Dear Joel Rose:

30 Aug

If you’re going to close out an email to your anti-casino recipient list with this:

Meanwhile, we do not have the luxury of ignoring the battle for public opinion. The pro-casino talk show hosts and bloggers have been having a field day, spreading lies about our motivations and our sources of funding, along with the usual nonsense about the likely impact of a casino. It is up to us, that is, it is up to all of us including YOU, to set the record straight. Please do what you can to help win the battle for public opinion.

Perhaps you would then like to ask your benefactors at the Network for Religious Communities and allies at Citizens for Better Buffalo to open the books so we can all see who has received Wendt Foundation largesse?

Only then can we really determine who’s been “spreading lies”. And since I’m not aware of another blog that posted about the casino ruling yesterday, I’m assuming you were referring to me, in which case I’d love for you to show me the basis for your charge that I am “pro-casino”.

I know you’re all about the transparency and accuracy, so I eagerly await the Network’s and CBB’s financial disclosures. After all, you brought it up. Thanks so much.

Love, BP

UPDATE: I have pasted Joel Rose’s response in comments because he claims not to be able to post comments.

26 Responses to “Dear Joel Rose:”

  1. Colin August 27, 2008 at 11:36 am #

    Why would they disclose anything to you? They’re not accountable to bloggers. The idea that they owe you an explanation because you accused them of something is nuts.

  2. Buffalopundit August 27, 2008 at 11:43 am #

    They’re not accountable to anyone.

    That’s the problem, since they’re waging a lawsuit that will ostensibly affect about a million people.

  3. Colin August 27, 2008 at 12:05 pm #

    They’re accountable to the Charities Bureau of the State Attorney General’s office, if I remember correctly.

  4. frieda August 27, 2008 at 1:01 pm #

    In a july 30th post thread titled “Questions Questions”
    Colin posted —

    ‘If the Network of Religious Communities is “anti-indian,” someone should tell the Indigenous Women’s Initiative. You’ll find them on the second floor at the NRC building’.

    which was countered by this post–

    ‘July 31st, 2008 at 3:30 pm
    @Colin Indigenous Women’s Initiative must be very well funded, since they cannot even afford a phone. You sure that’s not a closet with something written on the door.’

    So either The second floor office was a fabrication or someone could be running a shell out of an empty office. So pundit is exactly right, transparency is needed here.

  5. Timothy Saracki August 27, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    I had never heard of any of these whacky “charity” groups until the Wendt foundation, Bruce Jackson, the Joel Rose circus and their offspring started their war on the Nation. Being a Seneca I’d love to check out this “Indigenous womans Initiative” and have a few words with them.

    Anyone have a location?

  6. Chris Smith August 27, 2008 at 1:11 pm #

    Actually, they are not totally accountable to the AG’s office. They are not required to file IRS Form 990 to disclose funding sources or program expenses as a faith based organization.

  7. frieda August 27, 2008 at 1:34 pm #

    @Saracki – The Indigenous womens initiative is located in Austin Texas. Its just seems strange that if it has a satellite office operation in Buffalo , it does not have a local phone listing?

  8. Senecalady August 27, 2008 at 2:02 pm #

    I say to hell with Buffalo. Tired of all the bs. Too bad we didn’t just build in Cheektowaga like we wanted to begin with. Now we aren’t even going to build in Buffalo. To hell with the Citizens for a Better Buffalo. These are just a group of people who wanted a cut or kick back and didn’t receive so they decided to suit. They aren’t against gambling at all. They seem to be only against Indian Gaming and they are discriminating against Seneca’s and there will to survive how ever Seneca’s seem fit.

  9. buffalomom August 27, 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    Pundit – I’m affraid to ask but I am new to the site and just getting up to speed on the opinions of you and readers. Are you for or against casinos or just against hypocrites?

  10. Greg August 27, 2008 at 2:49 pm #

    what’s this NRC thing? Sounds like they’re anti gambling, so how do they feel about all the church sponsored gambling that goes on in this area?

