Tag Archives: lunatic fringe

Well, Well, Well. What Do We Have Here?

24 Sep

UPDATES BELOWI sent a copy of this post and Chris’ to the four candidates in question on Friday morning.  As I receive replies or statements, I will update this post below.

Back when I ran for office, I ran as a Democrat in an overwhelmingly Republican district. I was urged by many people many times to try and get my name on a second party line, whether it be WFP or on a custom-made line, so that the people who refuse ever to vote for a Democrat would hold their nose and vote for me on the Zigazig-Ah Party line or whatever.

But I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it because it would betray my belief that fusion voting is a cynical piece of electoral shite. I lost, but I didn’t compromise on that issue, so in my mind I didn’t lose as badly as I could have.

There were a few endorsements I actively sought when running. Good Government Club, Stonewall Dems, casino opponents, Buffalo News, town committees, etc. I didn’t seek the endorsements of groups with whom I generally disagreed.

Which brings us to a group that Chris Smith has dubbed the “Collins Four”.

The local teabag contingent has banded together to endorse candidates for the County Legislature: Dino Fudoli (5th – Terranova incumbent), Kevin Hardwick (10th – Iannello incumbent), Lynne Dixon (12th – Reynolds incumbent), and Shelly Schratz (14th – Loughran incumbent).

There’s this:

Jim Ostrowski, editor of the blog, PoliticalClassDismissed.com, said the group is putting forth its own issue agenda of cutting the county budget by ten percent, cutting the county workforce by five percent and abolishing all pensions for elected officials statewide. “Many career politicians are hanging around for decades just for the pension,” he said. “The best form of term limits is abolishing pensions.”

WTF do pensions for “all elected officials statewide” have to do with county government, and how does one go about retroactively rescinding benefits that a state employee has already earned, you ask? You don’t need an answer. Just a wild platform plank.

Setting aside whether anyone’s going to cut the county workforce so that there is only one guy left named Jim working for the county, mowing the grass at Chestnut Ridge Park and administering HEAP, Chris points out that this teabag coalition holds some pretty sickening points of view.

For instance, Allen Coniglio, the head of “ReformNYS” is a full-fledged birther. I wasn’t aware of any in Buffalo until now. Coniglio also thinks that Obama wants to change the constitution and thus end the USA, and figures that Obama’s going to steal the 2010 midterms by granting citizenship to all the illegal Mexicans and getting them to vote Democrat. I’m sure there’s more, but there’s only so much conspiratorial brain-vomit I can wade through.

Now, I don’t know (nor do I care) why the group of people who make up Buffalo’s tea party grouping would choose to associate with something so wrong on every level, but they do. I’m all for freedom of association. I’m also for freedom of thought and speech (or, in this case, lack of thought and silly speech). So, this isn’t about Coniglio, and I hope he trolls WorldNutDaily for new tidbits of Biblical prophecy declaring Obama to be our Commie Hitler Kenyan anti-Christ to post to a Google Group. God Bless America.

This is about these candidates for public office.

I don’t know whether they’ve solicited or accepted the endorsement and support of this group. I’ll tell you that, going back to my own experience, if some group endorsed me and I discovered that their viewpoint was in some way abhorrent, I would reject and disavow that support.

I’d like to know whether candidates Fudoli, Schratz, Hardwick, and Dixon agree with this. I’d like to know whether they accept this support. As Smith says,

I would expect that each of these politicians will renounce anything to do with fringe whackjobs who claim the President is a terrorist thug who intends to put them in prison. Or who believe he was born in Kenya and thinks the state is coming to raid their homes to force them to get vaccinations which will only make them sicker as part of some new world order conspiracy. It’s troubling that any responsible politician would accept the support of people like this.

This is a big deal to me. I have no worries with people disagreeing – even strongly – with every Democrat or progressive who comes down the pike. I don’t care if someone dislikes and disagrees with Obama and his policies. But if you’re busy spouting John Birch Society madness, then I’d like to know if, as a Republican, you’re going to be a limp fish and go along with such viciously ignorant hatred, or if you’re going to be like William F. Buckley, Jr. and take a firm stand against the lunatic fringe.

This is an issue.

UPDATE 2:  Lynne Dixon’s statement:

While I never sought the endorsement, if their basic principles are that of lower taxes, less government and creating a better business climate in Western New York, then I appreciate that they believe I am the better candidate to address those issues.  As an Independent who left a long journalism career to try and do what’s best for the people of Erie County, regardless of party, that has been and will continue to be what guides me in my campaign.

UPDATE:  Professor Hardwick’s statement:

Although I doubt any two people in this community agree on the appropriate role of government or level of taxation, I think most people would agree that there is too much government in Erie County and taxes are too high. I, therefore, am pleased that the coalition believes I am the candidate for 10th District Erie County Legislature most likely to address these issues.