Tag Archives: drama

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

12 May

****UPDATE: ┬áREPUBLICAN 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).


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).


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.

Buffalo Derenda Est

21 Jul

Marc Odien, Chris Smith and I are at the Buffalo Common Council to watch and report on what everyone hopes to be the third of three Buffalo Common Council hearings on the Dan Derenda nomination to become the next Buffalo Police Commissioner.

By all accounts, Derenda has the five votes necessary to get the job, but the ancillary drama is what everyone is interested in, so you’ll be smart to watch the live stream by clicking here.

Mickey Kearns states that the special session today is making a mockery of the legislative committee system. He repeats that the Karla Thomas, the city’s HR director, had 6 months to select a candidate and came up with Mr. Derenda alone. That’s fine, he says, but complains about the rule-gaming technicality that enabled Derenda’s name to be resubmitted for today’s session. He says that the item in committee should be before the body via discharge by committee chairman, and he finds today’s identical agenda item to be improperly before the council.

In the end, Kearns’ protestations are silly and petty. Derenda’s qualifications are beside the procedural point.

David Rivera repeats that Derenda’s nomination was tabled in committee for a variety of reasons, most prominently those having to do with the nationwide nature – or lack thereof – for H. McCarthy Gibson’s replacement. The problems – especially with Karla Thomas’ responses to councilmembers’ questions – that promoted the council to table the nomination still exist, and this circumventing of the rules may be in the Charter, but dilutes the power of the council. Now, any time the Mayor’s office disagrees with anything that the committee does, they can call a special meeting, which requires only a simple majority for passage of agenda items.

Haynes: No.
Kearns: No.
LoCurto: No.
Rivera: No.

Franczyk, Smith, Russell, Golombek, Fontana voted for Derenda.

In a press gaggle afterwards, Derenda said that he harbored no ill will towards any of the councilmembers who opposed his nomination, and understood that it wasn’t personal. He had been coached not to comment at all on the controversy surrounding the very localized national search that led to his selection.

5/4 vote, Dan Derenda is the Police Commissioner of Buffalo. Derenda thanks the council and “look[s] forward to the challenge.”

Gioia & Oishei on Gainer

25 Aug

Since I don’t really know where to begin with this post, let me preface it with full disclosure. Chris Smith, whom you all affectionately know as Buffalo Geek, is the spokesperson for a group of members of Buffalo ReUse, Inc. who are distressed by the board of director’s dismissal of its founder, Michael Gainer. Chris has contacted me for help and advice, and I have given it in an informal manner.

With that out of the way,

Late last week, the members of ReUse called a special meeting pursuant to the corporate bylaws, and one of the things to be discussed will be removal of ReUse’s entire board of directors. The members, however, cannot get a straight answer out of the board as to who the members of the corporation and the members of the board are. Rumors are flying about people resigning willy-nilly, but there’s no update roster being circulated to anyone.

Behind the scenes, there has been discussion and correspondence back and forth whereby the board, which is largely aligned with ReUse’s benefactor, the Oishei Foundation, has begun, among other things, picking nits with the members’ calling of a special meeting, alleging that it will, e.g., be tantamount to dissolution of ReUse as a going concern. The board’s public pronouncements have been appropriately terse and rare, indicating that they will not discuss internal personnel matters. Gainer has been interviewed several times, and makes no excuses for the fact that he’s not a fantastic administrator. To hear him say it, he begged the board and Oishei to hire a financial manager to deal with the books, to no avail, which led to some of the issues that led to his ultimate dismissal.

Members of the board today suggested that the members’ special meeting was somehow legally deficient or otherwise insufficient and improper. The members responded, indicating that the calling of the meeting was a fait accompli, and there was nothing more to discuss about it. If the board thought that it was called improperly, it could seek legal recourse to enjoin the meeting. Otherwise, see ya on September 3rd.

On Buffalo Rising, the board’s chair is quoted thusly:

Simeon, who has been on the board since last October said the board had a lot of assessing to do when it came to strengths and weaknesses in the organization. She recognizes Gainer for the passionate visionary he is, and says that Garrett is a “brilliant fiduciary mind. A financial czar.”

In the words of Inigo Montoya, fiduciary – you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. And Harvey may be a great financial “czar”, but were it not for the efforts of Michael Gainer, there’d be no Buffalo ReUse for anyone to argue over, or be a financial “czar” over.

I strongly doubt that any act or omission that Gainer committed or omitted was irreparable. Why? Because to date, no one’s said as much.

I’m a big fan of getting right to the point. So, let’s. Robert Gioia, the head of the Oishei Foundation, which has been very generous indeed to Buffalo ReUse, Inc., is quoted at BRO as saying,

“I’m not at liberty to get into the middle of this,” Gioia said, “but we feel we see a stream of misinformation. We [the Oishei Foundation] embraced [ReUse] and watched them closely.” Then, answering to talk on local online news entities such as BR, along with local blogs, Gioia added, “Frankly, the intent of the membership to derail the board of directors would mean we’d have to reassess our relationship with ReUse. Tempers and egos need to be checked, and we need to do what’s best for the organization with the current board.

Gioia added, “I still have the utmost respect for Michael.”

Let me paraphrase: I’m not at liberty to get into the middle of this, but let me get right into the middle of this. In so doing, let me threaten ReUse with severance of Oishei’s ties with it, and impugn the temperament of the members who created the corporation.

Then, inexplicably, Gioia releases a statement that is jaw-droppingly shocking. It is such an egregious piece of character assassination directed at Gainer the likes of which I’ve seldom seen before. While the board of directors has, properly, withheld comment on the specifics of why Gainer was removed, Gioia also avoids specifics, but accuses Gainer of just about everything including the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. To say it’s borderline libelous is an understatement. My initial reaction upon reading it was this:

Shorter Robert Gioia: I’m not saying Michael Gainer is a negligent Hitler, but he does have a funny mustache.

That statement was released to the press within minutes after the members informed the board that the special meeting would be carried out as scheduled on the 3rd. People with whom I spoke don’t think it’s a coincidence. And although they’re shocked, they’re staying on the high road.

Because unfortunately this corporate constitutional crisis has diverted attention from the core mission of Buffalo ReUse – to serve the community, to instruct, to inform, to promote green demolition, and to preserve and protect architectural treasures that might otherwise be relegated to a dump somewhere.

Gioia’s statement is after the jump, and I suggest you read it, and consider it an exercise in how not to publicly comment on what’s supposed to be an internal personnel matter.

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