Tag Archives: jon powers

When People You Thought Were Friends Say Stupid Things

11 Sep

You know, back when I was running for Leg, I got a lot – a LOT – of help from the Amherst Democratic Committee. I will forever be grateful for the work that they did for me.

The other night, Geek asked me if I’d ever run for office again, and I said that I doubted it because, frankly, I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids more than I like driving and walking all over tarnation asking people who are thoroughly annoyed by my intrusion for their vote.

So, my reasons for running (kicking Ranzenhofer out of the Leg and getting things done) or not running (time off is time off) are my own.

So, when people come on teh internets and disagree with me, I’m always tickled by I’d-better-not-try-to-run-for-office-again-if… comments. They’re totally stupid and really don’t remotely enter my consciousness.

But this one’s different – different because I know this guy and consider him a friend, and I’d hope that if he had a big problem with something I did, that he’d get in touch with me. Mike Wrona was one of those Amherst committeepeople who gave me invaluable advice and support last year. Mike and I go way back to the Wesley Clark campaign, having been among the first group of people locally to support that candidacy.

So, I was surprised and saddened to see him write this with respect to Alice Kryzan’s win Tuesday:

She was also routinely hammered by alleged progressive political blogs like Alan Bedenko’s “The Buffalo Pundit” and Robert Harding of “The Albany Project.” Each fell in love with the “Iraq War veteran label” discounting the resume. Mr. Bedenko’s political aspirations outside of his Town of Clarence home been placed in jeopardy should he need go through the Town of Amherst for support.

First of all, the allegation is patently false. I didn’t “routinely hammer” Kryzan. In fact, I hardly ever wrote about her at all. Here’s the proof. I criticized her a couple of times for her Love Canal “hysteria” comments, and her donation to Tom Reynolds – duh, that’s low-hanging fruit. But frankly, that was all I had to go on. Wrona doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is relying on his own skewed memory to “j’accuse” me.

Secondly, with respect to the war-vet-light-resume thing, I didn’t “fall in love” with anything. Here’s what Powers said in his own words:

I decided to run for Congress because the America that you and I believe in lost its voice in Washington. That is why we built a grassroots campaign that is based on the voices of the hard working men and women of Western New York…

…I am proud of serving our nation in Iraq, I am proud of the groundbreaking work of War Kids Relief that continues to this day to help the forgotten children of Iraq despite the lies of my opponents, and I am tremendously proud of this campaign that you and I put together.

I thought Powers was an excellent candidate for Congress. He was the anti-Reynolds, and had not only talked the talk, but walked the walk. In other words, it wasn’t a question of resume – it had to do with Powers making the change he sought. My reasons for backing him and supporting him are my own. And did I mention he’s a Democrat, as is Alice Kryzan? So, why the threats?

When I get comments like this from people…

Mr. Bedenko’s political aspirations outside of his Town of Clarence home been placed in jeopardy should he need go through the Town of Amherst for support.

…they make me laugh, because I have no political aspirations. I have a great and stable job in the dreaded private sector, so although the intent is to scare me or insult me, it doesn’t work. And frankly, if I ever do run again, and go through Amherst to ask for support, I would relish the chance to defend my support for Jon Powers and call out as a lie any notion that I “routinely hammered” Kryzan.

But comments like that are – well, they’re idiotic. I wasn’t aware the Amherst Committee backed Krzyan. (Did they?) I never gave two thoughts to which candidate Wrona might be backing. And if Powers had won and Kryzan had lost, does anyone think for a moment that I’d be going around to pro-Kryzan blogs and threatening their authors with future political consequences for their choice of Democratic candidate? Give me a f*cking break. If you want to go on your blog and act like a two-bit Tony Soprano, go for it. People have an absolute right act silly.

But if you want a Democrat to win in November, you’d be smart not to act like a dick and threaten fellow Democratic bloggers who frankly haven’t yet decided between Lee and Kryzan. But that’s just my 2 cents. What do I know?

