Tag Archives: Chris Lee

Household Help to Remove Corwins’ Sour Grapes?

6 Jul

Corwin? More like Cor-LOSE...

Both major political parties in western New York, it seems, are going through some upheaval. The Democrats have been fractured into oft-warring factions since time immemorial, but a massive push by Governor Cuomo to broker peace has been largely successful, at least for the current election cycle. There has been some grumbling, but when the most popular governor in America tells you to knock it off, you probably will.

On the other hand, the Republicans are just now getting a taste of what “disunity” means. Chris Collins is a wholly unliked and unlikable personality, and his brain trust just got through handing Jane Corwin an incredible, epic loss to a Democrat in Tom Reynolds’ hand-made NY-26. The strife was on full display during this past weekend’s Hardline program on WBEN, with Dave Debo hosting former Erie County Executive (and no friend of Collins’) Joel Giambra, Artvoice’s Geoff Kelly, Rus Thompson by phone to talk tea party, and Michael Caputo, Paladino campaign manager also by phone to talk about how Collins’ people screwed Batavia Iraq War veteran David Bellavia.

The discussion was touched off by this Buffalo News article and this commentary, written by Caputo and posted to WBEN.com. Caputo made the point that, in his opinion, the young guys running the Erie County GOP and Collins’ campaign apparatus are blatantly anti-veteran, pointing to their treatment of Gary Berntsen in 2010, and David Bellavia in 2011.

After Caputo emailed a link to the WBEN commentary to his contact list, he received the following email from Assemblywoman Jane Corwin’s husband, Phil. (Phil is the treasurer for the Collins campaign):

On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 3:40 PM, philcorwin1@__.com wrote:
Michael,David Bellavia is a spoiled child who didn t get his way. I ve watched his public temper tantrum with disgust. He is also a liar who distorted my wife’s voting record. For the record she was the best candidate endorsed by Republican, Conservative, and Indepence parties based on her record in the Assembly, involvement in the Community and private sector job creation. David is a war hero and we all acknowledge it and respect him for his service but that doesn’t automatically make him a good person or a qualified candidate.

Take me off your email list and get a fucking life!

Phil Corwin

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

How about that! A demand that Caputo “get a fucking life” from an unemployed Range Rover Republican millionaire in the Chris Lee inheritance-mold. Remember: when Corwin says that Bellavia “didn’t get his way”, what that translates into is: Bellavia was promised the Republican nomination by Nick Langworthy in 2008 in exchange for Bellavia’s exit from the NY-26 race and endorsement of Chris Lee, along with a promise from Tom Reynolds that Langworthy would set up a PAC for that very reason. Seems as if Bellavia held up his end of the bargain, but the party apparatchiks lied. Twice, minimum. Phil Corwin likens Bellavia’s reaction to that breach an agreement to a “temper tantrum”.

Seems like he should know.

In response, Caputo sent the following to Mr. Corwin:

Phil:Until this email I thought you were a good guy, that you and your wife were just poorly served by a childish group of gutless punk kids. I believed you were above all the dirty tricks and so did David. But I was wrong: now I know you were a part of it, and you disgust me.Don’t tell me what David Bellavia said about Jane’s record; I know precisely what he said. He was truthful at all times, albeit in opposition. You have clearly never been in a competitive campaign because your sensitive skin is chafing.I know you don’t understand the honor and integrity inherent in a veteran’s service: you never deigned to serve your country. Many of us did that for you. We feel a man who is decorated for heroism – for taking bullets for your family, for watching his men die for your family, for holding the head of a friend as he gasped his last breath for your family – is far above the crap you, your wife and your sick allies in the Erie GOP pulled on him.

In fact, now that I know you and Jane were clearly behind all the dirty tricks, it may be time for a primary in Assembly District 142.

When a man fuels his campaign with integrity, he becomes the target of those who have none…

…Click on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of your email. Most folks understand that’s the easy and legal way to stop political mail, protected speech under the First Amendment. Maybe your butler can show you.

Finally, keep your foul language to yourself; it reveals your education. You’ve already shown your patriotism.

Don’t poke bears, Phil. They bite.