  11. buffalomom August 27, 2008 at 2:53 pm #

    Senecas suspend construction of casino in Buffalo and hotel in Salamanca
    http://www.buffalonews.com/home/story/424606.html

    My money is on the lawsuit. If they wanted a booming economy, they should have never even thought about Buffalo.

  12. Dan August 27, 2008 at 3:30 pm #

    Wouldn’t it be great if the constructions stopped forever, and they erected a plaqur to Bob, Joel & Bruce? Years from now it would be a reminder of ugly days in the past when things in Buffalo were not booming, and when people gambled. Perhaps they can seed the brownfield and unicorns can graze…

  13. Dan August 27, 2008 at 3:30 pm #

    Or maybe a plaque…

  14. mike August 27, 2008 at 3:45 pm #

    buffalomom, i hope baby doesnt need a new pair of shoes!!

  15. timothy saracki August 27, 2008 at 5:03 pm #

    Frieda wheres the Buff office?

  16. Colin August 27, 2008 at 6:52 pm #

    FYI —

    1. My last contact with Indigenous Women’s Initiative (IWI) was in August 2007. They did, in fact, have offices on the second floor of the Network of Religious Communities (NRC) — I’ve been to meetings in those offices. They may have moved since, but I doubt it.

    IWI isn’t a “shell.” I checked my email for their last event, which seems to have been a “Jigonsaseh event from 9-3 at Hilbert College (5200 South Park in Hamburg) on August 9th.” It featured an awards ceremony honoring “women of peace” and a talk by Tom Porter.

    2. The NRC is the area’s leading ecumenical religious organization. It was known as the Council of Churches, but changed its name to reflect the diversity of its membership. In addition to programs promoting inter-religious dialogue, it operates a food pantry and houses a range of community groups, including IWI, Food for All, the Interfaith Peace Network, etc. To my knowledge, they take no stance on church bingo, for two reasons. First, because there is no concensus on the issue among the member congregations. And second, because church bingo has nothing to do with casino gambling whatsoever.

    3. People who claim that opposition to a casino is motivated by anti-native bigotry should present some actual evidence. Otherwise, they should shut up.

  17. Timothy Saracki August 27, 2008 at 7:17 pm #

    Your friends, for whatever reason, are trying to economically hinder us. How the hell should I understand the motivation of your fellow effete, elite zealots. I do know u r losing the pr war.

  18. Colin August 27, 2008 at 10:03 pm #

    1. They’re not my friends.

    2. The reason and motivation for their actions are clear — they think a casino would hurt the city. You may disagree with their judgment, but that doesn’t mean that they have mysterious (or harmful) motivations.

    3. Opposition to state-mandated gambling monopolies = effete and elite. Support for state-mandated gambling monopolies = manly and grassroots. Got it!

    4. You’re right about the pr. Considering the forces on the pro-casino side — the state, the county, the city, public gullibility — that’s hardly a surprise.

  19. Timothy Saracki August 27, 2008 at 10:34 pm #

    “Friends” in the sense that you share their view.

    Second point. Pardon me for being a wee bit skeptical but there’s that whole history thingy.

    Yeah…”manly” that’s it.

    “State”! Ha ha…we’re getting it from all sides, or haven’t you noticed?

  20. frieda August 28, 2008 at 11:10 am #

    STFU yourself Colin. You have been a consistent shill for NPO’s where the officials are raking in big money compensation packages. No doubt you somehow feed into that. Yes there is a real IWI and it is in Austin, as I said. What the hell is the one in Buffalo? No phone, come on.In your July post You were trying to show that the “NETWORK” was supporting the American Indian. How much support are they getting if their office is located inside someones laptop. The question here is how much funding actually goes to the National Organization if any. And, by the way, it wouldn’t be the first time officials working for church groups have diverted funds into there own pockets.

