Byron Brown for US Senate?

2 Dec

It’s definitely possible.

Anyone with a memory of Mayor Brown’s illustrious career in the State Senate will remember that, of four ground-breaking bills he introduced, three involved changing the names of certain streets in the 60th SD.

That’s street-name change we can believe in. Seriously good government, earth-shattering stuff.

Brown is mentioned in this New York Times City Room piece, and I wondered why it was that the Times would be talking up Brown. Sure, they got a quote from his Grassroots teammate Antoine Thompson. But then the source of the article became clear:

“Byron would be great in that position,” said Steven Pigeon, a former Erie County Democratic Party chairman. “And I’m one of the people promoting him. I think it would mean a tremendous amount to the people of western New York to have him there.”

Mr. Pigeon is also a co-chairman of Responsible New York, a political organization backed by the Rochester billionaire Tom Golisano.

“He would be great for the whole state,” Mr. Pigeon said. “He can deal with people in urban, suburban and rural parts of the state. He’s done it his whole career. If the governor is inclined to consider anyone from western New York, he’s the person that makes the most sense.”

Any buzz, therefore, about Brown going to the US Senate, is in Pigeon’s head.

Think about the Brown administration’s ham-handedness and insular secrecy. Think of the utter charade that is a CitiStat meeting. Think of the hirings and subsequent, often rapid, departures of people to help run the Brown administration. Think of Casey’s cameras, and the way in which their camp has tried (and usually failed) to take over the county Democratic committee, and allegedly used scare tactics and intimidation in order to do it. Think about how City Hall requires a FOIL request for the most routine public record. If you think party machines are bad, evil would-be party machines are worse.

The only viable, responsible choice from upstate to replace Senator Clinton would be Brian Higgins.

Although the thought of sending Steve Casey 500 miles from Buffalo is an attractive idea.

(Photo via cluckbucket @ Flickr)

29 Responses to “Byron Brown for US Senate?”

  1. buffaloobserver December 2, 2008 at 8:03 am #

    You gotta be kidding. Brown is a joke as Mayor. Makes Masiello even look good. What’s even more pathetic is that shameless self promoter Steve Pigeon, still trying to be relevant by adocating for Brown. I do agree that sending Casey 500 miles from here is indeed an attractive idea.

  2. Brian December 2, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    “But neither seems to have supporters as vocal as those of Mr. Brown.”
    Really, does anybody have as vocal detractors as Byron either. I have yet to read one thing saying Brian Higgins would be bad – but a million things saying Byron would be. That says someting, doesn’t it?

  3. Bill Altreuter December 2, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    There is nothing about the job of US Senator that suggests that some sort of regional balance is necessary. The House provides that function, and Brian Higgins and Louise Slaughter do a good job of getting federal dollars spent here. Senators serve a different function– they are involved in the ratification of treaties and executive appointments, and have a more direct oversight function over the executive branch generally. Although Pat Moynihan’s voting address was Pindars Corners, the last “Upstate” US Senator from New York was actually a Western New Yorker– Richard Goodell, from Jamestown, appointed by Rockefeller to finish Robert Kennedy’s term. Goodell couldn’t hold the seat, and I doubt that there’s anyone from north of Westchester that could do so today.

    It is interesting that the New York Democratic Party has so little bench strength. For Byron Brown to even be on a list of potential picks is embarrassing. There aren’t a lot of brilliant potential choices among elected office holders, but beyond the usual suspects– in some college or university, or in the private sector– there are certainly better people for the job than Mayor Brown.

  4. Wizard's cousin Mizard's cousin Gizard December 2, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    Byron Brown is a useless blowhard, I’m pulling for Andrew Cuomo or Brian Higgins.

  5. Mike In WNY December 2, 2008 at 10:23 am #

    Higgins is qualified why? The only thing he has done is marshal the taxpayers’ money, at a great cost to us, to fund projects to make himself look good. Taxes aren’t even enough for him, he has condemned us to another 50 years of high electric rates via the Power Authority. The Prince of Pork puts his self-interest above all else.

  6. The Wizard December 2, 2008 at 11:36 am #


  7. Smacks Forehead December 2, 2008 at 12:09 pm #


    You had to put a picture of him eating fried chicken?

    Use your head man.

  8. hank December 2, 2008 at 12:11 pm #

    Choices, Choices, Choices–

    Upstate you have a run-of-the-mill congressman, and an empty suit mayor of a city circling the bowl, which he’s done nothing to stop or fix.

    Downstate you have the son of a democratic Party Icon. He’s making more of a name for himself than his father did.

    You have the possibility of a member of Camelot, one of the most respected members of the American Royal Family in Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg.

    Brian Higgins can’t tie Caroline Kennedy’s sandals, and Byron Brown can’t clean up after Andrew Cuomo’s dog.

    Proof that elitism is alive and well in the WNY Democratic party is that they’d even consider someone from WNY to fill that seat.

    Check when the Rufies wear off, and there WILL be a down-state Democrat in that Senate seat–that you can bet on.

  9. Mike In WNY December 2, 2008 at 12:17 pm #

    Give the Senate seat to Brown and get him out of Buffalo . . .a great move for our city.

  10. mike hudson December 2, 2008 at 12:18 pm #

    jesus pundit, why didn’t you just run a picture of him eating watermelon? oh yeah, i forgot, you supported obama and thus have proven there is not a racist bone in your croatian body.

    i’ll be going now. wanna check out how long before pundit posted this drivel that geoff kelly posted the same thing on artvoice’s little bloggy thing.

  11. Ward December 2, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    “Brian Higgins can’t tie Caroline Kennedy’s sandals”?


    Please know that I am not a member of the Brian Higgins Fan Club. But what in the Name of Timothy Russert has Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg ever done to demonstrate the least ability to serve as a US Senator? She’s not even the wife of an ex-President–and you see what that got us.

    Caroline is a veteran Podium Stander. You know–one who stands in the camera shot over the shoulder of someone important. Great resume.

  12. Buffalopundit December 2, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

    Really? It’s racist to show the Mayor of Buffalo eating a chicken wing?

    Well, it’s not the first time I’ve been called racist, so I’m sure it won’t be the last.

  13. BrownTown December 2, 2008 at 1:16 pm #

    Send Brown to the Senate and give the nation ANOTHER reason to ridicule Buffalo.
    If track records are attributable to chief executives, Brown can perhaps take credit for being 1 step from the bottom of this list:
    where we beat N’awlins.

    Was never a big fan of Bill but he’s pretty popular with NY non-Repoublicans …

  14. Timothy Domst December 2, 2008 at 2:13 pm #

    What was there before Citistat? You complain about difficulty getting information from the city, but you also complain about a program that allows easy web access to budget information. Any openness in government is good, and Citistat adds some of that to the city.

  15. Jon Splett December 2, 2008 at 3:10 pm #

    Um, if showing the mayor of Buffalo eating chicken wings now has racial undertones, political correctness will officially have become a farce.

  16. mike hudson December 2, 2008 at 3:52 pm #

    pundit, why is it that you weren’t going after pigeon when he was a consultant to the obama campaign? why was he ok in your book when he was working closely with the president-elect, but now he’s somehow unscrupulous as a brown booster?

    the hypocrisy stinks.

    and i’ve never known steve p. to be a self-promotor, though i certainly am.

    i’ll be with tom bauerle live at the northtowns animal shelter in tonawanda friday morning between 9:30 and 11:30, signing books and raising money for our adorable friends in the animal kingdom. saturday, i’ll be at dicamillo’s on main street in williamsville signing from noon to 3. according to amazon, the people who distribute books for the barnes & noble locations on the niagara frontier, the book corner and the three dicamillo coffee shops, “mob boss: a biography in blood” remains the number 1 bestseller throughout the greater buffalo region for the second week running!

  17. hank December 2, 2008 at 5:09 pm #

    Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg has never been a politican. That qualifies her more than the 100 fucking zombies that are in there now.
    Most of the world has known who she is since childhood. She’s well educated, and possesses more common sense than any of the Kennedys of her generation, save her brother (rest in peace).

    The country would be much better off with 100 non-professional career politicians in the Senate than the mess we have there today, and that covers BOTH parties.

  18. hank December 2, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    Besides, what qualifies Hillary as Secretary of State?

    Waving at people getting off airplanes? Pul-eeze.

  19. Prodigal-Son December 2, 2008 at 6:10 pm #

    People, don’t you see the outstanding opportunity we have here!

    We can rid Buffalo and NY of not just one useless politcian, but two.

    We finally have ditched Clinton the carpetbagger, and now have the opportunity to rid ourselves of our empty-suit of a mayor!

    Send Brown to Washington where he will do less damage. And stop attaching Clinton’s name to NY, so we can finally be free of that woman. How soon til the house in Chappaqua goes on sale?

    I obviously despise Clitnon using our state as a national stepping stone, but she did become a New York politician in one very important way: she made a lot of promises to get elected, accomplished none of them, and then got promoted out of the job.

