Fourteen Thoughts

3 Nov

1. We had a lot of fun last night talking about the returns and what they mean on WECK.  Despite a very late start due to a Canisius hockey game that went into overtime, I think that our discussion was not just insightful, but above all, fun.  Thanks to Brad Riter, Chris Smith, Brian Castner, Tom Dolina, and Nick Mendola for participating and making it a great show.  Thanks also to our guests, Erie County Legislator Ray Walter, Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul, and Congressman Brian Higgins.  We had other guests ready to go, but their window of opportunity occurred during the time that the hockey game was still going on.

2. Despite his loss – which I won’t analyze in detail today – Carl Paladino is the most influential Erie County Republican who didn’t get elected.  Nick Langworthy may be the most influential GOP county chair in the state.  Paladino’s speech last night was such that I can’t imagine what he said was what was written down on the TelePrompTer in front of him.  It was the tough-guy upstate New York version of Sarah Palin’s farewell speech – he has not yet begun to fight.

3. Brian Higgins is the top Democratic dog in town right now.  He has working relationships with every warring faction.  In an historic “throw the (mostly Democratic) bums out” year for Congress, the tea partiers threw a true believer up against Higgins, and the incumbent demolished him 61-39.  Lenny Roberto and his ilk said that Higgins wasn’t listening to his constituents by passing health care reform and other pieces of the Obama agenda.  Evidently, Higgins did exactly what a vast majority of his constituents wanted, thanks. Not just that, but Tim Kennedy drafted Higgins to defeat a feckless campaign waged by Jack Quinn III, who won’t be returning to Albany.

4. In SD-60, I predicted a race that would be tight enough to require a recount.  That’s exactly what we’ve got right now, since Thompson now leads by less than 300 votes with two Republican districts waiting to be counted.  Last night, Chris discovered that Thompson wasn’t just being hit by Grisanti and the First Amendment Club in Niagara Falls, Grand Island, parts of the Tonawandas, and the west side of Buffalo, but there is a breakaway Grassroots faction that was actively campaigning against Thompson in his east side strongholds.  Thompson may have overplayed his hand and done a Kavanaugh flip with his “Grisanti is evil for being an attorney” lit, and frankly he’s not well-regarded by most anyone, anywhere.  This one is days from being decided.

5. The voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of an 11-member county legislature. The next legislative election is next year, and the redistricting will have to be completed before then.  That means the leg will have to get to work right away to appoint a redistricting commission to examine how this will be accomplished and where the lines will be re-drawn.

6. In SD-61, Mike Ranzenhofer proved that Republicans will re-elect him time and time again despite his non-existent record.  He needs to either wake up and become effective, or else he needs to lose re-election in 2012.  In order to do that, someone needs to start thinking seriously about challenging him right now.

7. In SD-59, Dale Volker will be riding off into the sunset, replaced by his choice, Pat Gallivan. Cynthia Appleton ran an honorable, issues-based campaign, but I think she didn’t spend enough time in voter-rich Erie County.  David DiPietro’s pathetic showing of a mere 8-ish thousand votes is a serious rebuke to his bitter and relentlessly combative campaign. He should be embarrassed and ashamed.

8. Sam Hoyt lives to fight another day, as does Dennis Gabryszak.  A Republican pickup in A-146 where Kevin Smardz defeated Brad Rybczynski.  Jim Hayes defeated Greg Vinal in A-148, and Robin Schimminger defeated Kevin Stocker in A-140.  Jane Corwin, Mark Schroeder, and Crystal Peoples-Stokes were all running unopposed.

9. Both western New York tea party factions are huge losers this morning.  Aside from the gubernatorial race, where their favored candidate lost, Brian Higgins obliterated Lenny Roberto, Louise Slaughter demolished Jill Rowland, and both Pat Gallivan and Cynthia Appleton humiliated David DiPietro. Their angry, uninformed rhetoric and ultra-right-wing policy positions are shared by a tiny minority of Republican voters.  The general electorate has rejected them conclusively.

