Byron Brown Announces Buffalo Mayoral Re-Election Campaign

10 May

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced what everyone already knew, he will seek another four year term in office.  Here’s the video of the announcement and Brown reciting his litany of accomplishments in his first term.


Mayor Brown will be facing a primary race from Buffalo South District Councilman Mickey Kearns and some token yet-to-be-named Republican opponent who will take the bullet and an 80-20 loss in the general election and trade it in for a job with a connected Republican law firm or a seat on the water board.

The foundation of the Brown campaign will be his record of success.  Evidently, he’ll be running on the property tax cuts in each of his four years, the success of the Citistat program, anti-crime strategy and the “flurry” of economic development we’ve seen.  I find it funny that during the four years of the Brown Administration, the property tax cut for my home in Parkside was negligible while the total amount I paid went up 78%.  Why?  Because my property was reassessed twice in four years.  Also, my fees for garbage and sewer went up.  So, hooray for property tax cuts!

I digress…

Let’s cut to the chase, while Byron Brown is the human equivalent of a long nap, unless he gets caught with a dead girl or a live boy in the next three months, he’s going to coast to victory.  According to his January 2009 periodic filing with the New York State Board of Elections, the “Brown For Buffalo” campaign coffers are overflowing with cash ($579,510.53 to be exact).

As of the same filing period, Mickey Kearns had an estimated $15,000 on hand in his Buffalo Common Council warchest.  He hasn’t filed a campaign disclosure for his mayoral campaign as of yet, but no matter how you slice it, Kearns has a lot of ground to make up in just a few short months.

Mickey Kearns seems like an affable guy with some good ideas, but I can’t see a path to victory for the guy.  The political machine from his own district has abandoned him as South Buffalo power broker Ray McGurn and his Goin’ South organization have been longtime supporters of Mayor Brown.  Also, the elected officials who represent South Buffalo; Erie County Legislator Tim Kennedy, State Assemblyman Mark Schroeder and Congressman Brian Higgins are all loyal supporters of Mayor Brown and were onhand at his re-election campaign announcement.  Unless something has radically changed since the last time I spoke with party regulars, Brown also has the municipal unions at his disposal.  He can also lean on Steve Pigeon’s rolodex and machiavellian schemes.  It’s a pretty stacked deck.

As I see it, Kearns is going to have to pull in support (read: money) from Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, lean on Erie County Dem Chair Len Lenihan for organizational management, start an all hands on deck fundraising effort, put together a grassroots canvassing organization, make some major media buys and generate a platform that does not rely on inside baseball scandals and the nuances of all the FAIL that has surrounded the Brown administration.

Brown has done a solid job of making it appear that there is a lot of progress without actually accomplishing a lot.  Those of us who pay attention know that Brown is running a secretive administration that fights real transparency at every turn and has been more focused on the centralization of political power than progress.  His Citistat program is a joke, based on garbage data going in with garbage analysis coming out.  The constant personnel scandals, missteps, and his priority of putting together task forces to analyze data rather than implementing change.  I could go on and on, but it’s just covering the same territory that Geoff Kelly has been covering at Artvoice for the past four years.  There’s no there, there.  Ya dig?

Brown is the master of efforts taking precedence over results, which after three terms of Tony Masiello’s one-two punch of FAIL and incompetence seems like progress to most residents of Buffalo.  Brown has also done an excellent job with continual outreach into the faith-based communities of the east side and has spent the better part of four years slathering the east side with propaganda billboards like this:

Photo courtesy of David Torke at

Photo courtesy of David Torke at

For those of us who were hopeful in 2005, Mayor Brown has been a pretty serious disappointment since the day he was elected.  Can he be defeated?  It’s possible and I wish Mickey Kearns the best in what is sure to be one of the most uphill battles in recent memory.

3 Responses to “Byron Brown Announces Buffalo Mayoral Re-Election Campaign”

  1. Michael Powers at 7:01 pm #

    “while Byron Brown is the human equivalent of a long nap,” made me laugh long enough to pass the blog onto my Brown bored boss. The nap is not a restful one. Great blog and right on the nose analysis wise. The Buffalo political system is like GM, a broken down business model that needs an epic catalysm to be fixed.

  2. William Dorsheimer at 1:45 pm #

    Brown’s re-election seems inevitable. But more people are on to the true nature of his administration than is supposed.

    One of the things that made the rumors that Brown would be resigning due to corruption that circulated some months ago was the speed with which the rumor traveled. Few who heard it did not believe it.

    Will Brown’s administration avoid indictments before the election? Probably not. Will Buffalo latch on to Kearns, the first candidate in memory who would enter the Mayor’s office without major obligations to the people who have been running this city into the ground since the 1950s? It seems unlikely now, but it could be one major Brown blunder away.

    Where is Brian Davis?

  3. William Dorsheimer at 1:46 pm #

    Correction: it is likely that Brown’s administration will avoid indictments before the election.

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