  20. TheRover December 2, 2008 at 7:24 pm #

    “…but she did become a New York politician in one very important way: she made a lot of promises to get elected, accomplished none of them, and then got promoted out of the job.”

    Kinda sounds a bit like Barack Hussain Obama. It’s the democrat way.

  21. Jim Ostrowski December 2, 2008 at 7:33 pm #

    I support this on the condition he takes his 1984-style police cameras with him.

    Control freaks from NYC don’t make good Buffalo mayors.

  22. buffalomom December 2, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    skipped everything here to simply say byron brown is a douche bag. i would only like him to go to congress so we can have a non-douche bag mayor.

    if this is the best upstate has to offer, let me offer a litter box with turds more intelligent than byron brown.

  23. John December 2, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    Byron Brown has been a great Mayor and would be a great Senator!

  24. Tony December 2, 2008 at 9:40 pm #

    The fact that Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s name is being touted as one of the possible replacements to now U.S. Senator Hilary Clinton is laughable on so many fronts. First, consider the politics of the situation: Since Governor Paterson will be making the appointment; it is obvious that it is in his best interest, since he will be on the ticket running for his own post for the first time, to appoint someone who will benefit him as well as the rest of the statewide ticket. How does appointing any African-American (considering that Paterson doesn’t need to rely on another African-American Candidate in order to get the African-American vote), let alone an upstater that will be vulnerable in a primary against a NYC candidate or even a relatively known GOP candidate from anywhere, help the Governor or the other democratic candidates on this ticket? it doesn’t. And since Brown fits this description, you can count him out.

    Secondly, consider any prospective appointee’s own strength with regard to his or her record in public office and whether it is one that the Governor can tout as comendable at best: If one analyzes Brown’s public record they would find that it has been lackluster at best. As a Buffalo city councilman for over 5 years he never held a position of leadership and he doesn’t have any substantial legislation or projects that he spearheaded to speak of. As a State Senator for 5 years, he had an even worse record; getting just four bills passed into law. Most importantly, these bills merely changed the names of some public roads in his district.

    As far as his “coattails”, since becoming Mayor, he has immersed himself both publically and privately in many local political campaigns and has lost all but one, including a challenge to the Erie County Democratic Chairman by mounting committee races throughout the city whereby the Mayor suffered stunning defeats. In fact, he not only publically endorsed candidates, he raised money for them, put city hall employees on the street for them, and even made robo calls on their behalf’s. It was so bad that all of his top staffers, commissioners, and even the Deputy Mayor lost thier committee races on election night (Deputy Mayor Stve Casey even lost on his own street and to a woman who dropped out of the race weeks before the election). To add insult to injury, just this last Saturday, 11/29/08, the Mayor nominated a slate of candidates for Zone Leadership in the Masten District (his former city council district and senate district) and was defeated at the hands of a City Hall appointee. The mayor obviously can’t even politically control his own city or neighborhood at this point, it is absolutely ridiculous that his name is even being mentioned with the likes of Andrew Cuomo and others.

    At this point the Mayors spin machine is working overtime only to inflate his ego and lackluster career. If anyone thinks that this guy is seriously being considered they need a reality check. And the only reason he hasn’t be outright dismissed is because the Governor is simply being polite. One adocdotale note on the Mayor’s self proclaimed “close relationship with the Governor”. While it is true that the served in the State Senate together, it is widly known that the Brown held off voting for Paterson for Minority Leader until Paterson agreed to his tuerms, which amounted in over 300k in extra patronage positions on Paterson’s staffs. Two of which were now Deputy Mayor Steve Casy and Galisano buddy Steve Pigeon. You don’t have to take my word for it, check it out. It’s easy to figure out too: Brown openly admits that he was Paterson’s swing vote. If they are so chummy, and Brown is such a Paterson supporter, than why would he, a fellow African-American Senator, wait so long to committ that he becomes the swing vote? why wasn’t he one of the first on board? that’s easy to find out too, check out the extras that Brown got immediately after: staff and leadership sipend. Does anyone other than Brown believe that the Governor forgot about this and is going to reward him with such a plum?

  25. Michele Johnson December 2, 2008 at 10:59 pm #

    All I can say is… WTF!

  26. mike hudson December 3, 2008 at 1:51 am #

    bill clinton for the u.s. senate!!!!!

  27. buffalomom December 3, 2008 at 11:25 am #

    my god i might actually agree with hudson on something. i think bill COULD actually get something done that would help upstate.

  28. mike hudson December 3, 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    i knew i could find a little humanity here

  29. The Wizard December 4, 2008 at 12:55 am #

    Powers for Senate.

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