Search results for 'al coppola'

All Things To All People

1 Sep

Contradictions litter this article about Spitzer’s appearance in West Seneca yesterday.

Eliot Spitzer showed his populist side for an appreciative union crowd Thursday in West Seneca, alluding to his record of corporate crackdowns as attorney general and pledging more economic help for Buffalo if he wins the race for governor.

Of Buffalo’s fiscal problems, he said that “New York state is going to show up – we’re going to be here to invest – the (Empire State Development Corp.) is finally going to realize where Buffalo is.”

Do we really need more government sponsored “economic development”? At what point are we as citizens going to realize that development as designed and sponsored by government agencies hasn’t been all that successful around these parts? Why do we continually allow legislators the right to frame the debate for us? Should we not demand that our legislators restructure the laws to make the state more business friendly rather than allow them to create tax exemption zones and bribe companies to come into the area? I’m well aware that many areas provide incentives to attract business and corporations, however, our area is forced to make overwhelming offers in order to draw a company like Bass Pro…which I’m sure is “thisclose” to getting done.

Here’s the thing, if we simply make it easier for businesses to come here and do business, guys like Hoyt, Coppola, Volker, Spitzer, et. al will lose politically. They won’t be able to hold a press conference to announce the arrival of 25 “good paying jobs” after the ESDC, ECIDA, AIDA, ECHDC or some other such authority bribes a company to move here. We deserve better and we should demand more.

“You are the friends I’m counting on,” Spitzer said. “When there’s an upside to benefit from, we’ll benefit together.”

Union leaders expressed support for the reform-minded attorney general.

“I think we need change,” Teamsters Local 449 President Richard Zak said.

While Spitzer pledges to cut state spending, “I don’t think he’s going to cut back against labor,” Zak said.

The Teamsters unit represents construction industry workers as well as truck drivers.

Ironworkers Business Agent William Bohen said he expects the Democrat to reform corporate tax breaks that don’t benefit workers.

So, Spitzer promises to deliver on economic development through the ESDC but, he will reduce corporate tax breaks that would draw such business here and will promote policies that are union friendly and anti-business. Sounds like a plan to me.

Does the State Senate Sit in City Hall?

18 Aug

If you can’t do a website right, don’t do a website at all.

Al Coppola is running solely as a spoiler for the 60th Senate Dem primary. So is his cousin, Marc.

How convenient for Antoine Thompson!

Al bought an ad at another website, and it links to this website.alco1.jpg

Now that’s a candidacy to take seriously!

Niagara Falls: Newest section of the Masten District

24 Jun

Antoine Thompson is the City Councilman from the Masten District on the East Side of Buffalo. He is battling State Senator Marc Coppola in a Democratic primary for the 60th Senate District – the one Byron Brown vacated in January.

Thompson holds a “Senior Cookout” every year for his constituents in Buffalo. This year, however, he’s holding it in Niagara Falls. Which is not in the City of Buffalo. Or in the Masten District. Or in Erie County, for that matter.

[Coppola] accused Thompson of using city resources and staff to promote an event outside Buffalo but inside the Senate district.

“He’s using city fax machines, city letterhead and staff time to throw a picnic in the City of Niagara Falls,” Coppola said. “How does that benefit the City of Buffalo or the Masten District?”

Thompson denied he has done anything inappropriate in scheduling the picnic, but Coppola is charging hard in his accusations. He calls it part of a pattern in which Thompson continues to use city resources for his campaign.

“Last year, he had the event in Trinidad Park [in Buffalo],” Coppola said. “Why is a Masten District Council member holding a picnic in Niagara Falls? It’s obvious and a cheap way to get votes.”

Well, the picnic is ok, I guess, if it’s clearly identified as a “Thompson for Senate” event. Using City resources to promote it – that’s not ok.

Go away, or I shall taunt you a second time

23 Jun

People trip over each other to out-hate the tolls. Thank goodness those booths aren’t in a protected class.

You’ll recall that in an interview I posted about yesterday, Thruway Authority nominee Jeffrey Williams said:

Mychajliw: “What is your position on removing the tolls in Western New York?”
Williams: “To be honest, Stefan, I really don’t have a position one way or another. I haven’t seen the state thruway authority finances, nor have I even been brought up to speed on the issue, completely.”

State Senator Marc Coppola thought that was wishy-washy, and:

[t]he response convinced Senator Coppola to oppose Williams’s nomination.

Coppola: “I would think that somebody from our area would represent the same mindset of eliminating those tolls as soon as possible.”

Reporter: “He didn’t say we’re not going to tear down those tolls. He just said, ‘you know what, until I see the numbers I can’t make a decision.’ Isn’t that a fair position?”