Sincerely,
Michael Caputo

There’s a battle being waged for the heart and soul of the local Republican Party – a war brought by those who see the Collins camp as dishonorable and led by a bunch of incompetents. Could Collins get his come-uppance this year due to his own hubris?

UPDATE: I inadvertently wrote that Phil Corwin is an “unemployed Range Rover Republican”. This ignores the fact that Mr. Corwin has an office on the 16th floor of the Manor Rath Building, as a Director of Noblesse-Oblige Vice-Chairman of the Erie County IDA. Even though he’s a dollar-a-year type of guy, he is not technically “unemployed” and reports directly to the man for whom he is the re-election campaign treasurer.

Vote Today, Watch WNYMedia.net Tonight #NY26

24 May

 

Thanks, Chris Lee, for making 2011 interesting

Let’s take a step back today and give thanks to his Craigslistness, Chris Lee, for imploding his political career so dramatically, so unexpectedly, and so quickly.  Another in a long line of moralistic Republican pervs, he paved the way for a race that is being billed by national media as a referendum on the ridiculous Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it, and noted more importantly in the local media as a dry run for the Collins for our Future re-election brain trust.

And what we’ve found outeven if Corwin wins in a squeaker – is that (a) Collins’ sycophantic crew doesn’t know how to handle a credible political opponent and is horrible at “campaigning“; and (b) People young and old detest the idea of receiving a coupon from the government to go out and buy private insurance when they get older, and then being on the hook for the cost the coupon doesn’t cover. It’s a breach of the American social contract as it’s existed since the mid-60s – it takes something that you and I are right now paying for and basically takes it back. Whoever dreamt this up is a dummy. More importantly, anyone who voted for it in Congress, or pledged to vote for it if elected (Jane) is politically tone-deaf. You don’t “save” Medicare by destroying it any more than you “save” a drowning man by throwing baseballs at his sinking head.

Because Jane Corwin, who is Chris Collins without the charm and Chris Lee without the Y chromosome, should have walked away with this thing.  It never should have been close. Regardless of the outcome, she’s already lost.  She’s lost her integrity and her sheen of electoral invincibility in this red area.

A very small amount of blame goes to Jack Davis, who cleverly ran as a “Tea Party” candidate. And he most certainly has every right to don that mantle, as an angry older conservative man with extreme views. He’s got actual grassroots tea partiers supporting him, while the only tea partiers Corwin got were the ones supported by big astroturfing Republican PACs.

Corwin never should have let her Chief of Staff, Michael L. Mallia, campaign for her. She never should have gone along with the plan to harass Jack Davis. She never should have condoned her staffer yelling “coward!” at a veteran. She should have fired him. She should have addressed it and expressed her displeasure. She misplayed the Mallia flap in every possible way it could have been misplayed. Collins’ guys were literally and palpably giddy over that 15 second video of Jack Davis swatting away Mallia’s camera – they even sent it to us.  The next morning, we revealed who the cameraman was and the entire thing rebounded into Corwin’s face. (Incidentally, we’re still waiting for the whole tape, and the second tape.)

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Corwin and her surrogates mounted a relentlessly vicious negative campaign against Davis and Corwin. It worked against Davis, to a degree, but backfired on Corwin. It drove up Corwin’s negatives past 50% and drove up Hochul’s positives in a huge way. Recent polls show that the Pelosi Congress is more popular here than the Boehner Congress. Corwin brought Boehner to town and hammered everyone and his brother as being a Pelosi puppet. Clumsy claims that Hochul had raised taxes were addressed rather publicly months ago, in a region where people have almost uniformly chosen to pay higher taxes rather than, e.g., lose the “Village of Sloan” or “Village of Williamsville”.

I’ll be helping Kathy Hochul and her well-oiled, professionally run campaign get their vote out today. I hope you’ll consider taking some time to do the same. Hochul is a unique public servant – she’s responsive and competent. She has taken the offices she’s held and done something positive with them.  She is a student of good government who will go to Congress and continue the good work being done for the region by Louise Slaughter and Brian Higgins. After all, she’s a South Buffalo conservative Democrat in the Higgins mold.

