Ricchiazzi Endorses Kearns

10 Sep

His statement/press release after the jump. (Update: for those of you who say “who’s Ricchiazzi”, click this link or this link.)

My friends and fellow Buffalonians:

Don’t let this year become just another footnote in the history of Buffalo’s long decline.  Although I will not be on the ballot for Mayor this year, a vote for change is still possible.  But it’s only possible this Tuesday in the Democratic Party primary.  I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to explain why I believe that Councilman Mickey Kearns is our best hope at this juncture of our City’s history, and why I’ll be supporting him during the remainder of this election cycle:

1)      Mayor Brown has had four years to show us what he can do, and—frankly—he did nothing of consequence.  We cannot afford four more years of the same.  We’re in crisis mode—our City is dying in front of us—and we don’t have any more time to waste with incompetent, complacent, mediocre leaders who don’t know where we’re going or how to get us there.  Mediocrity is unacceptable to me, and it should be unacceptable to you too.

2)      Mayor Brown has made our economic development operation look like a joke—and I don’t say this lightly.  Mayor Brown has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars of economic development loans and grants to his friends and contributors, who then defaulted on those loans.  Mayor Brown administered these loans to businesses that lacked even basic business plans.  This demonstrates a shockingly incompetent management of our resources. http://www.buffalonews.com/home/story/681191.html

3)      Mayor Brown said no to Eastside affordable housing and job creation unless his cronies received kickbacks.  A Cleveland-based developer, The NRP Group, wanted to make a $12 million investment in Eastside affordable housing which would have created construction jobs and investment for a severely distressed neighborhood.  Despite being the second poorest City in the country, Mayor Brown said no, unless the firm hired a supporter who had made contributions to his campaign.  The developer refused to engage in “pay-to-play politics,” dropped the proposal, and left Buffalo.  Mayor Brown is—quite literally—squandering our future so that he can enrich is friends.  http://www.buffalonews.com/home/story/745671.html

4)      Mayor Brown doesn’t understand urban planning.  Mayor Brown has brought our City boldly into the 1960’s with an absolutely idiotic understanding of urban planning and an unsophisticated approach to economic development.  Mayor Brown supported the construction of an elevated highway on our outer harbor which will do nothing but suppress property values, inhibit development opportunities, and further sever our City from its waterfront.  This is a $50 million mistake that will cost us tens of millions more to fix.

5)      Mayor Brown hires unqualified people for key leadership positions.  Time and again, the sheer incompetence of our government has lead to uninformed and misguided decisions made by people who are not qualified or credentialed for their positions.  We need a Mayor who isn’t going to propagate an institutionalized system of patronage, where City jobs are given as political favors.  http://www.buffalonews.com/home/story/690980.html

6)      Mayor Brown has misused anti-poverty grant monies to enrich political allies.  The Brown-Davis administration is a “reverse-Robin Hood,” in that they redirected anti-poverty grant funds from the Ellicott District, one of the City’s most distressed areas, to the Delaware District, one of the City’s most affluent, in order to enrich a friend’s personally owned business.  These actions were a betrayal of the public trust.  We need a Mayor who is committed to ethical governance and who refuses to be corrupt.  http://www.buffalonews.com/149/story/688864.html

7)      Councilman Kearns loves Buffalo more.  Time and again, Mayor Brown has shown us that he’s willing to sell out our potential for his own political interests.  He certainly doesn’t put Buffalo first.  Unlike Mayor Brown, Councilman Kearns was born and raised in Buffalo.  A son of South Buffalo, his love and passion for this City prove to me that he loves Buffalo more than Mayor Brown.  His intentions are better and his commitment is stronger.

8)      Councilman Kearns has a fierce resolve tempered with humility.  And that is exactly the leadership we need.  We need a Mayor who is passionately—fiercely—committed to rebuilding this City and to addressing the extraordinary challenges that we face.  Councilman Kearns has this ferocity without the utter arrogance that we’ve seen over the last four years.  We need a Mayor who is willing to seek out advice and to engage with the community.

