Tag Archives: infighting

Lenihan Returns, Ryce Nowhere

27 Sep

The Brown/Casey – Pigeon factions’ clumsy attempt to oust Len Lenihan as chairman of the Erie County Democratic Committee failed on Saturday.  At the Democrats’ biannual reorganization meeting, Lenihan was re-elected unanimously by the rank-and-file Democratic committeepeople.

Last Tuesday, Buffalo businesswoman Sundra Ryce commenced a run against Lenihan.  She has supported Democratic candidates with monetary contributions, but exclusively Grassroots-backed candidates like Antoine Thompson, Byron Brown, and Jim Keane.  On Friday, Mayor Brown, Erie County Legislature Chairwoman Barbara Miller-Williams, and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes endorsed Ryce’s candidacy.  (Surprise, surprise).  This from the Buffalo News’ Politics Now blog:

“There is a movement that is taking off and gaining tremendous speed,” Brown said.

Ryce said she decided to challenge for the top party post only about a week ago, following the Primary elections. That was when she said she realized the Democratic Party needed to be “re-energized.”

But on Saturday – the day that mattered – none of them showed up.  Indeed, Ryce was never so much as nominated.  Ryce herself is not a committeeperson (one might be expected to expect her to be a member of the committee she expects to lead), and could not nominate herself.  She couldn’t even enter the meeting.  Mirroring 2008, the challenge to Lenihan was full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.  Brown and co. were just out to jerk Lenihan around, and didn’t bother to show up and take their trouncing.

As I said in 2008,

It’s disheartening to me the fact that Mayor Brown has so much potential to be an agent for positive change in this city, yet he gets all wrapped up in losing silly, petty political battles of his own creation.

The Emily Litella school of politics – “never mind” – gets Brown some ink, and makes for some suspense in an otherwise boring process.

Congratulations to Lenihan and his supporters.  It’s time for Mayor Brown and his supporters to grow up and work together with the party leadership to defeat Republicans.  But that won’t happen because of the strategic alliance with Chris Collins that Brown and Pigeon have created and continue to cultivate.

Frankly, it’s that simple.