Secret Bashar Issa Business Plan revealed

9 Jul

Phase One: Announce megaproject skyscraper, comprehensive downtown master plan, underground parking at Niagara Square, Central Terminal renovation, and blockbuster Statler renovation.

Phase Two: ?

Phase Three: Profit.

45 Responses to “Secret Bashar Issa Business Plan revealed”

  1. Mike Miller July 9, 2008 at 11:51 am #

    Geez, come to think of it, I haven’t heard from Bashar since November! Do you suppose that means he’s not interested in the Central Terminal any more?

  2. Master Caution July 9, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    We’re probably better off with no skyscraper and an absentee developer.

    (See “City of Detroit”, in re: “Renaissance Centre.” Built in 1970s for $350 million; sold in ’96 for $76 million.)

  3. hank July 9, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    1. Workers agree to do demolition work for x.xx/hr.
    2. Loonions see a way to fleece these workers for dues, while getting them higher pay.
    3. Issa Balks–lays everyone off—
    4. 50 workers now have NO FUCKING JOB.
    5. Loonion “people crawl away”
    6. Project over–

    Many thanks to Laborers Union 210 for fucking 50 people out of jobs, and shuttering the Statler Towers.


  4. indabuff July 9, 2008 at 1:23 pm #

    Funny thing Local 210 Attorney William Trezevant is the genius behind Paul Francis Associates, Inc. and the owner of Transfiguration Church in B-F…UGH!

  5. Mike Miller July 9, 2008 at 1:27 pm #

    Chris, I caught the irony of that too. Trezevant’s owned Transfig for aout 15 years and has only recently starting sealing it up.

  6. Howard Goldman July 9, 2008 at 1:31 pm #

    I don’t find any of this process particularly puzzling. I don’t imagine that too many experienced entrepreneurs would find it puzzling.

    Bashar has an ambition and a vision that presently outpaced his resources. We have all been there, in various scales. It happens most frequently with talented young businessmen like Bashar. That’s how you learn to be even better.

    When this happens, you reorganize. You don’t have a choice.

    After the painful process you either get a job like everyone else, or you muster your self-confidence and proceed with your mission.

    I expect Bashar to proceed.

  7. Chris Smith July 9, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    If Howard Goldman was on fire, he would tell you it was a minimal setback and he’s certainly going to learn from the experience. After all, spontaneous human combustion is no reason to get down on one’s future prospects, right? I don’t know whether Howard is genetically optimistic or deluded.

  8. Howard Goldman July 9, 2008 at 1:48 pm #

    [[I don’t know whether Howard is genetically optimistic or deluded.]]


    I am both.


  9. Prodigal Son July 9, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    Silver Bullets don’t work out. Especially when the salesman smiles and tells you exactly what you want to hear.

    People should have gotten suspecious when he bought a $500K boat to take patrons of the Statler around in, before he finsihed rehabing the hotel.

  10. Mike July 9, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    This guy defaulted in more places than in downtown buffalo, so Hank please stop blaming all your troubles on the union. Were sorry you have to work for peanuts, because you don’t have the balls to form a union. Maybe you should of joined the union and not the marines, you food stamp cashing freak.

  11. Mike Miller July 9, 2008 at 2:14 pm #

    Hey, don’t knock Howard’s optimism! He balances it quite nicely with firm grasp of reality and that’s the toughest thing to maintain. We need more people like him in Buffalo. 🙂

  12. Chris Smith July 9, 2008 at 2:17 pm #

    Not knocking it, just making an observation.

  13. hank July 9, 2008 at 2:29 pm #

    @Mike–Take a look around, numbnuts–
    Where’s all those United Steelworkers members from Bethelem and Republic?
    Where’s all those UAW guys who worked for
    American Axle
    Harrison Radiator/Delphi


    Must be GREAT to be a UNION member with NO FUCKING JOB.

    Yep, those unions are GREAT!!! Where would WNY be without them?

  14. Howard Goldman July 9, 2008 at 2:32 pm #


    If I have ever felt like I was preaching to the choir, I am certainly feeling that now with you.

