Tag Archives: WNY

Buffalopundit Endorsements 2014

2 Nov

Caveat: Artvoice does not do political endorsements. Nothing written in this post should be interpreted, construed, or cited as an endorsement by the owners or editors of Artvoice itself. This endorsement is mine alone. No person or campaign has directly or indirectly paid for or otherwise sponsored any post or endorsement.  I do not know whether any candidate or party has ever paid for an advertisement in Artvoice, nor would I be in a position to know. I am an independent contractor and have no involvement or employment with Artvoice or its advertising or editorial staff. Any questions or issues can be directed to me at buffalopundit[at]gmail.com. I recommend you click the links – especially in NY-27. Now, on with the countdown. 

United States Congress (NY-26): Brian Higgins

I did this already, I’m sure you all know.

I posted it here just a short week ago

Kathy Weppner talks nonsense, her utterings, laughable; 

Congressman Higgins belongs in the Capitol

United States Congress (NY-27): No Endorsement

I admit that this pick came to me as a shock, 

but I got information I can’t simply mock.  

It shows that the Democrat, not long ago, 

worked for the campaign of Paladino

He helped with debate prep – and this made me cross –

he helped Carl defame a planned downtown mosque

Chris Collins is there, and he’s one of the worst. 

But principle matters; it ought to come first. 

Chris Collins? You kidding? At least he’s consistent. 

Not “Democrat now!”, but once Carl’s assistant

The incumbent, he voted for Cruz’s shutdown, 

harmed our economy and then, like a clown, 

claimed to be against it, despite his own vote

And (of course) blamed Obama, repeat, edit, rote. 

But Collins was for it, before he was not; 

he blamed the “extremists”, rejected the plot

Although Collins’ tenure has been ineffective

I won’t back a Carl guy, he must be rejected. 

Governor and Lieutenant Governor of New York State: Cuomo/Hochul

Listen, Cuomo’s got flaws, and of that I’m aware. 

But Rob Astorino I just cannot bear.

His running mate –  Hochul – I respect a great deal,

and the great things he’s done for our region are real.

The Buffalo Billion and Startup New York,

should not be dismissed as cheap welfare and pork.

Never before has an Albany pol,

done this much for Buffalo, as I can recall.  

I do want to see much more effort to end

corrupt fusion and graft – those Albany trends. 

Transparency now is the name of the game, 

and Cuomo’s too secretive, to his own shame. 

After all that he’s done, though, I can’t just reject, 

Cuomo and Hochul, whom I hope you’ll elect. 

Attorney General: Eric Schneiderman

Did you see the debate? Whoa, that Cahill’s a twit. 

He screamed, interrupted, behaved like a shit. 

And kudos to Bob – wow! A substantive question!

I’m voting for Schneiderman this coming election. 

His office protects every one of us from, 

fraud and abuse, and the criminal scum. 

For those who take pills for pain they can’t stop, 

he set up I-STOP, so they can’t doctor shop

Schneiderman’s strong on consumer protection,

And Cahill deserves this year’s voters’ rejection.

State Senate District 63: Tim Kennedy

Given the choice between sellout or dummy, 

the outlook for voters just isn’t too sunny. 

Tim Kennedy isn’t my favorite guy

his opponent, however, should make you ask, “why…

“…would local Republicans beclown themselves so…

“…by running a guy who’d make Weppner say, ‘whoa’“.

Kennedy may have some bridges to fix, 

but Donovan? Please, voters, no, nada, nix

State Senate District 62: Rob Ortt

Oh, great. For fuck’s sake. What a choice – I’m aghast. 

Two Republicans, one Paladino backed last.

Ortt is the Mayor of North Tonawanda,

Destino’s a Dem whom I’m not wholly fond of. 

Paladino endorsed him the last time around

and that’s generally something I can’t just write down. 

Destino was backed by the goons who had tried

–  in a spurious way that I cannot abide – 

to smear Maziarz as a closeted gay

and failed, like the cretins they are, by the way. 

Ortt is a vet with conservative views. 

But defeated that Gia – so, he’s reasonable, too

When assholes supporting you campaign on hate, 

it behooves you to answer with outrage, and state

something where you reject their assistance and views,

and you do it quite loudly, and make it big news.

I’m sorry you didn’t, and I hope that you’ll scorn

that loudmouthed old hater who forwards horse porn. 

State Senate District 61: Elaine Altman

Hah! Mike Ranzenhofer? Career politician. 

