Tag Archives: SD-58

Kennedy Slams Quinn III on Aqueduct

23 Oct

In the wake of a New York Inspector General’s report alleging that Antoine Thompson (SD-60) received a contribution of $8,600 from Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG), an entity that was heavily lobbying Senate leadership to obtain a racino operation contract at Aqueduct Racetrack, it’s being alleged that a local Assemblyman took over $50,000 in politically motivated, Aqueduct-related contributions and voted to set aside the regular procurement process to enable the Aqueduct contract to be awarded on political considerations.

Tim Kennedy, the Democrat running for State Senate in SD-58 hit his Republican opponent, Jack Quinn III in a press release yesterday:

KENNEDY: ‘IT’S AN ALBANY PROBLEM’

Kennedy campaign notes Albany incumbent Jack Quinn III is embroiled in Aqueduct scandal.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Albany incumbent Jack Quinn III is embroiled in the Aqueduct scandal that has grabbed the state’s attention, voting to side-step standard procurement procedures and avoid transparency measures while taking money from parties involved in the bidding process.

In 2008, Quinn III voted “yes” on Assembly Bill No. 9998 that removed the standard procurement process for the Aqueduct VLT. His vote facilitated the entire scandal. Quinn cast his vote to keep politics involved in the bidding process and to keep the process out of the light of transparency.

An initial review of the inspector general’s report shows that Quinn III has taken approximately $50,000 from companies vying for the state business and firms associated with individuals named in the report.

Quinn III took a $9500 maximum contribution from Douglaston Development LLC, which was founded by Jeffrey Levine. Levine was named in the inspector general’s report as an “AEG representative.” Levine currently serves as the chairman of Douglaston Development. Levine also owns Levine Builders, a company named in the report.

Quinn III took a maximum contribution of $9500 from SL Green, one firm that was competing in the bidding process. He also took $4000 from a subsidiary of another company competing for the contract.

Quinn III also took two $9500 contributions from Tishman Speyer Australia Asset Management, a firm lobbying for SL Green. Quinn also accepted $5,500 from eEmerge, which is a subsidiary of SL Green.

For years, Albany incumbent Jack Quinn III has lived and participated in Albany’s pay-to-play culture,” said Tim Kennedy, a candidate for New York State Senate. “Quinn III’s vote to keep politics in the bidding process involving AEG and then financially benefiting to the tune of approximately $50,000 from those involved is a perfect example of why Western New Yorkers are hungry for change in Albany, and it’s why I’m fighting to bring change to Albany. It’s time we put politics aside to fight for progress in Western New York. Albany incumbent Jack Quinn III has voted to maintain the failed Albany status quo. I’m standing up for Western New York to make sure we build a government that we can trust.”

According to Kennedy, the root of the problem is Albany.

“After decades in control, Republican leadership corroded the State Senate into a rotten mess of corruption and dysfunction. The leader of the Republican Senate, Joe Bruno, was indicted by the FBI, and now, we see an Albany mentality persisting among certain members of the Senate Democrats,” Kennedy said. “This isn’t a party problem. It’s an Albany problem.”

The Other Major Races #WNYVotes

15 Sep

Allen vs. Thompson SD-60

Rory Allen is a smart, young businessman who came to the party with little name recognition, an energized base among the Elmwood Buffalo Rising types, little political experience and less money. He and a small group of people got his petitions together in record time. The plan was to get out the vote in areas that didn’t turn out last time – Thompson and his Grassroots army get the vote out on the East Side of Buffalo consistently and effectively. Allen, however, didn’t raise enough money to compete, and he didn’t really take the fight to Thompson. This was the anti-incumbent year, and the incumbent got away with nary a scratch. It’s good that Rory had a positive message, but it needed a lot more punches, and much more frequent messaging.

Kennedy vs. Stachowski SD-58

Stachowski ran in 2008 promising to be the influential chairman of the senate finance committee – and just you wait at how great that’ll be. But it never happened, thanks to the amigo revolt when the Dem majority couldn’t agree on a leader. Then it went even further down the drain during the coup. To his credit, Stack didn’t join the coup, although Pigeon and Espada were pressuring him to do so. The marriage vote? Democracy broke out in the Senate, but Stack voted against marriage equality. That energized liberals against him. Kennedy ran on a reform platform, but as a county legislator he has something of a flawed and thin resume. He has to take on Jack Quinn III, who is very well liked in the Southtowns. It’ll be the local race to watch, for sure. In the end, Stack tried to stay alive by holding up the state budget to get UB2020 rammed through. It backfired because, after all, he held up the already dreadfully late, horrible state budget.

Domagalski vs. Gallivan vs. DiPietro SD-60

Gallivan claimed victory. Domagalski says, “not so fast”. DiPietro joins the ranks of Lenny Roberto as the newest perennial candidate who takes bad advice from Jim Ostrowski. DiPietro proves that it wasn’t the appeal of tea party dogma that carried the day for Paladino – Paladino’s tough talk and name recognition brought it home for him. If there was some sort of tea party wave sweeping through WNY, DiPietro should have been a shoo-in against the former party boss and the double-dipping former Sheriff. This one is still too close to call, and I wonder how much Paladino’s last-minute endorsement of Domagalski buffeted him to such a competitive showing. Polls released illegally about a month ago showed Domagalski at single digits.

Hoyt vs. Golombek A-144

Sam eked out a victory – his third very tough primary in a row. Golombek conceded that he had lost the Democratic primary, but did not rule out continuing on to November on the Conservative Party line. It’d be sort of swell if the Hoyt-Brown/Pigeon feud would lie dormant for a while so that the mayor and the city’s most powerful Assemblyman could actually work together to do good things for the city. Nah.

Overall, Western New York is now the epicenter of Republican politics in New York State. Nick Langworthy is more powerful and better respected than state committee chair Ed Cox. The question now becomes whether this wave of anger and hatred will resonate with Democrats and Independents, and how effective Stone and Caputo will be in their effort to destroy Cuomo personally and professionally.

Flabbergasted Whilst Ignoring the Bleeding Obvious

11 Jul

In Sunday’s Buffalo News Bob McCarthy metaphorically sticks his head in the sand about the Detestable Independence Party’s endorsement of Tim Kennedy over Bill Stachowski in the SD-58 Democratic Primary.

That minor party founded in New York by Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano is essentially controlled upstate by Democratic operative Steve Pigeon. Why? Because state Independence Chairman Frank MacKay said so, that’s why.

Rosenswie begs to differ. But she works in the same County Legislature where Pigeon helped assemble a majority friendly to County Executive Chris Collins. Legislator Christina Wleklinski Bove, a Rosenswie ally, is part of that majority. So is Kennedy.

Pigeon is also the $150,000 counsel to Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, one of two New York City members who threw the Senate into a tizzy last year when they joined a coup orchestrated by Pigeon and his political patron—Golisano.

So political insiders everywhere were flabbergasted last week when Pigeon-controlled Independence bypassed a Senate stalwart — Stachowski—for Kennedy. Did the move by a top Senate staffer amount to the Democratic leadership throwing a vulnerable member under the bus? Especially because the Stachowski seat is crucial to continued Democratic control?

Pigeon won’t talk, but a source familiar with his thinking said the Independence move signals the belief Stachowski can’t win.

Other Senate sources, however, say Pigeon’s move reflects uncertainity surrounding Espada, who was basically read out of the Democratic Party last week by Chairman Jay Jacobs.

“Steve Pigeon’s only alliance in the Senate is with Pedro Espada, and Espada’s days are numbered,” said one top Albany source. “Steve knows he has to have another horse in the game.”

Back here on earth, it’s pretty easy to sniff out the blatantly obvious quid pro quo. Kennedy signed on to Pigeon’s “reform coalition” in the leg with the understanding that Pigeon could deliver the Detestable IP (hereafter DIP) line. And when Espada loses / does his perp walk, perhaps Kennedy will help Pigeon retain a position with the needless State Senate.

Everybody wins!

Crowded in SD-58

18 Mar
New York State Capitol viewed from the south, ...
Image via Wikipedia

Assemblyman Jack Quinn has thrown his hat into the SD-58 ring, joining an already-crowded primary race to unseat Volker-with-a-“D”, Bill Stachowski from the state senate.

