About that Peace and Progress

19 Sep

stinkfaceSaturday is the big Erie County Democratic Reorganization meeting, where Jeremy Zellner will battle it out with Mark Manna for the 2-year chairmanship of the party.  I’m on the committee in Clarence, which easily has at least a dozen Democrats. 

I’ve received mail and calls from Zellner’s effort, but nothing from Manna’s. This is interesting to me, because the anti-Zellner bloc purport to want to fight “Republicans again instead of Democrats” and bring “peace and progress” to the party. 

The reasons I reckon this is utter bullshit include: 

1. If they wanted to bring peace, they’d reach out to people like me in some meaningful way.  Not only am I a committeeman, but for years, I’ve been writing about the stupid unproductivity of Democratic infighting. I have not received a call or a piece of mail or a Facebook message or an email. Nothing.  UPDATE: I received a Facebook message (I thought it was just a generic announcement) and Manna called me to chat this afternoon. We aired our various issues as between Zellner and the people backing Manna, and I continue to like and respect Mark even if I am not supporting this effort of his.

2. The people backing Manna are not people known for bringing “peace and progress” to the Democratic committee.  On the contrary, Byron Brown, Steve Pigeon, and Tim Kennedy have spent most of their time sabotaging first Lenihan and then Zellner. When Zellner actually made an effort to bring peace by endorsing Byron Brown, he did so with Brown’s agreement to reciprocate. Byron Brown is reneging on that agreement, and it’s simply dishonorable. Tim Kennedy is supremely butthurt that ECDC endorsed Betty Jean Grant over him, but what did he think? That you could hand over a Democratic legislature into Chris Collins’ hands and just get away with it? Give almost $100k to a PAC working to sabotage ECDC candidates and be forgiven the next day? And convicted felon Pedro Espada’s patronage hire – neither peace nor progress is not on the agenda, ever. 

3. Former TV personality Kristy Mazurek is aligned with the anti-Zellner effort. Kristy Mazurek called WEDG on primary day to try and intimidate the station into keeping me off the air, telling them that a “team of lawyers” was “monitoring” me, threatening Shredd & Ragan with a subpoena. Perhaps “peace and progress” is this crowd’s way of saying, “retribution and intimidation”. They’re being quite transparent about the kind of operation they intend to run. They also don’t scare me or Shredd & Ragan. 

4. Mike Deely, the local head of the teacher’s union, is viciously against Zellner. No one really knows what this guy’s deal is, but he parachuted into his position in 2011, marshals hundreds of thousands in union dollars, and now wants to dictate who the chair should be? I wonder whether Deely thinks that, e.g., Tim Kennedy handing over the legislature to Chris Collins was good for public education or teachers. Wynnie Fisher ran for the legislature last year. Deely donated to her campaign. What does Deely think about the vicious attack that his new allies launched against Fisher last November? Furthermore, Deely swore under oath that John Rivera and Assemblyman Sean Ryan saw Dennis Ward destroy Deely’s committee petitions. Rivera and Ryan say they saw no such thing

5. They don’t want to fight Republicans, they want to control jobs and settle scores. It’s evident from their words and deeds. If they win, I’ll probably switch to unenrolled. I won’t ever play their game and sabotage Democrats or their party apparatus. But I certainly won’t help them, either. I don’t reward bullying, trolling, and bad behavior. 

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. – George Santayana

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20 Responses to “About that Peace and Progress”

  1. rhmaccallum September 19, 2014 at 7:42 am #

    Geeze Alan, once again I have to agree with you on everything. I guess this is what happens in an overwhelmingly democratic county. There is no real republican presence in a lot of races so the dems decide to make themselves into two warring parties within the one.
    A house divided…

    • Farmerjohn September 19, 2014 at 7:57 am #

      Very true.

