Dear Joe Weiss:

9 Sep

I know you’re reading this, so I figured I’d address you directly.

It has come to my attention that you sent out another email to your many admirers referring to me as “Scott Bylewski’s personal blogger,” or something to that effect. It’s no secret that I’m friends with Scott and his family, nor that I am a political supporter of his. But personal blogger? Not quite. News trickles out of Clarence, and some of the political threats and intimidation that you and your Republican counterparts have been engaging in deserve wider exposure and discussion.

There’s a pattern here. Both you and your friend, Republican candidate for Supervisor David Hartzell, have taken a political disagreement and transformed it into something more sinister, as if you guys were little wanna-be mafiosos.

When Dan Snyder took you on in an unprecedented, and well-funded, way, you blew your stack and came close to ignorantly and defiantly pushing the town into an unnecessary constitutional litigation. Luckily, Mr. DiCostanzo realized the gravity of the situation and helped avoid such a costly crisis by changing his vote. Oh, I know that you’ve obtained a legal opinion that says what you were doing was perfectly reasonable, but I’d consider that to be money poorly spent.

When a local supporter of Snyder’s and Bylewski’s sent this to several local politicos and officials, praising DiCostanzo:

This is how you replied:

That’s classy for a public, elected, town, at-large legislator! All electeds should use profanity when communicating with constituents! Unfortunately, when Ms. Okonowski-Dunlap wrote about this exchange in the Bee, the full context was unable to be seen.

But that’s not the only Paladinoesque email bomb from you. This one is my favorite – a person had a mild complaint about a profile of you that was printed in the Bee, and sent you this, and you replied by telling her she had too much time on her hands:

Again, not exactly a good way to communicate with unhappy constituents, but you topped it off by forwarding that exchange to the members of the town’s Republican Committee thusly:

Now we really know what your attitude is towards the voters in the town of Clarence. Now we know what you really think of people who disagree with you, we see your style of governance, and we know how you handle dissent and disagreement. Now we really know that, when people fill in the box to vote for you, you think they’re “asses” (and you can’t even spell it correctly). What an offensive and elitist way to conduct yourself – that you think you’re somehow better than anyone else in the town. What an incredibly telling statement – and you readily admit to just about every Republican in town that this is something you “say” often.

Then there’s this flyer that’s going around, quoting something you allegedly said to people during (of all things) the Clarence Center Volunteer Fire Department’s annual Labor Day fair:


It’s not the masses that are asses, Mr. Weiss. The real asses are elected officials who take political disputes and turn them into personal affronts, and let it affect their judgment. When your supervisor candidate tells the Clarence IDA that a marketing bid placed by a supporter of Bylewski’s should be withdrawn, or that it will be subject to a “backlash”, that’s directly out of the playbook you used to deal with Dan Snyder – if you dare to buck the Republican apparatus or apparatchiks in the Town of Clarence, prepare to suffer severe consequences, whether it be Dan Snyder and his request to do something he’s done for years, or Jeff Feinen filling out a general objection to ensure the legality of petition signatures and then being treated punitively for it.

That’s not how constitutional democracies work – that’s how they do it in backwards banana republic dictatorships. Now we know that if you and Hartzell are elected, the town will be run like a dysfunctional little fiefdom that will be hostile to the “masses”, and those who dare to disagree.

I never really cared much about town politics until I started seeing Snyder’s “Weiss Must Go” signs around town, and I wanted to learn more about what was going on. Now I see how right he is. The town runs quite well in spite of your belligerent shenanigans, and I’m happy to help a wider audience see what’s really going on here.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.



28 Responses to “Dear Joe Weiss:”

  1. Jeremy September 9, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    Sunlight? That was more like a precision laser beam being focused on cancer cells. Impressive, even by Pundit standards.

  2. Rob September 9, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    This guy looks down on “the masses” from his lofty position as . . . Clarence Town Councilman??

    Mr. Weiss, I will be laughing at you for the rest of this morning.

  3. RaChaCha September 9, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    Geez, Joe! I’ve met you a couple of times and enjoyed talking with you — at the time I appreciated your…persona of pithiness, let’s call it. But this is way over top — and way over the line. Waddya aspirin’ to, Joe, being the Jimmy Griffin of Clarence — or perhaps the Paladino–? And you can’t spell, either — although I usually don’t hold that against folks, in your case I’m going to have to re”assess” my view of you.