The Republican Quinn has been in the Assembly since 2004, and his site lists legislation he’s sponsored, most of which has to do with schools (e.g., ensuring that school districts sit on IDA board), crime & safety (e.g., making cell phone use a primary violation, year-round school session), and governmental reform such as reducing the senate to 40 members, and the assembly to 100.

To a great degree, when you poke around what junior Albany legislators do there all day, it doesn’t amount to a whole lot. Quinn is parroting that tired old upstate-Republican-state-senator refrain: those mean downstate Democrats!

“The only way we are ever going to change Albany is to change the one-party system we have right now, and that one party is all from New York City,” he said. “The only way to better Western New York is provide for some split system, and the only way to do that is to take back the Senate.”

I don’t know how increasing the justice court civil suit jurisdiction from $3,000 to $6,000 worked to reduce the influence of downstate Democrats, and I don’t know how creating the crime of “manufacturing drugs in the presence of minors” will improve upstaters’ lot in life, either.

But the depressing part is that under our current system, who wins – whether Stachowski, Kennedy, Quinn, Cooney, or Kuzma – absolutely nothing will change. The state senate is not a democratic entity comprised of citizen legislators who advocate and legislate on behalf of their constituencies. It is a unified entity where every vote is pre-arranged, and what the leader says, goes.

The anti-downstate Volkerist rhetoric is just taking a page from a tired, unpersuasive script.

Mickey Kearns on the 58th SD

13 Jan

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Is Today Day One, Too?

5 Nov

Barack Obama is the President-elect. This is not only obviously historic, but Obama’s election, paired with the Democratic gains in the House and Senate serve as a repudiation of Bushism and what the Republican Party has become. Americans are a pretty middle-of-the-road bunch, and Obama ran not only an incredibly disciplined and innovative race, but a centrist race. He paired a strong platform with inspiration. The Republican Party, now due for some soul-searching and change of its own, will have to decide whether it moves back to the center in order to regain those independent voters who flocked pretty solidly to Obama, or whether it will embrace the Palin wing of the party, becoming more divisive, incurious, and Christianist. I think success lies in the former, and disaster looms in the latter.

NY-26: Chris Lee
I wish Lee well and hope he proves me wrong, but I have a feeling that Lee’s representation of the 26th District – which I fully expect to be a temp job – will make us pine for the days of Tom Reynolds’ steady leadership and limitless constituent accessibility. Lee’s platform was about as light on details and facts as any that was out there, and to this day I still think that Powers was the only primary candidate who could have given Lee a big scare last night. It was not for nothing that Domagalski held a press conference during the Democratic primary to smear Jon Powers – the Republicans were petrified of him. He was a former Republican Iraq War vet. You couldn’t smear him with anything more than War Kids – which paled in comparison to what Lee did when he was employed by Ingram Micro. Kryzan, I fear, was more of an almost stereotypical liberal who easy pickins for a well-funded, charismatic Republican businessman. The 26th is not just a Republican district, but even among the Democrats, it’s a pretty conservative district. Kryzan had a much steeper hill to climb once she won that primary than Powers would have. Powers appealed to that conservatism more than Kryzan did, and he had a better army of supporters on the ground throughout the district. Unfortunately, Powers ran a poor primary campaign, and made some very bad choices and tactical errors. There is one additional reason why the Democrats lost NY-26 this year, and that is the execrable Jack Davis, whose name should never stain my lips again.

SD-58: Bill Stachowski
The New York State Senate has flipped to the Democrats, so Stachowski will now be the Chairman of the Finance Committee. Let’s hope he starts making some noise in Albany that brings about positive change for New York in general, and WNY in particular. He won this one – but it was close.

SD-59: Dale Volker
Ugh. Dale Volker didn’t run a campaign, he waged a war of personal destruction so vicious and so nasty that he truly doesn’t deserve another penny of public money. Kathy Konst, who has an actual and genuine record of independence and reform, didn’t run an aggressive enough campaign against Volker, and she was woefully underfunded. Volker now is in a similar position to Reynolds in 2006 – clout faded, reputation damaged, I hope the Democrats go after him again next time around, and start building the money and organization they need to do that immediately. Volker’s viciousness will have a chilling effect on people getting involved in politics for quite some time, I’m afraid.

SD-61: Mike Ranzenhofer
Mike Ranzenhofer has a negligible record in his 20 years in the County Legislature, and now we’ve given him a promotion and a better pension? This is bizarro world meritocracy. Ultimately, I think Mesi ran as good a race as he possibly could have. It was aggressive, hitting Ranzenhofer on all the right issues. I think Mesi was unpolished in debates and public speaking, as one might expect from a first-timer running against a 20-year veteran legislator and lawyer. I think Mesi definitely has a future in politics, and he will improve over time.

Responsible New York
Golisano and Pigeon spent how many millions of dollars, and sent how many pieces of lit, and funded how many radio and TV ads during the primaries? Yet during the general election, RNY was comparatively absent and silent. It acted as a well-funded, more moderate Primary Challenge, but to a degree abdicated its mission during the all-important general election. I don’t get what they were thinking in October.

Robo-Calls
I hope and pray that the robo-calls that went out Sunday and Monday throughout WNY are investigated. None of them had a “paid for by” statement at the end of them, and they were offensive to the nth degree. I got anti-Mesi robo-calls on Sunday, and received an anti-Ranzenhofer robo-call on Monday. Whoever arranged for either of them should be exposed.

Negative Campaigns: The shitstain awards go to:

1. The DCCC: You know, if you’re going to run ads in the district, consult with some people in the district before you produce them. You ran shitty-ass ads for Higgins 4 years ago against Naples, and you ran shitty-ass ads for Kryzan this year. They were relentless, repetitive, unpersuasive, and seemed to me to be written by some cool Washington kids who never set foot in WNY and didn’t really know what our concerns are.

2. Dale Volker: Nothing says “fuck you, voters” like what Volker did to DiPietro in September and Kathy Konst in October. What it underscored is that Volker has an absolutely empty record to run on in his almost 4 decades in Albany, and he feels a sense of entitlement to that seat.

3. Chris Lee campaign: Just a Republican version of the horrific DCCC ads, only done by Lee, for Lee, ostensibly by someone locally. Yes, he won, but the ads were just atrocious.

4. Anybody running anonymous hit pieces: Dishonorable mention to anyone and everyone who does robo-calls, lit drops, or any other sort of campaigning without disclosing who’s paying for it.

New Siena Polls Out in Senate Races

2 Nov

They’re here, HT Albany Project:

58th SD – Erie County – William Stachowski (D, incumbent) vs. Dennis Delano (R)

Stachowski now has a 47-43 percent lead over Delano, after trailing 49-36 percent in the previous Siena poll in this district where Democrats have a better than two-to-one enrollment edge. Stachowski has increased his lead among Democrats to 62-30 percent (up from 51-34 percent). Delano maintains a 63-25 percent lead among Republicans (virtually unchanged from 64-23 percent) and has seen his lead among independent voters fall to 54-36 percent, down from 67-19 percent.

Whereas Delano led in all three sections of the district previously, Stachowski now leads 47-37 percent in Buffalo/Lackawanna, 48-45 percent in Cheektowaga, and 47-44 percent in the southern suburbs. Stachowski has a 12-point lead with men, while Delano has a two-point lead with women. Delano has a significant lead with Protestants. Stachowski leads with Catholics, and has a big lead among younger voters.

Stachowski has a 50-31 percent favorable rating. It had been 39-14 percent. Delano’s favorable rating, 53-33 percent, is down from 63-15 percent. Delano continues to have a positive favorable rating with voters of every party, while Stachowski has increased his favorability among Democrats but lost ground with independent voters and saw his favorability among Republicans drop from 35-12 percent to 29-50 percent.

More than half of voters would like to see the Senate controlled by Democrats, and Obama has opened 55-37 percent lead over McCain, up from 45-41 percent previously.

“Senator Stachowski has turned this race around. In four weeks he has erased a 13-point deficit and turned it into a tight four-point lead. Where Delano previously had a much better favorable rating with voters, the two are now viewed by voters in virtually the same light. We will have to wait until Election Day to see if Stachowski continues his momentum to win re-election, or if Delano can turn this race back around again and defeat a 27-year incumbent in this overwhelmingly Democratic district,” Greenberg said.

