Tag Archives: SD-59

David DiPietro Emails Carl Paladino #SD59

15 Oct

About a week ago, the following email chain was  begun by a Grand Island-based tea party activist named Mike Madigan (it was sent to me and a variety of other local media and business types):

To which Tea Party State Senate candidate David DiPietro (SD-59) replied – to all…

Whoa-whoa-whoa. “Please remove me from your distribution list.” Now? Why now?

David DiPietro is Carl Paladino’s friend, right? Paladino is credited as having convinced DiPietro to run for the Volker seat again. Why, they even share lawnsigns – that DiPietro paid for – throughout the 59th State Senate district.

That alliance – and friendship – is likely strained now in light of Paladino’s 11th-hour endorsement of Jim Domagalski in the Republican primary for SD-59. It was a very public rift, publicly embarrassing DiPietro, and revealed more about Paladino’s opportunistic character than any “abortion clinic landlord” story or “gay club landlord” story ever could.

So, now at long last David DiPietro doesn’t want to know from Carl Paladino’s emails, and he wants this entire recipient list to know it.

Yet David DiPietro wasn’t always so displeased to be on Carl Paladino’s email distribution list. In fact, on at least two occasions, he contributed to it.

Nestled amidst Carl Paladino’s many salacious, racist, and equestrian emails disclosed to WNYMedia.net were two that were forwarded to Carl by his erstwhile friend, tea party candidate for SD-59, David DiPietro.

DiPietro’s political rhetoric is informed by a hodgepodge of anarcho-capitalist libertarian, anti-immigrant, right-wing conservogabber philosophies.  He hates Barack Obama almost as much as he hates Jim Domagalski and Pat Gallivan.

So much so, in fact, that DiPietro forwarded an email accusing President Obama of being a Muslim. DiPietro sent the email, entitled “Heeza Muzzlim…that’s why” to a small handful of people, including Carl Paladino. Carl, in turn, sent the email to an unknown set of emails hidden behind a bcc. The email itself:

As with most emails such as these, people who don’t know how to use email or the internet tend to forget to check Snopes (or Factcheck.org) before forwarding hateful, untrue, utter nonsense to their friends.  Snopes has an entry for the above-shown email, and describes it as FALSE.

Obama didn’t go to Saudi Arabia during that trip. He didn’t go to any of the small handful of countries in the entire world that are governed by Sharia Law, which differs from culture to culture. Even if he had, there is no prohibition in Sharia law against wives accompanying their husbands on trips, and Sharia law wouldn’t apply to a visiting dignitary like Obama, anyway. Oh, also – Obama isn’t Muslim.

It’s amazing that dumb Obama-muslim-secret-sleeper-agent nonsense is circulated at all, and even more so when it’s being shared approvingly between public political figures.

The second email forwarded by DiPietro to Paladino, which the gubernatorial candidate later forwarded to his email list, contained a powerpoint presentation that is more or less NSFW.

The Powerpoint is stupid and juvenile. It features jokes about the relative attractiveness of French women vs. American women, it jokes about the female form vs. the male form, it jokes about French promiscuity and Moroccan bestiality, and it makes an asinine joke about women shopping and men masturbating, featuring images of kids. I have modified the slideshow to redact female breasts and male genitalia.


I wrote to DiPietro on Wednesday, and sent the following email:

Please note that your response may be used in a WNYMedia.net post. If you have no response, I may note that, as well.

Regarding the emails discussed below, the questions I have are as follows:

1. Why did you wait until _now_ to ask Carl Paladino to remove you from his email list? Why did you feel compelled to hit “reply to all”?
2. Do you think that President Barack Obama is a Muslim?
3. Do you think that the “Brilliant” powerpoint presentation, showing mild female nudity, makes a joke about bestiality, and shows a woman’s bare breasts, capped off with pictures of toddlers is in good taste? Does it comport with the ideals of the tea party movement?
4. Regarding your request that Carl remove you from his email list dated 10/12/10, you were only too happy to be the sender and recipient of pornographic and propagandistic nonsense in 2008 and 2009 (I only highlight the materials you forward to Carl below – you received many more). Why didn’t you opt out before?
5. On your campaign site, you state that the Park51 community center is “destructive to the moral fiber of the United States”. What about pictures of naked kids and perpetuating lies about the President ?

