Poloncarz to Collins: Y U No Want a Debate?

24 Aug

Yesterday, the Poloncarz campaign (full disclosure: I never get/got a dime from them for writing about this) released this press release:

Poloncarz Once Again Calls for Series of Debates with Collins

ERIE COUNTY, NY — “Three weeks ago, I sent Chris Collins a letter challenging him to a series of debates so that we can begin to discuss the issues that are important to Erie County’s families. As of today, I have received no response. 

“The taxpayers want to hear about the issues that affect their daily lives. I have challenged Chris Collins to a series of three debates with an unbiased moderator, but he is too preoccupied with sending out his campaign spokesman to attack me with petty insults to even acknowledge my offer.

“Chris Collins has clearly decided to hide behind his misleading campaign commercials rather than talking about the real issues of our county, including the unsightly condition of our parks, which was highlighted yesterday in a WIVB story*. I’d like to know what parks are ‘in the best shape ever,’ as Collins’ commercial claims. Not Ellicott Creek Park, not Como Park, not many county parks and beaches, unfortunately. 

“As County Executive, I will be available to the people of Erie County. I want to hear their questions and concerns directly, and that begins here on the campaign trail with this series of debates. I am looking forward to an honest discourse with my opponent instead of cheap political shots.”

* “Shabby park shelter leaves renter irate,” WIVB, August 22, 2011, http://www.wivb.com/dpp/news/erie/Shabby-park-shelter-leaves-renter-irate

Good question.  There was a televised Collins/Keane debate and another on WBEN, but that was about it. Keane was an epically horrible and disappointing candidate who never stood a chance (neither, by the way, did Paul Clark). Collins came across in 2007 as earnest, apolitical, and interested in making a difference. His tenure as county executive has been, unfortunately, hyperpolitical, transactional, and replete with patronage, payback, and politically calculated decisions that “got the county out of” some service or another, while creating new six-figure positions out of whole cloth. Collins has a visceral hatred of Poloncarz, and the latter can (and does) exploit that to his advantage.

Having them debate facts and policy for the benefit of the electorate is important and inevitable. There’s no primary, so we already know that these two are their respective parties’ nominees. Let’s start talking about their records, their vision, and their plans for Erie County and her people.

15 Responses to “Poloncarz to Collins: Y U No Want a Debate?”

  1. Concerned Voter August 24, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    For all his early talk about savings from Six Sigma you don’t hear much about it. I suspect that the savings wasn’t really there and anything claimed as savings is a gimmick. Otherwise, believe me, you’d be hearing about it non-stop. I guess he really is running the county like a business — full of buzz-words and corporate psychobable that don’t amount to much other than complaints about labor costs and providing social services.

    Sheriff Howard is a joker too: he let Bucky escape and shoot cops, can’t run a prison, and lets the heroin epidemic rages. He looks good in his cowboy hat flying around in the dept helicopter. Kind of reminds me of Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now. “I said we can surf that beach”

  2. wolfpack August 24, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    Let’s hear from the purveyer of half-truths or no truths at all. Stand in front of waterfront and talk about accomplishments. Collins has a perfect record of not being involved at the waterfront. It could be worse Brown is letting Jim Pitts put up a Motel 6 there. The budget has continuously had holes. No 6 sigma savings materialized, or if they did they were not reflected in budget savings on any budget lines. The legal fees to outside firms (lack of talent in-house from his hires) has been outrageous and unnecessary. Fighting every attempt by federal and state officials and then accepting the settlement offered by DOJ and US Attorney almost a year ago, and declaring victory against the agency who pays for many of the services through its grants. He never once mentions the efficiency grant funds totaling in excess of $10 million derived from control board approved projects. These funds helped the budget shortfalls immensely. Takr off those rose colored contact lenses and tell us how things are better.

  3. William August 24, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    I would love to see the two of them debate. Mark has the personality of a rock and Chris would drool blood.

  4. Ray August 24, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    “What’s to debate? I am the King. You are my minion.”