9)      Councilman Kearns isn’t afraid to answer tough questions.  Perhaps the most disappointing development during this election cycle has been Mayor Brown’s stubborn refusal to engage in a robust debate about how we can rebuild Buffalo.  He has refused hundreds of requests to debate his opponents.  To Mayor Brown, let me say this very clearly: You don’t get to move to my City, run for Mayor, and expect not to answer tough questions—you don’t get to rob us of our aspirations, ideas, and involvement in the process.

When our ship is sinking, the last thing we need is a steady hand—we need a new captain.  I’m convinced that Councilman Kearns can be that captain and can serve us far better than we’ve been served over the last four years.  Although we don’t agree on every issue, and our opinions sometime conflict, over the last several months Councilman Kearns has treated me and my campaign with great respect at a time when most everyone else refused to even acknowledge our efforts to bring change to Buffalo.  Councilman Kearns is a class act, a good guy who loves Buffalo, and he deserves your vote.

Most of my supporters are young adults: Our generation has the most at stake in this election, and we’ll have to live with its consequences the longest.  We’ve been prejudicially stereotyped as being uninvolved, uninterested, and uninformed.  I know that’s not true, and I’m as offended by it as all of you.  We’ve been jaded by a system that has squandered our future, ignores our interests and concerns, and refuses to speak to our issues.  But decisions are made by people who show up and who make themselves heard.

I beg you—show up, stand up, and make yourself heard this Tuesday.  Bring your friends, classmates, siblings, parents, cousins, co-workers, bar buddies, and anyone else who is fed up enough to stand up and to be counted.  Don’t squander our future.  Don’t mitigate our promise or potential.  Don’t vote for more of the same.  Vote for change.

17 Responses to “Ricchiazzi Endorses Kearns”

  1. Adam K. September 10, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    Who’s Ricchiazzi?

  2. Jade September 11, 2009 at 1:06 am #

    Ricchiazzi is the nice, smart, young, 23 year-old fella who ran for mayor on the independent line. However, he was bounced off the ballot a few days ago because he forgot to accept the designation to run. Maybe he will be politically ready in four or more years.

  3. Dave Allen September 11, 2009 at 1:37 am #

    Solving Buffalo’s problems will take more than replacing the mayor. There needs to be a complete takeover of the Erie County Democtic and Republican Parties. The ultimate power belongs to the town and village committeepeople. What’s needed is a Petraus-type counterinsurgency effort to take the whole party over block by block, town by town.

  4. mike hudson September 11, 2009 at 4:02 am #

    who’s ricchiazzi?

  5. mike hudson September 11, 2009 at 6:38 am #

    thanks for the explanatory link alan. wow! this ricchiazzi endorsement ought to bring five or six votes — at least — for kearns.

  6. Buffalo Dem September 11, 2009 at 8:09 am #

    I’m scared, this is the first time I have to actually agree with Mike Hudson. Who cares who Ricchiazzi endorses, he couldn’t even get enough signatures to get on the independent line. Not a player, just a wanna be.

    • Alan Bedenko September 11, 2009 at 8:42 am #

      You know what? I give Ricchiazzi a lot of credit not just for running, not just for running outside of an established political machinery, but for presenting big-picture ideas and bringing them to the debate when neither of the other candidates are really considering them. Just because he’s a dopey kid who couldn’t maneuver his way around the byzantine petition requirements (I heard he had enough signatures, but got bumped because he didn’t submit a logo for his party line), doesn’t mean he deserves people’s scorn and cynical derision.

      I think he should be applauded for running, as should anyone, and he deserves better than you people’s backhanded dismissal. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  7. Chris from OP September 11, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    Anyone who has ever tried to tried to circulate petitions to get someone on the ballot can commiserate with Ricchiazzi. The laws are written so that anyone can be kicked off if the powers that be don’t want them on the ballot. I’m sure that there are legally sufficient errors to get Brown and Kearns kicked off the ballot to. A damned mustard spot on one page can be enough to get someone bounced. So in my mind, the fact that Matt didn’t make it is no real mark against him or his effort, just the Byzantine laws and petty politics of New York.

