Tag Archives: Mark Grisanti

NOM Compares Grisanti to Benedict Arnold

20 Jul

Here’s the mailer:


Benedict Arnold betrayed the United States during the Revolutionary War, which is obviously exactly like voting in favor of loving couples being able to marry. Given that Grisanti represents a largely Democratic district, and that he’s had a big influx of money from supporters of same-sex marriage, the best thing for Grisanti to do at this point is to return NOM’s dirty hate money.  Furthermore, sources close to Grisanti say that whatever support or money he received from NOM was in 2008, not 2010. NOM is a bucket of hate fail and should save its money.  This is New York, not Mississippi.

The Daily Show on Grisanti

28 Jun

The Daily Show on Grisanti’s marriage equality vote (about 2 minutes in):


Grisanti Addresses the Criticism

28 Jun

Mark Grisanti is sorry.

If you based your vote in the 2010 race for the 60th State Senate District  on Grisanti’s then-opposition to same-sex marriage, then he apologizes to you.

Grisanti held a late afternoon press conference at the Mahoney office building yesterday, and had two messages to get across; the apology was one of them. The other? He didn’t horse-trade for his vote.

It’s rare that a political figure so blatantly and openly flip-flops on an issue and reneges on a campaign promise. But Grisanti makes it clear that he agonized over this issue during the six months it was on his agenda, and his exhausted tone and defiant words are loaded with something all too rare in our politics: sincerity.

Grisanti said that his offices were deluged with calls from all around the country, but claimed that they split about 50/50, for and against marriage equality.  He downplayed any rifts, indicating that he had spoken to both Conservative Party chair Ralph Lorigo and Republican Party Chair Nick Langworthy, and while they’re disappointed, everyone has to move on to the next issue.  The elephant in the room? Although the Conservative line helped Grisanti defeat Antoine Thompson last year, neither the ECGOP nor the Conservatives really lifted a finger to help him get elected last year. Aside from the endorsement, there was no lit, no canvassers, nothing. Grisanti beat an entrenched incumbent himself, and it’s clear he bristles at their threats regarding his marriage equality votes.

Rumors are swirling about the possibility that Grisanti will revert back to the Democratic Party – not a bad move in a Democratic district that the likeable, smart Grisanti won handily with an (R) after his name. Now that Langworthy and Lorigo so publicly have their knives out for Grisanti over this vote, Grisanti notably didn’t rule out a party switch at some point in the future.  He said that this same-sex marriage vote, when paired with his 2008 letter strongly opposing it, has taught him not to ever paint himself into a corner again.

Grisanti’s vote wasn’t influenced by the phone calls, or by internet chatter, joking that he can’t even get on his own Facebook page. Instead, he performed legal research on the matter, finding out that civil unions don’t really work, and that married couples enjoy 1,300+ rights and privileges that unmarried couples don’t. He had to compartmentalize his faith and examine the issue purely on the facts and the law, resulting in a conversion.  However, he would not agree to vote in favor of this law without strong religious exemptions and an inseverability clause, which would render the entire law null and void should a future court change so much as one word.  Grisanti says that the clergy to whom he’s spoken since his vote appreciate that language.

Channel 2 and the News’ Bob McCarthy were intensely interested in the “betrayal” angle, and whether Grisanti had committed “political suicide”. Grisanti smiled and replied that he’s new to politics and didn’t make his decision under pressure. He said it was going to pass anyway, but he could not in good conscience refuse to extend basic civil rights to his taxpaying constituents. He said he doesn’t know – or care – whether he committed political suicide with this vote. He didn’t get into politics to be re-elected, but to do good by his constituents. If they decide he should leave Albany, so be it.

Grisanti seems visibly exhausted by the last few weeks, but he went out of his way to defend his honor against those who call him dishonorable, against those who say he cut a deal for UB 2020 or that the governor made him some sort of guarantee in exchange for his vote. He said UB 2020 was a done deal, and that the Governor made absolutely no promises to him, and that there was no quid pro quo whatsoever for his vote.

I guess in western New York politics, we’ve become so cynical and jaded, expecting our electeds to be dirty, dishonorable deal-makers that when we see true leadership, hard work, and conscientious research and analysis, we really don’t know how to react and assume we’re being played.

I don’t think Grisanti is playing anyone.


Tom Ragan vs. Rus Thompson

28 Jun

The video speaks for itself:


Senator Mark Grisanti On His Marriage Equality Vote

25 Jun

Please watch the whole thing, and if you’re a constituent of his, please contact him and pledge your support to help him make up whatever support he may have lost by doing the unthinkable – researching an issue, evolving, and changing his mind.