  5. King Kong August 24, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    A friend of mine is an active Republican, former President of a local college Republicans chapter and has spent who knows how many thousands of hours volunteering on Republican campaigns. He’s had it with Collins’ arrogance and is voting for Poloncarz. Empirical evidence, maybe, but if Collins is bleeding support from the sort of moderate Republicans that dot the suburbs in places like, say, Amherst and Clarence, then he’s in trouble…..and I can’t begin to imagine how he’s polling with independents.

  6. buffaloobserver August 24, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    The comment about Six Sigma is spot on. If there were signifcant savings its bi product we would be hearing about it now until Election Day. Instead, we hear this lame commercial about how County Parks are in the best shape ever! Really? Does Collins think the people are that stupid? He probably won’t debate and will use Steffie boy as his mouthpiece throughout.

  7. Carmen Bartolotta August 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    They’re afraid that Collins will blow his stack if Poloncarz dares to question his omnipotence. Maybe Steffie can jam his hand up Collins’ a** and work him like ventriloquist’s dummy, saying things like “I fixed county government” or “I helped improve Buffalo’s waterfront.”

  8. ann August 24, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    I hope a group like the League of Women’s Voters steps up and asks him publicly for a debate and forces one. If Collin’s thinks he’s so right, what does he have to fear? The public deserves to hear his plan for improving Erie Co. So far he hasn’t shown us much except for an elitist managerial team. He has cost the county a lot in lawsuits and attorney’s fees and I can’t really see one thing he’s improved. We should be happy with so-so or no services while he brags about the money he’s saving? He should send President Obama a thank you note for the stimulus money he sat on to make it look like he saved the county money. A lot of folks could have used jobs from that money like it was intended.

  9. RaChaCha August 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    @William Mark can sometimes come across as wooden in speeches, but I’ve also seen him speak with great animation from the podium. And having seen him in person, on the campaign trail, and with family members he not only comes across but is exactly the kind of person you’d want to have as a friend, colleague, neighbor, family member — and elected official. He’s not unlike Kathy Hochul in that regard — and is rightly in my view doing what Kathy Hochul did to great effect: getting out and talking with the voters, not just getting in front of them and speaking at them.

    The more people see and talk with Poloncarz, the more they like him and want to vote for him. The more people see of Chris Collins…well, the more they want to see him pack up his sigmas and head back to the private sector.

  10. Jimbob August 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    @carmen…your act is getting mighty thin.  You spend your entire day posting anti Collins propaganda in the News and now on here.  How much is Poloncarz paying you or what job have you been promised?  PS.  Get outside every once in a while, the sun is actually shining most days.

  11. Tony Fracasso August 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    I wouldn’t do a debate. Let’s follow Cuomo’s lead. . Few debates as possible.

    “Collins’ arrogance”

    Personally I don’t care if we had the “King of Dicks, the most arrogant human alive” in office if spending is cut so our community would be more competitive against other states and communities.

  12. jimd August 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    The point about Collins rat-holing the stimulus money is what pisses me off the most. We pine away for jobs, waterfront development etc., and little Napoleon gives us the middle finger. He will probably win re-election but man I hope not.

  13. DJ August 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm #


    As much as you call Carmen out for allegedly being a Polancarz shill, you certainly give the appearance of being the same thing on the Collins side.

    I am really disappointed in Stefan M.. He made a name for himself as a “red coat” during the red/green budget fiasco, really holding politicians feet to the flames so to speak – and now he is a paid shill for the Buffalo schools and King Collins? He sold out and I have ZERO respect for him anymore.

  14. William August 26, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    @DJ The nerve of that Maaaaahi-lou character for getting a job and putting food on his family’s table. I for one am just as appalled.

  15. DJ August 26, 2011 at 10:15 am #


    What you call “getting a job” I call selling out. It wasn’t that long ago that he portrayed himself as some sort of watchdog, you know – holding people accountable as the saying goes. That gig ends (for whatever reason, the rumors were rampant at the time) and he suddenly becomes a shill for the very system/people he supposedly investigated. You may call that “putting food on his family’s table”, but I see it as a lack of integrity.

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