conservatives legally qualified to vote in the 2012 primary AFTER October 15, 2011, we would have certainly registered four or five times the voters we did. Therefore, not even one of the voters Billy Delmont allegedly registered “in the past few months” will be legally permitted to vote in the 2012 primary. The only exception to this rule are voters who just turned 18 years old after October 15, 2001 – and I doubt crusty old Billy Delmont knows two 18 year olds, let alone 200.

They lied to you again.

Perhaps we can talk on the telephone or over coffee the next time you write about a project I’m coordinating. My number is 716-xxx-xxxx. I would be delighted to talk or meet with you, as I am an avid reader of your column. And I won’t lie to you.

Sincerely,

Kitty Lambert-Rudd

Coordinator

www.GrisantiGrassroots.com

This is probably illustrative of why buyers of the paper version of the Buffalo News prefer its coupons over anything else.

Fact-Checking McCarthy’s Story About Grisanti’s Money

19 Jan

Courtesy Tom Dolina at Tommunisms.com

Bob McCarthy reports in Thursday’s Buffalo News that State Senator Mark Grisanti (SD-60) reported receiving “nearly $247,000″ and that, of the 85 reported donors, only one was from western New York.

The insinuation here is that Grisanti’s local support is slipping, and that he’s dependent on money from outside the region to mount next year’s re-election bid.  It’s an insinuation that is false, and McCarthy is deliberately ignoring or confused by the fact that Grisanti has chosen voluntarily to follow an unnecessarily stringent financial disclosure pattern for a State Senator in a non-election year.

1. All of the checks from outside the area arose from a fundraiser that New York Mayor Bloomberg held in October for Republican Senators who voted in favor of the same sex marriage bill last summer. At that fundraiser, most donors pledged money, and the pledges were fulfilled in early December, and reported in January.

2. When Grisanti files, he itemizes every single donation – even if it’s under the $100 threshold – in order to maximize transparency.  He files to make sure everything is out there, because he has nothing to hide.

3. Grisanti held several local fundraisers during previous reporting periods, but none during the time covered by the January periodic, which would have started in mid-December.

4. If you look at Grisanti’s disclosure (and compare it to that of Maziarz, Kennedy, and Ranzenhofer), he filed pursuant to the tighter election year schedule despite the fact that 2011 was not an election year for him.  In his unnecessary 32 day pre-primary filing, most of his individual donations came from within WNY.  All of the individual donations in the 11 day pre-primary disclosure were from WNY.  In the 32 day pre-general filing, only one individual donation came from outside WNY.

5. Had Grisanti, like his colleagues, opted not to follow that tighter election-year cycle during the last half of 2011, all of those pre-primary and pre- and post-general election disclosures would have been contained in the January filing that McCarthy wrote about.

6. The shorter version is, Grisanti’s January disclosure only covers December 2011. The other Senators’ disclosures covers July – December 2011.

So, McCarthy’s insinuation about Grisanti’s support coming almost exclusively from outside the area, and that this is somehow out of the ordinary for a State Senator, is not a fair representation of the facts in this particular instance.

 

Collins’ Exit Interview

19 Dec

Outgoing County Executive Chris Collins granted an exit interview to the Buffalo News’ Bob McCarthy. This is no surprise, as McCarthy had been quite vocally assuming all summer that, solely on the basis of Collins’ own deep pockets, he would cruise to an easy re-election.

We all know that didn’t happen.

A week after the election, McCarthy transcribed the concern-trolling from several grumbling Republican insiders. Among their concerns,

How did a county executive who fulfilled all his promises with minimal effects on taxes and no scandals manage to lose?

And in yesterday’s Collins interview, McCarthy repeats – almost verbatim – the same Collinsphilia nonsense.

This time, the defeat seems to genuinely hurt. Collins struggles to grasp how he lost after keeping all his campaign promises of 2007 while running Erie County without a hint of scandal.

Setting aside Collins’ sour grapes and complete lack of self-awareness, it is untrue that he “kept all his campaign promises” and was somehow free from scandal.  The first step to getting better, they say, is admitting you have a problem.

