More on Byron Brown vs. Len Lenihan

19 Sep

It’s disheartening to me the fact that Mayor Brown has so much potential to be an agent for positive change in this city, yet he gets all wrapped up in losing silly, petty political battles of his own creation.

For instance, kudos to the Mayor for canvassing the West Side neighborhood that has experienced far too many shootings in the past few weeks. It’s also good that he’s calling for the replacement of the obviously inept excuse for “leadership” at the ailing Broadway Market.

But when it comes to leadership of the county Democrats, he and his political allies are like bulls in a china shop. Yesterday, the Brown faction started a rumor that tomorrow’s reorganization meeting had been postponed. Not true, and the party had to scramble to get the word out that it’s still on at Hearthstone Manor in Cheektowaga tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. That’s just pathetic – It’s become so evident that the Pigeon/Casey/Brown camp doesn’t have what it takes to oust Lenihan, that they’ve reduced themselves to cheap stunts and lies.

In fact, it’s become so obvious that Lenihan will be re-elected, that Mayor Brown has decided not to bother causing promised “fireworks” at tomorrow’s meeting, and will instead just stay home, like a petulant kid.

Sayeth Brown,

“I’m not going to participate in this or any other divisive politics,”

That’s a laff-riot, since that’s been the consuming focus of Brown and his henchmen for over a year now – to divide the party and gain political power and patronage.

Any “war” between downtown and City Hall is a creation of City Hall’s, and they have only themselves to blame for any breakdown in that relationship. The Brown faction, with the assistance of former chair and metaphor for divisive politics Steve Pigeon, have failed to render the city council into a rubber stamp, have failed to garner enough committeepeople to mount a credible challenge to Lenihan, have failed to oust their nemesis Sam Hoyt, and have failed now to even present a viable candidate to replace Lenihan (note the conspicuous absence of the names “Cosgrove” and “NeMoyer” from today’s paper).

Someone once said that Democrats can screw up a cup of coffee. Political disputes and races are good. A lively debate and exchange of ideas is good. But in this case, City Hall has unilaterally declared war on the county party leadership for no reason and to no avail. I really, truly, fail to see the point of it all, except that it gives the media – including me – something to write about. The party loses, the voters lose, and it all becomes a needless distraction in a region that really has bigger things to worry about than who’s mas macho.

UPDATE: Cheektowaga’s Frank Max, who had been – all summer – the candidate who intended to challenge Lenihan for the chairmanship has withdrawn his name from consideration. Why? He says,

I believe that we would have been victorious but only after a “floor fight” that would have continued to split our committee and our community. I cannot in good conscience be party to the contribution of negative and divided behavior.

I have decided instead to withdraw my name from consideration and to work toward uniting our party and more importantly this community to help achieve an atmosphere that moves us in a positive and optimistic direction.

To my supporters, I truly appreciate your many kind thoughts, words and deeds. I ask that you work with me toward unity in Erie County politics. Thank you for your support and your friendship.

Max should be commended for his unifying words, and one only hopes he turns them into deeds.

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