Tag Archives: election day

Buffalopundit Endorsements: NYS Primary Day Sept 9th

8 Sep

Greetings, citizens of Goodenoughistan, where good enough is good enough! 

Tuesday September 9th is primary day throughout New York State. Here are the races people are watching in western New York, and my comments and picks for each.  As always, these choices are mine alone and do not constitute an endorsement by Artvoice or any of its staff. They are not predictions, but preferences. 

Governor and Lieutenant Governor: Democratic Party

Zephyr Teachout and Kathy Hochul

I wrote about it with some detail at this link.  Andrew Cuomo seems more interested in an historically wide margin of victory than in dealing with the corruption that rots the core of New York State politics. Practically every problem with state, regional, or local policy and politics that you can imagine stem at least indirectly from some form of petty corruption. Until and unless someone in Albany has the guts to do what’s right, this will continue to harm and haunt every New Yorker, from Montauk to Niagara. When given a chance to undertake a profile in courage vis-a-vis corrupt Albany politics, Andrew Cuomo’s response was an epic profile in cowardice. He didn’t just punt – he forfeited.  

Despite all the good he’s done for the state in general and WNY in particular, given a choice in this race at this time between Cuomo and Teachout, I have to go with the political neophyte with the funny name and upstate ignorance. She recognizes what the problem is, and pledges to do something about it. Cuomo told us he knew what the problem was, and he told us he was going to do something about it, but in the end he chose an on-time budget deal with Skelos and Silver over the people. 

As for Lieutenant Governor, @superwuster doesn’t know anything about upstate or WNY, nor does he care to educate himself. Those reasons alone would be enough to pick Kathy Hochul to take the #2 slot. 

State Senate: 60th District: Republican Party

Mark Grisanti

Mark Grisanti is controversial because he takes risks and votes his conscience. Grisanti is detested on the right for his votes in favor of same-sex marriage, and the NY SAFE Act. He is being attacked from the right by the likes of the tea party, and from the left by NYSUT’s PAC, which is backing likely Democratic challenger Marc Panepinto. NYSUT figures that it can throw some shade at Grisanti and help Stocker win the nomination, and that this will make the November race easier for Panepinto. I’m not a big fan of disingenuousness like that, but hey – it’s politics. I respect Grisanti because he sticks his neck out to do what he thinks is right – not just for his constituents, but for the state in general. 

State Senate: 60th District: Democratic Party

Marc Panepinto

Panepinto over Al Coppola should be a no-brainer, even with the former’s past election law issues. Al Coppola most recently gained notoriety for his brave opposition to any Peace Bridge expansion, etc., but prior to that he helped get Antoine Thompson elected to the State Senate by pulling votes away from Marc Coppola. So, even Panepinto’s reported alliance with Steve Pigeon is a minor issue because no one’s sabotaging any Democrats today. 

State Senate: 62nd District: Republican Party

Robert Ortt

Mostly because Gia Arnold showed herself to be woefully unready for prime time with her cheating non-scandal, abrupt withdrawal, and silly re-entry. Ortt is a serious candidate with a serious job. Arnold is an inexperienced and unserious candidate who has, in her very short political life, displayed breathtaking immaturity, and she’s running a one-issue campaign on guns. The winner of this race will face Democrat Johnny Destino, who, like Ortt, is a serious adult person. 

State Senate: 63rd District: Democratic Party

Betty Jean Grant

Given his behavior over the last few years, incumbent Tim Kennedy has a lot of shit behavior to answer for. In 2010, he helped to spearhead a petty Republican coup of what should have been a Democratic majority during the last couple of years of Chris Collins’ tenure as County Executive. Kennedy conspired to hand control over to the Republicans, and the legislature effectively rubber-stamped anything Collins wanted during that time. More recently, Kennedy’s campaign funds provided over $85,000 to the “AwfulPAC” (a.k.a. “Progressive Caucus of WNY”) to defeat endorsed Democrats in primaries and hand races over to Republicans in order to embarrass Erie County Democratic Committee chairman Jeremy Zellner and hand control of the party – and patronage jobs – back over to people friendly with Steve Pigeon. 

If people want to get rid of Jeremy Zellner, then do what’s necessary to accomplish that goal. But if you sabotage the party and Democratic candidates, and help Republicans, you’re doing it wrong.  Tim Kennedy has been doing it wrong, and Betty Jean has been doing it right. In fact, Betty Jean was the stalwart during the legislative coup – calling Kennedy and his henchmen out publicly and relentlessly. She is a warrior for what’s right, and for her constituents. She deserves this. 

New York State Assembly: 141: Democratic Party

Crystal Peoples-Stokes

Seriously, you’d vote for Antoine Thompson? What is it with the political herpes, coming back every few years to make WNYers feel uncomfortable and itchy? Remember how two years ago, Chuck Swanick went gunning for Mark Grisanti by trying to capture the homophobe vote? Now deadbeat extraordinaire Antoine Thompson returns from a cushy city exile to try and weasel his way back into elected office. Do not forget that Thompson was an Albany pol for a few years, and rather widely regarded to be just awful. Don’t believe me? Here’s something I wrote in 2012, when the city hired Thompson:

What can’t be forgotten in this instance is that Antoine Thompson’s tenure in the state senate was pockmarked with scandal. There was the bizarre  junket to Jamaica, where Thompson claimed to be on a trade missionpaid for with campaign funds. During the short-lived and wildly corrupt Democratic leadership of the state senate, Thompson’s behavior became brazen and strange. He got his staff to lie for him, had been accused of accepting money in exchange for influence on Racino management, and developed a reputation for being thought of as a statewide laughingstock.  He stiffed groups that relied on his member item handouts.  In his own life, Thompson stiffed his creditors to the tune of $5,700.  Thompson gave $1000 to the legal defense fund for convicted fraudster and woman-slasher Hiram Monseratte.