  21. Colin August 29, 2008 at 3:26 pm #

    Yes, I used to work for a non-profit organization. My “generous compensation” amounted to less than $10 an hour. Most of my colleagues were in the same boat. So yeah, it pisses me off when people casually assume that the non-profit world is full of corruption or people getting rich.

    IWI exists and conducts programming in Buffalo. They had a big event as recently as 3 weeks ago. The NRC has helped them in their work. None of that is affected in the least by the fact that they don’t have a website, or that you can’t get them on the phone.

  22. Joel Rose (via email) August 30, 2008 at 9:12 am #

    Against my better judgment, I attempted to reply, but guess what? BP’s site won’t let me reply. I don’t know whether that’s a glitch in the software or a deliberate screening for my IP address, and I don’t really care. I’ll just respond here, with apologies to the list, and then we’ll see whether BP will post the reply on his site. I never was able to find the rejected replies he promised to post before, so I won’t hold my breath.

    I’m going to try real hard not to be drawn into any sort of continuing dialogue, as I know how irritating that is to most list members.

    So here’s my reply to BP:

    First of all, your forwarding my messages to the anti-casino list is a breach of computer etiquette. That wasn’t addressed to you, as you very well know. Those messages are intended for people who support CACGEC, which is why I stopped sending them to the BfloIssueAlerts list. Apparently someone who pretends to be a friend of CACGEC is forwarding them to you. So, in effect, you accepted my message from someone who stole it, and then you passed it on to your readers. Well, that’s okay, we’ve always assumed that among our thousand plus friends there are a few spies. And, believe it or not, we have nothing to hide. We have always answered question about what we are doing and why. So spy all you like. I just wanted to point out what a creepy thing you are doing. Maybe you can get a job working for Joe Illuzzi.

    The Network of Religious Communities is not our benefactor, except that they did make a modest contribution some years ago for lawn signs. They do administer our funds, and for a while we met in their building, so that’s providing a service. But with that one exception for the lawn signs, we get no funding from them. I am grateful to them for the support they have shown to a cause that is almost universally supported within the religious community, but it is inaccurate to characterize them as our benefactors, if by that you mean to suggest that we receive routine financial support from them. We do not.

    Nor, for the record, do we receive any support from Citizens for Better Buffalo. They coordinate the lawsuit on behalf of all the plaintiffs, of which we are one. That is a useful task that they do, but they’re doing it on their own, with no direction, and very little influence, from us. They do not finance us, and we do not finance them. We do talk with each other from time to time, but heck, I even talk with you from time to time. Yes, you could say we are allies.

    We have not received any funding from the Wendt Foundation. Lawyers who are representing us have been paid with Wendt Foundation funds, but those funds do not go through us in any fashion. We do not control them, and we do not control the hiring of attorneys. If we didn’t like the representation, our only option would be not to accept it. Fortunately, we do like it.

    I am not have any control over CBB or the Network. If you want some information from them, why don’t you ask them? If I were them, after the j’accuse stance you’ve taken, I wouldn’t give you the time of day, but that’s their call. Leave me out of it. I’ve given you all sorts of information about CACGEC, way beyond what you have any right to know.

    You flatter yourself in assuming that I was referring to you. I do not normally read your blog, regardless of whether it is addressing an area in which we agree (Obama) or an area in which we disagree (Wendt Foundation), because I have no respect for your ability to distinguish truth from fiction. I didn’t read your comment on the judge’s decision. There are many liars and distorters out there, Alan, not just you. You’re not even the worst. A talk show host advising his listeners to camp out on my front lawn, for instance, is worse than you. Your silly charges do provide encouragement for that sort of thing, but I’m sure that’s not your intent. An editor of a weekly who alleges that we’re using Wendt funds to endorse political candidates is also worse. You know from your participation in our candidates’ night that we do not endorse political candidates. And you know, or you should know, by now now that we don’t receive funding from the Wendt Foundation.

    As for whether you are pro-casino, I have no idea, and I don’t really care. It seems to depend on the day of the week. I don’t think that’s what’s motivating your various distortions. I think you’re just trying to get noticed. Good luck with that.

