Higgins versus Dan the Tan Man

24 Jul

Did you know someone was running against Brian Higgins? It’s true. There is an actual Independence Party candidate running in that race to replace South Buffalo’s Boy Wonder.

That IP member is Dan Humiston. He’s also running, BTW, as the endorsed Republican.

In several recent bigger races, the Republican party in the county of Erie has pretty much resigned itself to running bored millionaires who can do a lot of self-financing of their campaigns. (Hi, Jack Davis! Too bad Cheney snubbed you a few years ago!). Chris Lee, Republican running in the 26th, is the unemployed scion of a formerly locally-owned manufacturing concern which was sold out for megabucks to a New Jersey multinational.

Humiston is, like Davis but unlike Lee, a self-made millionaire. He runs the Tanning Bed franchise throughout Western New York, peddling melanoma to local gum-clacking teens and those who still think they are. He’s the current president of the Indoor Tanning Association. (A “healthy tan” is not unlike the ads for Camel – more doctors smoke ’em!)

Humiston has raised a decent amount of money, according to his latest filings. His largest contribution comes courtesy of a sweaty gentleman who combats allegations that he defends pedophiles by surrounding himself with children. Tom Reynolds’ TOMPAC gave the legal max to Humiston – $5,000.

Humiston did receive one more $5,000 contribution from another PAC, however. The “Indoor Tanning Association PAC“, which is run by the operation of which he is President. There are also loads of big contributions from melanoma huts all across the country. You can track how excited the tanning proponents are about Humiston’s run for congress, and they have a great conversation about how Dan Humiston can advance the melanomian cause in Congress.

Dear tanning industry friends,

Today is a big day in my race for Congress, March 31 is the last day I can collect money for my first FEC filing. The FEC reports have to be done quarterly so that the country can gauge my potential as a candidate.

I officially became a candidate in March; so far all my fundraising efforts have been directed towards our industry. My feeling is that it sends a strong message to the country that the tanning industry believes that their president will make a good congressman.

While many people have generously supported and helped spread the word I still have a ways to go to hit my goal. If you haven’t had time to go to my website http://www.humistonforcongress.com and make a contribution, can you please do it now?


And the Republicans criticize people for taking money from a strip club owner? Stripping doesn’t give people cancer.

The Indoor Tanning PAC’s mission:

In an effort to create a unified voice for the industry, the ITA decided to form a PAC to educate and make financial contributions to federal candidates who support the public policies that are important to the ITA’s members.


The ITA actively lobbies against legislation that would place unfair restrictions on salon businesses.

For instance, the ITA is lobbying to strike legislation in Ohio that would ban indoor tanning for teens under 18, and a similar bill in Massachusetts for teens under 16. I’m pretty sure that another cancer-causer – cigarettes – are prohibited from being sold to teens under 18 even when they have a note from home, so I don’t see the issue. (Evidently, his campaign obtained the Tanning Bed’s email list. Convenient. There’s also $2,500 to one Joseph Illuzzi, who apparently resides at 123 ABC Street in Alabama 20001.)

The one unifying theme among the Bored Republican Millionaire candidates is that they will operate government like a business. This is silliness, because businesses have a different mission altogether from that of government. The smart ones explain that they wish to maximize efficiencies and eliminate waste. They will keep a close eye on public finances and make sure that deficits are guarded against, found, and remedied as soon as possible, right?

Well, another supporter of Humiston’s is Nancy Naples-O’Neill, erstwhile State DMV Commissioner, which is a position to which she was appointed after holding the Giambra Administration’s water for so many years, (delaying until the last possible moment her decision to alert the people to what became the Erie County Budget Crisis of 2004 – 2005). She gave Humiston $1,000. One hopes he won’t take public finance advice from her. BTW – she lists her occupation now as “Amtrak Commissioner“. Christ almighty, there’s no trough from which she won’t gorge.

Humiston and Lee are supposed to be cut from the same cloth as Chris Collins – a businessman whom the Republicans run with great success last year. And they won’t come asking to bum money off the party, either.

The thing is, Brian Higgins works his ass off every single day to change people’s minds about Buffalo and WNY. When Humiston charges that Higgins is part of the status quo, that is sheer idiocy. Taking money from Tom Reynolds, cancer purveyors, and Nancy Naples is more of the same. Not Higgins, whose accomplishments are many and whose record does not pigeonhole him as some sort of ultra leftist liberal, but instead a pragmatic and forceful proponent for Western New York and the regular folks who make up his district.