Primaries FTW

10 Sep


When Jon Powers announced last year, his primary focus was the Iraq War. As that issue faded from people’s consciousness due to an improved security scenario in that quagmire of ours, he had to change his strategy. All the numbers pointed to a Davis win if for nothing else, on his sheer name recognition. One way to counteract name recognition is to make that name seem unelectable. Powers started gently going negative on Jack with the Exxon Jack crack. Davis retaliated with a vengeance, and did everything within his power and checkbook to destroy Powers. War Kids, the ticket, PAC money, that’s all well and good, but the Powers Platoon hit site was a killer. It became a battle royal. Kryzan had been counted out for most of the campaign, but she came out from behind the fray with a clever but negative ad, which created its own buzz. She followed that up with a straight negative ad that was neither clever nor truthful, but it was enough.

Because Powers and Davis spent so much time bashing each other, 2/3 of Kryzan’s job was done for her without her having to spend a dime. She needed one thing to stand out, and the “boys, take it somewhere else” ad was just the ticket. She comes out of this relatively unscathed, so Republican Chris Lee doesn’t have a lot of negative ammunition to use against her. Hopefully Kryzan is able to capitalize on the desire for change in Washington and take the seat away from the Republicans.

I am disappointed in Powers’ loss, but take great, great pleasure in the fact that Jack Davis’ political career is now extinct. I’ll be he’s “relieved” he lost. Again. To top it off, a Davis “Brand New Man” just ran on WBEN. At 9:30. On Wednesday. Fail.


I hand it to Michele Iannello for running on issues. Her 40 ideas in 40 days was a great idea, and gave voters something to think about. She was outspent and outcampaigned by Joe Mesi and his Responsible New York benefactors. Mesi faces Mike Ranzenhofer, and he’s got a great opportunity to defeat the Republican. Mesi’s got the money, and Ranzenhofer has a negligble record given his 20 years in office.


Volker out-spent and out-hacked David DiPietro. Volker likes to play himself as being upstate’s champion, but he’s just as cozy with downstate interests as anyone else in Albany. He faces Kathy Konst, who is a ferocious campaigner, has money, and hasn’t been in elected office since this 40 year old was 3.

A-142 / 144

Why did Hoyt win with his intern problem and Cole lost with his more benign one?

1. Sam Hoyt has a dense urban district that is very politically active, and he has a veritable army of die-hard supporters who did the hard work to keep him around. They worked their asses off, and succeeded.

2. Mike Cole has a suburban/rural district and is a relative newcomer, except in Alden. He doesn’t have a supporter base like Sam’s.

3. Kavanaugh’s surrogates in the Pigeon/Casey/Brown camp took negative politicking to new lows this season. The depths of their gutter-dwelling may have helped Kavanaugh up to a point, but their zeal was so strong that they crossed a line – a line that I haven’t yet defined – that ultimately swung it right back in their butts.

4. Hoyt was up their with his wife, sister, and kids last night at Ellicott Square. You can tell that they all love and support each other very, very much. You can tell that he and his wife went through a very tough time in their marriage, but to their credit, they stayed together and worked through it. When you see Sam and his family, it hits you just how monstrously damaging it was to dredge up what was probably among their most difficult period as a family. Think what you want of Sam, but his wife didn’t deserve this. His kids didn’t deserve this. Yes, it was Sam’s fault. But bringing this stuff up in the way that they did merely victimized them all over again. Shame on them.

5. Hoyt’s hands are not clean on this. Everyone in the media has been receiving emails for weeks from some cryptic organization calling itself “WNY First”. The emails accuse a prominent local politician of being involved in what, if true, would be a blockbuster scandal. So far, no proof has been forthcoming and what WNY First has sent out purporting to be proof has been so transparently false as to be laughable. It’s been funny to watch local media – especially Channel 7 – trip over themselves to get the scoop. Hey, we’re just as curious as everyone else to see what kind of “proof” they have, but it’s most likely all a bunch of BS.

6. Cole is a Republican. He ran partly on his family values in 2006. When you tout that, don’t fall asleep on an intern’s apartment floor. Period.

