Tag Archives: Mike Ranzenhofer

With Apologies to Al Jaffee

8 Jul

In recent months, I’ve taken to quietly deleting comments that I find to be ad hominem, off-topic, and belligerent. If you can’t be bothered to argue an opinion or position, then it’s gone. Repeat or exceptionally egregious offenders are sometimes blacklisted from the site altogether. In any event, it’s wholly within my – ahem – executive discretion what stays and what goes. 

Recent posts about Hobby Lobby (here and here) and the “12th Man” trademark (here) have generated some lively and unusually on-topic discussions, and I’ve only gone back and deleted one or two comments. 

But sometimes, a comment is so thought-provoking – or stupid – that it merits a post of its own. I used to do this quite frequently, but as blogging as a medium has been replaced with newer, terser platforms, it’s been rare lately.

But today, we’ll play “snappy answers to stupid questions”, with apologies to Mad Magazine’s Al Jaffee

Tony, aka “wnyresident” is the showrunner of the longstanding cult comedy hit, “SpeakupWNY”. It’s a ragtag collection of Obama haters and other low-information voters who parrot a distinctly right wing weltanschauung. Think Breitbart without the spelling and grammar, or Ann Coulter without the wit. 

Now, it’s not a secret that I’m a partisan Democrat, and a proud one at that. I’m a registered Democrat and town committeeman because I believe that the platform and values of the Democratic Party match my own, as compared with the other major political party – the Republican Party.  I finally made the switch from the GOP to the Democrats in order to help Wesley Clark run for President in 2003-2004, but I had felt that the party had abandoned voters like me in 2000. That year, I volunteered and phone banked for John McCain as he battled George W. Bush for the Republican nomination.

McCain energized me on two occasions – the first was at a Republican candidates’ debate somewhere in the midwest in late 1999. The candidates were asked to name their most influential political philosopher. George W. Bush replied first with an astonishingly unresponsive, “Jesus Christ, because he changed my heart,” whatever that means. Jesus might be a lot of things, but I don’t think he was a political philosopher. (Not that I would necessarily quibble with a candidate who was arguing that, say, Jesus was the most influential figure in his life in general – that would be a valid response. But political philosopher?)

Then one by one, every other candidate parroted – oh yeah, Jesus for me, too. Except for one. 

John McCain said, “Teddy Roosevelt” and explained how this earlier “maverick” had been a Republican who broke up the trusts and believed in conservation. It was a valid response to tendered question, and one that was well-reasoned and insightful. I was impressed, mostly because here was a Republican presidential candidate who was unafraid to not do the easy thing and just say, “Jesus”. 

It showed that McCain was willing to stick his neck out, but more importantly that he had taken the time and brainpower to actually listen to the question – a sign of intelligence and respect. 

The second time? I traveled up to Peterborough, New Hampshire and caught the tail end of a town hall speech he gave.  He was saying all the right things – all the things that a young, sane, Northeastern Republican wanted to hear. 

As we know, John McCain went on to verbally assail the right-wing theocrats Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell shortly before dropping out of the race.  It was a last gasp to attract the sane, secular, Bill Weld Republicans to his team. It failed, and McCain later went on to run a shambolic campaign in 2008 with an unvetted embarrassment of a running mate, whose moronic pronouncements poison our political discourse to this day. In the last 14 years, the GOP has become only more reactionary, theocratic, and unreasonable. 

So, as the Republicans continued to lurch right – especially after the country elected, and re-elected, Barack Obama – its values and platform has gone farther and farther away from my own personal and political values and beliefs. 

I default to Democrat, just like Tony from Speakup, WBEN listeners, and many of you default to Republican. There are exceptions, and I have backed Republicans whom I believe to be exceptional in some way, or somehow better than the Democratic alternative. 