    Geek, you of all people should be able to relate to my fortress of impenetrable optimism and Buffalo’s legacy of self-determination.

    You are not a person who shies away from proceeding down a dark corridor toward the scent of nebulous opportunity. I remember a few years ago before it was so fashionable to believe in Buffalo, Gotham’s tux’d crusader promoted what has become a successful annual event to attract people back to our city.

    I also remember a couple years ago when our dynamic WNYM duo incorporated a business, stopped by Big Blue and announced to me that their business plan was basically to follow their own instincts about a new local news product. Through dark curves, blind alleys, and office leases, the Watchdog and the Geek led each other to a place where we do in fact have a highly utilized and evolving news resource.

    I guess that whatever you were smoking, you can say that I had already eaten a large batch of brownies made out of the same stuff, and chased it with a gallon of milk.

  15. Mike Miller July 9, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    Howard, the last time we ate those brownies, you bought a rundown old gay bar and I inherited an old, derelict train station. Whatever’s in them, they work! 🙂

  16. Chris Smith July 9, 2008 at 2:42 pm #

    It’s not about unions, it’s about the personal investment of goodwill and support that many local bloggers and city boosters made into Bashar. Sure, the sunshine blowers at BRO were typically over the moon for this guy with their breathless updates everytime he passed wind in our general direction. But, I think it’s quite telling that even the cynical bloggers like Alan and myself were somewhat roped in at the start.

    We’re all susceptible in some way to these nonsense silver bullet projects and it’s the repetitive failures of guys like Bashar that create a regional resistance to new ideas, outsiders, and progress.

    We all need to be more careful about what we’re willing to buy from a shyster like this guy. All hat, no cattle as they say.

  17. Mark July 9, 2008 at 2:48 pm #

    city tower is BS. the statler project is legit though…read about a euro bank willing to give the project a boost. once he finishes that we should politely ask him to get the fuck out of town and re-focus on pissing off everyone in manchester.

    notice that he likes the poor blue-collar cities waiting for a savior. we’re always ready to go to our knees for them, I know I was guilty of it myself.

  18. Mark July 9, 2008 at 2:49 pm #

    and i think collecting underpants would indeed be a much easier way to obtain profit than the means bashar has attempted.

  19. Mike Miller July 9, 2008 at 2:50 pm #

    I think that’s not an entirely fair assessment, Chris. I know him pretty well and I consider myself a pretty good judge of character. I think the worst that I would think of him is that he is brash, young and cocky and believed that he could do it all at once. He did get Issa Quay finished and Sarah Tower started, but then he got excited by the enthusiasm he was shown here and got distracted from projects he should have concentrated on in Manchester. And now, he’s got some serious issues to face there.

    I still think he is well intended, but he is only 30 years old and just bit off more than he could chew. I hope he gets back on track and finishes the Statler.

  20. Derek J. Punaro July 9, 2008 at 4:47 pm #

    I have to agree with Howard. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Issa. Too many people were too eager to think of him as Buffalo’s savior, now the same people are too eager to write him off completely.

  21. Timothy Domst July 9, 2008 at 5:13 pm #

    Chris Smith said

    “It’s not about unions, it’s about the personal investment of goodwill and support that many local bloggers and city boosters made into Bashar.”

    Wow, you really are important. A bunch of bloggers like you mean more to the ultimate success of a project than unions inflating the cost of labor.

    If you go to SPS or another of the temp agencies like a lot of people in Buffalo do and you’re unskilled labor, you’ll get 8 or 9 bucks an hour. To demand twice that and then blame the developer is ridiculous.

  22. Jon Splett July 9, 2008 at 7:42 pm #

    Yea those damn unions….8 or 9 bucks an hour with no benefits is a king’s ransom!

    How dare they try and ensure their members a decent wage!

  23. Chris Smith July 9, 2008 at 9:04 pm #

    “Wow, you really are important. A bunch of bloggers like you mean more to the ultimate success of a project than unions inflating the cost of labor.”