Tonight, turn off your TV and join us here at WNYMedia.net, where Chris Smith, Marc Odien, Chris Charvella and I will be live-blogging and offering up some audio & video interviews, chatting with you and each other about the election results. The Cover it Live screen will be on the WNYMedia.net main page, so join us starting around 8:30 or 9:00 pm tonight as we join you from the Hochul campaign party at the UAW hall in Amherst.

The NY-26 Republican Jobs Preservation Program

18 May

It’s one of the central tenets of contemporary Republican thought. We need to shrink the size of government. We need to make government smaller and more responsive. We need government to get out of people’s way and let businesses grow. We need to lower taxes by shrinking the bloated state payroll.  We need to not only shrink that state payroll, but eliminate positions and revoke many of the state benefits that attract talented people to go work for the state.

At Collins’ re-election campaign website, he lists his core values thusly:

Core Values/Guiding Principles

  • Smaller Government
    • Not large government with higher taxes
  • Personal Accountability
    • Not ever-expanding entitlement programs
  • Local Decision Making
    • Not politicians in Albany or Washington
  • Fiscal Discipline
    • Not smoke and mirrors
  • Serving Taxpayers
    • Not special interests

So it’s somewhat interesting – especially within the context of the race for the 26th Congressional District – to see all of these Republican kids clamoring to obtain or retain lucrative, benefit-rich government jobs.

And they always hit Democrats for being about growing government, patronage jobs, and sweet benefits.

Michael L. Mallia

The young Republican Horshack who rendered himself forever infamous via Google search by accosting elderly 3rd party congressional candidate Jack Davis (Tea-Ornery) while he was making his way from a veterans’ event to his car. Mallia’s unbelievable screams turned him quickly into a regionwide joke, which was made even more funny when it was revealed that he is currently employed by the state as Jane Corwin’s Assembly Chief of Staff.

The young Mr. Mallia has since been disappeared to Florida, far out of sight and, Corwin hopes, mind. The Davis YouTube stunt was a stink bomb that blew up directly in Corwin’s face, as well as the faces of those advising her campaign. Assemblywoman and million-heiress Corwin assures us that Mr. Mallia will remain a member of her Assembly staff, and she gave her best Sergeant Schultz impression whenever asked about the antics engaged in by her Chief of Staff whilst moonlighting as a campaign operative on her behalf.

Mr. Mallia is still being paid by you and me – he’s WNY’s most Fonzie-esque welfare recipient, and he hopes to add a Congressional gig to his resume if his boss gets elected to the Lee seat.

There’s nothing “smaller government” or “personal responsibility” about Michael Mallia.

Jeffrey Bochiechio

Mr. Bochiechio piqued my interest when Bob McCarthy named him in a recent column.  Mr. Bochiechio is a full-time UB Law student, but simultaneously earns well over $60,000 per year ostensibly as the WNY Regional Director for the State Senate Majority under Senator Dean Skelos.  His entire career has been as a political operative for Chris Collins, Jane Corwin, and Tom Reynolds.  Having attended law school, I’m at a loss to understand how someone can work a full-time job as a legislative liaison for the state while simultaneously attending a full-time law school.  Since 2008, he’s made more than $47,000 just from campaign work alone.

I don’t quite understand why the State Senate needs a majority or minority liaison in WNY (or any part of NY, for that matter).  Part of the reason why we ostensibly have a senate is so that we New Yorkers can elect senators to go and represent us there. If I need someone to liaise between me and the state government, I can call my Assemblywoman (unlikely) or my State Senator. I certainly don’t need a middleman. Likewise, Dean Skelos and John Sampson don’t need to dole out pointless, needless, costly patronage jobs to political hacks to basically do nothing while doing campaign work and/or attending law school. If the Republicans were even remotely serious about rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse, they’d start out by eliminating redundant state positions populated by a bunch of little Victor Getz clones.

There’s many more. Alleged 2nd cameraperson Emily Hunter is one. Just out of college, working for Lee in 2010, and working for the Corwin campaign now in order to preserve that job. The roster of people helping to do the legwork for local Republican candidates like Jane Corwin are very young kids – right down to the campaign management. For races like NY-26, they’ve not had a serious challenge in many years, so it’s been almost like the Republican apparatchik apprenticeship program. Come work for Lee, have fun! See the world!