In the case of my own New York State Senate District 61, I am represented by Mike Ranzenhofer.  Mike’s a nice guy, but I think he’s been wholly ineffective in his two decades in public service. So much so that I ran against him unsuccessfully in 2007. He’s now just another Republican footsoldier in the feckless state Senate, and it would be good for SD-61 and New York for his tenure in public office to end. You can’t name anything Ranzenhofer has ever stood for in 20 years, except maybe for his push to make Chobani yogurt the state snack

One big statewide issue is the implementation of the Common Core education standards, and the extent to which kids are overtested in New York schools. I don’t feel particularly strongly about the Common Core because I think that tougher standards are needed to get kids learning at a 21st century level.  I agree, however, that the tests have been poorly implemented and administered, and that teacher autonomy should be respected.  We can strike a good balance here if we retreat from our bunkers and listen to each other, as McCain did at that 1999 debate. 

Elaine Altman is running against Ranz, and she’s a teacher. The Common Core is one of her biggest platform planks because she is uniquely qualified to address it and come up with ways to make it better. Admittedly, the race hasn’t begun in earnest, and we still have about three months to find out more about Altman and her positions. Nevertheless, as a Democrat, I default to Altman over her Republican opponent. As someone who thinks that Ranz has been an ineffective seat-moistener as a legislator, I choose Altman. As a Democratic committeeman in SD-61, I choose Altman over the career politician who’s done little to earn his fat state pension. 

So, regard

That’s a fascinating insight, isn’t it? Sure, Altman would probably be a great teacher – is a great teacher – but she’s now taking her experience as a citizen and a teacher and looking to take that to an insular, corrupt Albany that has no clue how the world works outside of its own decrepit bubble.

For as much bleating as the right makes about “career politicians”, put a professional teacher up against a career politician, and they beat a partisan retreat. By Tony’s own logic, professional gun fetishist David DiPietro would “really make a better dry cleaner” than Assemblyman. 

But this one popped up just the other day – a solid two weeks after the original post went up. 

There are no “open borders”, and anyone who suggests that is being willfully ignorant. There aren’t any candidates who want “open borders”, either – at least, not from the mainstream parties. The United States has, in effect, an army of agents along the southern border and anyone who’s actually tried to cross it knows that the process makes crossing into Canada from WNY seem as easy as a drive into Pennsylvania. 

But even more critically, immigration, the border, customs, and international affairs are wholly within the province of the federal government. The states have little, if any, power or control over policymaking or enforcement of federal immigration statutes and regulations. 

To ask what a candidate for the New York State Senate thinks about “illegal immigration” is as pointless as asking Ms. Altman her position on Burmese ethnic strife or Taiwanese independence. It would be like asking a member of the Amherst Town Board their considered opinion on fishing rights in the Georges Bank

Now, as to my “view” on “illegal immigration”, I believe that the federal government should overhaul the entire immigration system to simplify the process for people wanting to live here, and to enable businesses here in the US that depend on migrant labor to hire the people they need under a modernized guest worker scheme.  

But the current headlines are due in large part to right wing propaganda and misinformation. 

http://mediamatters.org/embed/199990

I don’t know what Ms. Altman’s position is on “illegal immigration”, nor is it in any way relevant to the duties and responsibilities of a New York State Senator. 

Elaine Altman for State Senate

23 Jun

Elaine Altman is a teacher with 24 years of experience. She’s running for State Senate against Mike Ranzenhofer, a career politician with a weak record. Unfunded Albany mandates and the outright theft of public school funding to help balance Albany’s spendthrift ways, she’s marketing herself with the social media hashtag #sendateachertoAlbany. 

She is advocating for greater investment in public services, fair taxes and fair funding for public education, mandates that support teaching and learning, rather than tests, tests, and more tests. 

The Amherst Democratic Committee is hosting a $25 fundraiser for Altman today from 5:30 – 7:30 at Loughran’s at 4543 Main Street. Anyone who wants to go to Albany to fight for stronger public education is worth a listen. 

When Hypersensitive Republican Trolls Call the Cops

15 Nov

On October 27th, Genesee County Democratic Committeeman Chris Charvella posted this to his “Rural Democrats” blog:

A certain legislator from Genesee County, let’s pretend his name is Sharome Glasshole, is also the Genesee County republican ‘sign guy.’  Yesterday when I got to work, there was a Mike Ranzenhofer sign in the lawn in front of the flower shop next door to my place of business.  Most people don’t know that the company I work for owns the flower shop property as well and the only person in the company who would authorize a political sign on either property would be…you guessed it, me.