Coppola: “I can respect that as a legislator and as a former member of the common council I used to always want to see the details first; however, I think there’s been more than enough information out there to prove that we can get rid of these tolls and still maintain our New York State Thruway.”

After learning of Coppola’s opposition, Williams called to tell us “I despise the tolls and would love to see them gone, but I’m not in a position yet to make that decision.”

He is not just for removal of the tolls, he despises the tolls.

Personally, I need a candidate for the Thruway who concurs with this statement vis-a-vis the tolls:

I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

In The Political Trenches

20 Jun

BuffaloPundit appears to be pretty pissed off this morning. Why? Al Coppola and Marc Coppola have apparently decided to go to the mattresses in a fight for the 60th State Senate Seat.

To sum it up, Antoine Thompson is fighting an uphill primary battle against the organized political machinery and the Coppola/Hoyt/Schimminger fundraising behemoth. He’s engaging in some dirty politics to gain an edge any way that he can. If that means using Fredo (Al Coppola) to take down his powerful rival, so be it.

Democratic Party Capo di tutti capi Lenihan is chock full of righteous indignation on the issue:

“The voters are quite capable of choosing between State Sen. Coppola and his announced opponent, Council Member Antoine Thompson,” Lenihan said. “They do not need a trick candidate designed to confuse voters and to cast a possible question mark over the authenticity of the election results.”

When fighting the underqualified yet hand picked candidate of the political machine, an outsider is forced to do whatever is necessary to win. Are Thompson’s alleged actions unethical? Yes. Are those actions in the spirit of previous electoral shenanigans in Buffalo elections past? Absolutely.

Politics in Buffalo is a dirty business…consisting of backroom deals, handshake agreements, shared fundraising lists, access to powerful interests, and quid pro quo agreements with donors and lobbyists. To listen to Lenihan and party machine interests wail about Thompson’s actions is a bit unseemly…everyone’s dirty in the game of politics.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter, does it? Coppola has the party endorsement, a boatload of money, and the power of incumbency. With those built-in advantages, there is no way he should lose to an underfunded primary opponent like Antoine Thompson.

Thompson vs. Hoyt, The Thrilla in Buffalilla

8 Jun

Alright, that was really weak…I was struggling for a mildly witty headline.

On his website, Rus Thompson announces his intent to run for the New York State Assembly seat in the 144th district, currently held by Sam Hoyt.

A new day is dawning and the new Chairman is leading the (Republican) Party back where it belongs. Their first step in that direction will be the new candidates that will be running for office this year. I am one of those new candidates. I asked for and received the Republican and Conservative endorsement.

After a long discussion with Jim Domagalski, I have decided to run for the Assembly seat that has been controlled by Sam Hoyt for to many years. An offical announcement will be coming shortly and I am looking forward to running, winning and casting a vote against Sheldon Silver.

To put it mildly, Rus has a hell of an uphill battle to fight if he wants to unseat one of the most popular politicians in Buffalo. I wish him well but, I can’t help but think he might have been better challenging Marc Coppola (a much weaker incumbent) for the State Senate seat.

Sam will be able to outspend him by a mile and he is loved by New and Old Buffalo alike. If nothing else, Rus will make election season a little more interesting.

Albany Arrogance

8 Mar

In a story in today’s Albany Times-Union, Joe Bruno essentially gives the finger to the citizens of New York. At issue is the right of the people to know the details about hundreds of millions of dollars in “discretionary spending” (pork) included in the New York State budget.

Senate Minority Leader (and candidate for Lt. Governor) David Patterson suggests that the system needs to be changed so that citizens are privy to the Memorandums Of Understanding (MOU’s) that are signed between Pataki, Silver, and Bruno.

What is Bruno’s response to this latest effort to break up the “three men in a room” ethos that dominates state government?

Bruno declared the topic off-limits.

If people want information about discretionary spending, he said, they can “go FOIL” — file a Freedom of Information Law request for the details.

So, Bruno told us to go F (FOIL)ourselves. Nice. I guess he fails to see the need to be accountable to the citizens of this state. Why? Because he is never actually held accountable!

Why is it important to disclose the MOU’s surrounding this secretive slush fund for pet projects?

Comptroller Alan Hevesi has called for better accountability on the discretionary spending, with quarterly reporting on how lawmakers and the governor plan to spend money under the MOUs. Currently, it is impossible to know in advance how the money would be spent, and difficult to figure out in detail how it ends up getting used, a spokesman for Hevesi said.

Much of the money in the various discretionary accounts goes unspent and is reappropriated each year.

The money could be used to pay down debt service and fund needed programs. We have a debt, yet we have a surplus. We have tax cuts, yet we have increases in fees. Welcome to Albany Insanity…

We just sent the idiot savant of North Buffalo to “clean up Albany” from the 60th district. Anyone still think he’s going to be anything more than dead weight in the Senate chambers?