But I am quite curious how some of them, like Bochiechio, are best able to serve the people of the state of New York in their official full-time state-paid capacity whilst a full-time 3L at UB Law.

 

 

Corwin and the ECGOP: Desperate, Scared, Violent (UPDATE: TRACKER IS CORWIN CHIEF OF STAFF)

12 May

****UPDATE:  REPUBLICAN FONZIE IS JANE CORWIN’S ASSEMBLY CHIEF OF STAFF MICHAEL L. MALLIA. WE PAY HIS SALARY ($1,419 biweekly).*** Another punk Republican kid suckling at the teat of mother Government.

Davis Bails on Channel 2

I understand why Jack Davis is backing out of the farcical Channel 2 non-debate.

First of all, who holds a political debate at 9 in the morning? Who’s watching a political debate at 9 in the morning? No one. At 9 in the morning, most people are at work. Ah, but Channel 2 will be rebroadcasting it at 12 noon, as well! It will even be simulcast on WECK 1230-AM at that time. Well, that’s also not really a very convenient time for people to watch or listen to a political debate, because people are at work. Some might opt to watch online at their desks during their lunch hour, but it’s supposed to be another gloriously sunny 70 degree day.

Under normal circumstances, a normal television station would do what serious television stations usually do and air the debate during prime time, when people are home, and when most people are done with dinner.

I checked, and apparently Channel 2 doesn’t want to pre-empt an all-new Community, and an Office repeat with a local congressional debate.

So, take it with a boulder of salt when Channel 2 disinvites Ian Murphy from participating because he wrote satire in the satirical paper for which he works – satire that poked fun at Channel 2 anchor Scott Levin. They didn’t disinvite Murphy because he’s not a serious candidate, but because they were butthurt. I don’t think “butthurt” is a good reason to exclude a legitimate political candidate, no matter how silly he may be in his satirical paper.

Channel 2 isn’t holding a serious debate because no one’s going to watch it. They’ll play some sound bites during their newscasts, and that’s about all that most voters will glean from this thing. You’ll have to seek out the video on their barely navigable website to watch the whole thing in dribs and drabs. Fail.

Baiting Davis

It’s also become quite evident that there is nothing scarier and more serious to the Erie County GOP than the fact that Jack Davis is polling in the mid-20s. They’re quite palpably freaking out over this, and they’re pulling out all the stops to destroy Davis, practically ignoring Kathy Hochul in the process. Yesterday I linked to the Karl Rove-backed video that you’ll soon be very sick of. Corwin’s campaign, led by supposed Buffalo Republican wunderkinds Nick Langworthy and Chris Grant, is panicking because this should have been a cakewalk like Lee vs. Kryzan in 2008 and Lee vs. nobody in 2010.

Davis doesn’t perform well in debates and he isn’t warm and fuzzy. The more he’s seen by voters, the less they like him. I’ve seen him debate in person on several occasions, and he’s just lousy at it. So, it’s no surprise that he pulled out of Channel 2’s “debate” today. The GOP lashed him over it, saying he can’t “be trusted” or some such nonsense.

Then yesterday evening, at David Bellavia’s event to endorse Jack Davis (and, in turn, begin his epic life’s work to motherf*ck Nick Langworthy and Chris Grant), the GOP sent someone to harass him (it worked well with the Mike Madigan video a few weeks ago).

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This is edited down to high heaven and you can’t figure out what’s happening, why it happened, or who’s harassing Jack. I don’t see Jack hitting anyone in this video, but someone off-screen shoves the cameraman who dramatically grunts for effect. A lot of shaky camerawork and bad acting. I’d like to see this within context, unedited. The Davis campaign should hire someone to track its trackers.

David Bellavia tweeted:

The tweet has since been removed changed (UPDATE).

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And a similar sentiment was posted to his Facebook page:

The Corwin campaign is desperate because its candidate came out in favor of obliterating Medicare, has a thin resume, is lying about her resume, is something of an empty container spouting GOP talking points, and is otherwise not thought of either negatively or positively in the region. By contrast, people either love or hate Davis, and most people think Hochul is the bee’s knees.