Now, there’s no way to be sure who put the sign there, but we can certainly make an educated guess or two.

So, to the Genesee County ‘sign guy’ and the Ranzenhofer campaign:  The next time I see an unauthorized sign go up in front of a commercial property, I’m going to harvest the damn thing, march straight down to republican headquarters and cram it up the first ass I see.

Republican Genesee County Legislator, Ranzenhofer hack, and sock-puppeted internet troll Jerome Grasso is the “sign guy” to whom Charvella refers in that post as “Sharome Glasshole”.

A few days later, “Glasshole” paid an uninvited visit to Charvella’s own home:

I had to stop by my house this afternoon to conduct a little personal business.  When I pulled up I saw a Mike Ranzenhofer sign on my lawn; obviously I hadn’t ordered one up from the Genesee County Republican Committee.  So I chuckled and walked over to pull it.  As I got closer I noticed that someone had written a personal message on it.

Written in blue pen across the top right-hand side of the sign was this: ‘Courtesy of Sharome Glasshole.’

The post goes on to accuse Grasso of being a deadbeat, a hack, a dirty cop, and a troll with too much time on his dirty hands.  It ends with a picture of the creepy-looking Rape Ewok bearing the legend “prepare your anus”, in reference to what Charvella had he’d do with any Ranzenhofer signs he’d find.

On election day, Charvella left a voice mail for Grasso:

‘Hello Jerome.  Chris Charvella calling.  It’s nice to know you read my blog.  Have a nice day.’

This past weekend, Grasso had Charvella arrested for “aggravated harassment” The Batavian has the story here.

From the jury instruction on that charge:

a person is guilty of Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree when, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person, he or she intentionally and repeatedly harasses another person by following such person in or about a public place or places or by engaging in a course of conduct or by repeatedly committing acts which places such person in reasonable fear of physical injury.

Maybe Grasso shouldn’t have placed lawn signs for Senate failure Mike Ranzenhofer without permission, and maybe Grasso shouldn’t have (allegedly) trespassed on Charvella’s property to send him a message.  Did Grasso really think that Charvella would ram a Ranzenhofer sign up his ass, or retain the services of the rape Ewok to do it for him? I’m just saying.

Coppola Challenges Ranzenhofer to Debates

23 Sep

In SD-61, Democratic Challenger Marc Coppola challenges incumbent Republican State Senator Mike Ranzenhofer to a series of debates – anytime, anywhere.

Continue reading

Marc Coppola for State Senate SD-61 #WNYVotes

22 Sep

By way of full disclosure, I ran against Mike Ranzenhofer for the county legislature in 2007.  I think he’s just as ineffective and feckless now as he was then.

Ranzenhofer has been in elected office for over 20 years, and has helped preside over the precipitous decline in WNY’s fortunes during that time.  While he was in the minority during most of his tenure in the county legislature and state senate, someone who believes in good government can still make a positive difference for his constituents beyond just saying, “no” and proposing pie-in-the-sky tax cuts without actually doing the work necessary to get it done.  During his short time in the majority, he advocated for, and passed, the Giambra budgets that led to fiscal meltdown in 2004.

Marc Coppola, former Buffalo City Councilman and pre-Antoine SD-60 senator has moved into Tonawanda and is running to replace Ranzenhofer in SD-61.  He made a splash when he announced by renouncing our corrupt system of electoral fusion, refusing to accept or seek the WFP or IP or CP lines.  He pledges to work to abolish fusion. By contrast, Ranzenhofer sought and received the endorsements of the IP and CP, and no doubt some IP and CP low-level, semi-intelligent apparatchik will get some sort of state job or contract in exchange for that endorsement.  You scratch my back politics is de rigeur in New York if you play the fusion game.

Coppola is the first person with a high profile to so vocally criticize and renounce fusion – a system that helps and is helped by the party establishment.