10.  Not WNY-based, but in a year where five New York State congressional districts flipped D to R, Bill Owens in NY-23 managed to win re-election against his Republican opponent, and Doug Hoffman running again on the Conservative Party line only. That was a big tea party loss in a special election last year, and Owens held on.

11. Did you listen to our coverage on WECK last night?  What did you think?  We didn’t have anyone babysitting the liveblog, so it didn’t really get used.  When we’re multitasking, checking results, hunting sources and guests, and talking on the radio, maintaining a liveblog takes a back seat – Marc usually does it, but he wasn’t with us last night.  Do you use it?  Did you miss it? Consider the comments section an open thread on the local and state races.

12. Schneiderman defeated Donovan – New Yorkers want an activist attorney general who won’t give Wall Street a free pass.  Gillibrand defeated DioGuardi – the state GOP blew it, running a washed-up old guy against an aggressive, energetic newbie.  Schumer defeated whoever his opponent was – that says it all. DiNapoli defeated Wilson – he has organized labor to thank.

13. Now that Chris Lee is in the majority, the time has come for him to do more than just vote no.  While he’s been good on issues concerning big WNY development projects, and trans-border issues, he has been nonexistent when it comes to making proposals, or voting for things that matter to people who aren’t living in Spaulding Lake.  He’s run out of excuses, and it’s time for him to step up.  We’ll be watching very closely.

14. Last thought – Andrew Cuomo has a very tough job ahead of him to effect even minimal structural change in Albany.  One of the problems that he identified early and had taken the initiative to try and change was the fact that New York has over 10,000 separate government entities and literally countless numbers of authorities with spending and borrowing power.  A government that’s out of control and far too bloated cannot stand.  Yet, when voters are given the opportunity to abolish duplicative, redundant layers of government, they never do – see, e.g., Sloan, Williamsville.  When it comes to eliminating expensive redundancy, we can’t have it both ways anymore.

Now, courtesy of Marc Odien and Tom Dolina…


33 Responses to “Fourteen Thoughts”

  1. Mike In WNY November 3, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Today Bauerle is right, we either live in the stupidest state or the state with the most parasites, except for possibly California.

  2. Alan Bedenko November 3, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    DiPietro is a joke, and so is Lenny Roberto.  The voters voted for the better candidates. 

  3. Mike In WNY November 3, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    It is pointless to quibble over the various individual races, the trend is clear and New York is fucked.

    • Christopher Smith November 3, 2010 at 11:10 am #

      I, for one, look forward to your pending move to a state that better suits your bizarre fringe political ideology.

      • Christopher Smith November 3, 2010 at 11:21 am #

        I’m still putting together a larger post on the national elections, but I’m exhausted from a long night of radio and I have to work today. When I do, I’ll be posting what I find when I do some research on how the Republicans plan to cut spending and move us towards a balanced budget. Seeing as how that is what they campaigned on.

        There has not been one concrete, realistic idea proposed by anyone in the GOP on how to actually do that. Attacking “earmarks” and fraud will not get us any tangible debt relief. If the GOP is serious about governing and following through on their promises to the tea party, they’ll be serious about deep and significant cuts to the Defense Department and massive reductions in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which make up the majority of government spending. Of course, most Republicans who won last night said they have no intention of cutting any of THOSE programs…

      • Alan Bedenko November 3, 2010 at 11:26 am #

        The GOP is going to instead work on cutting the Collective Farm Administration, the Trotskyite Anti-Fascist People’s Council, the National Health Service, and the Soviet Cadre Office.

  4. pftp November 3, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Thompson has a strong progressive record in the Senate: fighting for a fracking moratorium; green jobs green New York sponsor; supporting gay marriage; the list goes on.  I would be sad to see him go, as would many other people who actually live in his district.