It’s Done.

24 Jun

The same-Sex Marriage Bill, S1545, passed 33 – 29 around 10:30 pm on Friday June 24, 2011. This is an historic date that saw some great courage, not least of which coming from State Senator Mark Grisanti – a Republican who had adamantly been opposed to same-sex marriage just three short years ago, and had a change of opinion and heart in recent weeks.

A good 3 1/2 hours before the vote, I Tweeted this:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84387092926435328″%5D

I can hardly wait to find the video of his brilliant speech on the floor of the Senate explaining his vote, but here are some quotes I live-Tweeted (and a bitter reaction from someone with very limited political capital):

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84444283612049409″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84444618644652033″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84444932433133568″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84445092257079296″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/NickLangworthy/status/84443916119707648″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84450245416718336″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/84450014880993280″%5D

Thanks also to Senator Tim Kennedy, who was a consistent voice in favor of same-sex marriage from jumpstreet.  Thanks also to Governor Cuomo, who was a steady supporter of this throughout the campaign last year, and pushed for today’s vote.

It’s late, and I’ve had a long day, so I’ll just say that today is an historic day and all New Yorkers should be proud.

UPDATE: Let me add this. Senator Grisanti has guaranteed his re-election in SD-60 with this vote. He got his own ass elected, with little (really, no) help from the Republican machine or the Conservative Party. They didn’t help him, and he doesn’t owe them a damn thing. His is a very Democratic district, and he won in large part because he wasn’t Antoine Thompson. Now that he has so thoughtfully changed his opinion on same-sex marriage, the wrath he incurs from the Republican and Conservative Party apparati can safely be ignored.  Grisanti did the right thing morally, ethically, and legally – but more importantly, he underscored the fact that he didn’t owe Nick Langworthy or Ralph Lorigo a single. fucking. thing.

UPDATE 2: Here is the roll-call vote. Still looking for video of Grisanti’s statements on the floor.


UB2020 Passes State Senate

2 Mar

Congratulations to Senator Mark Grisanti.  The first bill he ever submitted – the UB 2020 legislation – has passed the state Senate.  Watch his comments on the floor, likening UB2020 and Buffalo’s medical corridor to the Bethlehem Steel of yore.


Thompson Extends his Middle Finger to Grisanti in Friendship

4 Jan

Destroying documents so that your incoming replacement is at a disadvantage, and instead merely handing over to him the “book of achievements” that helped you lose in the first place, is the mark of a protodictatorial egomaniac.

Good riddance.

Grisanti Wins in the 60th Senate District

1 Dec

Antoine Thompson will not be the State Senator for the 60th Senate District next session.  Still trailing by 527 votes, and losing the financial support of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, his campaign withdrew its challenge and the court case was dismissed.

On election night, I predicted that this race would go to a recount.

Republican Mark Grisanti will go to Albany, and I wish him well.   He says that Thompson has not called him to congratulate him or concede, nor did Thompson mention his successor in his press release yesterday afternoon.  Sore loser.

Although this result may end the Democratic state senate majority, that’s ok.  That majority was rife with corrupt people doing corrupt things, led by tone-deaf dummies.  Among them was majority whip Antoine Thompson.

The last two Buffalo mayors had basically used the 60th District senate seat as their stepping stone to City Hall.  It had widely been anticipated – and feared – that Thompson may do the same; that he was the Mayor-in-Waiting until Mayor Byron Brown found a better gig.  With a big Democratic enrollment advantage in that district, Thompson should have easily held on to that seat barring some horrible scandal.  That he let this get away from him is a massive failure, and underscores how dissatisfied his constituents were with him and his “service”.  He was pilloried constantly for his profligate spending on mailers and turkey giveaways and other palm-greasing.  He was the very embodiment of the sleazy Albany pol. Although he was a proponent of gay marriage and the environment, that hardly made up for his self-aggrandizement.


Mark Grisanti has done the entire region a huge service.  By possibly putting an end to that despicable Democratic failure of a senate majority, he may have also done the state a huge service.

Grisanti vs. Thompson

3 Nov

In Erie County, Thompson is up by 3,332.  In Niagara County, Grisanti is up by 3,074.  That’s net +258 for Thompson with two election districts still unreported.  This is epic, not only because Thompson is very close to being ousted, but because the balance of the state senate remains unclear this morning.

We had a late night last night, so I’ll have more later.