Dear reader, what was his agenda or vision? 

Say “no” and do nothing, for 20-odd years? 

It’s time for a change, and it’s time to switch gears. 

Altman’s a teacher, she knows Common Core, 

and she’ll fight to fund schools, and absolutely do more

to help out a district that’s been represented 

by someone who’s done not a lot, I’ve lamented. 

Send a teacher to Albany!”, that’s where she belongs. 

Ranz’s tenure in government’s two decades too long.

State Senate District 60: Not Stocker

I mean no disrespect to Dem Marc Panepinto, 

I don’t mean to leave him out hanging in limbo. 

Think Again, Turn Away

A vote for the Dem would be great and just swell,

but Grisanti deserves to go back for a spell

As senator, he’s been unfazed and courageous. 

“Profile in Courage” would not seem outrageous. 

He helped us to pass same-sex marriage, and took

a risk to pass SAFE Act after Sandy Hook.

It showed us that people don’t need a damn armory,

and schools should be havens of peace and of harmony. 

So, whatever you do, and don’t think it’s a shocker

vote for anyone, just not the tea party’s Stocker

NYS Assembly 146: Ray Walter

Did you know that Ray Walter is in a real race? 

Against a young Dem with a fresh, stubbled face? 

I’m sure that Steve Meyer’s an earnest young chap, 

with ideas and energy. Aside from all that, 

I have to agree that he’s lacking know-how, 

and has yet to consider what furrows our brow. 

He’s just out of school, and has loads of more time, 

to get a career, pay some taxes and climb

up to a level where he really can get, 

the problems that we New York families fret. 

Ray and I see eye to eye on the tolls, 

that the Thruway Authority always controls, 

with antiquity formed in the shape of a booth, 

within it a person, who I doubt, in his youth, 

Imagined his life would be handing out slips.  

Yet throughout the world, the traffic just zips, 

through camera tolls without stopping to pay.

This dreary old system, it pisses off Ray, 

So, send my friend back to fight Albany pols, 

besides, the Assembly’s in firm Dem control. 

OTHER

For a number of races, there is no opponent. 

For a real democracy, that’s a missing component. 

For all of these races, you have a blank check,

vote whomever you please, except for Mazurek

I’ll note, on the side, that Ray Walter’s a friend, 

and he’s running against a young Dem 

 

But no matter what, do not let the time pass. 

Just remember to vote, and Donn Esmonde’s an ass. 

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Kathy Weppner: Victim

28 Oct

Kathy Weppner, for whom you should totally never vote, scored a few points on Monday.  

Not against her opponent, but against the Buffalo News. She even recorded a radio ad blasting the News, because she is accusing its Washington correspondent, Jerry Zremski, of misogyny and sexism. For instance,

Here’s something I’ve not said before – Weppner has a point. When I read that passage, I thought that Zremski’s description of Weppner’s manicure was out of line; it’s simply not a way you write about a female candidate for office. But look at the passage within its context

Looking out over Canalside from the plaza outside downtown Buffalo’s new Courtyard by Marriott on Friday, with the new HarborCenter rising to his left and his brownish hair flying every which way in the breeze, Rep. Brian Higgins talked a bit like a proud father.

“It’s campaign season, so I’ll say it: We had something to do with this,” said Higgins, a Buffalo Democrat whose strong-arming of the New York Power Authority provided the funds to begin the city’s waterfront boom.

But a day earlier at the Lake Effect Diner in University Heights, Higgins’ opponent laid two immaculately manicured hands, with 10 long hot-pink fingernails, out across a pile of paper that foretold doom of one kind or another, and spoke like a very worried mother.

The emphases are mine. Zremski described something about Higgins’ appearance, and described him as a “proud father”, and then described something about Weppner’s appearance, and described her as a “worried mother”. He was more descriptive about Weppner’s nails, admittedly. 

He wasn’t blindly mocking Weppner’s fingernails – he was trying to illustrate for readers something about each candidate’s demeanor and appearance. You’ll note that no one quotes the Higgins passage, and plenty of people locally poke fun of Higgins’ sense of style. 

Interestingly, the people screaming loudest about this insult are the people who scream loudest against things they call “political correctness” and the “war on women”. People like this guy: 

I mean, if you’re going to be a hypocrite, I guess it’s best to do so within the same thread. But you can’t with a straight face complain about PC and then accuse someone of being a celibate or gay or whatever Bauerle’s trying to do here. Bauerle and his buds make all kinds of cracks about Higgins all the time. Their buddy Carl goes so far as to reportedly call Higgins a “cocksucker” in private, and he means it literally. That’s OK, I guess. 

