A One-Point Action Plan

23 Sep

It’s easy to whine and cry, it’s easy to kick and scream. It’s hard to actually make genuine change.

Matthew Ricchiazzi, who is a registered Republican with good ideas and youthful energy, ran for Mayor of Buffalo. Being only 23 and a political newbie, he didn’t really have much of a chance of winning. His chances got even worse when the Buffalo Republican Party refused to back him, opting instead to “run” someone who has no intention of running.

Ricchiazzi got enough signatures to qualify on a custom-made party line, but forgot to submit a logo for the party, thus disqualifying him.

I’ll leave the argument about making ballot access easier in New York for another day. Ricchiazzi’s platform:

· Eliminate the Property Tax’s Investment Penalty
· Meaningful Reduction of the Extraordinary Tax Burden
· Aggressively Sell Buffalo Niagara to the World’s Most Promising Companies
· Issuance of Same Sex Marriage Licenses in Defiance of State Law
· High Quality Urban Planning and Urban Design
· Venture Capital Fund and the Robust Cultivation of High Growth Industries
· Mayoral Control of Buffalo Public Schools

Ricchiazzi sent this press release out yesterday, threatening to take over the Buffalo Republican Party. He’s got a point, and it’s not completely far-fetched. When the party is disappointing you, change the party leadership. Here’s what he sent out:

Let’s hijack the City’s Republican Party.

Let’s bring democracy and real elections back to Buffalo. We suffer from the incompetence and ineffectual leadership of a one-party machine that continues to squander our future. The smallness their thinking, the poverty of their ambition, and the pettiness of their politics cripples our City and pushes our potential to the wayside. But that’s due—in very large part—to a Republican Party that offers an unpalatable alternative with no agenda, nor even a candidate.

So let me make this admittedly radical proposal: let’s hijack the Republican Party, oust the current executive committee, and rewrite the Party’s agenda.

How would we do that, you might ask. I’m launching a campaign to get 2,000 friends and fellow Buffalonians who are not currently registered Republicans to commit to registering with the Party before November 3rd. This will give us the enrollment numbers to formidably challenge the Party’s complacent executive committee, and to oust the current leadership. Then, we’ll be able to rewrite the Party’s agenda and to build a new fiscally conservative, socially liberal, deeply pragmatic political collation that seeks to understand our challenges simply as they are, without the lens of ideological dogma or party entrenchment:

1) homeowners who need us to eliminate the property tax’s investment penalty;
2) students and young people who want a voice and a future in this City;
3) young professionals who want jobs and opportunity;
4) the LGBT community who wants a freer and more tolerant government;
5) progressives who want competent and high quality urban planning;
6) small business owners who crave a sophisticated approach to development; and
7) parents who understand that the quality of public education is the civil rights issue of our time.

The Republican Party will only become a palatable and viable alternative with new ideas, new blood, and a very different tone. A socially liberal, fiscally conservative, diverse, tolerant, inclusive, forward thinking alternative to the one-party socially conservative and fiscally imprudent Democrat machine would become a powerful force in City politics—a force that can no longer be ignored, and that gives voters a real alternative. We need democracy back in Buffalo. We need real elections again.

If you’re willing to commit to joining the City’s Republican Party, together we can commit to taking it over and rebuilding it from the ground up. If you’re ready to ruffle some feathers, to rock the boat, and to engage in a little rabble rousing, then let me know that you’re willing to make the commitment and to help orchestrate this takeover by emailing the following information to GOPtakeover@changebuffalo.org:

Your name
Your mailing address
Your telephone number (cell is most helpful)
Your Common Council District
Your current party affiliation
Whether you would like a leadership role in this movement (future Mayoral candidate, potential Council candidate, Executive Committee Member, district committeeperson, Ward Captain, or a community organizer)

I know that for many of you, affiliating yourself as a Republican irks you to the core. Indeed, the national party has—often rightfully—been portrayed as racist, ignorant, uneducated, and dominated by a radical fringe. But if there was ever a moment when the crazies needed to be reigned in so that we might return to an appropriate and respectful national discourse, it would be right now.

And let me be clear: I’m not simply asking that you reregister to vote. I’m asking that you, with me, actively dominate voter turnout in the next several party primaries and general elections, so that we can bring a new politics to Buffalo.

When we takeover and rebuild the Republican Party, we should commit to a number of goals:

1) At least 75% of the Party’s executive committee will be under 40 years old;
2) At least 50% of the Party’s executive committee will be under 30 years old;
3) At least 25% of the Party’s executive committee will be under 25 years old.

As soon as we receive 2,000 commitments from individuals reregistering to vote in the City’s Republican Party, we’ll begin orchestrating this takeover. I hope to hear from you very soon. This City needs our help—please spread the word as widely as you can.


Matthew Ricchiazzi

14 Responses to “A One-Point Action Plan”

  1. JFC Fuller September 23, 2009 at 7:12 am #

    Matt Ricchiazzi is actually registered as a Democrat, which was a pretty big impediment to him running on the Republican line.

  2. Bob from Getzville September 23, 2009 at 7:52 am #

    Matt’s problem is he is not running against the Republican Party of Buffalo, but the Republican Party of Erie County. It is the county party that does not want any republican candidates running for mayor or council to reduce the vote total in county and districtwide races.

