Tag Archives: State Senator George Maziarz

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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The Cost of Bad Government

9 Feb

Last week, the Empire Center for New York State Policy released their annual report on NY legislative spending and posted it on their government transparency website, SeeThroughNY.  I didn’t see much of any coverage of the release, so I wanted to get this out in front of our readers.

What is the cost of State Sen. Dale Volker?  Well, that’s a tough question seeing as how he has influenced state policy since 1975.  However, between April 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009, Sen. Dale Volker spent $1,082,884 of our tax dollars on staff, rent, travel, telephone service, office supplies and other expenditures.  This news would not be complete without the monthly posting of my Dale Volker meme.

Evidently, Dale is not the only member of our local delegation who has been feasting at the trough.  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.  #1 toxic asset indeed…

While 19 of the top 20 spenders on the list are Republicans (undercutting their current demands to cut spending and transfer power back to them), our local Democratic State Senators finished about middle of the pack on expenditures.  State Senator Bill Stachowski edged his way into the Top 40 with a total of $561,817 and State Senator Antoine Thompson finished at #44 and rising with a total of $548, 236.  I’m sure their numbers will be much higher in next year’s report after the Democrats transition into the majority with its higher allocations for staff expenditures.

In case you were thinking it was just the State Senate that has been chowing down on taxpayer dollars, our State Assembly members have been just as hungry.  Assy. Robin Schimminger finished as the sixth biggest spender in the State Assembly with a grand total of $290,919 spent on staff expenditures.  He finished just $2,000 behind everyone’s favorite bad government bogeyman, Shelly SilverAssy. Sam Hoyt comes in at 29th on the list with a total of $219, 435.

Is it really any wonder that our population drain continues unabated?

From 2000 to 2008, in both absolute and relative terms, New York experienced the nation’s largest loss of residents to other states—a net domestic migration outflow of over 1.5 million, or 8 percent of its population at the start of the decade.

It’s not just the cost or the taxes, it’s that people feel hopeless and disconnected from power.  Their senators and assembly representatives act with impunity and arrogance, no longer functioning as our representatives, doing the people’s work.  The only action many NY residents feel they have left at their disposal is to simply move to another state.

Each year we go to the polls, elect these same individuals and expect different results.  The problem is YOUR State Senator and YOUR State Assemblyperson.  It’s not the “other guy” or those “vampires legislators downstate”, it’s your representative.  Don’t be fooled when your Senator or Assemblyperson shows up with a four foot check for your volunteer fire department, they’re buying you.  They’re spending a truckload of money to do very little in Albany and the dole out fat lists of member items in order to stay in office.  If there is a viable primary opponent this year, donate to him/her.  Support that candidate with your time and effort, and then hold them accountable while they are in Albany.

The only way things will change is if we make them change.

We deserve better.

George Maziarz On Gay Marriage

9 Nov

A constituent explains in eloquent detail why same-sex marriage is so important to her and her wife.

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I thought Maziarz’s reaction & answer was fine.  He’s against it, he’s voting against it, that’s the way it goes.  You just can’t get every politician to vote the way you want, no matter how eloquent you are.

What disappointed me was the reaction of the crowd in the audience.  What moral horror do those two women represent?

If all of these people are so concerned about the sanctity of marriage, then people who have been divorced should be denied a marriage license.  Let them applaud that.

To his credit, Maziarz tried to shut the applause down, realizing (a) that it was a shitty thing to do; and/or (b) that the whole thing was being videotaped.

HT Rochester Turning via Albany Project.

Paladino Monday

14 Sep
Photo credit: Artvoice

Photo credit: Artvoice

Carl Paladino is a character.  WBEN gave him three solid hours to rip Byron Brown a new a-hole this morning which was interesting, if a bit one-sided.  Paladino’s on Twitter now, and he posted a “Declaration of Independence” he talked about today at length.