7. Cole is a one-termer. Unlike Sam, he doesn’t have much of a legislative record to run on. No big thinking, no real initiative. When worse came to worse, he had no record to fall back on. Hoyt did.

Finally, the races hardly anyone really pays attention to were among the most important yesterday.

The Pigeon/Casey/Brown forces have been running candidates in committee races in the city in an effort to unseat county party chairman Len Lenihan. Their candidate to do so was Cheektowaga’s Frank Max. Every single one of Byron’s committee candidates lost last night, and so did Frank Max. One of the winning committeepeople didn’t even know he was running until that morning. With the exception of the Mesi race, City Hall’s effort to take over the county party was dealt a crushing defeat last night.

Jack Davis’ Crazy of the Day

2 Sep

Yesterday, “Upset Clarence Parent” left the following comment:

Today I witnessed the true Jack Davis. I was volunteering for Kristen Koslowski in the Clarence Center Labor Day Parade. As we were loading a trolly – which included children – I heard a large commotion and turned to see Jack Davis screaming at someone – later found out it was Jon Powers, the guy running for the same seat. The guy (Mr. Powers) had his hand extended trying to shake Jack Davis’s hand and Mr. Davis exploded, yelling and screaming for Powers to leave, at one point cursing so load it echoed in the neighborhood.

I am sorry Mr. Davis, but that is NOT how you should portray yourself in a campaign. Especially when the parade was lining up with children and women near by!

Another gentleman on our trolly witnessed the other guy (Mr. Powers) shake the hand of Alice Kryzan a few minutes before and they had friendly exchange, in a professional manner. I know they debated yesterday, but they were both at least professional.

Mr. Davis has proven himself to be completely unprofessional, and a very angry unstable person.

Happily, Davis’ complete breakdown in sanity was also captured by the Buffalo News:

Sitting behind the wheel of his gleaming black Excalibur at Monday’s Labor Day Parade in Clarence Center, Davis saw one of his opponents in the race for the Democratic nomination for Congress, Jon Powers, approaching.

Powers, who has been engaged in an exceptionally bitter battle with Davis, went up to his opponent and extended his hand — and Davis refused to shake it.

Instead, growing flustered, he simply shouted: “Get out of here!”

Powers, after persisting for a moment, simply sulked away, muttering under his breath.

“I just wanted to say hello, and he wasn’t interested in saying hello,” said Powers, who also noted that he asked Davis — who has avoided debates so far — if he was going to debate.

As for Davis, he said: “He wanted to shake hands with me — and I called him a lying politician.”

The funniest thing to me is that the guy who is running for Congress for the third time; the guy who created his own political party not once, but twice; the guy who admitted paying off the wives of the chairs of the Erie and Monroe County Independence Parties is accusing a first-timer of being a “lying politician”.

Davis need only look in the mirror to find that.

Kryzan vs. Powers on Hardwick

31 Aug

Hey, Alice, thanks for the shout-out today!

I listened to the show today and here are my quick impressions:

1. Kudos to Dr. Hardwick for hosting what I thought was a good, fair, and substantive debate. I also have to praise his unrelenting criticism of Jack Davis’ absence, but also bringing up how uncouth he was to not bother to call Hardwick to let him know he’d skip the debate, but making insane demands through the press.

2. Jon Powers did very well deflecting the War Kids criticism and explaining what the money was spent on and what the purpose of the group was. On substantive issues, there was a bit of fumfering at times and he began answering some questions with talking points, which doesn’t fly in that studio. Time is very tight on that show, and if you’re asked a direct question, a direct answer is necessary. Powers wanted to give explanations or get into more detail with some questions, but that just doesn’t work. I liked the fact that he didn’t return fire when Kryzan was critical of him, and his grasp of the big issues affecting the district was excellent. He was detailed and informative on the state of the wars in the middle east; he made a great point with respect to 9/11 – that the Bush administration had squandered an opportunity to call people to service rather than go out and shop. On energy and trade/immigration, he set forth an overview of the plans he’s already released calling for renewable sources of energy, breaking our addiction to foreign oil, and leveling the playing field for American workers and products.