But does Weppner not want people to notice her nails? I mean, they neither qualify or disqualify her for office, but they’re quite palpably there

This is a candidate who refers to women as, “girls” in a video mocking the very notion that there exists a “war on women”.  Now she’s a victim of it? 

She complains that she never had a professional manicure, but Zremski never said she did – he simply said they were manicured – he didn’t say who did it. 

Here’s what I wrote in May about Weppner’s dismissal of the “war on women”: 

The “war on women” has been coined as shorthand for policies and proposals that specifically target issues relating solely to females.  These can include restrictions on reproductive rights and choices, lax enforcement of workplace anti-discrimination regulations and statutes, outrageous slut shaming of feminists who advocate for women’s rights, and still-prevalent positions held mostly be men that, for instance, women who are beaten or raped must have contributed to their own victimhood; that they brought it on themselves or “deserved” it.

It’s perfectly reasonable for people to argue about how to deal with these sorts of things from different political and moral perspectives, but it’s not reasonable to simply deny that the problems themselves exist. It’s not reasonable to suggest that it’s ok that women are treated like inferiors in the labor market, for instance.

But instead of praising the women who have worked tirelessly for decades to improve the lot of all, Weppner denigrates their fight for equality as the real “victimhood”. Was Susan B. Anthony displaying weakness when she demanded equal rights and suffrage? Were the suffragettes just playing as weakling whiners when they demanded the vote? How about the women who, in the mid-19th century, gained the right to be treated as more than mere chattel under the law?

I do like that this lecture is being delivered from an all-American kitchen with a dollar-store flag in the background. Because patriot.

Kathy Weppner, an allegedly serious person supposedly running for federal elected office, can get on the YouTubes and allege that, when women fight for equality and liberty, they’re really waging war on men.  But I’ve got a transvaginal ultrasound right here that says Weppner’s wrong .

Weppner: she rejected the “war on women” before she decided it was politically expedient to become its victim. 

I don’t know if I agree with the “war on women” rhetoric, but I do believe that women should be treated as equals with men. I also think that the media need to be mindful of the ways in which they describe female candidates, and Zremski’s attempt to contrast Weppner’s and Higgins’ appearance was clumsy, at best. But there’s nothing here to indicate that he was displaying any animus, or that it was in any way an attempt to de-humanize Weppner because she’s a woman. He should have simply added something more about Higgins’ appearance. 

You can’t spend all your time complaining about political correctness, and then try to be politically correct. It’s either a valid concern, or it’s not.

In the end, none of this renders Weppner any more or less electable than she was on Sunday morning – i.e., not remotely

UPDATE: Here is one of the few remaining clips of Weppner’s WBEN show that exist on the internet, courtesy of WNYMedia.net. In it, she denigrates activist Sandra Fluke for her sex toy agenda or something; “contragestives are being snuck in under the name ‘Ella'”. Sandra Fluke was famously insulted as a “slut” by Viagra huckster Rush Limbaugh for daring to suggest that contraceptives be included in health insurance policy. 

When Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut”, Kathy Weppner piled on. She is a hypocrite of the highest order. 

Also, a commenter on Twitter suggests that it wasn’t the crack about the fingernails that was insulting, but that the juxtaposition of “proud father/worried mother” is just as troubling. I think it’s an interesting point, although I think that the whole passage was more about color commentary than about substance. 

Vote Brian Higgins in #NY26. Here’s Why.

27 Oct

First: Don’t be a lunatic

Election day is coming up, and I generally give you some BS half-assed “endorsements” of candidates who, in my opinion, deserve your vote.  Typically, I don’t do that until a day or two before election day itself, but the race for the 26th Congressional District is not remotely typical. 

I don’t agree with Brian Higgins on every single issue because he can be sometimes more conservative than I, and because he can sometimes be overly cautious on waterfront issues.  By way of example, I am disappointed that he is opposing the construction of places to live and things to do on certain portions of Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. 