Yet Ranzenhofer goes to the Senate, helps the Republicans cut deals with corrupt friend-of-Pigeon, Pedro Espada, and criticizes the budget process in Albany.   He has zero independence whatsoever and goes along with whatever the minority does.  Coppola rightfully criticized Ranzenhofer’s disingenuous complaints about the budget process thusly,

There are 62 members in the New York State Senate and it only takes 32 to pass a bill. Even with nine members absent, the remaining 53 are more than enough to get something accomplished. The fact that nothing is getting done is due to senators like Mike Ranzenhofer who would rather accomplish nothing so that they can play partisan blame games.”

Ranzenhofer has also been missing in action when it comes to the battle to pass the UB 20/20 legislation. The university is the district’s largest employer and in desperate need of help.

“I challenge the incumbent senator to show some independence and work for the people who elected him, not his party leader. I challenge him to do something for his district and WNY. New York State is in its most difficult financial crisis since the Great Depression. This is no time for partisan politics. It is a time for all members to act like adults and work together for the good of all New Yorkers.”

Coppola isn’t just blowing smoke.  During his abbreviated (4-month session) tenure in the state Senate, Coppola submitted many  bills, four of which passed and were signed into law by the Governor, all while being in the minority and the most freshman member of the Senate at the time.  That’s about the same number that former state senator Byron Brown passed during his entire 5 years there.

The fiscally conservative Republican incumbent, isn’t.  Just yesterday, Coppola pointed out that Ranzenhofer is all too happy to spend public money when it directly benefits his re-election campaign.

[Ranzenhofer] is an outright hypocrite, claiming to be a fiscal conservative, while spending like a liberal.

“Ranzenhofer continues to call for budget cuts and less spending, but what does he do? He spends, and spends, and then spends more taxpayer money,” Coppola said.

Ranzenhofer sent out taxpayer-funded mailings through his government offices. This most recent mailer simply invites people to come and meet his staff. Another mailer informs people to be safe on Halloween.

“Are these messages really important enough to spend thousands of taxpayers’ dollars on?” asked Coppola.

The practice is widely criticized as wasteful.

Coppola believes Ranzenhofer is misleading the public when he sounds the alarm about state spending and reducing taxes, yet he continues to spend more than any other WNY Senator in his conference on useless mailers.

Ranzenhofer wants it both ways contends Coppola, “He’s telling his constituents that he’s trying to reduce state spending, but nobody will listen to him. He is ineffective because he has no credibility and doesn’t practice what he preaches.”

Coppola also criticized Ranzenhofer for using the system to further his re-election campaign with mailers close to the election at taxpayer expense. Ranzenhofer should have used campaign funds, said Coppola.

“He has over a quarter of a million dollars in his campaign war chest, why not lead by example and use that, rather than taxpayer money when the state is virtually bankrupt,” he added.

Ranzenhofer really is just a suburban, Republican variation on the Antoine Thompson theme.  He gets a free pass on everything he does (or, more often than not, doesn’t do) because he’s a Republican with a gaping enrollment advantage in his district.  But can you name a singular Ranzenhofer legislative success?  Can you name one initiative that he’s brought forth to make your life better?  Hell, can you name a time he actually accomplished something – whether it be lowering taxes or controlling spending?

A cynic would say that Ranzenhofer’s political tenure are mere efforts to get great benefits and a sweet pension – something his small Akron law firm could never offer and remain solvent.

By contrast, Coppola wants to return to Albany and actually bring about some political change that would matter.  Abolishing electoral fusion would matter. Changing the way in which the state budget is passed would matter.  Instituting rules changes to render the legislative process in New York more democratic and fair would matter.  The highlights of his platform include,

  • A Constitutional Budget Deadline, ending late state budgets forever.
  • A Mandate Relief Task Force, that will review and recommend changes to state laws that increase property taxes
  • A Regional Economic Development plan that will grow jobs by consolidating agencies, streamlining the process, and adding consistency
  • Adding full investigatory powers and abilities to both the State Board of Elections and the Legislative Ethics Commission in order to hold elected officials, candidates for office, and their staffs accountable for violations
  • An end to Fusion Voting, which allows candidates to run on multiple party lines. This has become a breeding ground for corruption and has outlived its usefulness in New York State

When you talk to Marc Coppola, you sense his passion for good government and public service.  He knows the importance of that work, and understands the process and its nuances. He’s a guy who would go to Albany and actually do something – not just cut deals with Pedro Espada, then sit back and do nothing.  Coppola is hosting a fundraiser at Caputi’s on Sheridan in Tonawanda tonight, and you can contribute to his campaign here via ActBlue.

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Statler, Byron III, Coppola v. Ranzenhofer

3 Aug

1. Mark Croce, a local developer and restaurateur, has teamed up with James Eagan to bid $700,000 for the Statler Tower in the wake of the IssaFail follies. $200,000 for the building, and $500,000 to bring its taxes up to date. Croce’s efforts may be successful because he owns parking and parking-ready lots nearby.

2. Mayor Byron Brown’s son is in trouble again – this time, for hilariously shoplifting $60 worth of crap from AJ Wright in North Buffalo. Everyone remembers Byron III’s early-morning joyride through his neighborhood, which led to accusations, cover-ups, and confirmation through surveillance video. This time, the Mayor isn’t up to any similar shenanigans, and Byron III will probably end up with some sort of pre-trial probation.

3. The State Senate was called into special session last week to try to pass the now-1/3-year-late state budget. Because a handful of Senators were on vacation and didn’t show up, and because Bill Stachowski (SD-58) continues to hold things up over UB 2020, nothing happened. State Senator Mike Ranzenhofer (SD-60) complained that Paterson’s calling a special session displayed, “…just a tremendous disregard and disrespect for taxpayers cause you got to pay everybody to come up here – gas and all this other stuff.” Well, yes – in this circumstance, with the Senate being a bunch of rubber-stamp babies who do whatever Sampson or Skelos tell them to do, it was a waste of time. But if Senators actually do the work of legislators in a regular functioning democratic representative body, something could absolutely get done.

As Ranzenhofer’s opponent Marc Coppola put it in a recent press release,

New York Senator Mike Ranzenhofer’s comments on the state budget are nothing more than empty rhetoric. This week Ranzenhofer criticized members of the state legislature over the budget process, but failed to point out his own lack of accomplishment.

He and his colleagues provide a lot of criticism and offer little by way of solution. “There are 62 members in the New York State Senate and it only takes 32 to pass a bill. Even with 9 members absent the remaining 53 are more than enough to get something accomplished. The fact that nothing is getting done is due to Senators like Mike Ranzenhofer who would rather accomplish nothing so that they can play partisan blame games” said Coppola.

Ranzenhofer has also been missing in action when it comes to the battle to pass the UB 20/20 legislation. The University is the district’s largest employer and in desperate need of help. “I challenge the incumbent Senator to show some independence and work for the people who elected him, not his party leader. I challenge him to do something for his district and WNY” said Coppola. “New York State is in its most difficult financial crisis since the Great Depression. This is no time for partisan politics. It is a time for all members to act like adults and work together for the good of all New Yorkers.”

I think that’s exactly right. The Senate is impotent because Senators let it be.

Marc Coppola: Abolish Electoral Fusion

21 Jul

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Coppola is running for the 61st Senate District, now represented by Republican Mike Ranzenhofer. Coppola has refused to seek or accept any minor party lines, and called on his opponent to do the same.

Marc Coppola for State Senate.

Marc Coppola Running in SD-61; Calls for End to Fusion Voting

23 Jun

The political system is remarkably broken and corrupt. As a result, the policies that emanate from Albany are generally stupid, short-sighted, and designed to ensure re-election and the pleasing of various lobbyists and other special interest groups.

It’s easy to lapse into the habit of criticizing what amount to the symptoms of our broken politics, but oftentimes it’s important to go for the cure, instead. Two antibiotics would help to kill the infections that sicken Albany. Firstly, the legislative reform proposals that NYU’s Brennan Center has been pushing for almost half a decade should have long ago been implemented. They won’t be, however, because the current three-men-in-a-room system is advantageous to the legislators, who seldom have to do much or act effectively or responsibly.