    I think you either misunderstood me or I wasn’t clear. I was speaking to the point of this post, not whether or not Issa will complete the Statler. I am not foolish enough to think we had anything to do with his success or failure, why would I think that? Since Alan linked to the breathless updates from Bashar’s unofficial PR agents in town, I took the opportunity to discuss theirs and our personal investment in him and his projects.

  24. Snarky Snarkmore McSnarkamaphone July 9, 2008 at 9:55 pm #

    fwiw, he at least paid the camera crew he had following him around.

    (no, NOT WNYMedia… a freelancer.)

  25. Starbuck July 9, 2008 at 9:57 pm #

    Chris, On a less silver-bullety matter, how did your BTEC conference turn out? I never noticed any recap of it here (or anywhere), or posting of its video. Which companies impressed the most and least? Did people at least like the acronym I gave it?

  26. Timothy Domst July 10, 2008 at 12:03 am #

    John Splett, who are you to decide what a decent wage is? It’s been proven that command economies don’t work, and any government that tries to impose “decent wage” laws is just going to stifle economic activity. We have minimum wage laws, we don’t need anything else. When people like you try to come up with a formula for how much people should earn it is ALWAYS too high and prevents businesspeople from adding jobs or starting new businesses. People like you are the reason Buffalo is full of road blocks that businesses go elsewhere to avoid.

  27. Jon Splett July 10, 2008 at 1:12 am #

    Who am I?

    Someone worked at shitty unskilled labor jobs and who’s lived off 8 dollars an hour with no benefits. Living paycheck to paycheck sucks and if you have the nerve to do something like get sick and miss work, you’re fucked. I got by because I’m single and don’t have to worry about anyone but myself. If I had a wife and three kids? Forget it. I couldn’t afford health care for myself, let alone kids. Why should some ‘business person’ in a suit profit exponentially off the sweat of my brow? Why should his quality of life be better than the working class? What makes what he does more deserving of decent living than what I do?

    I’m lucky. I got the chance to go back to college after working in restaurants for 5 years or so and with any luck, I won’t have to go back to struggling to pay my gas bill. But most of my friends don’t get that chance and work way to hard to help some fuck in a suit achieve his dream while they struggle to keep gas in the car. That’s bullshit and I have no sympathy for the business owners crying because they want to increase profit margins. When people with two SUV’s and a home in the suburbs want to blame the people riding the bus and living in shitty apartments for the economic problems in this country, it makes me sick to my stomach.

    People like you are why such a small percentage of the population controls such a disgusting amount of the wealth in this country.

  28. al-alo July 10, 2008 at 7:41 am #

    those guys on the statler job were doing work they werent trained or equiped for. removing lead and asbestos materials in a commercial job without monitoring is dangerous and illegal.

    it wasnt like he was paying them all that well either. funny enough, i bet if he just raised salaries 2 or 3 bucks an hour, he might have gotten away with it.

    so mediocore pay + few benefits + dangerous work = a union drive! who would have saw that coming.

  29. Howard Goldman July 10, 2008 at 9:32 am #

    Jon Splett,

    You are wasting your writing skills on us. You should have sent that comment to The Daily Worker.

    Does anyone know if that publication still exists?

  30. Mike July 10, 2008 at 9:37 am #

    Thank you Jon, your words are like steel, unlike Hank the ditto head who blames every problem on unions or welfare queens. Hank is a great example of the walmart republican, I bet he spent his rebate check there and china is happy.

  31. Mike July 10, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Goldman don’t you have to ghost write your womans blog? You should of married Hank, you have the bar for it!

  32. Howard Goldman July 10, 2008 at 9:53 am #


    Have you ever noticed that Hank and MKG are never seen at the same time?

  33. lefty July 10, 2008 at 2:37 pm #


    While I can see your frustration….consider a couple of items from the “other side” if you will.

    If someone is making $8 an hour, what the hell are they doing having one child, let alone 3? There are lots of rights people have but some rights come with responsibility. Children are one of them. Now I can see the story of a “whoops” moment and getting pregnant but 3 times over. Sorry Jon, children are not rights in my opinion.

