NY-26. The Race is On.

10 Feb

All of sudden, the eyes of the nation fall on Western New York again because yet another prominent local Republican is caught sending some wicked-pervy emails.  It’s so desperate here that some were speculating/hoping that bellicose millionaire street person Carl Paladino might run for NY-26.  No, he doesn’t live in the district, nor does he have to.

Luckily, the Dicker-hater won’t be running.  Can you imagine replacing one pervy emailer with another pervy emailer? Furthermore, Carl would have to move to the suburbs, which he won’t, and he’d have to pay off all of the campaign vendors and workers he’s stiffed so far since the 2010 election which we helped torpedo.

Instead, on the Republican side we have a bit of an internal battle between George Maziarz (who also doesn’t live in the district, but is Tom Reynolds’ guy), and friend-of-Collins Jane Corwin (Republican Assemblywoman-for-life with millions in Talking Phonebook Money).

The Democrats didn’t even really contest the seat in 2010, so they’re somewhat in disarray over whom to put up in a special election for Lee’s seat.

Either way, the race is on.

I have to hand it to Lee for the quickest, most Six-Sigma-efficient political implosion in recent memory.  This morning, no one gave him a second thought.  After lunch, he was the subject of much mockery.  By dinnertime, the guy had resigned from Congress.  BY DINNERTIME. Usually, a guy caught in a sudden scandal will huddle for a few days before slipping the resignation in late on a Friday afternoon.  This came fast.

I had to laugh at the suppositions that this was a set-up or a frame-up.  That shirtless picture of Lee in the mirror was absolutely hilarious, and proved the underlying charge. This is a guy who was born a millionaire, never really worked a real day’s work in his life, and bought his way into Congress with the significant help of a friendly registration advantage.  All he had to do was say “low taxes” and look clean-cut and suburban, and he was a perpetual shoo-in in this suburban and rural district.  Easy peasy.

Instead, he went on Craigslist, betrayed his wife & kid and lied to some random chick all in one fell swoop.  He posed as a 39-year old divorced lobbyist.  He’ll never be 39 again, but he may be a divorced lobbyist sooner than he ever imagined.

Meanwhile, I watched the local media agonize over whether this was real, whether they should run the story, whether it was all fake. I argued with people who insisted that Lee’s personal life was beside the point – as if Lee hadn’t basically marketed himself as the rich clean-cut family guy who goes to church and doesn’t have much time for the gays.

There was no competitive race in 2010.  In 2008, Lee won office against Alice Kryzan, who had herself defeated idiot Jack Davis and Jon Powers in a very tough primary.  Powers is in DC working on behalf of military veterans. Jack Davis is thankfully absent. Kryzan ran for Amherst Town Supervisor but lost to Dr. Barry.  Davis aside, either Kryzan or Powers would have been great representatives for the constituents of the 26th, and wouldn’t have lied and embarrassed themselves.

There is a figurative feeding frenzy going on behind the scenes because a Congressional seat comes up so seldomly, and this is one is seemingly wide open. There’s talk that this district may get wrapped up into another when redistricting comes along, and that Lee has only served to set that in stone.

But in the end, we can take heart in knowing that Chris Lee is a strict adherent to the Republican platform, which defines marriage as being between a man, a woman, and some random chick the man met on Craigslist.

24 Responses to “NY-26. The Race is On.”

  1. Jeremy February 10, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    Bedenko for Congress.

  2. CityofblIght February 10, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    Excellent. So rich.

  3. Ward February 10, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    Whatever.

    Clawing the House back–one seat at a time? The Dems should worry instead about the fact that, of 33 Senate seats to be contested in 2012, 22 of theirs are in play compared to 10 Repubs (Sen. Webb D-VA just quit). Good luck with that. I’m sure you’re hoping for 10 Craig’s List hooplas on the GOP side.

  4. Tom Dolina February 10, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    The worst part is that he used Craigslist. I mean, can’t he afford a site like AshleyMadison.com?! Or at least match.com? I wonder how many fake profiles are on Plenty Of Fish for him now…

  5. Buffalo Harold February 10, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    Just think: Not  a single one of the nation’s 434 other Congressional districts can boast of having a representative who is willing to publicly give his constituents the shirt off his back!

  6. Jeff February 10, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Could Ward just be replaced with an “asinine comment generator”?

  7. Rebecca February 10, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    I heard about the Chris Lee idiocy last night on the way into my daughter’s band concert. I couldn’t wait to get home and see what you and the others on WNYMedia.net had to say, and you did not disappoint. I appreciate that you guys cut to the chase. As opposed to, say, Channel 4, which had me in hysterics last night as they wasted several minutes talking to Rich Newberg as he skulked around the airport waiting for CL to arrive, then followed up this morning with a story about how Lee never showed up at the airport.