WBEN’s Tim Wenger explained that Byron Brown is loath to participate or speak with WBEN in any way, even during the straight newscasts.  That, I suppose, explains why Brown or a pro-Brown partisan won’t be getting 3 hours’ worth of time on the highest-rated AM talk station in town.

Among the blockbuster allegations Paladino made on the radio today was that Leonard Stokes had a run-in with the BPD in 2008 and that there was a paper trail, that the Mayor intervened, and that it was drug related.  Artvoice has and posted a copy of the memo, and it turns out it deals with Leonard’s brother, Lamar Stokes.  At first blush, it makes the whole thing a bit less blockbustery.  But Geoff Kelly asks, correctly:

Why did Leonard’s brother, Lamar Stokes, address his complaint to the mayor? What did the mayor say to the police commissioner? We also sent an email to the mayor’s spokesman, Peter Cutler, with a copy of the memo. He has not responded to that email yet, but when he does, I’ll post his response here.

What matters here though is that Paladino is right that the city and region are held back, in part, because of the entrenched elites who like things just the way they are.  I wonder why George Maziarz’s name doesn’t appear there, but it’s not the first or last time a Republican has overlooked Maziarz’s longstanding do-nothingtude.

In any event, Paladino expressed his support for Mickey Kearns, who appears on row 3A on tomorrow’s Democratic primary ballot.  As I discussed Sunday, Byron Brown has squandered a historic chance to bring progress, change, and – above all – vision to Buffalo.  Kearns, at least, promises more openness and an open door.

Vote Kearns.

Who Owns George Maziarz? Pedro Espada, Apparently

10 Sep

Rus Thompson has a fun series of posts where he goes through the finance disclosures of various local politicians (exclusively Democrats, except Volker), and accuses them of being bought and paid for by their donors.  He always omitted people like State Senator George Maziarz (R-Newfane), mostly because Rus likes Maziarz, so he doesn’t want to embarrass him.

And embarrass him he would, because Maziarz is as bad as the rest of them.

There was much outrage and hubbub a few months ago when Antoine Thompson had Senate President John Sampson in town to help him raise funds at a big-ticket event at the Chophouse.

But Maziarz has out-scumbagged them all.

George Maziarz will be holding a $500/plate fundraiser at the Penn Club on 30 West 44th Street on September 24th at 5:30 pm.  Joining the Senator will be his guests, Republican Leader Dean Skelos and Majority Leader Pedro Espada.

Pedro Espada.

Espada – the guy who has been shown in recent months to be, as Assemblyman Mark Schroeder so aptly put it, a thug.  Espada – the guy who flipped and flopped whom he’d caucus with depending on what was in it for him. Or his kid. Espada has all but become the poster boy for graft and corruption and bad faith in Albany.  He is Maziarz’s friend and fundraiser.

I eagerly await Senator Maziarz’s next verbal bluster about those nasty, horrible downstate interests and downstate Senators.  Will Rus and his merry band of protesters hire a bus to go picket Maziarz’s NYC fundraiser?  Will they caravan (park at the Hippodrome at 44th and 6th)?

No, they won’t.  In fact, I doubt they’ll even mention it.  But make no mistake – there isn’t a single, solitary New York State Senator who isn’t beholden to downstate interests.  There isn’t a single, solitary New York State Senator whose re-election isn’t funded at least in part by powerful special interests who persuade Senators to vote in the best interests of that lobby, regardless of whether it’s in the best interests of constituents-at-large or the state.

The New York State Senate is jam-packed with careerists and hypocrites, and what ought to be your biggest peeve is the fact that we really don’t need them at all.

The Daily News reports, even more oddly, Espada is distancing himself from this event.  Imagine that.  Espada doesn’t want to have his name associated with George Maziarz’s. Coup plotters need to stick together, fellas.

As I said before, abolish the State Senate this instant.  And the Assembly.  And replace them with this.