Of the many emails that were disclosed to WNYMedia.net from Carl Paladino’s sordid emailing history, two of them were emails that you had forwarded to Carl. One contained a pornographic powerpoint presentation entitled “Brilliant”, the last frame of which shows a boy, maybe 1 year old, holding a remote control in one hand, and his penis in the other. The header appears as follows… (omitted)…

…The other, entitled “Heeza Muzzlim, that’s why”, which you forwarded to Paladino on 12/12/09, contains the following text: (see above)

DiPietro has not responded to that email.

Meet Cynthia Appleton #SD59 #NYSenate

28 Sep

Now that Jim Domagalski, Pat Gallivan, and David DiPietro will all be battling to split the right-of-center vote three ways in Volker’s SD-59, Wyoming County nurse Cynthia Appleton is uniquely positioned to give the Dems a pick-up in the state senate.

Meet Cynthia Appleton.


Contribute via ActBlue


DiPietro Back on the November Ballot

27 Sep

Judge Drury rules that David DiPietro qualifies for the November general election on the Tea Party line in SD-59.


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.

The Independence Party: Independent from Steve Pigeon?

20 Jul

Permit me to preface this post by re-stating my profound hatred for fusion voting in general and the Independence Party in particular.

I was flabbergasted yesterday to receive a press release from Assemblyman Sam Hoyt announcing that he had received the endorsement of the New York State Independence Party. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of local politics knows two things: (a) Steve Pigeon has become the de facto go-to guy for IP endorsements locally; and (b) Steve Pigeon and Sam Hoyt hate each other with a passion unbridled and would go to the ends of the Earth to destroy each other.

Not only that, but Bill Stachowski in SD-58 and Jim Domagalski in SD-59.

Joe Golombek is challenging Sam Hoyt in A-144, and it’s no secret that he’s aligned himself with Mayor Brown, who is aligned with Grassroots, which is aligned with Steve Pigeon, who is supposed to be the guy who controls whom the IP endorses. Golombek’s website already touted his IP endorsement. So did Kennedy’s.

Tim Kennedy is challenging Bill Stachowski in SD-58, and it’s no secret that he’s aligned himself with Chris Collins, who has aligned himself with Grassroots and Steve Pigeon, who is supposed to be the guy who controls whom the IP endorses.

One could almost argue that Golombek’s and Kennedy’s entire campaign strategy in terms of whom they’ve aligned themselves with have been completely blown to shreds in the last 24 hours.

In SD-59, it’s a Republican war going on between the tea party factions, Tom Reynolds, and Chris Collins. DiPietro is supposed to be the tea party guy, but now Ostrowski and his 2 supporters have turned on him, so he’s only got the support of the Rus Thompson faction. Domagalski is the Chris Collins pick, and Pat Gallivan is the revenge of Tom Reynolds. In the end, Domagalski got the IP nod, giving his campaign a boost.

Indeed, the conventional wisdom behind getting the IP line is that it gives party-line adherents an opportunity to throw you a vote without having to fill in a box with an “R” or “D” next to it. Here, it also ensures that the candidate is still around in November, regardless of what happens at the polls in the primary races in September.

For Sam Hoyt and Bill Stachowski to get the IP endorsement is a huge coup for them both, and seems to significantly undercut Steve Pigeon’s power in local electoral politics. I’m sure he’s owed enough favors that he’ll find a way to get himself and his friends jobs some other way. But it seems that there are people in this state who currently enjoy exponentially more political clout than Pedro Espada’s patronage hire.

The Republican Race in SD-59 So Far

7 Jul

Republican candidate for SD-59 (the Volker seat) David DiPietro emailed this result from a poll of unknown provenance. It explains why the Independence Party endorsed Pat Gallivan. They figure he’ll win, and he can provide them some J-O-B jobs.

Bear in mind, DiPietro’s been in this race forever, and Gallivan’s been in it for about 2 minutes. Notably, Domagalski is nowhere. Also notably, “undecided” is doing pretty well, too.

I emailed DiPietro these questions:

Who commissioned this poll?
Who conducted the poll?
When was it conducted?
How was it conducted?

When I hear back, I’ll update this post.