  5. whitney November 3, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    I really liked the WECK broadcast and listened to it on and off the whole night. Much prefer the radio stuff to the liveblog. The commentary during Paladino’s non-concession concession speech was hilarious. We parked the car and sat there so we could hear more. Only thing I’d want to see more of, and this isn’t a shot just a comment, is some diversity in gender, race, and location. I don’t expect you guys to create more female, black, city, or rural bloggers out of thin air–I’d just generally like to see more of them.

    Radio stuff = win.

  6. bud boomer November 3, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    i was only able to hear bits and pieces of the weck election coverage…any chance you guys will post the audio? i’d love to hear the whole thing.

  7. BrianS. November 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    I give WECK credit. They are certainly David vs. the echo chamber Goliath. Still, they do not sound like a small operation. They’ve got some solid local talent on the air. Adding more local may actually create a bit of a prolem for WBEN. They won’t win, but they could definitely eat into those often-double-digit numbers, which, at the least, would seperate WBEN from the top 5 rankings. Bravo.

  8. Jack McDeegan November 3, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    The show on WECK last night was hilarious, insightful, and full of excellent analysis. Following up on what BrianS. said, I hope WECK gives you guys more air time. I like the local talent they have and I’d make it my full time station if they could dump the national syndicated crap. I’d much rather listen to guys like Alan, Chris and Brian than recycled, second tier crap like Dennis Miller and Laura Ingraham. I know you guys are probably too liberal or honest for the local stations, but WECK should take a leap of faith and give you a shot at doing a daily show. I know I’d listen.

  9. Ward November 3, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    I can understand your confining your lukewarm gloat-o-rama to New York, as the news is not so good for your side elsewhere.

    In order to inform yourselves of the extent of the repudiation of your agenda nationwide, I invite you to engage in a little exercise:
    Make a list of all the Senate, House and Governor seats which switched from R to D yesterday.
    Then, a little closer to home, make a list of all the NY Senate and assembly seats, and statewide elected offices, which switched from R to D yesterday.

    Then, think of what the GOP takeover of the House will do to the formerly moribund ethics trials of Chollie Rangel and Maxine Waters.
    All of this may tend to cool your ardor somewhat at the earthshaking triumph of Brian Higgins.

  10. jJonatahn November 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    The only one to give a run at Ranzenhofer in SD 61 is Jim Hayes, but he seems fine with staying an Assemblyman for life.

    No democrat will win in that senate district. Ever.

  11. Michele J November 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Great job last night.. It is time to think about your own weekly radio show!

  12. BuffaloGirl November 3, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    Michele, I’ve been saying the same thing for years! They should do it weekly!!

  13. bill November 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    A few interesting developments. The Republicans in the Assembly have picked up 8 seats, with one more race going to absentee ballots.

    Should the republicans get 51 in the assembly, they can block sheldon silvers automatic veto override. With a Republican Senate and if Andrew Cuomo delivers on his promises, sheldon silver will be severely compromised.

  14. BobbyCat November 3, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    I spent part of last night on Buf News-online, trying to trade some comments with their reporters. Most of the chatter was trivial – about free pizza and beer at the various parties. “The crowd is starting to fill-in”, “There are more media here than supporters”, “Do you need an invitation?, someone asked. “Which parties are best?”, “Who had the best & worst ad campaigns?”, a writer quiried. I tried to inject some pointed questions such as “Why would the American electorate return the party that crashed the economy?” But the online editors wouldn’t allow most of my comments to appear on line. The moderator told me (in a private note) that the editors made those decisions and not him. My language was civil, but my questions were pointed. I simply didn’t feel like gabbing about pizza and beer, so I left. It was like tuning-in the evening News, expecting a news broadcast, but listening to Mr. Food or ‘Gadets Seen on TV’. What a waste of time.

  15. Jon Splett November 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    @Ward- What, no commentary on the Harry Reid race you’ve been trying to shoehorn into every comment section for the last month? What happened to your girl in Nevada?