    Phrase of the day: “bellicose millionaire street person” — perfect!

  8. Greg February 10, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Alan, this is a particularly brilliant piece of writing. Cheers.

  9. Ethan February 10, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    “He’ll never be 39 again, but he may be a divorced lobbyist sooner than he ever imagined.”

    Excellent line, Alan.

  10. Ward February 10, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Jeff–are you applying for the position?

  11. Judah Maccabbee February 10, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    “the Republican platform, which defines marriage as being between a man, a woman”

    Funny, our president also adheres to this. As did his predecessors, one of which also was photographed leaving church hand-in-hand with his wife before hooking up with his intern for a sloppy hummer in the Oval Office.
    Look, all of the smirky cat-calls of hypocracy as well earned. But just remember that hypocracy is bipartisan. Lee and Massa can comiserate together now.

  12. Chris Charvella February 10, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    My oh my. All this hullabaloo and nary a tickle fight.

  13. Ward Asinine Comment Generator (Jeff) February 10, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Alan how dare you care a nonstory like this when there are real scandals out there like the reverse racists in the DOJ Civil Rights division protecting the New Black Panthers!!

  14. Brian Castner February 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    I have a theory about the speed of the resignation – that the time it takes for a politician to resign is inversely proportional to how much of their own personal fortune depends on being a politician. Lee is an indpendent multi-millionaire – out in hours. Rangel, Craig and Clinton, whose money depends on the fame or largesse associated with politics, on the other hand, endured.

  15. Brian February 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    At least he didn’t spend 8000 dollars as Spitzer did for a whore, or $96,000 like Senator John Ensign; he didn’t have a bent for wearing diapers with his hooker, like Senator David Vitter; he didn’t have a “wide stance” like Senator Larry Craig; and he wasn’t into meth and buggery with male whores like Ted Haggard. 

    All in all, a stand-up guy.

  16. Leo Wilson February 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    @Castner, where does Eric Massa fit in that theory?

  17. jhorn February 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    brian c- another theory: maybe there’s some real fire behind the rather pedestrian smoke that precipitated the before dinnertime resignation.

  18. Brian Castner February 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    @ Leo: Massa didn’t last long, compared to Clinton et al

    @ johorn: There is definitely fire here – NO ONE quits in 3 hours if there is nothing there.

  19. DJ February 11, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    Does this development mean that you won’t be analyzing Mo Hassan’s every move?

  20. Hapklein February 11, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    Back to the thread I find the possible outcomes sublime.
    If Maziarz did run he would deliver the NY Seante back tot eh Dems and live in infamy.
    If Hochul ran and was elected, the dems would be torn by the choice of her or Higgins being tossed to the lions.
    For a set Republican District the outcomes are fascinating. for some reason I bet Gallivan would find the possibilities endless. Even one term offers endless possibilities of a permanent move to Washington for the ambitious.
    It does remain the greatest show of all.

  21. Ward February 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Brian — Massa lasted four days. Long enough to dupe a certain blogger into endorsing him as “honorable”.

  22. Ward February 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Actually, “a principled and honorable guy”.

    http://wnymedia.net/buffalopundit/2010/03/massas-shock-disclosure-he-curses-when-drunkedly-joking/

    • Alan Bedenko February 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

      I wonder why you selectively omitted this and this?

      In retrospect, I gave Massa too much of the benefit of the doubt, and I regret that.

      As a side note to everyone who’s “disappointed” in what I wrote, when I wrote it, and how I wrote it: I don’t care. Be as disappointed as you want. Going into this, Massa was a good guy, a principled guy, a cancer survivor who cited health reasons. The ethical accusations were completely without factual foundation at the time, so it would have been ridiculously speculative for me to condemn or defend any of it. But with each passing hour, the whole thing got weirder and weirder. So, take your disappointment and go read one of those objective blogs that don’t offer an opinion, and don’t hold a political bias.

      I mean, it’s not like Massa’s half-nude picture ended up on Gawker along with sleazy emails or anything. I’m sure Ward will just claim that he overlooked these because he didn’t think it was important.

  23. Max February 12, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    Lee would have been better served by trolling for rump on ‘Politics WNY’ rather than amongst the anonomous hordes on Craigslist.There, he’d be among kindred spirits and if things got out of hand, Uncle Joe would take care of it. All that would be expected of Lee to do is buy more ads. Instant and absolute redemption!

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