  2. UncleBluck September 19, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    As I have stated numerous times in this blog, Manna is nothing but a self serving bloviate. He and his “associates” will try to pull this off in typical underhanded WNY political manner. This Mazurek chick is a whole other issue. She seems to think she is some sort of political “mover” when in all reality she is nothing more than a political wannabe in some sort of “denial” regarding her importance. Monitoring you for what? Subpoena S&R for what? And Byron reneges again….big surprise.

    • Know Saint September 19, 2014 at 8:22 am #

      Another AGAIN which is also funny… want to fight “Republicans AGAIN instead of Democrats.” Of course that would be after they go after any Dem with links to the current leadership.

  3. Know Saint September 19, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    It’s absolutely stunning that the following statement in today’s Buffalo News would flow out of the mouth of a candidate for a high political party leadership post…

    “Manna, meanwhile, says he has the backing of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown, former County Democratic Chairman G. Steven Pigeon and State Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy.”

    It’s as if Mark Manna has no political sense whatsoever. Brown, Pigeon and Kennedy? HaHaHa. Is Mark Manna also going to roll out the endorsements of Benedict Arnold, Beelzebub, Judas Iscariot and Chuck Swanick?

    Hey Mark Manna: Have you no sense of decency, sir?

    For someone who wants to be a leader of a political party, it seems to me that Mark Manna is wholly tone-deaf and perhaps not political at all. But he doesn’t have to be, the plan is for Mark Manna to be a puppet, and Steve Pigeon would actually be calling all the shots. And Steve’s number one shot is ALWAYS revenge against a legion of enemies. If Pigeon can’t “get” you, he’ll “get” your brother!

    Any peace from these politicians would only come after their all-too-expected purge and total annihilation of anyone with links to Jeremy Zellner or Len Lenihan. That has ALWAYS been their history. We have seen it all before with Brown, Pigeon and Kennedy. Just ask their pals, Republicans Chris Collins and Chris Grant.

    During Frank Max’s annual spring brunch over the past several years, Max, Brown, Pigeon and Kennedy went out of their way to warmly welcome two County candidates for whom they have developed close political ties: Republican Stefan Mychajliw and Republican Chris Jacobs. Max even has a number of his people on the payroll of the GOP County clerk.

    Make no mistake Erie County Democrats… A Steve Pigeon-controlled Democratic committee would be even more disastrous than when Pigeon was the chairman himself.

    • UncleBluck September 19, 2014 at 10:12 am #

      The EC Democratic party is screwed. At least this will, hopefully, rid Amherst of Manna…..

  4. AdamaDBrown September 19, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    While you would need astronomer-level math to describe the number of fucks I don’t give about Erie County politics these days, it’s not like the current ECDC dynasty has ever shied away from sabotaging other Democrats out of petty control issues. They endorsed Jon Powers late, and reluctantly, because they hadn’t chosen him, and EC was the only county that didn’t go to bat for him on the ground; the ENTIRE margin of loss in that primary came out of Erie County. They refused to fundraise or do much of anything for Kathy Konst because she didn’t get along with Lenihan. That’s just the ones I’ve seen up close, let alone heard about. Politics as usual in any machine county, I suspect.

    • Alan Bedenko September 19, 2014 at 10:31 am #

      Jon was in a 3-way race and one of the candidates had been a prior candidate and benefactor, who came close to defeating Reynolds. It’s not like it was all that easy of a decision to make.

      Kathy didn’t just not get along with Lenny, she aligned herself with Collins. Specifically, in 2009, Konst was poised to be re-elected to the legislature when she abruptly dropped out of the race when it was too late for anyone to mount a meaningful effort to replace her on the D line. I don’t know why furthering the careers of Dino Fudoli and Chris Collins helps Democrats or WNY, but Kathy’s now long gone.

      https://buffalorecord.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/collins-pick-low-hanging-democratic-fruit/

      • AdamaDBrown September 19, 2014 at 10:40 am #

        When one candidate is a Some Dude, and another is a twice-failed lunatic, it’s a easy decision. Every other county in the district found it VERY easy. And that still doesn’t explain why EC didn’t hold up their end to get out the vote for the best candidate in an extremely winnable election.