The Corwin campaign is desperate because its cakewalk is now riddled with roadblocks. She hasn’t been winning hearts and minds with her alleged ideas or positions, so she has to send out goons to harass cranky older candidates. She has to send out goons to threaten David Bellavia, and accuse him of wrongdoing. She has to send out goons to ruin David Bellavia’s life because he has the nerve to fight back.

What we’re witnessing from the party of Tom Reynolds, Chris Lee, Chris Collins, and Carl Paladino is thuggery that would seem right at home in Central American, Taiwanese, or Eastern European politics. Threats, goons, intimidation, and ruination of lives shouldn’t be part and parcel of political campaigns for a podunk congressional race in a podunk part of a podunk region.

Shame on the Erie County Republican Party, and shame on anyone who doesn’t condemn this disgraceful, dictatorial, violent thuggery. It failed in making Davis look bad. It made a desperate Corwin campaign and a scared ECGOP outfit (the one that’s supposed to cruise the detested Chris Collins to re-election) look bad, instead.

Corwin Can’t Handle Hochul

6 Apr

Holy mackerel, the Republicans are spooked.

It’s not just the anti-Hochul Twitter campaign, it’s the new ad paid for and approved by Jane “million-heiress” Corwin that basically regurgitates the tax-hikestress slam from prior NRCC ads, and accuses Hochul of increasing spending 50% at the auto bureau, and hiring 34% more people.  The claims in that ad aren’t sourced.

Regardless of whether any of that is actually true, it underscores a massive problem Republicans have with Hochul.

Ronald Reagan famously declared in the 80s that government “is the problem”. Since then, Republicans have clamored to get elected to a government they wanted to do their level-best to eliminate. In theory.

Instead, what would happen is that they would get elected to office and grow the government and debt exponentially – it’s just that their spending was on programs that benefited business rather than people, and they wouldn’t pay for their programs but instead grow the deficit and shunt the cost on to future taxpayers.  Even our own local tinpot county executive got through retaining someone in a job that the control board said was redundant, and he about doubled that person’s pay. Fiscally irresponsible when it benefits a friend.

Democrats, on the other hand, don’t think government “is the problem”. Their platform believes in the fact that government action can directly benefit people’s lives. Democrats, after all, depend on votes from the underprivileged and working classes. These groups have more direct contact with government more often than the wealthy, on whom the Republicans rely. Democrats believe in good government and efficiency.

Kathy Hochul embodies that.  She’s a particularly centrist/rightist Democrat and by no means a tax & spend liberal. She is very well-regarded because of how well she’s carried out her jobs in public service. For instance, I don’t need to do business with the government all that often in my personal life, but on the few occasions that I do – whether it’s buying a house or getting my license renewed – I know that Hochul’s office respects my time and has made doing business with the clerk’s office a pleasure.

Hochul represents more people living in the 26th congressional district than Corwin does, and she’s got actual accomplishments in government to which she can point. By contrast, Corwin has served one and a half terms as a minority Assemblywoman and has absolutely no accomplishments whatsoever while there. She has distinguished herself by being indistinguishable from any of her Republican Assembly colleagues. What is the Corwin agenda? What is her record of accomplishments? None – she doesn’t even mention them in her advertisements.  Instead, she points to her record of job creation while helping to run the then-family business, the Talking Phone Book. That business was sold to the Hearst Corporation a few years back for tens of millions of dollars. They sold it, cashed out, and like Chris Lee, she decided that it was time to burnish the family name by buying a legislative seat and doing nothing there.  Now, she’d like to buy a congressional seat in order to make America friendlier to multi-million-heiresses and their neighbors in Spaulding Lakes throughout America.

With Jack Davis running with his own millions on a laughable Tea Party line, and a betrayed Bellavia about to launch a grassroots effort to make sure his nemesis, the Erie County GOP, doesn’t win this one, Hochul’s chances are quite good indeed. So, Corwin is petrified that her millions may not buy her this particular seat, so she and her surrogates are going to try and re-define Hochul.  The problem is that people know it’s disingenuous, and they’ve seen what “good government” means through their limited dealings with Hochul’s office.

