PolitiFAIL Tourney 2010, Marinelli vs. Mills

22 Mar

In the 4 vs. 5 Matchup in the County bracket of the PolitiFAIL Tourney, we have Erie County Legislature Minority Leader John Mills facing off with former Majority Leader and Chairwoman of the Erie County Legislature, Lynn Marinelli.

By all accounts, John Mills is an honorable man and a successful entrepreneur. However, his record in governance is lacking.  He served as nothing more than a speedbump in previous years and currently serves as the matador for introducing the whims and wishes of Erie County Executive Chris Collins into the legislature for consideration.

Mills is a particular strain of FAIL that has afflicted the WNY region for decades, the legislative speedbump.  Offering no real solutions of his own to regional problems, he simply serves as a transactional toll booth on the way to the status quo.  Constantly serving in the minority and using that position to point out that he is unable to implement the changes he desires, yet never seems to propose nor fight for.  Quick, name 3 of Mills’ top contributions to the polity of WNY.  Can’t think of any?  Try Google.  Nope, nothing there either.  Transitioning costs from the district offices to increased staff and cost in the central staff this year doesn’t count.

Aside from being the nominal ringleader of the “Reform Coalition” put together with Pigeon Democrats and petulant minority legislators, Mills has not done anything of note during his three terms in office.  So, he has that going for him, which is nice.

Lynn Marnelli was first elected to the Erie County Legislature in 1996, which underscores her selection as the fourth seed in the tournament.  If John Mills is the legislative equivalent of a speedbump, Lynn Marinelli is the equivalent of the toll booth attendant.  One former legislature staffer defined her as the “consummate transactional politician”.  Elected to serve as the Erie County Legislature Majority Leader in 2004 and again in 2005, Lynn ascended to the position of Legislature Chairwoman in 2006 and held the position in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

During her time as Chairwoman, Lynn was known for her dealmaking prowess and no-nonsense leadership style.  She is a firm advocate for progressive causes and women’s issues.  However, back in 2008, there was some bad blood about a deal Marinelli made with the Republican minority to maintain her position as Chairwoman and some decisions she made which benefited the Republican agenda.  Most of them are detailed on the hastily thrown together and now fallow blog, Republican Lynn Marinelli.

On the other hand, some claim that Marinelli is nothing more than a party apparatchik doing the bidding of Erie County Democratic Chair Len Lenihan.  Most notably, by Erie County Executive Chris Collins.  She has also been cited by observers and reporters as being particularly petulant and argumentative with current Legislature Chairwoman Barbara Miller-Williams.  I’m not here to judge, just painting the picture from various observers.

So, speedbump versus transactional tenure, which enables more failure?  You decide.


One Response to “PolitiFAIL Tourney 2010, Marinelli vs. Mills”


  1. Howard vs. Marinelli – PolitFAIL Tourney 2010 | WNYmedia.net - March 29, 2010

    […] Marinelli (the #4 seed) was the subject of Chris Smith’s pre-tournament analysis, where he correctly pegged a close matchup with fellow Legislator and Minority Leader John Mills. […]

Contribute To The Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: