Dale Volker (SD-59) – Out. Finally.

30 Apr

In honor of Dale Volker’s decision to free western New Yorkers of his 40-year tenure of failure and stasis, here are excerpts from a few posts I did about him during the PolitiFAIL tournament a few months ago. Enjoy and rejoice.

Dale Volker

In 1973, the UK joined the EEC, George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees, Roe v. Wade was decided, Nixon was inaugurated for his second term, construction began on the CN Tower, the first oil shock shook, the Watergate scandal began to unravel, and the music charts are topped by “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree”, “Bad Bad Leroy Brown”, and “Crocodile Rock”.

1973 was, in other words, 37 years ago. It was also the year Dale Volker first went to Albany as an Assemblyman. He was then appointed to the state Senate in 1975. The amazing thing about people born in 1940 is that some became prematurely elderly reactionaries, and one became John Lennon. Volker obviously chose the former.

A former Depew cop, Volker’s stock in trade is fear – it’s what he continually runs and wins on. Volker is a strong proponent of the antiquated, unnecessarily brutal Rockefeller drug laws, signed, coincidentally enough, in 1973. The state made the decision that it was as bad to possess four ounces of marijuana as it was to commit second degree murder, resulting in 15 years to life in a state penitentiary. As you might expect, Rocky’s drug laws did nothing to stem drug use. Volker isn’t so much anti-drug, as he is pro-penitentiary and pro-fear:

State Sen. Dale M. Volker defends the Rockefeller Drug Laws by raising the specter of neighborhoods “under siege from drug dealers.” The drug war’s collateral damage hardly justifies New York’s draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws.

Volker probably doesn’t hang around on the corners of the east and west sides of Buffalo – neighborhoods, y’know, under siege from drug dealers. The draconian Rockefeller law failure stayed on the books until last year, over Volker’s objection.

Why is he so in favor of imprisoning casual pot users for 15 years to life? Even though the prisoners in Attica can’t vote, they’re counted as Volker’s constituents. Without the prison population in the 59th State Senate district, it would be underpopulated and cease to exist. To put it differently,

Of Volker’s constituents, 3% are incarcerated (4% of his adult population is in prison). Of his “constituents” who are Black adults, over 75% are disenfranchised. Thanks to the traditional gerrymandering in New York, Volker’s district is smaller than it should be, but with 8,951 prisoners he can safely ignore, Senator Volker can devote himself to the needs of his real constituents with a kind of individual attention that his urban colleagues cannot.

Volker is also known as a thug and a bully. Most recently, when David DiPietro was running in a Republican primary against him, one of his myriad staffers, Harry Wahl, harassed a family supporting DiPietro, making vicious, borderline criminal threats against them. When Volker won the Republican nod, his goons went after Kathy Konst and her family in an equally vicious and pointless way.

As far as being in Albany is concerned, one gets the impression that Volker is in Albany for its own sake. After all, how else do you explain the fact that his staff – even as a minority legislator – costs the state almost $1.1 million per year. And for what, precisely?

Remember when Volker and Esmonde fought when Volker tried to take credit for the removal of the 190 tolls, which happened thanks to Mike Powers and Carl Paladino?


When he’s not taking credit for stuff he hasn’t done, his entire schtick seems to be demonization of New York City pols – repeatedly, over and over, even if it makes no damn sense. Hint: It’s no excuse for having no record of your own whatsoever, especially given the fact that you’ve been in the majority for most of your career.


It’s safe to say Dale Volker is fecklessly useless in direct proportion to the length of his tenure in state government.

Yet people continue to re-elect this malignant, despicable failure. That’s the real crime.


And then there’s Dale.  An Archie Bunker type who was heard this week on the radio bitching and moaning about the “downstate people”.

Dale, here’s a clue:  we’re not stupid.  We know that when you berate and blame “downstate people”, you’re talking about New York City Jews and minorities.  You might as well just man up and admit it; just call it what it is.

And this divisive, ignorant little toad, he of massive ego and sense of entitlement, continues to get re-elected thanks more to sharp elbows than merit.  Unlike Byron Brown, no one expects – or gets – great things from Dale Volker.  He is not a transformative figure.  He is not a guy who appeals to anybody except the beneficiaries of his member item largesse, and angry, threatened octogenarians.

So, with Dale we expect devastating mediocrity, and get exactly that.  For 40 bloody years.  Volker costs the taxpayers over a million dollars per year to do absolutely nothing.  Seriously, name one thing Dale Volker does that can’t be done some other way by some other government actor.  You can’t.  I can’t.   At least the Mayor goes out there and promotes Buffalo.

Dale Volker goes out there and promotes the antediluvian status quo.  There isn’t a new idea about anything rattling around in that empty head, nor has there been in two generations.

…40 years’ worth of a D-minus.


Dale Volker – a malignant cancer; a polyp in the colon that is Western New York.

Volker is a veritable piece of shit who has been in office probably since before you were born. He’s that old fart going 30 in the left lane, driving the tan Buick of our politics. His tough-guy pandering to cops and corrections officers stems from the fact that without Attica and other correctional facilities, his district would cease to exist.

His political survival is dependent on murderers and rapists.

A renowned asshole, Volker dispatches sycophants and surrogates to bully and threaten political opponents on a regular basis. He is so bad that even the Republicans and teabaggers hate him.

He is so odious, in fact, that even Jim Domagalski – the chairman of the Erie County Republican Committee is considering a primary run against him.  Primaries are like kryptonite to Republicans.

That’s as if Len Lenihan decided to run against Bill Stachowski.

8 Responses to “Dale Volker (SD-59) – Out. Finally.”

  1. Jenny April 30, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    I am happy to see him go.  I knew nothing about him, not being in his district.  Then at a Kevin Gaughan sponsored forum, he stood up and asked a huge diverse group how he was supposed to answer his poor little old lady constituents questions about how they felt threatened by consolidation.  His phrasing so UNAPOLOGETICALLY racist, my jaw dropped.  From that point on, I couldn’t wait to hear about the end of his racial run.

  2. tim May 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Thankfully I read the Buffalo News recap of his career rather than yours. Jesus Christ are you an ass hole

    • Alan Bedenko May 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

      Well, “asshole” is one word, not two, and I’m less of one than Dale Volker the thug.

  3. amigo36 May 2, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    Hey Tim–Check the follow up comments to the news article. Not many fans of the old man.

  4. Ward May 2, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    Any doubt that the Democrat candidate — whoever it is — will be endorsed in this space, and his/her Repub opponent demonized?

    • Marc Odien May 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

      Seeing that we know who the Republican candidates are and that the slate includes a lunatic birther vs. Fatty McButterpants, i’d say that’s a pretty fair assumption

    • Eric Saldanha May 2, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

      Democrat candidate”

      And you wonder why you’re treated with scorn and derision.

  5. Jon Splett May 5, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    You guys should be thanking Volker for locking up all those horrible potheads.

    Here in Ann Arbor where possession gets you nothing more than a 25 dollar fine, I fight daily gun battles in the streets because of the siege drug dealers have put the city under.

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