We're Talkin' Proud!

28 Feb

Alan Hevesi dropped a massive load of upbeat news on the City of Buffalo in his report on the fiscal stability of cities throughout New York.

Some juicy tidbits:

Buffalo led the pack of 61 cities from 2000 to 2004 in what Hevesi called financial “stress levels”

Buffalo saw 60 percent of expenses go to salaries and benefits of workers

How do upstate cities respond to such news? By demanding increased state aid, of course! I’m sure that will work, so far, it has really made a difference. Seriously, keep voting for guys like Brown, Tokasz, Volker, Coppola, and their ilk and this is what you get out of your local politicians. The problem is machine politics and the continual kowtowing to union pressures at the expense of free enterprise.

The first response of these politicians is to examine ways to generate more revenue, not to seek creative cost cutting measures. For some reason, local and state politicans have been incapable of establishing a corollary between the ever rising tax burden and the continual population decline…it’s a problem that feeds itself. The population decline results in the majority of the voting public being dependent on government salaries or benefits, not exactly the type of voters who will look for reform.

The full report can be found here.

Coppola v. Jacobs

26 Feb

The Sunday edition of the Buffalo News has an article detailing the special election to fill Byron Browns’s vacated seat in the 60th district of the NYS Senate. There was a lot of early publicity surrounding this race as EC Democratic Poobah Len Lenihan had selected Delaware District Common Councilman Marc Coppola as the party candidate while Byron Brown had endorsed fellow Grassroots political chum Antoine Thompson for the seat. Typical machine politics ensued as Lenihan ended up winning the dispute and Coppola was anointed as the candidate.

Over the years, the 60th District has been gerrymandered into the most Democratic district in the state, Democrats now outnumber Republicans at a rate of nearly 6 to 1 in the district. Thus, general elections have become little more than a formality for the Democratic candidate in the district. However, local developer and Republican Christopher Jacobs is mounting a serious campaign to change recent electoral history.

When comparing resumes, Jacobs should be a slam dunk winner; a successful businessman with a BA from Boston College, an MBA from American University, and a JD from UB Law School. While Coppola ia a member of the local Democratic political machine and has an associate’s degree in public administration from Empire State College.

Qualifications and education matter to this voter and Jacobs has had great success as the owner of a real estate development company and also brings experience as a public sector servant as well. Jacobs was elected as an at large member of the Buffalo Board of Education, served Erie County as the Deputy Commissioner in the Department of Planning and Economic Development, and also worked for HUD on the federal level.

On the other hand, Marc seems like a nice enough guy; he is the majority leader of the Buffalo Common Council while serving on the claims and finance committees. He’s got “blue collar” credentials as a former stationary engineer at the Buffalo Sewer Authority and has also worked as a bartender at the Saratoga Restaurant and as a salesman at the now-defunct Lechmere electronics store.

Jacobs talks about reducing the influence of labor unions on public policy, advocates charter school development, and reducing the cost of state government. He is also willing to limit himself to eight years in office while working with the Republican majority in the senate to address the issues facing upstate residents. Coppola plans to work in the minority to bring down the cost of prescription medication and bring back funding for critical infrastructure projects. He also proudly accepts donations from the local unions.

As you can undoubtedly discern, I am endorsing Mr. Jacobs in this election as I feel he is better qualified to serve and lead while Coppola stands as the “status quo” candidate. This district (after state gerrymandering) has produced the last two Buffalo Mayors. It is a “grooming” seat for bigger and better office and is a waystation on the Democratic Party express train. Jacobs stands as an agent of change in the way business is conducted in this area. In the grand scheme of things, it’s doubtful that any single state senator will be able to affect change in the morass of state government. However, Jacobs can at least shake up the status quo and produce a minor blip on the political machine’s radar.

Coppola’s Announcement

22 Jan

On Saturday at the Polish Cadets Hall at Grant & Amherst Streets, Assemblyman Sam Hoyt introduced Marc Coppola, current Delaware District Councilmember, and declared candidate for State Senate representing District 60. IMG_4227.JPG

Coppola should feel heartened the by the large crowd that gathered at the Polish Cadets Hall to hear his announcement speech, including elected officials such as Lynn Marinelli, Maria Whyte, Robin Schimminger, Nick Bonifacio, Mark Poloncarz, and Michelle Iannello.

He sounded the right themes – about reforming Albany, reducing the local Medicaid burden, ending unfunded mandates, and he made an interesting statement: “We don’t need more Albany thinking in Western New York. We need more Western New York thinking in Albany”.

Coppola said he believes unfunded mandates and high taxes are bankrupting local governments. As a result, Western New York’s economy is stifled, and New York’s biggest export has become her people. IMG_4256.JPG

This will be a special election race to watch, but it won’t really be over until the Democratic primary in September.