        Also, Kathy leaving the legislature happened more than a year after the election where the ECDC hung her out to dry. It’s one thing if you want to blame somebody for taking a more rewarding job, but unless there’s time travel involved, it’s not an excuse.

      • Alan Bedenko September 19, 2014 at 11:06 am #

        ECDC didn’t hang her out to dry. It endorsed somebody else, who lost. AFAIR, they supported her in the general.

      • Kevin J. Hosey September 19, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

        I was among those Democrats who went door-to-door, dropped lit, made phone calls, etc., for Kathy Konst that year. I also know some of the consequences of her election and desertion.

  5. Michael Rebmann September 19, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    Be thankful for the little things. The Democratic infighting gives you a sense of purpose.

  6. hwhamlin September 19, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    #5 — Democrats wanting to control jobs and settle scores?
    I’m shocked! Shocked!

  7. fhjfdhjkd September 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Deely is a crook! The teachers he claims to represent should throw him out!

    • jerkwagon420 September 19, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

      Deely’s is an appointed position. He was put there for a reason and it has zero to do with teachers, education or kids.

  8. 25 Delaware September 19, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    Every year Steve Pigeon finds a dummy to do his wishes, then leaves them hanging out to dry afterwards. Is Manna the person this year?

  9. Betty Jean Grant September 19, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    Top Ten Reasons I am voting for Jeremy Zellner on Saturday!

    1. Was among the 1st persons, of any race, to volunteer with us on the Barack Obama campaign in 2007. Jeremy used his red truck to haul chairs from Fillmore & Box St to Obama’s Main & Heath St. Campaign headquarters.

    2. Promoted racial diversity in the Democratic Party leadership by naming two out of five Vice-Chairs as African America…ns. Additionally, a Hispanic also serves on the board, thereby a creating diverse board of directors where 3 of the 5 Vice-Chairs are minorities. And, also, 2 of the 5 Vice-Chairs are women.

    3. Moved the headquarters from a dingy, shallow corner of Carl Paladino’s Ellicott Square building to spacious digs on Seneca Street.

    4. Was instrumental in backing me as the endorsed candidate for NYS State Senate of the Democratic Party, thereby giving African Americans a chance to be represented in the state senate in Albany.

    5. Played a key role in gathering support among other members of the Executive committee and Mark Poloncarz to take a chance and endorse me as the party’s standard bearer and candidate for the NYS Senate.

    6. Attended or gave a generous donation to every fundraiser I held in my bid to be elected.

    7. Has a great working relationship with Unity, Inc. and other progressive organizations in the African American community.

    8. Encouraged and supported County Executive Mark Poloncarz endorsing me with a group of loyal Democrats & former county legislators in Cheektowaga.

    9. Condemned then Erie County Legislator Tim Kennedy, Barbara Miller-Williams and Christina Bove for assisting Republican Chris Collins, whose Reform Coalition reformed nothing but the selling out of a duly elected democratic majority in the county legislature in 2010.

    10. Stood with me and supported my candidacy (when the city’s minority elected officials and Black pastors did not) in the 2014 Democratic Primary for New York State Senate.

    These are the facts; not gossip, rumors or hate mongering. Jeremy Zellner deserves to be reelected to the Chairmanship of the Erie County Democratic Committee. On Saturday, September 20th, vote for a person who is honest, hard working, has integrity and will work with everyone.

  10. TruthBeTold September 19, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

    They don’t want to fight Republicans

    Why should they? Just look at the Utopia ‘progressive’ liberals have forged in Buffalo.

    • Alan Bedenko September 20, 2014 at 6:53 am #

      Hate to break it to you, but the Democrats in Buffalo are seldom liberals, almost never “progressive”. Nice try, though.

      • ckg1 September 20, 2014 at 7:22 am #

        Alan: Look, if TBT wants to believe that fantasy, let ’em. There’s probably a lot of other fantasies he believes in.

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