19 Responses to “Higgins versus Dan the Tan Man”

  1. Walter Grenda July 24, 2008 at 12:11 pm #

    Anytime I read of Brian Higgins, it’s usually reports of positive, meaningful results for this area. More importantly, these positive results come across to voters as common sense issues, like getting our fair share of money from the money making machine called the Power Authority for this area, not downstate, etc., or how about significant changes along the WNY shores of Lake Erie. Now that is progress and effective change that we all agree with, strongly desire, and so desperately need for the future of this area.

    Unfortunately, the word “change” is over-used & abused at election time, not necessarily from the incumbents, but from the challengers. I say, “Change”, should be replaced with “Hope” because, as a life-long WNY’er I can only HOPE that more “smart”, “get-it-done” for “all the right reasons” citizens like Brian (by the way, who is also a Harvard grad) step up to the plate and run for office. We would all be better off, for sure ! How embarrassing over the years trying to explain to out-of-towners about our waterfront; Brian is now responsible (not soley by any means, but has certainly demostrated his leadership while, like always, having to deal with those that complain about any progress) for bringing significant HOPE for our waterfront, FINALLY ! The only
    “change” we need now is for a “businessman” like Dan (the Tan Man) Humiston to do the right thing and close his cancer-producing shops and support politicans like Brian with his millions, now and well in OUR futures. Keep up the good work Brian; you certainly have my vote and support, Walter Grenda P.S. It’s not surprising you call Brian (South)Buffalo’s Wonder Boy because its true. Just visit his website and review his voting record. There really is HOPE! for our children and their future in this area.

  2. D. L. Smith July 24, 2008 at 12:17 pm #

    Why did’t you just say “up front” that your objective was to “swift boat” Mr. Humiston and “shill” for Mr. Higgins? Then, we could have just skipped to the last paragraph and ignored the rest of your sophomoric ranting.

    It is obvious that the words “fair and balanced” are not in your lexicon.

  3. Dan July 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm #

    BP – not your finest post. At least read the things you link to. “And the Republicans criticize people for taking money from a strip club owner? Stripping doesn’t give people cancer.”

    If you go to that story, the criticism of Snowden came not from Republicans, but from former Wyoming County Democratic Chairwoman Anne Weidman.

    I don’t know much about Humiston, but Higgins would be great fodder for your next “Epic Fail” piece. Is greatest accomplishment in 20 years of public life is to criticise the branch of government he just left. Not sure that he has ever had a job we didn’t pay for, and in all his time in the State Assembly, he did nothing to remove the tolls, disband the power authority, etc. etc.

  4. anthony v July 24, 2008 at 2:45 pm #

    Although I grew up in NF, and now have the unfortunate dishonor of living in the Nation’s Capitol, I have found Brian Higgins along with Sen. Schumer to be the best advocates WNY has had in my lifetime. While we have a Rochester Congresswoman who couldn’t find here way west of LeRoy without a map, a pedophile protector and a carpet bagging Senator who used the citizenry of NY for her own ambition representing the rest WNY, Brian Higgins is always at the forefront of issues that matter to WNY.

    Great post BP!

  5. Timothy Domst July 24, 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    BP said:

    And the Republicans criticize people for taking money from a strip club owner? Stripping doesn’t give people cancer.

    I say:

    Damn right, stripping gives people boners, not cancer. My body, my choice!

    The Republicans only get it half right with the “run government like a business” idea. Businesses exist to make profit, and don’t serve customers who can’t pay. Government exists to serve everyone, which includes people who can’t pay.

    Where they are right is how successful businesses find small savings anywhere they can, because of course those all add up to big savings. Many people think, “why bother cutting X when it is such a small part of the huge budget?” when hundreds of those cuts mean a responsible budget, especially when X doesn’t do anything for anyone but a few, or does barely anything to justify any support.

  6. Ken Meeker July 24, 2008 at 4:47 pm #

    Know your facts, moderate controlled sun exposure is absolutely necessary for the body’s production of Vitamin D. Americans are suffering from Vitamin D defincencies, resulting in higher incidences of Breast, Colon and other Cancers.

  7. Heidi July 24, 2008 at 7:56 pm #

    I agree with Ken Meeker. Before publishing such lies about the tanning industry know your facts. My question to you is do you work for a cosmetic company? Anti tanning is majorly being pushed by the cosmetic industry, whose companies are trying to sell their products to people.

    Sun/UV exposure is not the cause of skin cancer, improper burning is. Tanning in a controlled environment such as Dan’s tanning salons is the best way to regulate exposure and prevent burning. You are in a controlled UV exposure situation with people educated about safe exposure levels and proper practices. Isn’t it safer to get your exposure in such a controlled environment rather than lying outside all day long with no attention being paid to safe exposure levels?

    I have been a tanner since I was 15 years old and I am now 31. I take offense with the statement of you calling adults who choose to tan individuals who think they’re still gum-clacking teens. Also, why the obvious prejudice against women? I’ve never heard of boys being referred to as ‘gum-clacking’, so what about all the men who frequent tanning salons?