Hochul’s first TV spot mocked Corwin’s desperate attacks and touted her accomplishments. That’s an ad you’ll never see Corwin run, because no one gives a crap how well she helped run a phone book.

See Jane. See Jane Speak.

21 Mar

Back when the sartorially challenged Chris Lee ran for his first term in office in 2008, he seldom spoke on his own behalf. Oh, he’d give prepared speeches, and he’d appear on the occasional talk show, but almost every public pronouncement was handled by Nick Langworthy, who has since become the ECGOP chair.  When WNYMedia.net dared to approach the candidate with a communard “question”, Langworthy ran interference.

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A similar pattern is developing with Jane Corwin. The candidate has seldom spoken for herself, running almost all commentary through Langworthy or her own spokesperson, Matt Harakal. Like Lee, Corwin figures all she has to do to win is (1) throw money at the race; (2) deliver right wing talking points; (3) ignore her own Wall Street past and frame herself as a “small businesswoman”; (4) invoke the name of Nancy Pelosi when describing Kathy Hochul.

Let’s see how often Corwin speaks to the cameras on her own behalf in a non-scripted way. Then again, the conservative district would likely re-elect Chris Lee given the chance, because he has an (R) at the end of his name.

#NY26 Special Election to be Called This Week

8 Mar

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo was in Rochester and he revealed that the special election for Chris Lee’s vacant congressional seat in NY-26 will be called by the end of the week.

That will help to stanch Tweets like these:

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To which I replied:

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I mean, let’s not pretend like all of this took place in a vacuum, you know?

Separation of Sex and State

28 Feb

That former Congressman Chris Lee was so attracted to cross-dressers and transsexuals should not be a source of ridicule and derision.  People in a free country can – and ought to have the right to –  love, or have sex with, any willing partner. That Lee betrayed traditional family values is none of our business, and that he trolled Craigslist for dates with women, and women with penises alike, is newsworthy for its lack of good judgment, but were he a private citizen it would not be our concern – no big deal. His hasty self-return to private life is now explained. As a public figure, it matters because his brazen Craigslist hookups and flailing cover-up were not just hypocritical, but indiscreet.

Likewise, it’s not the kind of sex they like that holds David Vitter, Chris Lee, and Larry Craig up to ridicule or congressional censure, but the poor judgment of hiring and soliciting prostitutes, or soliciting sex in public restrooms. As far as Mark Foley was concerned, he showed poor judgment and also abused his power by soliciting young congressional pages. That they were male ought be immaterial.  It’s 2011; it’s OK to be gay.

That local developer Carl Paladino is out partying at a local lesbian bar with women who don’t look like Cathy Hannon Paladino is and isn’t interesting.  It isn’t interesting because you can’t decipher the whole story from one photograph posted to Reddit, but what it does is at least conceptually confirm the story that comedian Kristen Becker told during last year’s gubernatorial campaign. Becker (from WNYMedia.net partner Buffalo Comedy.com), explained that Paladino had been to Roxy’s and said some not-nice and un-governor-y things to her. Paladinoists figured it was absurd to even consider that Uncle Carl would ever set foot in a lesbian nightclub.  It’s 2011; it’s ok to be gay, or curious, or straight.

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So if it’s ok for so many prominent conservative Republicans to be gay, or gay-curious, why don’t they just lay off their uncloseted brothers and sisters? Whether a Republican politician is a Bible-thumper or not, the GOP platform re-asserts the fact that gay-on-gay sex is un-American, icky, as well as being socially and politically unacceptable. Roxy partier Paladino said this last year:

I didn’t march in the Gay Pride parade this year. My opponent did. There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual. That’s not how God created us, and that’s not the example that we should be showing our children – and certainly not in our schools,

So, Paladino has established that gays aren’t worth giving rights to, aren’t “functional”, aren’t “how God” created them, and are a bad example. Yet he flip-flopped when it came to his own nephew, and his own proclivity to party in bars that cater to homosexual females; Paladino, who just last week wrote a lengthy missive insulting Donn Esmonde, containing a line averring that Chris Lee just had a “bad day”.