    As for the $8, have you looked into the cost of an employer in NYS to pay someone that $8? One of the biggest challenges I see in the “conversation” with pro labor people is they look at the number they are paid. I, on the other hand, look at the cost of paying that wage. Take for example the Buffalo Police. As we all know, they love to bitch about what they make. Now when you look at the current budget, the cost of running the department is around $70million. However, this does NOT include pension and benefit costs. Those are around $100million. So for every dollar paid to a cop, it costs the city TWICE as much. Now, I am not sure of the specific cost to private company but the logic is there that paying someone $8 costs MUCH more then it should.

    So instead of JUST finding fault in some “fuck in a suit” why don’t you look at ALL of the people responsible. Yes, the suit is part of it. But the fuck who does not want to do anything with his life and blows off school only to find he has no skills for a good job, has something to do with it as well. Also, some union fuck, who wants to keep “his company/the union” strong so he makes rules that gain power for him in the short term but kill the industry he serves in the long term. Or some fuck political hack who passes laws that hurt a small business owner who can barely afford a suit themselves so he can cozy up to the union votes.

    As for your chance to make more for yourself, you are to be commended for taking that step. As for your friends, I would offer them some advice. Either move away to an area where there are more jobs for unskilled labor or find a skill. It is really that easy.

    I just looked on Craigslist for Charlotte and there are a bunch of jobs. From the dozen or so I looked at, the rate was $11-$14 an hour. Which is about the limit for realistic wages for unskilled labor in my opinion.

  34. Timothy Domst July 10, 2008 at 4:58 pm #

    Jon Splett,

    I used to be a truck driver, and now work in a factory. I don’t make much money. I have a set of skills that I need to trade for what they’re worth, not what people who like to pat themselves on the back for their social conscience decide they’re worth. It applies to any field. You can look to American Axle in Tonawanda to find out what happens to auto parts workers who price themselves out of the market. Any lawyer who gets out of school and demands 200k a year because “that’s what lawyers SHOULD make” or because some make a ton more is not going to find work very fast, unless maybe they’re as brilliant as you.

    As for how such a small percentage of people have aggregated so much wealth it’s not due to people like me because I never voted for Bush and his capital gains cut is a big reason for that shift. The internet boom and a lot of computer-related efficiencies in the 90s is also responsible for adding a lot of corporate wealth and I have nothing to do with that.

  35. Timothy Domst July 10, 2008 at 5:52 pm #

    I said

    The internet boom and a lot of computer-related efficiencies in the 90s is also responsible

    I should have said

    The internet boom and computer-related efficiency in the 90s is also responsible

  36. hank July 10, 2008 at 6:05 pm #

    Mike is an example of an asshat who hides behind his first name, and calls everyone he doesn’t agree with “Some Kind of Republican”.

    Come out of the closet, pussy.

    Unskilled laborers should NOT be making 20 bucks an hour. Wanna make that kind of money?? Get your ass back in school and learn a trade.

    Too many people in WNY aspired to “get my ass out of high school and get a job with GM/Bethlehem/etc”. In many cases your dad or an uncle could “get you in” and your ass was set for life –20 and out @ GM. Well, that worked pretty damn good in the 50’s and 60’s. Take a look around–those places and those jobs are GONE. And the ridiculously high wages and benefits paid to those Union workers are exactly why those places and jobs are gone.

    Check out some of the people who work as laborers. See how many never finished high school. most of them have spotty work records, lots of firings, attendance problems, etc. Sure there are exceptions, and one of those may have commented here. So no finger pointing at that commentor. I’ve interviewed LOTS of people with that resume’. And as soon as I see highest grade completed less than 12, the application goes in the trash—can’t finish high school, chances are you can’t finish any task I might assign you.

    Not Mike though, every piece of shit who never finished school and has the intelligence of a bowl of jello should join a Union and make 20 bucks an hour. BULLSHIT.