The Buffalo News' Bob McCarthy

First of all, to say Collins didn’t have scandals is to ignore the time when he referred to the Jewish Assembly Speaker as the “anti-Christ”, and the time when Collins jokingly demanded a “lap dance” in order to save a seat at the State of the State address for a well-connected female executive at a local construction company. It ignores the fact that, to some people, informing them days before Christmas that they’d be losing their state-funded daycare services and that they’d have to quit their jobs to watch their kids, is quite scandalous indeed.  It ignores how Collins and his newfound nouveau-riche friend Carl tried to bully David Bellavia to drop out of the NY-26 race.

Secondly, Collins did not “fulfill all his promises“. Collins raised taxes, deepened regional cleaves, and ran on“Three Rs – Reforming Erie County government, Rebuilding the local economy, and ultimately, Reducing taxes.”

He did not reform county government – in fact, he resisted and blocked reforms almost routinely (another “r”); he did not rebuild the local economy, but ensured that stimulus funds were hoarded to artificially improve his balance sheet; and he did not reduce – but raised – taxes.

That’s breaking your promises, and that’s failure under any measure. It’s no wonder he lost

As for the remainder of Collins’ pity party,

Over and over again, the county executive turns to a consoling statistic — 39 out of 44.

That’s the number of county municipalities that voted for him on Nov. 8, only to be “overruled” by the cities of Buffalo and Lackawanna, and towns of Cheektowaga, Tonawanda and West Seneca.

That he won a plurality of small-population towns means nothing. People vote – not square footage.

Practically everyone he meets on the street, he said, says they cast their vote for him. His friends and supporters still tell him he was on the right track, and he firmly believes that the struggles and turmoil of his first term had set the stage for a second term of unparalleled success.

“With everything we had fixed,” he said, “frankly, the next four years would have been cruise control.”

Gee, that “cruise control” quip would have made a great campaign slogan. I guess this reveals that people are polite to Mr. Collins when they encounter him on the street.

Collins lost in the cities and big towns, he now says, because of the “polarizing” nature of politics and a stagnant economy that brought home Erie County’s Democratic plurality of 135,000 voters.

The influence of unions in the Poloncarz campaign energized city Democrats, he said, while stoking a “class warfare” mentality that piggybacked on the rhetoric of Washington and Albany.

That’s rich, coming from a guy whose entire agenda involved marginalizing and harming the poorest in the cities in an effort to gain political support in the wealthier suburbs. It’s a hallmark of current Republican thought that it’s important to kick the poor when they’re down. Slackers.

He rejects opponents’ claims of “arrogance” in running government, instead reasoning that his “noisy” four years energized entrenched interests and the status quo.

The “arrogant” label he now says, stuck with voters as part of a four-year “agenda” of The Buffalo News.

Chris Collins attended exactly zero candidate forums this past election cycle. He begrudgingly attended the one televised debate, and the two that weren’t. He couldn’t even be bothered to drive .5 miles up Goodrich Road to speak with voters at Clarence Town Hall at a candidates’ forum hosted by the nonpartisan League of Women Voters. It’s not his money that makes him arrogant – it’s his arrogance that makes him arrogant.

“I don’t believe people voted against me because I was successful in business or I live in a nice house,” he said. “I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth.

“It’s just that class warfare polarizes the country,” he added, “so certainly there is an impact now in local elections, and it plays a role in polarizing people back to party affiliation.”

Never forget that Collins was phenomenally successful at exploiting suburban phobias and resentments at the expense of the poorest in the cities. No one played the class warfare game better than he.  Erie County is better off for returning first Chris Lee, and now Chris Collins back to their lives of gentlemanly leisure. Jane Corwin is the last of the hyperwealthy GOP troika left standing, and her loss to Kathy Hochul last May foreshadowed what happened to her next-door neighbor in November.

Newt is the Palinists’ Pick?

12 Dec

Only one person is quoted directly in Bob McCarthy’s weekly political column in this past Sunday’s Buffalo News. Also, Gingrich? Really? That’s the pick for the local Palinists?

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