It all underscores the fact that the Republican anti-gay platform merely panders to the radical Christian fundamentalists who partly puppeteer that party. There are plenty of LGBT Republicans, and their personal, private sexual lives are nobody’s business. It’s ok to be a gay Republican.

Imagine what a better country this would be if sexuality was divorced (so to speak) from politics. If homophobia was excised from politics and from parties’ platforms, the only place it would remain socially acceptable would be in the pews, prayers, and pulpits of radically fundamentalist houses of worship. Imagine if the very first public proclamation by Republican congressional candidates didn’t involve homophobia.

The Republican Party used to stand for less government, (despite never practicing what they preach). Yet when it comes to sexuality, they out-Puritan the Puritans, which makes it exquisitely embarrassing when someone with an (R) after their name is caught outside the wife-two-kids norm.

Let Chris Lee date all the “passable transsexuals/cross-dressers” he wants. Let Carl Paladino watch all the gay porn, and patronize all the gay bars, he wants.

Whenever the topic turns to treating homosexuals like people, some cretin will chime in with an uninformed slippery slope argument about how tolerance of gay unions will lead to bestiality, pedophilia, and polygamy. It’s a false equivalence; those three activities are victimization and abuse; of kids, of animals, and of multiple women. It’s those kinds of “arguments” that hamstring rational discussion about this particular issue – because its terms are dictated and framed by the radical fundamentalists and their puppets.

Sexuality has nothing to do with running the country. It’s time to legalize gay marriage – by Constitutional amendment if necessary – and to completely separate sexuality and state. Chris Lee and Carl Paladino will thank you.

Monroe Rising: Complete Lee Silence #NY26

25 Feb

Epic Fail.

It’s now been several weeks since Congressman Chris Lee embarrassed himself and resigned, all in one day.

You may be familiar with Monroe Rising, which is the (one of? who knows) wingnut blog that covers the Rochester area.  For years, they’ve been dutiful regurgitators of Lee press releases and reliable supporters of the well-coiffed, yet sartorially challenged former Congressman.

I am a registered user at Monroe Rising, and have now submitted two benign comments to this article inquiring why they completely ignored the Lee scandal, never mentioned the Lee resignation, never wrote a solitary word about the fact that a portion of Monroe County finds itself unrepresented in Congress due to a sex scandal. That linked-to article is their first mention of NY-26 since Lee’s departure.

The image above shows you what I see when I go to their site; if you aren’t logged in, there are no comments. Note the “No User Responded” heading.

Now, I’m no one to slam someone for being a partisan blogger, but when a huge scandal breaks in quite literally your own congressional backyard, I think you lose a massive amount of credibility by completely ignoring it, as if it never happened.  They were perfectly pleased as punch to report on former Congressman Eric Massa’s own sexual ethical issues, so why does Chris Lee get a complete pass?  Hell, even the local Buffalo Republican bloggers wrote something about it.

Two separate requests for comment sent to the owner of the site have gone unanswered.  I guess Chris Lee only exists when he’s not scandal-ridden.

Fail.

#NY26 to be Overrun with Hipster Wingnuts?

22 Feb

As our Batavian correspondent, Chris Charvella notes, the Republican chairs in NY-26 have selected Assemblywoman Jane Corwin – the most self-fundiest candidate – to run on the (R) line for Chris Lee’s seat of shirtlessness.  Corwin released this statement:

I am humbled to receive the support of Western New York’s Republican leadership and I thank them for conducting this process in an open, fair and comprehensive manner considering the time constraints.

As the 2nd most conservative member of the New York State Assembly in rankings by the New York State Conservative Party and the #1 Legislator in scoring by Unshackle Upstate, a New York reform organization, I know we need to slash federal spending, balance the budget, end the bailouts, take leftover money from the Obama stimulus package to pay down the deficit and support repealing Obamacare.

As someone who has run a business and created hundreds of private sector jobs in Western New York, I know that government only gets in the way of job growth. Fighting massive government expansion and runaway spending were two of the biggest reasons I entered public service a few years ago. Demanding fiscal responsibility in Washington and creating jobs in our communities in Western New York will be my priorities should I be this region’s Representative in Congress.