  16. Bbill November 3, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Letter to a whiny young Democrat

    This guy nails it. Obedient Limbaugh followers have been blaming every problem under the sun on moderates and liberals for years, and finally they’re right. Every catastrophe that the new hires bring about the next two years will be the responsibility of the liberals and moderates WHO DID NOT VOTE and therefore enabled the forthcoming tailspin.

  17. BobbyCat November 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    I’ve never had 14 thoughts. Not in a row, anyways. But I have a few.

    1) I tuned in WECK radio last night and the last thing I heard before sailing off into sleepyland is “I’m calling this for Grisanti”. I thought “Whoa”. Grisanti beats Antoine. Great! Then this morning, I heard that the count is 50/50. If it was a joke, you should have said so; If it was a mistake, you guys should own up.

    2) It was somehow fitting that Carl’s swan-song speech was a disaster, matching his disastrous campaign. When actors take the microphone at the Academy Awards, the director knows that they fall in love with the microphone , so its the director’s job to cue the orchestra, shut off their mike and drag them off the stage. In the old days, they just got “the hook”. But there was nobody to mercifully stop Carl’s train wreck. There was nobody to quiet down the drunk who could be heard shouting lines every few seconds. The worst part was Paladino repeating himself. He knew it was his last hurrah but didn’t have enough sense to exit gracefully. So the upshot was, Carl is mad as hell and blah,blah. Thanks, Carl, have a cookie and get out. His worst enemy is in his mirror.

    3) Higgins and Slaughter were reelected because they deliver. Slaughter is Chair of the powerful House Rules Committee – probably unknown to 95% of her constituents. Higgins is doing the good work that used to be done by Rep. Henry Nowak. Normally I don’t like father-son dynasties. But Judge Nowak has the good public service genes like his father. However, I’m not so sure about young Jack Quinn, and the voters agreed, nor Mr. Hoyt (GASP!) Andrew Cuomo has a unique opportunity to dismantle some of the teacher benefits that his father put in place. It was a good idea at the time, but throwing money at teachers was a classic liberal blunder that failed and bankrupted the State. Andrew Cuomo has nothing to lose by reforming the system top to bottom. He could become a hero. First , he needs to compromise Sheldon Silver, the face of Albany corruption.

    4) The NY tea party got their asses kicked, but other morons around the country got in.

    5) The new Speaker is a drunk. Oh joy. That’s just great.

    6) The new GOP wants to reduce the deficits. Step one is to resurrect the Bush tax cuts.
    Are they fucking crazy or playing the folks back home for dummies? Even David Stockman, Bush One’s economic czar chastised the GOP for their obsession with tax cuts.

    7) The thing I can’t understand is why the American voters would bring back the party that crashed the economy. That’s insane. It’s also insane to expect any President to ‘bring back jobs” in two years after a severe recession – as if he could wave a magic wand and make it happen. Today, the biggest obstacle to a recovery is the stupidity or ignorance of the American electorate. The answer to “where are the jobs” lies in the business cycle but not one American in 100 can tell you what it is. That’s not the ‘elitism’ that the tea party so often disdains. It’s just plain ol knowledge.

    8) NBC Anchor Brian Williams called the win for Cuomo. He grimaced and commented “…Frankly, many New Yorkers stopped listening to the NY [gubernatorial] campaign” – an obvious criticism of Paladino’s crude campaign.

    9) DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen should resign.

    10) Obama needs to reestablish some street cred and talk to Americans using plain language. “Logic can convince, but only emotion can motivate” ….Johnathan Alter

    11) At 10pm, an hour after NBC called the race for Cuomo, the Ch.2 reporter said that the people at Paladino Headquarters didn’t know that the race had been decided. He noted that the big TV screen was tuned to Fox News and Fox had not called the race. The rest of America knew but the Paladino crowd was in the dark. A fitting metaphor.

    12. I’m calling this one for Grisanti.

  18. Ward November 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Splett — Don’t think I’m devastated to have Harry Reid around for the last two years of the Obama presidency.

