Tag Archives: Brian Davis

Common Council Drama

15 Jan

Image Courtesy of The Buffalo News

In a 6-2 (Smith, Russell opposed) vote of the members, Buffalo State Economics Professor, Dr. Curtis Haynes, was appointed to the Buffalo Common Council representing the Ellicott District.   Haynes is replacing human failpile of corruption, Brian Davis, who is currently dealing with some serious legal issues.  There was no suspense about the outcome of today’s vote, but there sure was drama.

This is Buffalo after all, so nothing can happen without the requisite amount of drama and theatrics.

Demone Smith, Masten District Councilman was none too happy with the decision of the “tyrants and despots” of the Common Council to appoint Haynes to the seat when the district committeemen had voted (by a small margin) to endorse Rev. Darius Pridgen for the position.  Demone did his best impression of Arthur Kirkland as the resolution came to the floor for a vote.

Demone felt that tradition and past process required that the Common Council would simply rubberstamp the endorsement of the district committee.  However, Demone may need to re-read his City Charter, Article 3, Section 6:

9-19-2006 by L.L. No. 17-2006, effective 12-6-2006

In the case of a vacancy in the office of district council member, otherwise than by expiration of the term, the remaining members of the council shall appoint a qualified resident of the same political party and district as the council member whose place is vacant to fill such vacancy until the first day of January following the next general election at which a district council member may, pursuant to law, be chosen for the balance of the term. The person so elected shall take office on the first day of January following such general election.

Prior to an appointment, the Common Council shall direct the City Clerk to advertise the vacancy for a minimum of five (5) days on the City’s Web-site and Public Access Media outlets, and obtain from any qualified resident seeking consideration for appointment, a current resume, a letter requesting appointment to the vacancy.

In the case of a vacancy in the office of president of the common council otherwise than by expiration of his or her term, the remaining members of the common council shall appoint one of their members to fill such vacancy until the next organizational meeting.

Nowhere in the charter does it say the Council shall decide upon the replacement by vote of the district committee.  In 2006, the Common Council voted to change the process and make it more transparent.  The measure was also placed on the election ballot as a referendum and the citizens of Buffalo voted (80-20 in favor) to formalize the process to include resumes, interviews and additional transparency…such as it is in Buffalo government.

Dr. Haynes and Niagara District Councilman David Rivera felt the process was followed, of course.


and Demone said that the “Four white men and one latino on the council, in a city that is nearly half African-American…conspired to ignore the vote of the community”.


The process was followed as described in the charter with the requisite dash of politics.  The non-Grassroots-affiliated Democrats wanted a six vote, veto-proof majority to oppose Mayor Byron Brown and seemingly got it with Dr. Haynes.

The voters of the Ellicott District will get their chance to cast their vote on the appointment in the special election in September to fulfill the final year of the term.

Disruption Trumps Education

22 Dec


There was a candidates’ forum scheduled last Friday evening to introduce Democratic committeepeople in the city’s Ellicott District to the candidates vying to be appointed to replace disgraced convict Brian Davis in the Common Council.

But members of PigeonCaseyWorld Grassroots, including Davis himself and deal-cutting county legislator Barbara Miller-Williams, disrupted the forum and called for an immediate vote to replace Davis with the Rev. Darius Pridgen.

Jim Heaney reports that the Grassroots people stormed out, and Champ Eve’s group was also a no-show. Only 32 of 84 committeepeople showed up in the first place, and after the temper tantrums had subsided, only 20 bothered to sit and listen to the candidates who arrived to earn support.

Pridgen? The man who is to be the beneficiary of this toddleresque bluster?

The Rev. Darius Pridgen showed up an hour-and-a-half late, with numerous supporters in tow.

Pridgen explained his supporters were circling the building in their cars seven times to bring down the walls erected by the Democratic Party, alluding to the biblical story of the Battle of Jericho in which the Children of Israel circled the city seven times until its walls came tumbling down.

If that’s not enough to disqualify him as a serious candidate, I don’t know what is. He shows up late and makes up stuff that is ridiculous and insulting. Fantastic.

Seems to me that the Ellicott District, and the city, will continue to be ill-served for years to come.

And we’re busy worrying about Peace Bridges and reviving the private sector in the city.

What Darius is Interested In

1 Dec

I think it’s interesting that the battle to replace Brian Davis in the common council has been going on for a little over a week, several names have been floated, but when the Rev. Darius Pridgen decides to actively campaign for the seat, it makes big news.

Pridgen’s cover letter to the council is here, and it came accompanied by his resume and a 4-minute video.

I’m not that familiar with Pridgen aside from that which one might see in the news once in a while, but one red flag is this:

Darius is not interested in coming into this with an initial focus on raising [campaign] money and worrying whether I’ll be there [beyond 2010],” Pridgen said.

Emphasis mine. There’s no question that Pridgen and his enterprises are successful and do good for and in the community. I’m just pretty wary of clergy running for public office.

Brian Davis Resigns

18 Nov

It’s official.  He’s a convict and an ex-Councilman.

The Common Council will name someone to replace Davis through December 2010.  This sort of political wrangling – the undemocratic kind – is the most vicious and stupid, so grab some popcorn.

Mayor Brown on Brian Davis

14 Nov

Taken Friday, before Davis’ guilty plea.


Law & Order: SPU

6 Nov

Brian Davis has rapidly become the most hilarious elected official in all of western New York. No one else can match his level of personal and professional failures and breaches of ethics.

When the FBI and DA’s office comes to hunt you down at your work because they “just want to talk”, it’s like a replay of something out of Law & Order: Special Politicians’ Unit

Smigus Dyngus

13 Apr

I just got through reading Jim Heaney’s piece on Brian Davis. It’s astonishing to me that this story is just beginning to get reported, given how longstanding some of these problems are. Better late than never, and query whether a viable candidate will be able to defeat him. I somehow doubt it.

The anti-gay-marriage folks are a riot. Evidently, they’ve been trolling Craigslist personals to name their anti-gay-marriage movement of fear and … um … slippery slopes. Either that, or they have a marketing team with an awesome sense of humor.

We are in the Bahamas, and our first day was phenomenally eventful. I won’t recount the entire fail here, but within the next 24 hours, my remarkably detailed Tripadvisor review of our first hotel will be up. Quick hint to hotels – it’s a good idea to light your emergency stairwells. And to maintain your property. Luckily, we’ve since switched to a different property, and are having a wonderful time.