2nd most conservative?  Looks like someone is trying to wrap the Conservative Party line in a neat little package and otherwise thwart any challenges from the right.

Other interviewees included Amherst Supervisor Barry Weinstein, Akron Lunatic Jack Davis, Professional Yenta Kathy Weppner, Iraq War veteran David Bellavia, and three people from the rural areas or near Rochester whom you’ve never heard of.

But back to that “2nd most conservative” quip.  One reason why that’s there has to do with the fact that Corwin shockingly believes that women should have the right to terminate a pregnancy within the first trimester, and in cases of rape or incest. The other major development yesterday in NY-26 is the noise the tea partiers are making about their exclusion from the selection process.  Entirely missing the point about the special election nomination process, and how their own proud outsiderism has suddenly found them powerless, the Palinist/Paladinoist wing of the tea party is making noise about Corwin supposedly “buying” the nomination.

As a Democrat living in the 26th Congressional district, I will do everything I possibly can to encourage the tea partiers to nominate and run a separate, more right-wing candidate for the Lee seat. On Twitter, a Californian who runs the tea partyish “One Country PAC”, which encouraged tea party darling Doug Hoffman to challenge Dede Scozzafava in NY-23, has been agitating for the county chairs to pick David Bellavia, saying they’d be “dumb” to select anyone else. Hopefully Mr. Eustis may do for Ms. Corwin’s campaign what he did for Ms. Scozzafava’s.

Not to be rejected or outdone, enigmatic lunatic Jack Davis threatened the GOP chairs that he would take his “platform” and go sell crazy to the Democrats or some other party.  He is determined to go to congress to ensure that the Asians and the brown people get what’s coming to them.  He told the Buffalo News’ Bob McCarthy:

“I think I can get the Democratic endorsement,” he said. “I still have connections there.”

I’ll tell you right now that there’s nothing about Jane Corwin that is repellent enough for me to ever consider mouthing or writing a word of support for Jack Davis. I would rather see 400 Corwins in the House of Representative than a single Davis, and if the Democratic establishment completely loses its mind and selects Jack Davis to run as a Democrat in this race, then I’ll abandon the party and throw my support behind Corwin.

It looks like the burning need for right-wing ideological purity, and a desire for contemporary relevance, will spur the tea partiers to throw a monkey-wrench into what should otherwise be a pretty easy and straightforward Republican path to victory.  Chris Lee would have been congressman-for-life; it’s an easy Republican seat. But by pushing an alternative Iraqi war vet candidate in Bellavia (or, one can only hope, email conspiracy theory regurgitator Weppner), the tea party will show that the lessons of NY-23 haven’t been learned; that New York Republicans and conservatives are actually interested more in winning than in ideological obeisance.

The margin of victory in 2004 was 55-45; in 2006 it was 52-48; in 2008 it was 55-40 again (with Jon Powers getting 4.5% on the WFP line without even trying, living in D.C.).  The tightest margin was in 2006, when Reynolds beat Davis by only 8,300 votes.  It’s a very tough, but possible Democratic win, with the right mix of candidate and money. If the Republican vote is split, and a tea party candidate garners – through active campaigning – more than 5% of the rightist vote, then it’s not insane to suggest that Hochul could win 48 – 44 – 8.  With a bunch of outsider city slickers running through Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties telling people what to do, it could be as bad as 48 – 42 – 10.

When Bill Owens defeated Doug Hoffman in NY-23 by less than 4 points after Scozzafava dropped out, I wrote,

the American people are generally in the middle.  Party activists can tend to be on the political extremes.  Our system of candidate selection, including through primaries, favors the true believer extremists.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t always translate well when you open it up to the general population.  Make no mistake – this loss is a huge blow to the Palinist wing of the Republican Party, which pulled out every single available stop to make sure Hoffman won. When they start the purge of Olympia Snowe, they’d better remember this day.

So, let’s all encourage the tea partiers to run Bellavia or Weppner.  Let’s encourage the PACs and young activist movement conservatives to swarm into western New York to discover beef on weck, gray skies, and despair.  Let’s ensure that Jack Davis skulks back into his factory to yell angrily at the wall.

It’s shaping up to be a fun ride here in the district of Reynolds.