    I did not bring up the topic of CBB/Network financial disclosure. You did. Good grief, can you just try to remember what you’ve said in the last five minutes?

    Regarding your signature, please don’t love me. We’re not right for each other.

    Joel Rose
    co-Chairperson, Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County
    http://NoCasinoErie.org

  23. Buffalopundit August 30, 2008 at 9:18 am #

    My response to Joel Rose:

    Against my better judgment, I attempted to reply, but guess what? BP’s site won’t let me reply. I don’t know whether that’s a glitch in the software or a deliberate screening for my IP address, and I don’t really care. I’ll just respond here, with apologies to the list, and then we’ll see whether BP will post the reply on his site. I never was able to find the rejected replies he promised to post before, so I won’t hold my breath.

    The word “casino” automatically sends a comment into moderation – in the past by Spam Karma, where it was quickly unable to be retrieved, and now by Akismet, over which I have some more control. Despite your feeling of self-importance, Joel, it’s not all about you.

    First of all, your forwarding my messages to the anti-casino list is a breach of computer etiquette. That wasn’t addressed to you, as you very well know. Those messages are intended for people who support CACGEC, which is why I stopped sending them to the BfloIssueAlerts list. Apparently someone who pretends to be a friend of CACGEC is forwarding them to you. So, in effect, you accepted my message from someone who stole it, and then you passed it on to your readers. Well, that’s okay, we’ve always assumed that among our thousand plus friends there are a few spies. And, believe it or not, we have nothing to hide. We have always answered question about what we are doing and why. So spy all you like. I just wanted to point out what a creepy thing you are doing. Maybe you can get a job working for Joe Illuzzi.

    Those sure are a lot of words for someone who “doesn’t care” that I got the message. There was no breach of internet etiquette, whatever that is. Someone on your list forwarded to me something they perceived to be about me. Most people don’t like being talked about behind their back.

    The Network of Religious Communities is not our benefactor, except that they did make a modest contribution some years ago for lawn signs. They do administer our funds, and for a while we met in their building, so that’s providing a service. But with that one exception for the lawn signs, we get no funding from them. I am grateful to them for the support they have shown to a cause that is almost universally supported within the religious community, but it is inaccurate to characterize them as our benefactors, if by that you mean to suggest that we receive routine financial support from them. We do not.

    CACGEC derives its non-profit status through its relationship with the NRC. Therefore, your group derives a direct benefit through NRC, its benefactor.

    Nor, for the record, do we receive any support from Citizens for Better Buffalo. They coordinate the lawsuit on behalf of all the plaintiffs, of which we are one. That is a useful task that they do, but they’re doing it on their own, with no direction, and very little influence, from us. They do not finance us, and we do not finance them. We do talk with each other from time to time, but heck, I even talk with you from time to time. Yes, you could say we are allies.

    I didn’t say CACGEC got any money from CBB. CBB gets its money from Wendt, which funnels it for some as-yet-unanswered reason through the NRC. This despite the fact that CBB isn’t even a party to the lawsuit at hand. That’s why I used the word “allies”, which you’ve acknowledged is accurate, so God only knows why you’re arguing with it.

    I am not have any control over CBB or the Network. If you want some information from them, why don’t you ask them? If I were them, after the j’accuse stance you’ve taken, I wouldn’t give you the time of day, but that’s their call. Leave me out of it. I’ve given you all sorts of information about CACGEC, way beyond what you have any right to know.

    We’ve asked them repeatedly, but they don’t seem to think they have to answer to anyone for anything. You seem to have all the answers to some questions, but you seem to be very selective about what you do and don’t know. Wendt pays NRC, under which CACGEC is organized, and NRC then pays CBB, who in turn pays the lawyers. Because NRC has no duty to file detailed financial disclosures, we don’t know where all the money went, and neither do you. We’ve asked, but evidently we have no right to know how money from a public non-profit foundation is being spent on an effort that affects a million people. I’m sure if the shoe was on the other foot, you’d see that this all speaks for itself with respect to transparency and accountability.

