Tag Archives: Tom Golisano

Cultural Tourism

28 Dec

A few weeks ago, Assemblyman Sam Hoyt wrote this:

“There’s a lot of ball-dropping going on,” said Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, a Buffalo Democrat. “This is, in my opinion, a crisis in the making.”

Hoyt, in a letter to the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau, expressed concern about a “lack of cooperation” between the Buffalo Sabres, who are hosting the event, and the CVB.

“We can’t do these things in silos,” he told The Buffalo News. “What’s important is to take what little time we have left to make this right.”

The Sabres, who spent more than a year planning the 12-day, 10-team international tournament, reacted angrily to Hoyt’s claims…

…Hoyt said his concern is that whatever planning has taken place is insufficient for an event as large as the World Juniors.

He referred to the 2000 NCAA basketball tournament, when out-of-town fans walked out of HSBC Arena with no clue where to find food and drinks.

“What concerns me is that we have an opportunity to create thousands of Buffalo ambassadors,” he said. “The alternative is we leave thousands of visitors saying, ‘Boy, I saw a great tournament but Buffalo— what a lousy city.’ ”

At the time, some roundly criticized Hoyt for “bashing” the Sabres because of his ongoing feud with Floridian billionaire and Sabres-seller Tom Golisano.  Based on the outrageous & breathless media outrage over a 17 year-old hockey player’s Tweet calling Buffalo a “ghost town” that’s worse than Medicine Hat, Alberta, it seems as if Hoyt was exactly correct.

What, precisely, is a 17 year-old supposed to do holed up in the Hyatt or in the last Adam’s Mark on the planet? He can’t go drinking.  There’s quite literally no shopping.  The downtown mall is an embarrassment. All the stuff a teenager might enjoy is either up on Elmwood or out in the suburbs.

Too bad Mark Goldman’s Ohio Street arts corridor isn’t yet open.  Too bad Etem can’t go watch a laser light show projected onto a rusting eyesore of a grain elevator in subfreezing temperatures.  Too bad there’s nothing – not even a taco truck – at Canal Side for Etem to do or see.

While Allentown merchants banded together to promote their neighborhood to visitors, there’s no easy way to get there if you don’t have a car.  Not everyone enjoys the allure and mystique of grabbing exact change and waiting 20 minutes in the cold for a bus to appear.  A dedicated bus circuit specifically for hockey players and attendees wouldn’t have cost a lot, and would have gone a long way towards showing off the city and helping to entertain a visitor population that isn’t here to get drunk or admire Frank Lloyd Wright’s handiwork.

I realize that it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks of the city, and that it shouldn’t be a media frenzy at all.  The point here is to bring up the fact that Hoyt specifically foresaw this and asked that planning be adequate to accommodate out-of-towners who don’t have cars and want to do things.

The Specter of Pigeon

21 May

One of the overlooked results from Arlen Specter’s loss to Joe Sestak on Tuesday night is the fact that Pedro Espada patronage hire Steve Pigeon claimed to be instrumental in convincing Specter to switch to the Democratic Party last year.

It got the attention of a Kos commenter, and later Kos himself in a post from June 2009.  It quotes the Buffalo News:

Steve Pigeon, the former Erie County Democratic Party boss who helped mastermind Monday’s coup in the [New York] state Senate, is in line for a top Senate job if the takeover holds in the coming days.

“I expect to play a role. I’m being talked to,” Pigeon confirmed today at the Capitol […]

Pigeon and B. Thomas Golisano, the billionaire owner of the Buffalo Sabres, were still at the Capitol today doing a victory dance — and engaged in non-stop media interviews — for their role in helping the 30 Republicans and two Democrats in Monday’s coup.

Pigeon began working with Republicans and a small contingent of Democrats in late April on a plan to wrestle control of the Senate. Golisano, who poured millions into helping Democrats take control of the Senate in last fall’s elections, gave the green light to Pigeon to work on the coup following a sour meeting between Golisano and Smith at the end of April.

Guess what? Pigeon got his Senate patronage job thanks to Pedro Espada’s assholedness and Tom Golisano’s money.  But Specter lost his because he was too centrist for the Republicans and too opportunistic for the Democrats.

Which further proves the theory: there is nothing that Steve Pigeon does that is for the good of anyone but Steve Pigeon.

Dear Mayor Brown

11 Jun

You were, until recently, a Democratic State Senator, and you are closely aligned with Steve Pigeon and his benefactor, Tom Golisano.

If you were still a State Senator today, would you have decided to caucus with the Republicans and participated in the coup orchestrated by Golisano, Pigeon, and Espada?

Love, BP

Tom Golisano moving to Florida

15 May

Wow – that’s never happened before. Wealthy New Yorkers of a certain age moving down to Florida, where homestead rules and other regulations are lax, taxes are low, and weather is mild? My sweet God, this is a blockbuster! People moving out of New York!?

Look – Golisano says he’ll save $13,000 per day in taxes by moving to Florida.

Obviously, New York has been brutally disastrous to Mr. Golisano, given that his income is such that he has to pay $13,000 per day in taxes.

Say hi to Rush.


5 Sep

Responsible New York takes the low road. I wonder the extent to which Golisano’s engagement with Pigeon will harm Golisano’s reputation politically. I mean, the guy is pretty beloved here for keeping the Sabres around and being a voice for reform. Pigeon is NOTA.

UPDATE: Jim Heaney goes into more revealing detail on his blog:

But the perpetrators slipped up. The attack flyer from Mothers and Fathers uses the same bulk mail permit as … Responsible New York.

Sloppy, sloppy.

Pigeon did a lot of ducking and weaving when I called to inquire.

I asked him what he knows about Mothers and Fathers Demanding Answers.

“I’m not going to comment,” Pigeon said. “I’m sure they will file their independent committee status, if it’s not filed already.”

Gee, Steve, how do you know they’re required to do so?

“I would assume, I don’t know that they do.”

Pigeon then resorted to the mantra he repeated throughout the balance of the interview.

“Everything we’re doing is within the law.”

Followed by:

“We’re not coordinating with the [Barbra] Kavanaugh campaign.”

How does he explain Mothers and Fathers using the same bulk mail permit as Responsible New York?

“Independent committees can work together under the law.”

So, you’re working with them, right?

“I think it will all come out in the reports.”

Is this the dirtiest campaign he’s been involved in?

“I don’t think this one is dirty.”

OK, Steve.

Pigeon went to lengths to vent his outrage over reports that Hoyt had sex with a member of the Assembly staff. This is the same Steve Pigeon who has been an unwavering loyalist to Bill and Hillary Clinton through thick and thin, including the Big Dog’s sexual escapades with intern Monica Lewinski.

I guess you could say Pigeon is practicing situational ethics. Among other things.