Thompson arranged for a $400,000 subsidy to Howard Milstein’s Niagara Falls Redevelopment, an outfit run by a billionaire chairman of the Thruway Authority that has redeveloped absolutely nothing. When Thompson suffered a minor pulled-muscle injury in a car crash and discovered that he wasn’t hurt enough to meet the tort threshold and file a personal injury suit, he tried to change the law

Then there was this:

They claimed to have nobody on staff called John Taylor. They said the Albany staffer is Shawn Curry, a recent hire as a legislative assistant.

So who is John Taylor? That’s what we wanted to know. So we called him up.

The Post: “Hi, is this John Taylor?”


The Post: ” But isn’t your name really Shawn Curry? And if so why are you giving out a fake name from the Senator’s office?”

“Could you hold please . . .[in the same voice] This is Shawn Curry.”

The Post: “Why are you using a fake name from the Senator’s office, Shawn?”

“I am very busy, I have business to attend to, I can’t answer your question.”

Antoine Thompson’s political aspirations should be little more than a punch line, regardless of his opponent’s merits. 

New York State Assembly: 143: Democratic Party

Camille Brandon

Brandon worked closely with Kathy Hochul at the County Clerk’s office, and she’s got a good reputation for being a hard worker. By contrast, note the surname of Brandon’s opponent, and scroll up to read what I wrote about Tim Kennedy and AwfulPAC. You’ll note a similarity, and you’d be right – they’re related, and they have no business being anywhere near any sort of elected office of any sort. 

I’ll be on with Shredd and Ragan at 7am Tuesday on 103.3 WEDG to talk about how awful all of this is. Whatever you do, please go out and vote!

Election Day 2013

5 Nov

This is it. Some of the races being decided today began way back in February. Sergio Rodriguez, the 33 year-old Marine running for Mayor of Buffalo on the Republican and Progressive Party lines announced on February 6th. He’s worked hard, and his candidacy has transcended partisanship and honed in on issues that affect every resident of the city of Buffalo. 

I don’t expect too many surprises today. There are a handful of close races, from what I hear, but it’s up to you now to go out and cast a vote for the candidates whom you support. 

Yesterday, Chris Smith, Brad Riter, and I had great fun recording an hourlong podcast discussing this year’s election cycle and WNY politics in general. As you might expect, it’s as profane as it is funny, so all you delicate flowers who were shocked by this post will want to stay away. The rest of you will likely enjoy it. 


My recommendations (not Artvoice’s – just mine) for today’s election are: 



















Whichever way you vote, please make sure you do. Polls are open 6am – 9pm in Erie County.

I’ll post reactions tonight on Twitter, and follow the #WNYVotes hashtag. 



Election Day 2012

6 Nov

Please go out and vote today. While it’s true that New York’s electoral vote outcome is firmly in Obama’s corner, there are many very important downballot races that really need your vote – your support, your minimal effort as a citizen to spend a bit of your day at your polling place to help select how you will be governed over the next term of office. I have seen election days in countries where the choices were non-existent and pre-determined as part of an institutional dictatorship. I have seen election days in countries where the choices were for political parties more than they were for people. We as Americans don’t have a perfect electoral process, but it’s the only one we have right now. 

It’s a common refrain from political junkies like I to lecture you on your civic duty of voting. It’s more than that. You really don’t have very many duties as a citizen of this nation, except to pay taxes and obey the law. Voting is one of those unique and fundamental rights that you hold to help choose the direction of your town, city, state, and country. It’s a right that millions around the world do not have. It’s a right that has been kept away from American women, different races, and ethnicities throughout our history. You probably attend July 4th parades, firehall picnics, fireworks displays, and the like to join in our occasional totemic displays of patriotism. All of that is window-dressing. Going out to vote; taking that minimal time to make your most solemn voice – your political voice – to be heard is the real thing.

If you truly think the President is a disaster, you need to go vote for one of his opponents. If you think that your Assemblyperson, your State Senator, or your United States Senator is doing a good or bad job, you need to fill in an oval on a piece of paper, scan it, and tell them. 

My endorsements, again are here. They are:

Barack Obama (D-POTUS)(incumbent)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-US Senate)(incumbent)
Brian Higgins (D-NY26)(incumbent)
Kathy Hochul (D-NY27)(incumbent)
Mike Amodeo (D-SD60)
Justin Rooney (D-SD61)
Ray Walter (R-A146)(incumbent)
Christina Abt (I-A147)

Incidentally, although I made no endorsement, I voted David Shenk for County Comptroller. Given the choice between marginally qualified town finance nerd and wholly unqualified former sensational journalist, I opted for the former. 

If you have a sense of humor and you’re not offended by curse words, you can humorously find your polling place here.  If you want to find it in a way that’s more safe for work, try this. Every state is different, but polls throughout New York State are open from 6am – 9pm. If you’re in a different state, please consult this list

Tonight, I will join others to report on and live-Tweet the reactions and results of this election using the Twitter hashtag #WNYVotes. I leave you with President Obama’s closing argument, and the last political campaign speech he will ever give, delivered last night in Des Moines, Iowa, where his road to the Presidency began in earnest in 2007. 

Go vote.