Le comté, c’est lui

13 Dec

There is no county government. Only Zuul.

Chris Collins has all but declared himself the sole sovereign and king of Erie County. Christopher du Lac Spaulding, as successor to King Joel the Fail, has unilaterally declared the Erie County Legislature to be a nullity.

The Six Sigma-dependent big spender has naturally relied upon dubiously correct hypertechnicalities to justify his lack of regard or respect for co-equal branches of government.

While Collins may be the chief budget officer, he is also the executive – the legislature is the board of directors and speaks for specific constituencies to whom they answer every two years.

It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with Collins or the Democratic legislative caucus – the issue has become whether you respect the rule of law and separation of powers. Collins du Lac clearly doesn’t. He claims that the Democratic budget amendments would raise people’s taxes up to $3.00 per year, but shows absolutely no math to back up that assertion. The legislative Democrats have provided proof – in writing – that their proposal does nothing to raise taxes, and has issued documentation of how it achieves balance.

Not Collins, though. Le comté, c’est lui.

Tomorrow, the legislature will take up Collins’ remarkable veto statement and attempt to override it. Many of the specific cultural line items were supported by 10/15 legislators, and the library funding was supported unanimously. According to majority leader Maria Whyte, Kevin Hardwick said he would override Collins’ vetoes on certain cultural line items if he had proof that no tax increase would result.

During today’s press conference, Betty Jean Grant said Collins’ claims that the Democratic budget amendments raised taxes were “fearmongering.” Lynn Marinelli said that Democrats were proud to show their math – Collins is for some reason afraid or unwilling to do the same. Addressing Collins’ media blitz and direct voter contact, Tom Mazur said Collins should be ashamed of himself stoking fear through robocalls. Tom Loughran said that Collins wasn’t elected “to destroy this community”. Barbara Miller-Williams lamented a “sad day” for Erie County and pleaded with Collins to work with the legislature.

Tomorrow we’ll see just how sad a day it is, and Collins will be forced to deal with a co-equal branch of government whether he’s bought it or not, whether he likes it or not.  Caution. Litigation ahead.

16 Responses to “Le comté, c’est lui”

  1. Brian Castner December 13, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    1) Its not a co-equal branch of government.

    2) If Collins is conducting illegal activity, then they should prove it in court. So far, he hasn’t lost on any budgetary matters.

  2. Brian December 14, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    In fact, in the United States, the legislatures are the superior branch, the other two merely clearing things up and executing what the legislature does. The constitution makes that pretty clear.

  3. Brian December 14, 2010 at 5:40 am #

    Apres Chris, le deluge?

  4. Alan Bedenko December 14, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    It is co-equal thanks to the tortuous budget process which invites input from the CE and leg, and opportunities for them to veto portions of each other’s work.

  5. Hapklein December 14, 2010 at 6:18 am #

    CE Chris Collins harbors incredible ambitions for his obviously stunted abilities to be a politician. He can’t persuade he can’t compromise. I was shocked when I got his robo call yesterday urging me to persuade my legislator to join him in his plot to eviscerate the democratic process of the legislature helping to determine the public interest
    He emulates GW in two obvious ways. It His way or the highway every step of the way and he does not concern himself with the long term consequences of his decisions.
    The CE already aims to reduce the benefits of the libraries by arbitrary budget figures not need or long term plans.
    He also obviously disregards anyone looking over his shoulder as he secretly prepares and implements budgets by destroying the ability of the county comptroller to check figures and measure effectiveness.
    It his way or the highway and the rest of us and the public interest of Erie County can rot in hell.

  6. Brian Castner December 14, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    @ Alan: I think Ray Walter would disagree with you.

  7. Hank December 14, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    The Library System is operated by the county, and it needs to be funded. Number of branches and staffing could probably be looked at, but any community that is worth its sand cannot totally divest itself of its libraries. Of course, Dr. Hagon Spengler did state “PRINT IS DEAD” over 26 years ago. Public computer access is one of the most important parts of a Library system these days.

    OTOH, Cultural programs are NOT the business of a Government. Private Foundations, and all of Bobbycat’s “Millionaires and Billionaires” should be funding all cultural programs. If Collins had any sense, he would have cultivated the moneyed folk to endow and grant money to these programs and get them off the County Budget completely. Then the point would be moot.

  8. Mike In WNY December 14, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    The law clearly grants Collins veto power. IMO, it is to be used when the legislature is acting irresponsibly, as it is now.

  9. BobbyCat December 14, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    Die Gemeinde, er

    No comprende? Not interested? Don’t speak German? Don’t know your monsters? WTF is “Zuul”?

    Moving on? I don’t blame ya. I did too.

  10. Greg December 14, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    I came here just to see the BobbyCat post!

  11. jhorn December 14, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    kevin hardwick is already caving (has already caved? never intended to do anything but cave?) if the WBFO news hour story is accurate. alan- loved the new title. who knows, if le roi had laid down some francais, he may have gotten that albany lap dance.

  12. Jeff December 14, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    Collins and the Republicans spent $100,000 last year to get Hardwick elected you thought he was going to do anything but toe the line? Hardwick so desperately wants to be a County Legislator so he can show everyone how much smarter he is than them, he won’t jeopardize the funding for re-election.

  13. jhorn December 14, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    jeff- you’re right. got a soft spot in my head for academics, always expecting thoughtful analysis and getting garden variety lapdoggedness.

  14. Brian December 15, 2010 at 5:35 am #

    However, the executive cannot veto a veto override by the legislature, which is why I say that ultimately the legislature is the superior branch.


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