Who Owns George Maziarz

3 Aug

maziarz

In recent weeks, Rus Thompson of Albany’s Insanity has made a big show of listing out what union groups and PAC’s have made significant contributions to Democrats like Lynn Marinelli, Maria Whyte, Antoine Thompson, et al.

The purpose, of course, is to demonstrate that these dirty Democrats do not represent the interests of voters and instead are malleable pawns of the lobbying groups.  However, Rus has yet to list one of these “Who Owns…” segments featuring a Republican (aside from convenient enemy Dale Volker) and I thought it might be time to balance it out.  Let’s pick one at random, perhaps…State Senator George Maziarz.

Alright, it’s not random at all.  George is a “mentor” of Rus’s as he is a frequent guest at the tea party rallies, anti-Albany protests and generally talks a big game as he opposes “big” government and irresponsible spending.

One would then assume that ol’ Georgie boy is clean when it comes to campaign contributions as he is a man of principle!  A man of the people!  Opposed to public unions and the damage they have done to the republic, liberty and good tax paying citizens all over New York State!  A true champion for upstate citizens against the downstate interests who are destroying the very fabric of our state!

Right?  Well, not really.

Search campaign contributions here.

Since 2001, State Senator George Maziarz (FAIL, Niagara Falls) has accepted the following total contributions:

1199 SEIU – $14500

AFSCME – $6450

ASGM PAC (NY Workers Compensation Lobby) – $17,500

Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers PAC – $6,600

Building & Trades Council (The guys who want union apprentice laws) – $2,200

NYSHFA (Nursing Home Association) – $14,300

Empire State Regional Council of Carpenters – $3,700

Empire State Association of Adult Homes (Nursing Home People) – $24,700

FAIR PAC (Healthcare) – $3,500

HANYS PAC (New York State Hospital and Healthcare Association) – $8,200

NY State Association of Healthcare Providers – $13,150

IBEW – $31,815

International Union of Operating Engineers – $13,000

Laborers’ International Union of North America – $27,450

Lawyers Political Action Committee of New York – $18,900

NY AFL-CIO – $14,700

I could continue, but I’ve got other shit to do and I think you get the point. I could keep tallying up all the donations from healthcare interest groups, medical professionals, energy industry groups, unions (public and private), and trade associations, but I’ll literally be here for hours. Each and every one of these groups is fighting to keep much of the NY healthcare infrastructure in place, as is. The others are looking for favorable votes when it comes to union specific legislation. It’s nothing new.

In the end, the purpose is to point out the intellectual dishonesty of highlighting contributions made to Democrats by public interest groups, specifically from labor and public unions. Especially when all of these same interest groups show up on the contributor list for the Republicans as well.

Can we just stop pretending that Albany FAIL is a partisan issue? I know that Rus likes to protest Sen. Dale Volker because everyone thinks he’s a useless prag, but using him to prove your bipartisan bonafides and deflect criticism that you’re not evenly distributing the criticism is just dishonest.

George Maziarz, who voted for the Pataki budgets and has accepted millions of dollars in political contributions from public unions and other associated PACs is just as responsible for the mess in New York State as Antoine Thompson or Crystal Peoples.

So, I guess we’ll see Rus and his protesters out at the next Maziarz fundraiser, right?

If you want to follow the mone and connect the dots on how money raised is used to influence legislation in Albany, follow bill progress at SunlightNY.

The Coup on Friday

12 Jun

A judge issued a temporary restraining order yesterday, temporarily preventing Mamaroneck resident Pedro Espada (D-Bronx) from becoming Senate President.

That is pointless. The Democrats should drop the lawsuit. Once Monserrate decides what the hell he wants to do, hopefully not involving broken wine glasses, all they have to do is take another vote and the mechanics of the coup become moot. What’s done is done.

There is word that Monserrate is wavering because he’s spooked by the protests and outcry. He seems to think he has a political future past the next election, or his eventual conviction for assault with a deadly weapon. Good riddance.