3. Alice Kryzan also did very well deflecting criticism of her dealings with respect to Love Canal and her referring to the surrounding “hysteria”. She took some shots at Powers, which he was able to respond to, but I thought that her overall tone when talking about or addressing Powers was condescending and arrogant. She came across like a scold, and Powers didn’t take the bait. She was better at answering the short-answer questions than Powers was, being direct and then launching into whatever explanations she wanted to bring up afterwards. There were some puzzling comments of hers, for instance she mentioned how she had signed on to the “Responsible Plan” to end the war in Iraq, and no one else had. That implies that Powers’ plan is somehow off the mark, but she never said that or explained why it might be. When Powers gave a response to a question may have been long-winded, but was responsive nonetheless, she said she didn’t know what Powers was talking about. I did, so either she was trying to be cute or she wasn’t listening.

4. Davis’ absence really underscores the fact that he doesn’t care what people think, and doesn’t think he needs to answer anyone’s questions. His failure to pick up the phone and tell Hardwick that he wouldn’t show up reveals that he’s a rude, petty little man and it calls into question how responsive he might be, if elected, to constituent concerns.

I thought Kryzan and Powers comported themselves quite well, and I’d call it a draw between them.

One thing, though – Powers made it quite clear in many of his answers that they were crafted after soliciting, receiving, and considering input from people throughout the district. When asked about trade policy, he talked about his discussions with Delphi workers. When asked about immigration, he talked about his discussions with farmers. When asked about education, he drew upon his own experience, but also talked about what he had been hearing throughout the district. He isn’t imposing his views on anyone; instead, he’s listening to real concerns and coming up with solutions to them that he pledges to go to Washington to work for. Kryzan, on the other hand, seemed to me to have a need to be the smartest person in the room, an expert on everything. The only time a discussion with a voter was brought up arose during a question about soldiers being redeployed repeatedly to Iraq.

As usual, the big loser today was Jack Davis.

Davis Avoiding Answering Anything from Anyone

30 Aug

Not only is Jack Davis refusing to debate his primary opponents Alice Kryzan and Jon Powers on Hardline with Hardwick on Sunday (tomorrow), but he’s also refusing to participate in a candidate’s forum in Geneseo. According to the Lockport Union Sun & Journal:

Now Davis says he won’t join them in joint campaign appearances unless they return the donations that they’ve received from those interest groups — as well as sign on with Davis’ self-created “pledge to protect Social Security,” and promise to run “clean” campaigns.

Interesting. Davis had no problems debating PAC-laden Tom Reynolds last season. Indeed, he had no problem accepting PAC money last season. It’s beyond unseemly for a self-funded millionaire candidate to set as a precondition to answering voter questions that his opponents return what he defines as “special interest” money. Naturally, as his own contributor, Jack Davis is his own special interest.

Kevin Hardwick, the WBEN show host who’ll moderate Sunday’s discussion, called Davis’ refusal to participate in candidate forums “disturbing.”

Hardwick, a political science instructor and past candidate for office himself, said the unwritten rule of campaigning is before you ask people for their votes, you’re supposed to make yourself available to answer their questions.

“If you’re too afraid to go into a debate for fear of saying something stupid, how can we expect you to stand up to the special interests in Washington?” Hardwick said. “If (Davis’) handlers don’t trust him … perhaps they ought not run him for office.”

In Geneseo…

The debate at Geneseo will begin at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. Organizers said the National Public Radio affiliates in Buffalo and Rochester, wbfo-FM 88.7 and WXXI-AM 1330, will replay the session as regular programming.

According to debate co-organizer Ben DeGeorge, Independence Party nominee Anthony Fumerelle also will participate. Republican candidate Chris Lee declined the invitation.

Jack Davis has some incredible gall, using as an excuse for not debating that his opponents have campaigned negatively against him. Jack Davis created a phony website with a Powers-friendly URL that is not only negative, but meant to confuse and deceive. Advertising it all over the internet, including on Republican blogs, if Davis wants to learn about slimy campaign tactics, all he has to do is look in the mirror.