    Republicans have a much greater chance of winning state judge, county sheriff & comptroller races this year if the city of Buffalo does not come out to vote, and the city won’t now because of no general election for mayor. And the same goes for other races like county executive, sheriff, judges in other years.

    So if young Matt thinks this will be an easy thing to accomplish he better understand he is not fighting the do-nothing city party but the we make them do-nothing or they lose their political jobs county party.

    Maybe the Republican Party’s new motto should be: “The Republican Party: willing to send your kid overseas to die for the Iraqis right to vote but not allowing you a choice here!”

  3. Buffalo Blood Donor September 23, 2009 at 9:22 am #

    I think Matt should call Carl Paladino for support.


  4. Chris from OP September 23, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    How about we make a “use it or lose it” law.  The Dems and Republicans get favorable treatment when it comes to ballot access.  If they don’t run candidates for executive positions or state legislative offices representing a high percentage of a county, say 25%, then they lose preferential ballot access in that county for the next election.

  5. jesse (from ea) September 23, 2009 at 10:10 am #

    Too bad he doesn’t think there’s a county involved here. And maybe there shouldn’t be.

    I’d love to join him, but I guess EA doesn’t count.

  6. Hank September 23, 2009 at 11:50 am #

    Fella makes a lot of good points. I agree that youth is important in any party. He seems to have a variant of “don’t trust anyone over 30”, in his case 40. Bill Paxon, his brother Bob and I were “Young Republicans” in high school, but were aware than most Republicans were in our parent’s age group, not ours. It would be a mistake for him to shut out people over 40.
    He also appears not to realize that the County Party must be reformed first, or “neither the twain shall meet”.
    It’s certainly an interesting concept with potential energy, but he needs to look at the big (County) picture if he wants a Republican Party with viability.

    • Christopher Smith September 23, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

      Taking over the county party from Chris Collins is a near impossible task for a kid with few resources and fewer connections. Taking over the City Republican Committee and forcing out the complacent Dennis Ryan and his band of hapless patronage sucking committeemen is a lot easier. Once he has a foothold with the city GOP, he can start to mount his own urban Republicanism and build a base of support to later take over the county party. Fight the battles you can win and build strength. Also, his brand of Republican politics will not play well with the Brookfield CC types out in Amherst and Clarence.

  7. Mike In WNY September 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    His youthful exuberance is refreshing. However, the cloud of inexperience, and lack of understanding of many issues, is a glaring weakness.

  8. STEEL September 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm #

    Taking over the party may not be possible but pointing out its lameness in this way may get people thinking that change is needed. To not even run a candidate for mayor in the county’s largest municipality is a disgrace. Don’t complain that the city is run by single party corruption if you don’t run ant candidates!

    • Christopher Smith September 23, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

      I’d much rather have non-partisan elections in the city as the Democrat/Republican labels don’t really scale down to the city level, IMO. Vote for ideas, not parties in local elections. However, if this kid can reinvigorate the urban GOP and reshape their platform, we’ll at least have two viable options on election day.

  9. mike hudson September 23, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    “Maybe the Republican Party’s new motto should be: ‘The Republican Party: willing to send your kid overseas to die for the Iraqis right to vote but not allowing you a choice here!’”

    wait a minute. isn’t it the democrats who are now sending our kids overseas to die? i had heard there was this big election and now the dems controlled the white house, the senate and the house of representatives.

  10. Hank September 23, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    Geek—You have to ask the question—I know this will be hard for you, but make believe you’re a Republican—just for a minute.

    The City of Buffalo has had a Democratic Mayor for 48 of the last 52 years. The last Republican Mayor left office in 1964, and was defeated by the same person he defeated in 1960 (Frank A Sedita). Here’s the Question:
    How much of your own jack would you be willing to put out to run for Mayor as a Republican in a town that hasn’t had a Republican Mayor in 45 years? I thought so.

  11. Hank September 23, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    @ Brother Hudson—-Obama the Senator, and Obama the Candidate referred to Afghanistan as the “Good War”—-gotta get Bin Laden. Now Obama the President is waffling about sending in the troops that the General in Charge is asking for, because if he does, he pisses off the far left fringes that put him in office. He’s gotta do it—If he doesn’t, it’s LBJ 1968 all over again—American men and women will be run into a meat grinder, and the job won’t get done with out sufficent troops and firepower. As is said in the Marines—-Artillery brings civility to what otherwise would be a brawl, and Machine Gunners say —-Accuracy through Volume. If Barry’s got no stomach for fighting, bring our brothers home—NOW—-and be done with it. If he’s gonna fiddle fuck around, there’s going to be A LOT OF BLOOD ON HIS HANDS. There’s already quite a bit, but you don’t hear too much about it. Can’t Blame Bush—he can pull them out—or get the job done. HIS CHOICE–HIS PROBLEM. This is what happens when you put a young punk community organizer in a job he doesn’t have the experience for.


  1. The Committee to Save Matt Ricchiazzi | Artvoice Daily - September 12, 2012

    […] so promising – fresh face, self-identified bisexual Republican running for Mayor, offering up big ideas. Then he aligned himself with tea party people like conspiratorial truther Allen Coniglio. He […]

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