Electoral Fusion & “Reform”

26 Apr

What on earth is the point of running a political party if it’s going to be completely controlled by another political party? What purpose is served?

While I agree with a lot of what Golisano’s “Responsible New York” stands for vis-a-vis reformation of state government, his alliance with supremely political tin-pot Machiavellis indicates to me (and a lot of other people) that “reform” is secondary to “power”. Need proof? Ask Joe Mesi who raised funds for whom to get him that cush liaison job for the State Senate, of all things.

If a political party gets a ballot line, it should be putting up its own candidates. Period. This is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas – not a marketplace of backroom deals and quid-pro-quos. Electoral fusion is one of the reasons why incumbents continue to win, is a source of political patronage. The Independence Party simply isn’t.

22 Responses to “Electoral Fusion & “Reform””

  1. Adam K. April 26, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    I can still think of nothing positive to say about the Independence Party.

    I’ll try to say something nice about Steve Pigeon: Even though he’s a filthy criminal, he’s really good at blackmailing people and buying off the DA to avoid jail.

  2. Colin April 26, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    There’s a difference between fusion voting — a progressive idea that allows people to vote their values without throwing their vote away — and the Independence Party, a corrupt racket.

  3. Dave Allen April 26, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    One problem is that when a third party shows promise, the major parties will launch a hostile takeover, booting the true believers. Many of the third-party committee members and leaders are undercover big-party hacks.

  4. Staff April 26, 2009 at 12:41 pm #

    “potential county comptroller candidate Hormoz Mansouri”

    Oh this will be fun!!

    Ive been waiting for “my friend” Hormoz to come back up to the surface.

    This guy will be mud by the time we are done with him

  5. Larry Castellani April 26, 2009 at 1:56 pm #

    When will we kick the habit of being entertained by the mega-wealth party system of pseudo-politics? Billionaires bored with making money becoming megalomanical architectects of the best of all possible worlds is the greatest big-brother delusion. They will not become benign dictators, maybe dictators, but inevitably under cover of a media-manufactured fake democracy that operates as crisis managerialism. Obviously such “reform” realignments are about power, mega-wealth, control and class interest. The party system is historically obsolete, Sports Fans. The Mesi’s of the world just get in line waiting their turn to be sufficiently useable to move up the bureaucratic centralist ladder of party domination of democracy. A moral community-based democratic revolution will not occur through the bluster of reforms led by the super-rich. Most all of us just get to be the “fans” watching the game on TV. And if you’re lucky you may get seats on the 50 yard line or even a chance to try out for the team should you have the face recognition and empty vessel quality of the likes of Mesi.

  6. mike hudson April 26, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    i’ll bet my old friend hormoz is shaking in his boots. kingmakers such as yourselves really do have the power to make or break political careers! putting congressman jon powers into office like you did — almost single handedly — really cemented your position in the region’s political hierarchy.

  7. AnswerLady April 26, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    We got the millionaires tax, time for the billionaires tax. Special, just for B. Tom

  8. AnswerLady April 26, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    and his best buddy, Bloomberg.

  9. Staff April 26, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    Wow, Mike, I didn’t realize how in the bag you are with Pigeon, Golisano, Mansouri….

    And to think at one time i actually had some respect for you.

  10. mike hudson April 27, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    i knew hormoz a long time before i knew steve. sen. coppola used to bring him around 10 years ago.

    pundit, i didn’t mention your name, said “you guys,” etc. don’t know why you would have thought that was directed at you.

    marc…i make a comment about the silliness and hubris on display by your threat, “the guy will be mud by the time we are done with him.”

    it seems to be that making threats is a dim practice under the best of circumstances. also, hormoz won’t be “mud” regardless of what you do, he will remain what he is — a highly successful businessman. as to your “respect,” nothing could matter less to me.

    i’ve often wondered why guys like him, tom golisano, and you for that matter, get involved in this garbage at all. why don’t they go fishing? collect art? bang broads? i never have been able to figure it out.

    finally, if you guys want any of the 36 photographs i have showing steve enjoying the rapt attention and — in two cases — the warm embrace of president obama or secretary of state clinton, lemme know. i’ve only run a couple of them in the paper.

  11. Lead Dog April 27, 2009 at 11:34 am #

    Electoral Fusion is a net negative for the Democratic Party.

    Former Dem Chair Denny Farrell used to say “the Liberal Party is neither liberal, nor much of a party.” The same can be said for the IP today, and to some extent the Democratic Party, which kind of stands for very little and is a relatively weak party from an infrastructure and power perspective.

    The WFP is a slightly different beast – a pay-for-play field program and ballot line that has gone to both parties, with an obvious tilt towards the Democrats.

    If electoral fusion were ended, the conservatives would be folded into the GOP, the WFP into the Dems, and we would likely see less political corruption and sideshows as it relates to ballot access. I also think messages would be clearer and contrasts would be sharper because base voters on both sides would be more vocal components of their respective parties/ideological cores.

    But it will probably never happen until Democrats find some stones.

  12. marc April 27, 2009 at 8:11 pm #

    You know what Mike, you’re absolutely right. what’s the point?

    It really doesn’t matter what we’ve got on the guy’s laundering and other illegal shadiness or even how thick the folder is.

    I suppose we can do what we can to make sure he doesn’t get elected, but you are right, he will continue to be who he is whether it is on this blog or in the Buffalo News or the New York Times.