  4. Joe Genco September 9, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    I said from the beginning and I’ll repeat: The anti-Weiss signs around town are perhaps more effective than pro-Weiss signs. This is politics. There is no such thing as bad publicity. As long as he hasn’t committed fraud, even posting what you have written here helps his campaign. On the other hand, I remain convinced Bob Geiger is the most capable and competent candidate running for Town Board this year.

    • Alan Bedenko September 9, 2011 at 8:02 am #

      Joe, Weiss is a thug. This will help him maintain the votes of likeminded thugs, but few others.

  5. Chris Smith September 9, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    “Clarence, Just as Horrible and Petty as Everywhere Else in WNY”

  6. Mike September 9, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    I don’t have a dog in the hunt since I am not a Clarence resident but I feel compelled to correct something in this narrative. The “Cheektowaga Projects” absolutely do exist and has existed since the 40’s. Can’t say if all Cheektowaga natives know about them but I am certain anyone who grew up in the Cleveland Hill School District does. The projects were called Tiorunda, now called Cedargrove, originally built in the early 40’s as quick and temporary housing for WW II arms plant workers near the airport. Anyone who lived there during the 60’s or later can attest that it indeed was “the wrong side of the tracks” There was a subset of even more notorious housing within Tiorunda called “The 4 families” referring to the clusters of 4 family apt houses on the west and east edges.The middle development was of mostly double unit housing and a few single family houses sprinkled in. The kids who lived in the single family houses were truly royalty. This area still exists and can be found in an area bounded by Harlem Rd on the west, the Thruway on the east, the Kensington Express way on the north and Genesee St on the south. I know…I am very proud to say I grew up there in the 60’s and 70’s. Just spreading some sunlight

  7. Allen Miller September 9, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    It looks like you both use profane language in public venues. Maybe you have more in common than you think? If he is really a thug maybe Jimmy Hoffa can even things out.

    I suggest a beer summit to try to work out your differences.

    • Alan Bedenko September 9, 2011 at 11:10 am #

      I’m not an elected representative of any taxpaying citizens, Jimmy Hoffa and President Obama are interesting tangents, but wholly irrelevant.

  8. kbecker September 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    there seems to be a trend of arrogance withing our political arena in WNY. Once, I was told
    “how dare you talk to me like that!” You cant talk to ME like that” whilst voicing a complaint. it’s like every WNY politician was raised by a doting italian mother who told them they could do no wrong.

  9. RaChaCha September 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    My fav Buffalo News comment of the week:

    I am looking forward to Joe Weiss’s LOSS on Sept. 13th. He is only concerned about himself and his own interests to be a good board member. At past board meetings I have watched Mr. Weiss verbally abuse town residents who do not agree with his take on something. He points fingers and shouts like a spoiled child, all while his extra large eyebrows shed all over the place.

    Vote Out Joe Weiss and regain control of Clarence.
    LUKAS D MONTANINO, LANCASTER, NY on Fri Sep 9, 2011 at 08:18 AM

  10. Fat Tony September 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    This makes for an interesting read considering I’m not from Clarence, but I’m still waiting for your thoughts on Lenihan’s move and the end of Democrat unity. Seriously, I’ve been constantly checking in waiting for your thoughts on this since it could have some long term electoral ramifications for the entire County.

  11. Joe Genco September 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Alan, thughood is immaterial. You may conclude you live in a town filled with thugs after the election. Those tea part whackjobs you fear support Weiss and the like. We will see how things settle after the primary, but I could easily see many citizens plunking for Geiger.

  12. Allen Miller September 9, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    @Alan Bedenko

    No you are not an elected representative but you do try to effect the outcome of elections. This guy is foolish enough to pick a personal fight with you and foolish enough to send inappropriate email so he deserves your wrath. You have a lot of good points that I agree with, I would have more respect for you (even when disagreeing) if you did not use profanity. However in fairness I have not seen it from you lately.

    Thugery seems to be the modus operandi of many politicians these days. Personally I hope any candidate from local dog catcher to president of the united states pays for such actions.

  13. Chip Chipperson September 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm #
    Please check out this great website…..