    Tanning is not a bad thing. As stated above, tanning/controlled UV exposure has been proven to help with vitamin D deficiencies. There are doctors who support tanning. I had a baby last year and my OBGYN encouraged me to tan to help maintain healthy levels of vitamin D.

    People can feel better with a healthy tan. Being from Western NY originally I know the winters are long. Is it a coincidence that the northeast region of the United States has one of the highest rates of Vitamin D deficiency in the country? So why not go into a tanning bed once or twice a week to make your self feel better and healthier?

    The indoor tanning industry is regulated by the FDA to keep it safe. Tanning salon owners are mature and so are a lot of their patrons. Maybe a better education of and focus on the facts would provide a better argument than an obvious attempt at misinformation and exploitation of a candidates entire industry just because it’s easy!

  8. Buffalopundit July 25, 2008 at 4:44 am #

    Sheesh. Is that the best you people have got? I wanted to see some online CARNAGE!

    Oh, and I can get Vitamin D from a vitamin pill, with no chance of getting skin cancer. KTHXBAI.

  9. KevinP July 25, 2008 at 7:17 am #

    The term “melanoma huts” sounds like something I would read in a Buffalo Rising comments section

  10. Eric P. July 25, 2008 at 8:53 am #

    Actually, I thought “melanoma huts” was the best bit of the whole post.

    Gum-Clacking (male) teen.

  11. Bill Gallagher July 25, 2008 at 10:02 am #

    Running the government like a business would not be such a bad thing. This country relays on businesses. How many people do you think Dan Humiston employees? My guess is a few hundred. Those employees spend their money in the community supporting commerce. Despite the fact that you obviously know nothing about the tanning industry nor the medical miss-quotes you just made you have created a conversation board that allows for the other side of your OPIONON to be heard.

    There are several businesses that provide services and products that can be abused. Excessive amounts of any substance can be harmful to your health. The ITA promotes the use of moderation in a controlled environment. Just think what would happen if you ate 100 Banana’s every day…….is that healthy? What would happen if we had no sunlight? We would all die. Your body requires sunlight, there is no documented proof that sunlight from a tanning bed and the sun are different, except for the fact the tanning beds control the quantity of light and measure the dosage as regulated by the food and drug administration.

    You are clearly an uneducated individual to spout of like this without having the facts in order.

    Why don’t we take a pill for everything……I wonder what that will do for you bladder.

  12. Jim July 25, 2008 at 8:50 pm #

    Did anyone stop to think about why our skin has fadded over time. As migrating tribes moved north skin tones grew lighter.

    Why you ask, did we evolve to a ligher complection?

    Since fewer hours of exposure to the suns rays are available in the northern climates our bodies evolved. This evolution was from dark skin to light or fair skin.

    Why would our skin lighten becasue of less sun?

    Becasue it didn’t need the natural protection? Maybe

    But it is a sceintific fact that Lighter skin processes UV into Vitamin D more efficently. Since there was less exposure our body adapted to the climate and maximized its ability to process UV.

    If the Sun/UV were so bad for us why did our bodies make such a drastic transformation in an effort to process it better?

    As for Vitamin D supplements it is also proven that our bodies get better absorption of Vitamin D through our skin’s exposure to UV than any other form.

    I am not an avid Tanner. The only time I tan is when I am going on vacation. Slow and steady exposure in a controlled enviroment, allows me to get the protection I need. I am of Irish decent so I burn easily. In the sun I can’t control cloud cover, The Ozone, High/Low pressure fronts, ect. All of which affect your UV exposure outside.

    Tanning beds give me and my family control.

  13. Timothy Domst July 25, 2008 at 9:40 pm #

    Jim said;

    Tanning beds give me and my family control.

    I say;

    I cannot stop laughing at that sentence.

  14. Homer July 26, 2008 at 6:33 am #

    There appears to be an inverse relationship on display here. The more Vitamin D your body gets, the worse your spelling is. Coincidence? I think not. I thought cancer was the worst part of excessive tanning, but evidently James Kilpatrick stays away from melanoma huts in order to keep his Sunday gig as the chief of the grannar police. Who knew?

  15. S July 29, 2008 at 9:06 pm #

    Actually Heidi, UV radiation causes irreversible damage to your dna. Enough damage and that’s when your cancer pops up.

  16. Jon Splett July 30, 2008 at 12:52 am #

    Bill Gallagher Says:
    “Why don’t we take a pill for everything……”

    I couldn’t agree more. I mean, lieing in a tube full of lightbulbs to absorb vitamins, that makes sense.

    But taking a pill? That’s just crazy.


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