In the Mesi/Ranzenhofer contest:

61st SD – Erie and Genesee Counties – Michael Ranzenhofer (R) vs. Joseph Mesi (D)

Ranzenhofer has a 47-42 percent lead over Mesi, who had a slimmer 40-38 percent lead in the previous Siena poll, in this district where Republicans have a very small enrollment edge over Democrats. Ranzenhofer leads among Republicans 69-25 percent, up from 59-21 percent. Mesi leads among Democrats 62-29 percent, closer than the previous 63-19 percent. Mesi leads among independent voters 42-37 percent, although Ranzenhofer closed the gap from 43-28 percent. Mesi leads in Tonawanda by seven points (down from 10). Ranzenhofer leads in the Clarence/Newstead/Genesee County portions of the district by 15 points (up from two points), and in Amherst by three points (up a tick from two points).

Ranzenhofer has a 47-26 percent favorable rating, compared to 35-12 percent previously. Mesi’s favorable rating is 46-37 percent, compared to 45-18 percent in the previous Siena poll.

While the race has shifted seven points from Mesi to Ranzenhofer, a reverse trend occurred on the question of who voters support to control the Senate. Previously, voters supported Republican control by a 44-38 percent margin, while now a slim plurality, 43-41 percent, support Democratic control. The presidential race also flipped, with McCain’s 45-40 percent lead now becoming a 51-42 percent lead for Obama.

“This district is close in enrollment between Republicans and Democrats. The voters are close in their view on which party should control the Senate. The voters have switched their support from McCain to Obama over the last few weeks. And a small Mesi lead has turned into a slightly wider Ranzenhofer lead. Which party’s voters turn out in larger numbers on Tuesday may well determine the outcome of this race. Either way, it figures to be a late night as the votes get counted in this race,” Greenberg said.

Mesi needs your help. Ranzenhofer has a 20-year record of FAIL, and wants to bring his brand of FAIL to the Senate.

WGRZ pwns Dennis Delano

31 Oct

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Anti-Delano Site

30 Oct

Evidently, Mr. Delano has lied about not seeking endorsements – he sought them, alright, but the scuttlebutt is that he performed laughably. There’s the absence of policy positions, and the fact that Delano took credit for others’ work. Also added to the mix is the fact that Delano isn’t a big fan of voting. The site, as you may suspect, is here.

Comptrollers Endorse Stachowski

23 Oct

DiNapoli, Poloncarz, and SanFilippo all endorsed the incumbent Democrat re-election as Senator for the 58th District. Given the economic crisis we’re in, it would probably make sense to pay attention to these three fiscal watchdogs, who are stumping for the ranking member of the State Senate’s Finance Committee.

DiNapoli:

I have every confidence in Senator Stachowski’s ability to make the difficult decisions needed to right New York’s fiscal ship. He has the experience, the drive, and the confidence to represent his constituents, and he has proven to be an excellent partner in the Senate.

Poloncarz:

As the Ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, Bill has been and will continue to be a strong advocate for our community, protecting Western New York’s interests in Albany during these difficult economic times. The Senator has a keen eye for detail when it comes to state finances, and is the voice of Erie County’s working families when debating the state budget. I’m proud to endorse his candidacy and look forward to working with him when he returns to Albany.

SanFilippo:

Senator Stachowski is a true asset to the 58th District and to the entire Western New York community. I am honored to endorse Senator Stachowski for re-election and encourage voters to give their approval to his candidacy and let him continue his outstanding work in the State Senate.

Meantime, the guy running against Stachowski was sent to ECMC three times to find DNA to help track down the bike path killer, and failed all three times:

Look, they sent Dennis down to ECMC to get try to find the DNA slides that would prove that Anthony Capozzi wasn’t the Bikepath rapist three times and he came backing saying they weren’t there all three times. It was only when they got a call from someone else who had found DNA materials for another case at ECMC that they went back and found the slides,” one of our sources says. “The truth is that Frank Sedita was already on this case as were other Cold Case detectives no matter what Dennis did. By this time, Sedita was determined to find the evidence that would prove Capozzi either innocent or guilty and that’s what he did. Actually, it was Sedita got Anthony Capozzi out of jail and exonerated in record time and that’s the truth.

Dennis Delano – why is he taking all the credit for something a lot of people had a hand in doing?