    I’m going to go “bang a broad” now. Carry on…

  13. mike hudson April 27, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    marc…wait, i’ve gotta roll in the aisles over the the comparison between the new york times and wnymedia.com.

    there. now who or what hormoz mansouri does and what you allegedly have on him is of no concern to me at all. what is of concern is that, following your grandiose threat directed his way, i commented, and you accused me of being paid by steve pigeon or tom golisano, who i don’t even know, to stick up for him.

    it’s absurd, and indicative of a pattern in which wnymedia.com — and especially buffalo pundit — accuses people who disagree with them on political issues of some sort of criminal/unethical activity.

    when i see you guys do some original reporting on something that that ultimately leads to someone getting indicted, going to jail or even getting fired from his job, i’ll applaud you.

    until then you remain, as the late great molly ivins used to say of george bush, all hat and no cattle.

  14. rastamick April 27, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    Marc — i was thinking of doing the exact same thing but then i figgered fuck it i can do that any time. Lemme see what they want for that statue in Delaware park of the guy and his joint all hanging out, Dave somebody I think it’s called…Then I’m gonna go down the hill to that lake there and go snag me a big motherfucking carp for supper — you in ?

  15. mike hudson April 28, 2009 at 7:21 am #

    alan…since your hobby horse here doesn’t apparently sell ads, and you pay for it with money you take from sleazy clients suing people, you apparently don’t understand the concept of paid advertising as it relates to the media business.

    so let me clue you in. during an election, we take money from people who want to advertise. we have always gone to great lengths to make our advertisers happy, whether they are politicians or used car dealers, and that is part of the reason why the reporter has managed to stay afloat since 2000.

    unlike you you guys, i am not independently wealthy enough to pay the salaries of six staffers in addition to myself, provide health care etc. out of pocket.

    if you don’t think the fact that your friend sam hoyt was banging a pair of young interns while he was supposed to be serving his the people of his district during the recent election campaign was news — especially given that the buffalo news wouldn’t publish anything about it despite a solid paper trail of evidence — there really is no help for you.

    at odds with all that was printed and said about the niagatra falls reporter, tom golisano, steve pigeon etc., responsible new york has all but dropped out as an advertiser, running, i think, one ad in the past five months. it would be a big help if they were advertising, but they’re not.

    so like i said, when the new york times credits you with breaking a story that led to a federal indictment — as it did in its first piece about the anello scandal, or when you become the only media person named on a federal witness list and actually subpoenaed by the defense in the biggest racketeering case to hit western new york in 20 years — as i was in the laborers local 91 case — we’ll have a talk about journalistic ethics and public service.

  16. mike April 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    For the record a large portion of the people here in Niagara Falls fall into that same catagory as Hudson.

  17. marc April 28, 2009 at 2:06 pm #

    first of all we are wnymedia.NET and I’m in no way comparing us to the NYT.
    Despite that it may have sounded a little sarcastic I actually DO agree with you.

    The point i was trying to make is that there is no accountability anymore despite what newspaper or website an investigative article appears in.
    What did all your investigative pieces on Vince Anello and Smokin Joe Anderson really accomplish? Nada.

    Whether your Joe Illuzzi, Tony Orsini, Tim Howard, or a scumbag like Hormoz Mansouri, it really doesn’t matter what you do around here.

    People really don’t seem to care.

  18. mike hudson April 28, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

    marc…nada? anderson pleaded guilty to one federal felony charge in a plea bargain, paid a quarter of a million dollar fine, and will now testify against anello, who will most definietly do some time. that might be nothing to you, but in my 32 years of writing for newspapers & magazines it has always been a pretty big deal to get the mayor of your city indicted by the feds. i expect multiple subpoenas (prosecution, defense) when that case goes to trial later this year.

    you ask why bother, since it doesn’t make any difference anyway. you might as well ask the same thing of a cop who sees crooks go free every day because of two-bit shysters taking advantage of our fundamentally flawed system of justice. i bother because it’s my job to bother. i get paid to do it.

    which is what started this whole thing to begin with. i didn’t even defend hormoz mansouri, i merely wrote that he “must be shaking in his boots” at the unsigned and so far empty threat that appeared earlier in this thread. for that i was called a crook, and it was alleged that steve pigeon and tom golisano must’ve paid me off in order to write what i did.

    the fact is that i don’t know tom golisano, haven’t seen nor talked to steve pigeon in months and was unaware that hormoz was doing anything politically until i read about it here.

    as for your pal bedenko, in typical fashion he has taken the word of a man who was criminally charged by the police with theft from the niagara falls reporter and used it to smear me. joe mesi has been a friend of mine for 10 years, and was defeated due to the efforts of “democrats” like bedenko, who was formerly a republican, then a wes clark cultist prior to taking the current important position he has with the party.

    i’ve been voting democratic for nearly as long as he’s existed on the face of the earth, but on this page i am labeled as a crypto-racist and a right winger. it’s his page, and if he wants to don a tinfoil hat muck about looking for conspiracies that’s up to him. the precipitous decline in his traffic pretty much speaks for itself.

  19. Lila June 4, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    Actually, incumbents win fairly consistently at every level of politics. Blaming electoral fusion for that is unfair. But fusion tends to cause some pain to the party in power in a given state if that party has a fairly consistent majority. It’s worth it, though, to create institutions that give lawmakers a better idea of why and by whom they were elected, and to make it possible for people to work for goals normally ignored by the two parties without spoiling crucial elections. Electoral fusion is not the cause of spoilers; Nader spoiled 2000 just fine without it. Rather, they can actually combat that problem if the people so wish. It sounds like the problem is power-hungry politicians, rather than the way voting is institutionalized. Politicians are a common problem just about everywhere.

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