  14. Kevin J. September 10, 2011 at 3:33 am #

    If you base your reasons to respect a political commentator on alleged use of profanity, Allen, I believe your political opinions deserve little respect in return.

  15. Chip Chipperson September 10, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    FYI…. I just heard a rumor from a very good source that someone was arrested in Clarence last night stealing Weiss Must Go signs. Interesting….

  16. King Kong September 11, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    Allen – You’re main argument against Alan is rooted in logical fallacy, really though, you have no logic. You are trying to compare a fishing rod to a light switch…..Alan responded to an email a public official sent out to his groupies saying nasty things about him, he also points out that said elected official used profane language to describe his constituents. Alan, who is a private citizen, a blogger and someone who has no desire to enter the public arena typically reserves profane language on his blog for fucking morons like you, and should he have ever been an elected official would have never made a statement like the ‘masses are assesses’ (although if he did he at least has a strong enough command of the English language to spell it right). He tries to influence elections? What is this, the Dali Lama’s blog? Alan says himself he’s just a guy making some commentary, the fact that he can write well enough that it may influence people is just a side effect of him saying what he feels like, he’s under no obligation to kowtow to your delicate sensibilities, asshole.

    Before you accuse me of being a BP fanboy, just Google search my handle and see all of disagreements I’ve had with Pundit, sometimes he’s wrong, but here he’s just dealing with a bunch of insecure candy-asses (not assesses). Joe Weiss needs to grow a set and put his big boy underwear on.

  17. Brian F. Wood September 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Best thing ever happened in Buffalo, a progressive Republican, the only one who ever existed, was sworn in as president. (Lincoln freed the slaves to depress the price of labor for his precious railroads.)

    Other than T.R., I cannot think of a repub who rises to the status of subhuman, but I could be wrong. I’m only 67,and I’ve only read so much.

  18. Local Taxpayer September 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    Joe might be outspoken on issues and topics; however he’s on the right track about a lot of issues and topics in the town of Clarence.
    Issue One – fire protection taxes in the town of Clarence are out of control. If you’re a taxpayer, look at your Erie County tax invoice and you will see you are paying more for local fire protection tax than you are for town highway taxes or general Town taxes. Something is terribly wrong when you are paying more for a volunteer fire services than for a paid Highway Department or town general taxes. Clarence Fire District 1 is collecting over $900,000.00+ (3.8% increase this year) in taxes and there’s no mortgage on their fire house. $900,000.00+ is a lot of money for one Fire Company to spend per year. All Clarence firemen are dedicated to protecting local citizens, however ALL Clarence Fire Company have become greedy and are definitely taking advantage of the hard working taxpayers of this town. So YES, Joe is on the right track in trying to reduce fire protection taxes.

    The Dan Snyder vs. Joe Weiss thing….. I would vote NO for a private fireworks display; especially ones that are located near horse stables, people with dogs’, cats’ and ill people that require bed rest. How selfish can Dan Synder be to only think of himself and his parties? The rich kid that thinks he can get whatever he wants because he’s rich. Grow up Dan and start thinking that being a good neighbor is important than having your explosive fireworks displays. Because Joe voted NO on your fireworks displays for valid reasons, now you’re acting like a child again by using financial resources to bully him during election time. Remember Dan, in life – what goes around comes around…… Grow up and try to be a normal citizen and respect your neighbor’s.

    Joe being out spoken about the High School Superintend getting a big salary increase during his last year of employment with the school distrist. Joe was right again, the school board had no business voting Coseo a salary increase in his last year of service so his retirement pension would be higher at retirement. I don’t care how good of a job Coseo has done; at $200,000 a year in salary he was making enough money. The school board let the taxpayers down on that one………

    Joe has an eccentric way of expressing himself, however – I truly believe he’s working very hard to keep taxes low for the hard working taxpayer of the Town of Clarence.