Secondly, electoral fusion must be abolished because it is corrupt and corrupting.

Electoral fusion is the system whereby meaningless, pointless, and redundant special-interest groups and PACs get to call themselves political parties. But instead of actually running candidates for office, they simply cut deals to endorse major-party candidates. The minor parties get something in return, of course. Usually jobs or the promise of jobs. If the parties call themselves something catchy, they may garner 50,000 votes in any given gubernatorial election, thus ensuring that they remain on the ballot statewide for the following four years, cutting deals and endorsing major party candidates.

You think of yourself as a conservative, and refuse to vote for a Democrat like Tim Kennedy? Kennedy got the Conservative Party line! So vote for him there, pretend your conscience is clear, and help somebody’s brother’s cousin get a job at some state authority.

You think of yourself as an independent voter and enroll in the “Independence Party”? Welcome to the world of Steve Pigeon and Frank MacKay, as well as Tom Golisano’s money. At least Sandy Rosenswie got a job out of last year’s endorsements. Whew!

It’s particularly noteworthy and appreciated, therefore, that former Buffalo City Councilman and former State Senator from SD-60, Marc Coppola, has come out swinging in his current, new campaign against State Senator Mike Ranzenhofer in SD-61. Instead of criticizing his opponent’s lack of leadership or ideas, he’s swinging against the system itself.

Coppola has pledged not to seek or accept the endorsement of any minor party lines, and has also promised to introduce legislation to abolish electoral fusion in New York State. Ours is one of only eight states in the Union that still allow minor parties to endorse members of other parties and to count the aggregate votes towards the total. This ensures that petty power brokers continue to wield influence that is disproportionately large in relation to the actual number of party members or voters.

Coppola’s effort is radical – and that’s unfortunate. Every candidate should stand on principle and transparency, but few of them do. Indeed, many of them create their own little party lines for vanity or strategy. Carl Paladino is doing it right now for the tea party, and Chris Collins did it with the “Taxpayers First” line.

You can’t clean up Albany without abolishing the anachronistic fusion system, which exists solely to encourage transactional politics and discourages good government. Here’s the text of Coppola’s press release on the issue:

Town of Tonawanda resident and candidate for NYS Senate Marc Coppola is calling for an end to political corruption in Albany. Several minor party leaders are now under investigation for alleged illegal activities.

Coppola, who is the endorsed Democrat for State Senate running against Mike Ranzenhofer for the 61st district, believes fusion voting is part of the problem. It’s an election system that allows for candidates to run on multiple party lines. “Minor parties and their leaders have a disproportionate amount of influence in New York State politics and our government,” said Coppola. “It has proven to be a pay to play system and a breeding ground for corruption. New York is one of only several states in the country that allows the tail to wag the dog and the voters and residents of this state deserve better.”

Coppola has not requested and will not accept any party nomination other than his own and challenges his opponent, incumbent Mike Ranzenhofer to do the same. “As long as candidates participate in this system that has become disingenuous, sometimes corrupt, and an insult to voters, it will continue. I for one choose not to.”

If elected, Coppola will sponsor legislation ending fusion voting in New York State.

Now, here’s the question: will Mike Ranzenhofer do the same thing? If not, why not? Will anyone ask him?

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Pigeon

3 May

The truth, they say, is subjective. One can promise to tell what they think to be the truth, but seldom is there only one, correct version of any story of any event.

Now watch this:

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I’m so used to being insulted by this person’s surrogates that it’s fascinating to watch the words come directly from his mouth. G. Steve Pigeon defends himself and takes a swipe at yours truly:

…whatever the bald guy is who likes calling people names and is just a rude and unsuccessful, jealous politician himself who ran for office and was completely, um, uh, no one would elect him to be a dog-catcher, you know he loves to call other people names.

Generally, it would be a privilege to be insulted by Pedro Espada’s patronage hire. Certainly I dish it out, and definitely I can take it. But Mr. Pigeon, you have it all wrong, sir.