Cynthia Appleton: Democrat for SD-59

14 Jun

There is, at long last, a Democratic candidate for Dale Volker’s Senate Seat of Unfathomable Anger®.

Cynthia M. Appleton of Warsaw, Wyoming County, declared her candidacy for the 59th State Senate District yesterday at the annual Wyoming County Democrats’ Flag Day Party. The 59th District consists of portions of Erie, Livingston, and Ontario Counties, and all of Wyoming County.

Appleton is a critical care nurse at Strong Memorial Hospital and has worked in health care, including over a decade at the Wyoming County Hospital, for thirty-five years. She and her husband Gary raised their son Gregory in Warsaw, where Appleton is now serving her third term as a Village Trustee. She is also a mainstay of local theater productions as an award-winning director and actor. A member of the Warsaw Grange 1088, the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce, and a volunteer with the local grandparents program, among other commitments, Appleton is a true leader in her community.

Appleton addressed the crowd of supporters and explained her reasons for running for State Senate this year. She pointed to the problems of high taxes and the recent budget impasse to demonstrate that Albany is in desperate need of reform.

Appleton drew on her professional background to explain how Albany could change for the better: “I would contend that our government needs more teachers, more farmers, more business people, and, yes, more nurses to replace our career politicians. Elected officials are often called public servants, but all too often they serve only special interests, with their lobbyists and large campaign contributions. Nurses, on the other hand, serve everyone.”

The approach Appleton brings to her career is one, she explains, she would bring to public service in the State Senate. “Nurses don’t treat people differently because someone happens to be a Democrat, Republican, or an independent. We aspire to be objective professionals who put our job above any sort of personal or partisan interests, in order to best serve our communities. Unfortunately for us all, many of our New York State Senators have often stubbornly refused to demonstrate such professionalism, and instead choose partisan gridlock over public service, resistance over reform.”

As she concluded her remarks, Appleton stated, “I’m a Wyoming County native from a family which has been farming for generations and from parents who successfully managed a small business in upstate New York for many years. I know this district, and I know Albany is failing this district and the entire state.” Appleton said, “ I want us to do better, to make New York State great again: a place where our young people want to and are able to stay, live, work, and raise their families. I believe together we can do better, and I pledge to go to work for you to do just that.”

Rochester Mayor and candidate for Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy was on hand for Appleton’s announcement. He urged the crowd to sign on to Andrew Cuomo’s New New York agenda. After Appleton did so, Duffy endorsed her to the audience, saying, “I’m really excited about her candidacy.” Noting her community roots, he said, “It really is about getting folks elected who represent people.”

SD-59. Crowded.

5 May

Yesterday, former Erie County Republican Committee chairman Jim Domagalski announced his candidacy for what has for 40 years been Dale Volker’s state senate seat. In that 40 year period, WNY and Volker’s district has rapidly declined despite his – and senate Republican – “leadership”. It’s safe to say that no matter who wins, the people of that zig-zagged gerrymandered district may be better off.

Of course, I don’t think we need a state senate. And if you thought about it, you’d reach the same conclusion. Last year, we asked Bill Stachowski and Antoine Thompson why we needed a state senate, and the reply was comically free of substance. Yesterday, WNYMedia.net asked Domagalski essentially the same question, but we rephrased it to use the term “bicameral legislature”. Here’s Domagalski’s response:


Good answer, and he’s technically right that the Senate acts as a de facto check on the more populous Assembly.

But a unicameral legislature doesn’t mean abolish the Senate and leave the Assembly as is. Unicam means abolishing both legislatures in their current form, and creating something completely new out of whole cloth. Everyone out, nonpartisan redistricting based rationally on population, and nonpartisan election with no party caucusing. See Nebraska. If you couple that with the Brennan Center’s recommended reforms to ensure that there is freedom to propose bills and free debate, then you have an opportunity to genuinely return the government to the people.

Across-the-board tax and spending cuts address the symptoms, not the disease.

Also entering the race is a lone Democrat, Chris Sasiadek. You can check out Chris’ Facebook page here.

The war within the local Republican party is embodied by the apparent entry in this race by former Erie County Sheriff Pat Gallivan. It’s rumored that a faction of the local GOP loyal to Tom Reynolds (rolleyes) is upset at Domagalski for the way in which Volker was allegedly pushed out of the race by the former party chairman, and Gallivan is their revenge.