    BTW – I’m a none affiliated voter, so I vote for the person I believe will do the best job based on historical information, the person’s education level and what they stand for. If you’re a taxpayer that wants a watch dog guarding your hard earned tax dollars —– Joe’s your guard dog……. Keep barking Joe you’re doing a good job………

    • Alan Bedenko September 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

      @Local Taxpayer:

      1. Fire protection taxes in the town of Clarence are not “out of control”. The budget is available online to anyone, and I direct your attention to pages 47-49. The rates per $1,000 of assessed value are as follows:

      Clarence Center: $1.02
      Rapids: $0.66
      Swormville: $1.31
      East Amherst: $0.62
      Harris Hill: $1.11

      Only two fire districts’ taxpayers pay a higher rate for fire protection than to the general fund. The rate for the highway fund is $0.97. Not exactly a massive difference as compared with what is paid for fire protection. Of course, I don’t get how or why anyone could complain about paying taxes to get a service like fire protection. Then again, this is the same town where people voted against a townwide, negotiated contract for a single garbage provider, instead opting to pay significantly more to keep three private carting companies rumbling along the town streets. (Yet, I’ll bet all of them scoff at the Buffalo public unions when they refuse to acquiesce to management demands to switch to a single health insurance provider to save money).

      2. Dan Snyder has been lighting off fireworks on his property without incident for some time.

      3. The school board is independent of the town board.

      4. Joe’s “eccentric” way of expressing himself is interpreted uniformly by people with whom I’ve spoken as intimidating and hostile. I was unaware that “being an asshole” is a job requirement for a town-level party councilman, but think that the other members of the board, for the most part, don’t conduct themselves in a manner that is so blatantly hostile to the average voter in Clarence.

      It’s hard to say one is fighting for the rights of the taxpayer, when that same person is so disdainful of the taxpayers’ actual opinions.

  19. Peggy September 12, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Joe’s not a guard dog he is just an arrogant self important millionaire who thinks he should tell everyone how to lead their lives just the way he wants them to. He disrespects the very people he says he represents well this is not representative government. He prefers to dictate to the masses rather than listen to those who have more knowledge. Joe voted no on the fireworks because Joe knows best – just ask him. It was not a matter of law he was not going to let someone show what a bad official he can be when he is backed into a corner.
    As to the taxes maybe you should look a little closer at what services you receive – highway taxes??? my subdivision streets are deteriorating and the highway department says they cannot fix them because they have no money and lets not even talk about bridgesand culverts crumbling no money for repairs. I hope you are happy with the way your low taxes are not able to cover the infrastructure in an already over-built town. Maybe Town taxes are lower because people do not want to pay for services they could use. There seems to be a mindset let’s not improve anything in the Town the status quo is good enough.

  20. Local Taxpayer September 13, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Alan , There are four Clarence Fire Companies that have a higher tax rate per thousand than the Clarence Highway department – Harris Hill ($1.11 = $895,000), Clarence Center ($1.02 = $948,000), Clarence District One ($1.38 = $938,000) and Swormville ($1.31). So YES fire protection taxes are definitely out of control. Fire protection taxes should be significantly lower than Highway taxes due to the fact that there’s no labor costs with fire protection. There’s a big competition between these local fire companies with who has the best fire trucks, who has the best fire hall, who has the best chief vehicle and so on. As a result of this on going competition between fire companies the taxpayer gets the bill for all these fancy fire halls, trucks and chief vehicles. These fancy fire trucks are used more for parades than to put out fires. Joe is the only board member that has the guts to question the fire company’s on their spending habits. We are into bad economic times – budgets that are supported by tax dollars need to be reduced not increased.

    As for Dan and his fireworks displays – if he has no consideration for his neighbor with the horses’ that get frightened by fireworks, he’s an “ass hole”. It all about Dan……FXXX every

  21. fireman x September 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Looks like this guy is just another shoot from the hip Weiss fanboy…

  22. MaGuinn September 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    Local Taxpayer – Nice mouth – do you kiss your mother with it?? Obviously you are a Joe Weiss supporter – he has some around town! Were you the one taking “Weiss Must Go” signs down and giving them to Weiss for the firemen’s Labor Day Parade? Have you spoken to the neighbor are you just pulling stuff out of your ass? Maybe you should get your facts straight before you start calling people and asshole. Sounds to me like you are just a jealous, bitter person – like your buddy Weiss.

  23. R Grill (JRB) September 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    Clarence a small town or what? you come out of your igloos and this is what you talk about horses, fireworks and a wiseguy councilman

  24. Jack Conner January 13, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

    You are a sad man Joe Weiss….get control of your temper and behave like a human being.

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