  37. al-alo July 10, 2008 at 7:51 pm #

    did i just hear that having children is just the business of those who are lucky enough to have parents that could afford to send their sorry ass to a suburban school and mediocre state college and now landed in a middle management dead end job?

    holy living pile of steaming crap!

    so should we continue to just let peoples wages decline? maybe in a few years, itll be equivalent of just 6 dollars. or five. maybe one of your kids wont make it through ecc and have to work with their hands. then your seed can stop there.

    lets just all move to some third world country and start working in a sweat shop now.

  38. Snarky Snarkmore McSnarkamaphone July 10, 2008 at 10:08 pm #

    Thomas Frank’s soon-to-be-published book, The Wrecking Crew, says it all:

    “Fantastic misgovernment is not an accident; nor is it the work of a few bad individuals. It is the consequence of triumph by a particular philosophy of government, by a movement that understands the liberal state as a perversion and considers the market the ideal nexus of human society. […] Its leaders laugh off the idea of the public interest as airy-fairy nonsense; they caution against bringing top-notch talent into government service; they declare war on public workers. […] The ruination they have wrought has been thorough; it has been a professional job.”

    And don’t get the idea he is limiting his invective at “The Republicans;” given yesterday’s FISA vote, I think we can safely say the rot is pretty bi-partisan.

  39. Timothy Domst July 10, 2008 at 11:13 pm #

    Snarky said

    Thomas Frank’s soon-to-be-published book, The Wrecking Crew, says it all:

    should say

    I couldn’t form my own sentences, Thomas Frank does it for me and here’s a batch of text:

    You remind me of Cal Thomas, that hack, all he does is slap long quotes together and pretends he wrote a column.

  40. Timothy Domst July 10, 2008 at 11:44 pm #

    pretend he wrote a column

  41. Timothy Domst July 10, 2008 at 11:45 pm #

    When do we get to edit posts?

  42. Snarky Snarkmore McSnarkamaphone July 11, 2008 at 12:43 am #

    I’m a commenter, on a blog, Tommy; I don’t pretend to be otherwise.

    Get over it.

  43. lefty July 11, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    No Al you did not hear that.

    What you read was people who can barely pay for themselves should not, by choice, having kids.

    I am not talking about sending to a suburban school or a having money left over to deck you kid out in Baby Gap. I am talking about having enough money for formula and diapers. Having money to feed and dress a child. Those are kinda important. I was speaking about the responsibility of having a child.

    As for wages going backward….I NEVER said they should. If you peel away your liberal mantra and read again what I wrote, you will see that THE COST of paying some X needs to go down. NOT X itself!

    The cost of paying some $8 in WNY is similar to paying someone $12-$14 in other parts of the nation. The reason is the BACK END costs associated with being an employer in NYS.

    Demanding people to pay more and not doing anything about the BACK END is the reason why the area is hurting. It is the reason why jobs left and few are coming in.

    See a CEO or business owner does not look at the paycheck of the worker. He/She looks at the total cost of payroll. If you want wages to go up and more money to go into the pockets of the workers, the ONLY way to make this happen is to lower the back end cost. Lower taxes and payroll expenses.

    Auto and Steel came to Buffalo BECAUSE at the time there were LOW TAXES and NO UNIONS. Auto and Steel left BECAUSE there were high taxes and unions.

    When was the last time you read about a union working with a business and using their powers to lower the back end cost so they could get higher wages? It has never happened. Unions are there to change the paycheck. If they would focus on working with their employers to reduce the cost, they would have has much better results.

  44. Timothy Domst July 11, 2008 at 4:27 pm #

    Cutty Pastemore McHowbrillantmaphone,

    I think I will get over it.


  1. Bashar al-Issa Convicted of Tax Fraud in the UK | Artvoice Daily - March 14, 2013

    […] grandeur. He sought no public money and was greeted as a hero. He pledged that he would build the tallest skyscraper in Buffalo just off Niagara Square, and proposed an underground parking garage under the square to accommodate visitors’ parking […]

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