Jack Davis. Too afraid he’ll say something embarrassing (again) to debate his opponents.
Jack Davis. Hypocrite.
Jack Davis. Is intent on buying an election whether by hook or by crook.
Jack Davis. Unelectable.

If It's Sunday, It's DEBATE OF THE CENTURY!!$%@

30 Aug

This Sunday from 10 – 10:30 on WBEN 930-AM, Dr. Hardwick will speak with the Hamburg Sun’s Dan Meyer, and then at 10:30, the fireworks begin as the Democratic candidates for Congress from NY-26 debate.

Well, two of them will.

Kryzan and Powers are on board.

Jack Davis? His Highness the Duke of Losingham shan’t be bothered to discuss politics with the proles. He isn’t coming, and doesn’t care what you think. He doesn’t need to be bothered with pesky questions from Canisius professors, and can’t be bothered to “compete” in a “political campaign” because he has people to do that, and can pay for lit and ads.

UPDATE: And another thing. Illuzzi runs no ads for NY-26, yet he is running a cartoon that smacks Powers and Davis. Now, Illuzzi does just about nothing for free, and I strongly doubt he runs those shittily drawn cartoons for free. Illuzzi made a big deal about refusing Jack Davis’ money to smack Powers. I don’t suspect Kryzan is paying Illuzzi, either. There’s only one logical explanation.


The Republicans must be paying Illuzzi to injure the Democrat they’re most afraid of running Chris Lee against, and that’s Jon Powers. Domagalski and Wojtaszek actually held a press conference a week or two ago to say very, very stupid things a couple of weeks ago, demanding that Jon Powers do exactly what he planned to do, and ultimately did.

Republicans sticking their nose in a Democratic primary race? It’s astonishing in its sheer transparent idiocy. But since they have absolutely nothing, evidently, to say or do to promote their own weak candidate, at least it kept them busy.

UPDATE: Professor Hardwick tells me that Davis’ camp isn’t even returning his phone calls, at this point.

UPDATE: To the top for the weekend.


25 Aug


UPDATE: From the Buffalo News in 1998, Alice Kryzan spoke on the 20th anniversary of the Love Canal fiasco. (We just this year remembered its 30th anniversary):

Alice Kryzan, an attorney who represented Hooker and Occidental, said Hooker’s waste-disposal policies in 1978 “were entirely legal and well-ahead of the industry standards of the times.”

And, she said, scientific studies have yet to prove a link between chemical exposure of people living in the area and health effects.

In the case of toxic torts, causation of injury is notoriously difficult to prove, but if you’ve got an entire neighborhood that’s located on top of a toxic site contracting some form of cancer or auto-immune disease, you need to rely on that circumstantial evidence. And although she’s a lifelong Democrat, just eight years ago, she thought Tom Reynolds was doing a bang-up job to the tune of $250.

Oh, and the real victim of Love Canal was Hooker/Occidental. Not the families who lived there and contributed to the “hysteria”.

You know, just so we’re clear.

Note to Davis' Paid Hacks

23 Aug

If you’re going to “leak” a script used by Powers volunteers to phone-canvass voters in the 26th District, don’t refer to it as a “push poll” unless it’s really a push poll.

If the caller identifies himself as a volunteer for a candidate and tries to get a voter to change his mind about their selection, it’s advocacy, not push polling.


Rich Dude

22 Aug


Hardline with Hardwick Debates

22 Aug

Coming up this Sunday is a debate between the Democratic candidates for the SD-61; Michele Iannello, Joe Mesi, and Dan Ward.

Coming up the Sunday after that (August 31st) is a debate between the Democratic candidates for the 26th Congressional District.

Well, some of them.

Alice Kryzan‘ll be there. Jon Powers‘ll be there.

But what of His Highness the Duke of Bilosershire, Earl of Winningnot, Viscount of Failingham, Jack Davis? So far, he won’t be there.

Figures. After all, he can’t buy a win on Hardwick’s show.