    You flatter yourself in assuming that I was referring to you. I do not normally read your blog, regardless of whether it is addressing an area in which we agree (Obama) or an area in which we disagree (Wendt Foundation), because I have no respect for your ability to distinguish truth from fiction. I didn’t read your comment on the judge’s decision. There are many liars and distorters out there, Alan, not just you. You’re not even the worst. A talk show host advising his listeners to camp out on my front lawn, for instance, is worse than you. Your silly charges do provide encouragement for that sort of thing, but I’m sure that’s not your intent. An editor of a weekly who alleges that we’re using Wendt funds to endorse political candidates is also worse. You know from your participation in our candidates’ night that we do not endorse political candidates. And you know, or you should know, by now now that we don’t receive funding from the Wendt Foundation.

    So, Joel, which blog did you have in mind when you wrote your note to your supporters? Because I scanned all the local blogs before writing my post and found that no other local blog had written so much as a word about the Skretny ruling. My ability to distinguish truth from fiction would probably be better served by complete transparency by the people about whom I’m writing, so all I’m left with is conclusions based on the circumstantial evidence I’m left with. As I wrote, since you’ve basically made yourself the spokesman for all anti-casino efforts in town, I’m sure you could find out from NRC and CBB the answers to all my questions if you wanted to, but you don’t want to. That’s fine.

    As for whether you are pro-casino, I have no idea, and I don’t really care. It seems to depend on the day of the week. I don’t think that’s what’s motivating your various distortions. I think you’re just trying to get noticed. Good luck with that.

    My only motivation on my supposed “distortions” is some bullshit that your bearded buddy Bruce wrote in Artvoice – a piece of journalistic trash that one would expect to read from a student journalist, not from a longtime UB professor. He should stick to writing about the Newport Jazz Festival ca. 1964 and leave the unvetted innuendo for the National Enquirer.

    As for being noticed, my pageviews are quite healthy, thanks, and I don’t need any help from you to bump them up. I write about local issues that interest me. The casino is on the list, and I’ll keep writing about them whether you insult my position on them or not.

    By the way, Joel, one doesn’t have to agree with you or your group or your group’s allies or their funding in order to be anti-casino. I’m just sayin’.

    I did not bring up the topic of CBB/Network financial disclosure. You did. Good grief, can you just try to remember what you’ve said in the last five minutes?

    I think it’s you who has temporary amnesia. In your note to your friends, you wrote, “spreading lies about our motivations and our sources of funding”. How can I possibly verify who’s lying and who’s not about “sources of funding” if the financial information is not forthcoming? I can’t. You brought it up. Can you just try to remember what you yourself have written?

    Next time you have trouble posting a comment, send me an email – it’s on the blog – and I’ll be happy to help you.

  24. Senecalady August 31, 2008 at 4:27 pm #

    Would any of these organizations that help fund programs for bettering peoples lives like to donate to the displaced indian fund? Or perhaps the National indian day fund, or maybe the United Native College fund? How about the disabled Native Veteran fund? What? What the heck am I talking about? Those organizations don’t even exist! Maybe I should just shut the hell up like colin says. Stupid me…

  25. Rocco Russo September 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm #

    @Senecalady: Well, that would be foreign aid, and I hate giving money to foreigners. If you’d like to assimilate, let us know. Until then, may I suggest you go about your business as a sovereign nation and leave us Americans alone. When you’re ready to participate in our society and help better our community, instead of building casinos and selling cheap gas and cigarettes, we’ll be here with open arms to welcome our brothers, sisters, and neighbors of the Seneca Nation.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Buffalo Pundit » Blog Archive » 2008. It was a year. - December 29, 2008

    […] Jackson, the rabid zealot, Casino obsessive who used the word “swiftboat”. Likewise, to this day the people who directly receive the millions in Wendt funds refuse to disclose how the money is […]

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