Just like the “truth” isn’t defined by how you rebut what Sam Hoyt or Dennis Ward say, my life isn’t defined by any of the personal insults you hurl at me. On the other hand, when I call you a tinpot Machiavelli or a douche, these are categorically and objectively true tidbits of information. When we point out that some recent “reforms” you’ve championed have actually cost the taxpayers more, I am writing things that are objectively true and verifiable.

But back to the insults.

I won’t say never, because I’ve probably slipped here and there, but I cannot recall a single instance where I’ve ever attacked or criticized a political figure for their personal appearance. Not even Domagalski. In Steve Pigeon’s case, I can say I have never launched an attack on his person. This is because I don’t give a shit what he looks like – he could look like Adonis and still be a detestable political figure.

Like most adults, I’m concerned with merit (or lack thereof) – not a politician’s body habitus or characteristics. My distaste for Steve Pigeon stems from his actions – not his looks, so it’s quite telling that the first thing he goes for is to call me “bald”. There is no seriousness there, no substance there, no merit there – just a schoolyard bully who grew up to be an asshole of a political albatross. Unsubstantive, meritless non-seriousness is also how he conducts his politics.

Now, certainly I may be rude, as Mr. Pigeon suggests, especially towards political figures who have little or no objective merit as such. He is correct that I was an unsuccessful politician. Dreadfully so, in fact. So? I tried. I made Mike Ranzenhofer think and defend what amounted to an 18-year record of failure, stasis, and hypocrisy. I didn’t have the money, time, or resources to do it right, but I gave it a shot. But it’s also true that I have no aspirations to political office. So, no – I’m not “jealous” of anyone – especially not MIke Ranzenhofer or his successor, Ray Walter, and my failure as a politician is that, only.

And what would you say I’m jealous of? I’m jealous of people pulling down less than $50 large per year to keep Chris Collins in check and administer only 10% of the budget of the political unit for which they legislate? Maybe that’s how his mind works.

Dog-catcher? I would hope that no one would elect me dog-catcher, mostly because (1) I don’t like dogs; and (2) I am not qualified to be dog-catcher.

Just like Hormoz Mansouri and Jack O’Donnell aren’t qualified to help run the water authority.

So, I’d love the opportunity to interview Pigeon someday and invite him to make these charges to my face and we can have a back-and-forth about what really matters – not my hairline, but stuff like, for instance, “reforms” in the State Senate notwithstanding, we still have a three-men-in-a-room troika dictatorship. I’d like to hear Mr. Pigeon explain why he thinks we need a State Senate at all, if the aim is good government rather than personal political power. I’d like him to defend the growth of the Erie County legislative staff in the name of so-called “reform”.

I don’t care if Pigeon likes what I write about him or his political allies. What matters is that he – and they – read it and thinks it important and influential enough to discuss, and comment on so hatefully.

Maziarz vs. Ranzenhofer, PolitiFAIL Tourney 2010

25 Mar

Is there anything less useful than a New York State Senator in the minority party?  I mean, aside from a minority party state assemblyman.

Nope.

You might remember “favorite son of the tax cutting tea party group”, Sen. George Maziarz.  He spent $906,831 of your dollars on staff expenditures between April 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009.  During  his time in office, Maziarz has demonstrated the kind of tone deaf leadership which has made Albany famous for it’s epic level of dysfunction.  Late last year, Maziarz was raising money with tutti di tutti scumbag Pedro Espada in Manhattan.  Maziarz is the leader of the chorus of legislators who denounce “downstate” interests while accepting massive campaign donations from public employee unions, downstate interests, and lobbying groups.  Maziarz has been in public office almost as long as Dale Volker and has contributed an almost immeasurable amount to the regional FAIL bucket.

I’ll keep the Mike Ranzenhofer profile as cursory as his list of contributions to WNY after his near 20 years in office.  Meh.  I think that about sums it up.

The winner of this contest moves on to face Dale Volker, the 1972 Miami Dolphins of FAIL.

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