    To see Dingy Harry and the ever-shrinking Barry Soetoro Obama joined at the political hip for twenty-four more months is a delicious prospect. (For me–certainly not for them.)

  19. Brian November 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    I’m old, and I’ll probably be dead when the U.S. implodes. Mrkns are willfully ignorant, disdainful of eduction (which just creates “elites” out of touch with the true thinking arising from the intestines). They get the leadership they voted for and deserve. I speak of them as “they” because I despise the vast majority of U.S. citizens (I’m an “elite”), and, while I reside here, I’m no nationalist (nationalism: the philosophy of idiots) and have much more in common with an Afghan bookseller than with a U.S. Marine (mercenary thug).

    I’m agonna mock, sneer at, and laugh at those who’ll be left behind with Republican programs. It ain’t constructive, but it sure is fun.

  20. BobbyCat November 3, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Jeez Brian, Have a shot and a beer. The world will brighten up a little. Or get wasted and cry in your beer like John Boehnor.

  21. BrianS. November 3, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    Not for nothing: Maybe these Tea Party types are on to something. I just saw a recent picture of Prez Obama, and he looked really….well, really……

  22. keller November 3, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    Louise slaughter….157 bills….151 died in committee…3 passed….since 1987:..she delivers alright….

    60 years of shite liberal rule….a shithole county….and you fools are proud….you people are most def on the spectrum hence the disfunction.

    See you next year…unless you have the guts to live debate at any time…..holla

  23. BobbyCat November 3, 2010 at 7:13 pm #


    I looked at the reference you cited. Gee whiz, you forgot to mention that Rep Slaughter also co-sponsored about 3300 bills in addition to the 3 you mentioned. How did you miss that? Or perhaps you thought that nobody would bother to question your facts. Perhaps you thought that you’re so smart that you could dump your load of shit here and no one would notice. Oops, I guess you got caught. Better luck next time.

    By the way, guy, its apparent from your tone that you could use someone to talk to. Get some help.

  24. Mike In WNY November 3, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    I don’t understand why liberals don’t believe in freedom and enjoying the fruits of one’s own labor. Their lack of faith in humanity is amoral. It is either rooted in a deep-seated insecurity, a masterful job of indoctrination by the nanny state, or a total lack of critical thinking skills.

    If it is wrong to covet they neighbor’s wife, it is certainly wrong to covet thy neighbor’s wallet.

  25. Mike In WNY November 3, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    @BobbyCat, how many of those 3300 bills did Slaughter read completely?

  26. BobbyCat November 3, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    It’s WRONG to covet your neighbor’s wife??? Since when??? In that case, “Mike In WNY” I own you a big apology (and Toosie, too)

  27. Keller November 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    @lolcat is just hoping one day Buffalo will be the next SF or BOS…too bad any liberal with $30 will move there and not Buf-a-Hole.

    I sure wish my hopes and dreams were pinned on an 82 year old woman from Kentucky who hasn’t done anything in the 23 years she has taken up space. God Bless you @bobbycat…I seriously think you are just a plant.

  28. Greg November 4, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    @Keller. Fuck off. Also, there is no god.

    @Mike. As a liberal, I understand that there is no such thing as the fruit of my own labors. The world is interconnected. You wouldn’t have anything you have if it weren’t for other people. The reason I think this? Neither of your false choices. It’s wisdom.

  29. Mike In WNY November 4, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    @Greg, the world operates best and will provide the most for everyone if the interconnection is based on voluntary transactions, not coercion.

  30. Max November 4, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    The “Thanks to Carl” clip was sheer brilliance, the kind or work we’ve come to expect from WNYMediaNet. One thing: I was haunted by the cross-out of the “Paladino for Governor” to “Paladono for Mayor” at the end. I suppose given his majorities in Erie County on Tuesday and the large number of low-information voters, that’s a possibility. His 1st Council meeting after taking office would be a real treat…

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