In addition, there is a genuine birther in the race. David DiPietro primaried Volker last time around, and won in Erie County. DiPietro hosts a weekly radio program where he takes phone calls only from his good friends in the Tea Party movement. If you want to know what radio shows sounded like in dictatorships, that’s your show. He has since become a leader in the fractured local tea party movement (he is aligned with the Paulist Ostrowskiite faction), and his name popped up in the group of Paladino emails WNYMedia.net received last month.

Check out that idiotic, ignorant birther email. “Heeza Muzlim”, for God’s sake. One glance tells you it’s false. Snopes confirms it. As a matter of fact, Snopes counts 47 urban legends being created about George W. Bush. For seekrit kenyan muzlim frum indoneezha Barry Soetoro, there are now 87. Of those, 43% of the Bush rumors were true. Only 9% of the Obama rumors are true. The birther movement is a particular strain of xenophobic, ignorant conspiracy mongering, and its adherents don’t deserve to be treated seriously.

Primary Challenge founder Len Roberto had earlier decided that his annual run for office would be for Volker’s district, but he’s since decided to run for Congress against Brian Higgins (NY-27). Roberto belongs to the rival, Palinist wing of the local tea party movement.

There has also been a rumor spreading about former IP chairman Tony Orsini running as a Democrat. That would be humor of epic proportions.

Open Senate seats only pop up in this case once every two generations. It’ll be interesting to see if the campaigns rise above the angry pablum that seems to be in vogue now (See Paladino, Carl) and actually begins discussing serious ways to fundamentally change how Albany does business.

Dale Volker Retiring

29 Apr

About three hours ago, my phone exploded with text messages from everyone sending me tips on a “major announcement by State Senator Dale Volker” tomorrow.  In one of the worst kept local secrets, Volker is set to announce that he will not be seeking re-election in the 59th Senate District. In one of the other worst kept local secrets, Erie County Republican Chairman Jim Domagalski is scheduled to announce his candidacy for the seat within a week, perhaps as early as Saturday.  Volker and his million dollar staff will be heading for greener pastures.

The polling numbers I’ve seen for Dale have not been good as the anti-incumbency fervor seems to finally be overwhelming his name recognition advantage and ability to curry votes in the rural parts of his gerrymandered district.  In recent elections, Dale has had more trouble than expected holding on to the seat.

In the 2006 Republican Primary, Volker barely beat perennial candidate and general crazy person Len Roberto in Erie County, winning by a meager 400 votes.  Roberto lacked the resources or organization to compete with Dale in the far flung district and lost by a significant margin district wide.

In the 2006 General Election, Volker (with the advantage of two minor party lines) faced Democrat Tom Casey.  Casey, who ran a limited campaign, lost by a mere thousand votes to Volker in Erie County and was overwhelmed by the minor party lines and Volker’s superior resources in the rural counties.

In 2008, Volker lost the Erie County Republican Primary to Dave DiPietro but was able to take a demonstrable victory in Wyoming, Livingston and Orleans Counties to win the race.  Again, Volker just had more resources and a better organization than DiPietro had in this sizable district.

In the 2008 General Election against Kathy Konst, Volker again lost Erie County but he won the district by 11,000 votes, due to the the Conservative and IP lines.  Konst ran what amounted to a tire fire of a campaign and she did little outreach in the outer areas of SD-59, but she did beat Dale by 2,000 votes total in Erie County, even with the votes from his two minor party lines added into the final results.

With Dale’s recent weakness in Erie County and anti-incumbency fervor spreading in the rural districts, the writing was on the wall for Volker in 2010.  Along with the looming shadow of Domagalski, he already had an announced primary candidate as Dave DiPietro is back with tea party support and Carl Paladino’s money in his pocket.

With Domagalski and DiPietro fighting it out for three lines, a split ticket is a distinct possibility.  Dale Volker’s minor party line, name recognition and fundraising advantages are now split between two Republicans.  Will a legitimate Democrat get involved in the race?

A Democrat can win in this district, specifically a Democrat with an entrepreneurial background, military experience and an organization structured for outreach into the rural counties.

Who might that Democrat be?  Stay tuned…

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.

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.