Espada, on the other hand, is defiant and hates everything and everybody. Just like his buddy Steve, who stands to get loads and loads of jobs for himself and the Pigeon posse.

My recommendation to Senate Democrats is this: let them go. Do not attract them back. We do not want either of them. I don’t want Monserrate caucusing with the Democrats. I want him in jail for slashing his girlfriend in the face. I don’t want Espada caucusing with the Democrats. I want him punished for his failure to live in the district he represents, and for his constant violations of campaign finance laws. Let them switch parties. We don’t want them anymore. Indeed, the Democrats should actively prevent them from having anything whatsoever to do with the minority caucus.

What the Democrats should do is survey the landscape and regroup. What’s done is done. Malcolm Smith is clearly finished. New blood is needed.

I don’t know the personalities in the State Senate, but ideally the Senate Minority Leader should be an individual who is from near-upstate. Still within the NYC media market, so that he is known to the people living within the NYC center of Senate gravity, but upstate enough to know what places outside the NYC bubble go through. Rockland, Orange Counties? Something like that. The person should have reformist bona fides – fiscal conservatism, understands and would advocate for and implement the sorts of changes recommended by the Brennan Center. Someone who can speak to the crushing defeatism and failure upstate, but attract the support of downstate power brokers. Someone who is a centrist and can get along with all sides, all parties. Someone who is dedicated to tight ethical rules to stifle the influence-peddling, lobbying, and patronage that are synonymous with Albany.

In other words, it’s time to regroup, refresh, reconsider what their purpose is. If they can get past the idea that it’s all for self-promotion and self-aggrandizement, then they can move on to the next step and out-reform the supposed Golisanista reformers. In the meantime, hold the Republicans’ feet to the fire. It’s time to start ridiculing people like Volker and Maziarz who all of a sudden consider themselves to be reformers – a notion that is fundamentally ridiculous.

Politiks iz eezi

22 Jul

The story so far:

Registered Conservative Don Hobel circulated Democratic nominating petitions to challenge George Maziarz, a Republican, in the 62nd Senate District. Hobel dropped out and has been replaced on the (D) line by registered Republican Brian Grear.

However, Hobel will still challenge Maziarz in a primary on the Conservative line, and Grear will still challenge Maziarz in a primary on the Republican line.

Heads exploding throughout Niagara County declined to comment on the record, citing the sensitivity of these events, but speaking on the condition of anonymity, they said, “BOOM!”

HT Albany Project

Maziarz to NF Reporter: I'm Not Running

24 Mar

The Niagara Falls Reporter breaks the news that State Senator George Maziarz will not be running for the seat now occupied by scandal magnet Tom Reynolds.

After a weekend mulling what he called a “historic, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” state Sen. George Maziarz told the Niagara Falls Reporter on Monday that he will not seek the Republican nomination for the seat representing New York’s 26th Congressional District. Reynolds held the seat for almost 10 years before announcing on March 20 that he will not seek a sixth term.

By choosing to stay put, the six-term Republican state senator made it more likely that a prominent Democrat, Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul, will join a field that already includes three announced or highly probable candidates from her party alone.

Maziarz, who stood a few feet from Reynolds during last week’s news conference, said his decision had nothing to do with leaving his post in the Republican-controlled state Senate, or with the prospect of serving as a freshman member of what figures to be a shrinking GOP minority in Washington, D.C.

Instead, Maziarz said it was a family choice, made after long discussion with his wife, Beverly.

“Beverly and I were up all night Saturday and into Sunday talking about it,” Maziarz said. “Her heart’s not in it, and if her heart’s not in it, mine’s not in it, either.”

While Reynolds acknowledged the shifting political climate in announcing he would leave the House at the end of the year, Maziarz said another comment by the congressman had a greater impact on his own choice.

“When Tom, at his press conference, said he hardly knew his grandchildren, that brought home how difficult that lifestyle is,” Maziarz said.

Discuss.