  8. Jay September 11, 2009 at 11:34 am #

    Chris from OP, it’s a lot harder to kick people off the ballot for insufficient signatures than it used to be, despite your hyperbole about mustard stains. I’ve spoken with more than a couple of registered Dems in the City who said Ricchiazzi showed up at their doors asking whether any Republicans lived there – the kid didn’t even know how to get a list of Republican voters from the BOE. Imagine going door to door in the City trying to find Republicans by knocking on random doors! I’m sure he made an effort and I realize he has some good big-picture ideas, but it’s clear he didn’t know what he was doing.

  9. Jade September 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    Wait a minute! Ricchiazzi is a Republican! How come the Republicans did not give him assistance to garner petitions. Why not? I will tell you why! The Republican chose not to endorse a candidate because they know that the candidate will not win in Buffalo and they did not want to upset the relationship between Mayor Brown and Chris Collins. Collins is running in two years and he needs Brown to be quiet and not support the democratic nominee. Think I am lying? Keep this blog and call me back in two years! Mr. Ricchiazzi nor any other Republican had a chance in hell of getting the Republican endorsement for mayor of Buffalo this year. How can we put a cog in that machine and level the playing field? Simply, by supporting and electing Mickey Kearns mayor of Buffalo.

  10. Buffalo Dem September 11, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

    Got to disagree with you on this one, pundit. Filing to run, collecting signatures, etc are the first test of a candidate wanna be. If Matt couldn’t negotiate the small legal, procedural and organizational hurdles of getting on a ballot, he certainly would not be capable of running a City the size of Buffalo.

  11. Eisenbart September 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    Didn’t he do what Independent candidates are supposed to do? He brought up issues that the Republican and Democrat candidates refused to bring up. Well in our case both being Democrats he probably went for the Republican endorsement at first for a better chance at being heard. The exception is that Kearns wasn’t afraid to address Ricchiazzi while Brown ignored him and everything else. Knowing that by staying in the race Ricchiazzi would only be stealing votes from Kearns he backed out. Kearns and Ricchiazzi have the similar thinking that change needs to happen while Brown thinks everything is great the way it is.

    The best thing for Brown would have been no waves, no debates, no media involvement, keep everything quiet. Because in Buffalo everyone piles on the sure thing. It took a long time for Kearns to gain momentum that he even had a chance. Ricchiazzi would constantly call Brown out on everything. Why did Brown ignore Ricchiazzi? It made Brown look afraid to talk about anything not pre fabricated. While Ricchiazzi debated things completely out of the blue to Kearns and while Kearns didn’t look like he did that well against Ricchiazzi he was still was able to debate. That’s a tough thing to do.

    To say that Ricchiazzi is a nobody and didn’t contribute anything to this mayoral race needs a reality check. Really…

  12. mike hudson September 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    i didn’t say he was a nobody. i simply asked who he was because i honestly had no fucking idea. jeeze, i’m sorry if i hurt his feelings but realistically his endorsement of kearns is worth nothing.

  13. Buffalo Bone September 11, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    This is going to be a close election… an extra 5 or 6 votes could possibly put Kearns over the top..

  14. Buffalo Dem September 11, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    Ricchiazzi didn’t back out, he never made it in in the first place. Hopefully he will go out and get a real job for a few years and bring some real life experience to the table. Nothing like walking behind a garbage truck, like Kearns did, to give you a little humility and a realization of how hard some people have to work for a living.

  15. Eisenbart September 11, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    Alright Buffalo Dem you are correct but that really doesn’t change my ultimate point.

    You dislike him because he’s young and ambitious and doesn’t have a blue collar job? Get over it.

  16. Jade September 12, 2009 at 1:37 am #

    For those who don’t know or have forgotten, the fist spot on an election line is worth about 4% of the total votes in a city wide election. Kearns is 3-A and Byron’s number is 4-A. If this thing holds out and the spread btween Brown and Kearns is about 5%; we might already have our winner. This is so exciting!

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