Pigeon Interview

3 May

This weekend at the New York Democratic Rural Conference, Marc Odien and I were there to shoot video of the speeches, wait for the results of the annual straw poll, work some sources for news/gossip and maybe score an interview or two.

To our surprise, in walked the white whale of political interviews, Gerald Steven Pigeon.  You might know him better as Pedro Espada’s patronage employee, former Chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party, current subject of a federal money laundering investigation, or the bogeyman in the closet of New York State politics.  Marc and I were eager to interview the Rasputin of local politics.

Each time scandal arises in WNY or statewide politics, you can be assured there are accusations that it is somehow tied to Pigeon.  I’ve often wondered if Pigeon didn’t simply serve as a necessary evil or foil for local politicos as they won or lost various political negotiations.  If they lost, it’s easy to blame the galloping ghost of graft, Steve Pigeon.  If they won, they overcame some conspiracy led by Pigeon which only increases the margin of their perceived victory.

However, we’ve done our homework over the years and usually only bring Pigeon into the equation when the evidence warrants his inclusion.

And when we do bring him into the discussion, its usually not been very kind.

Last month, I wrote this in a profile of Steve Pigeon during the PolitiFAIL tournament:

Pigeon is a  malignant mole on the face of this region, an unlanced boil on the ass of Buffalo.  Generally unaccountable to the public as he is an inside player, this Machiavellian prince of pomposity and backroom deals has worked to empower the Grassroots majority that is the current scourge of election law and political propriety, put together the Responsible New York Cotillion of Inside deals to overthrow a duly elected Democratic majority in the State Senate and essentially acts as unelected fixer for politicians and patronage seekers alike.

It is politics and power before policy and governance with this man.  It’s all a game in which the daily butcher’s bill details the winners and losers in the political world but cares not for the real world implications of those power games.

Pigeon, granting access to power, privilege and donor lists in exchange for the right to take it all away should you cross him politically.  Pigeon eschews sunlight and transparency and operates his politics in the darker corners of society. Concealed behind closed doors, as if in a closet.  From his tiny closet of lies, inside power and secrets he has surreptitiously changed our politics forever in this region.  Until he comes out of that closet, we’ll be subject to his underhanded shenanigans and machinations of inside baseball.  Steve, do us all a favor and come out of the closet.

I asked Steve for an interview and he agreed to discuss his role in last summer’s State Senate coup, his relationship with Pedro Espada, the current investigation of he and Espada, and his role as the bogeyman/Rasputin of local politics.  We posted the interview without our traditional snarky musical soundtrack or clever editing.  We thought we’d give Steve the opportunity to respond to the things we’ve written over the years.

Evidently, he reads the site and doesn’t think too highly of our good friend, Alan Bedenko.


A lot of party line stuff on the coup and Espada that we’ve been hearing for over a year.  If we had more time, we would have covered more ground, but he was pretty wound up towards the end and we ran out of time to ask him about the “Reform Coalition” or get deeper into the federal investigation.  Maybe next time around…

4 Responses to “Pigeon Interview”

  1. peteherr May 3, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    Ha!…Yes, it would appear that Mr. Pigeon doesn’t like Mr. Pundit…..but, reading between the lines, I think Steve invited you to call him for future interviews.

  2. Winner of WNYM PolitiFail Tourney May 3, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    That interview screams out: FACT-CHECK ME PLEASE. 

  3. Larry Lenihan May 3, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    Pigeon versus Pundit… no-holds barred steel cage match at 2010 Buffalo Wing Fest!


  1. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Pigeon | WNYmedia.net - May 3, 2010

    […] The truth, they say, is subjective. One can promise to tell what they think to be the truth, but seldom is there only one, correct version of any story of any event. […]

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