That aside, there is absolutely no doubt that he has been a wildly effective proponent of all things Buffalo and western New York. Sure, as the Buffalo News pointed out earlier this year, he’s not lighting Washington on fire with pointless legislation that is likely to go nowhere in a tea party-dominated body. But when it comes to using his power and clout as a federal representative to help rebuild Buffalo and her waterfront, to restore NYPA funding to do it, to help improve our border and to push for needed changes in air traffic regulation, Higgins is the guy for us. When it comes to using the power of the federal purse to help fund projects and programs that help feed, clothe, house, and employ the weakest in our society, Higgins is the guy for us. Even Republicans recognize Higgins’ value and leadership. Higgins says

My service in Congress is everything about Buffalo and Western New York. I’ve learned that when you do good for your community, you’re doing good for your country, because the most important part of my country is my community.

While Brian Higgins represents the best that western New York has to offer, his opponent is the polar opposite. Kathy Weppner is nothing more than a craven cartoon character.  Her deep paranoia and hatred, willingness to promote and advocate for utter and complete nonsense, ease with which she lies and makes things up, and mindless regurgitation of whatever gibberish she reads on the right-wing internet renders her palpably unfit for public office. 

But it’s not just that. 

Below is a compendium of every post I’ve written about Kathy Weppner since she began her campaign. As a political meme for this season, she has been a bottomless pit of unfortunate material. What Kathy Weppner represents is the absolute worst of what western New York has to offer; reactionary thought, paranoia, a tendency to lie and to promote others’ lies, a provincial and narrow mindset, and above all – ignorance and misinformation. 

When Weppner first announced, this is what I wrote

In the 26th, incumbent Democrat Brian Higgins is likely to coast to re-election, as well. This is especially true thanks to the fact that his opponent is not only going to be a tea partier, but is – quite literally – a low-information WBEN caller. “Kathy from Williamsville” is going to take her fact-free jingoism on the campaign trail. She is a walking, talking anti-Obama chain email, and anyone reporting on her should be sure to have Snopes queued up on their mobile browsers. Seriously – there will be no point covering her campaign if you’re not able immediately to vet her pronouncements and cross-examine her on the inevitable fabrications and fantasies she’ll discuss. After all, she has a list of known communists, doesn’t seem to be ready or willing to represent Muslim residents of the 26th (hint: it’s the primitive blood lust), has declared “white guilt” to be “dead”, warned against a hyperinflation that never came, and – like Ronald Reagan – opposes Medicare

That one will be fun. 

I love it when I’m right. 

Take this for example. This was posted (publicly) to Weppner’s own Facebook page just this week. For some reason it wasn’t good enough for her campaign, but this is a pretty representative insight into the mind of a person who wants to go to Washington and represent the people of a diverse NY-26. 

To start out with, I absolutely detest these sorts of ignorant, uninformed violations of Godwin’s Law. Simply put, the United States is not at any risk of becoming a Nazi state, and anyone who thinks it is, is a moron.

But let’s examine the specifics; most basic is the lie – oft-repeated by demagogues and charlatans – that the Nazis killed capitalism in Germany. Nothing could be further from the truth, as National Socialism was, at least in part, a corporatist movement where the party, the military, and big industry were united in goal and deed. It wasn’t Marxist socialism that drove Nazi ideology – quite the opposite, as the Weimar-era street battles with the Spartacists can attest. Instead, it was a nationalist reaction to Marxism’s internationalism. The goal wasn’t a proletarian utopia, but a pure and strong Germany where the individual was subjugated to the state. Any notion that Naziism is remotely similar – much less identical – to the kind of western pluralist liberalism that people like Weppner so oppose – is as laughable as it is wrong. 

Prayer was taken out of schools? Hitler didn’t just stop there – he was openly hostile to all organized religion, because it represented a singular challenge to Nazi hegemony and the totalitarian deification of Hitler himself. In the United States, we have no such action taking place, and prayer is not allowed in school because of the prohibition against a government establishment of religion; it’s in the Constitution. Students, however, are perfectly within their rights to initiate spontaneous prayer in school at any time. It just can’t be something the school organizes. 

Like all things, under Hitler’s totalitarian state, all school curricula and administrations were subjected to the will of the party. Private and Catholic schools did exist, but were under constant scrutiny. No such thing happens in the US today. 

“Socialized medicine” didn’t lead to the extermination of the disabled – that was the Nazi sterilization and eugenics program – one that was quite popular in the United States in the early 20th century, as well. Every single western industrialized nation has some form of universal health insurance – some of it socialized – yet extermination of the old, sick, and disabled is not part of any of those programs. This is a lie and a scare tactic, used by depraved people to misinform voters. 

I have visited and lived in totalitarian dictatorships in my life. While some may find fault with our government using signals intelligence and other surveillance methods to try and keep tabs on real and suspected terrorists, it is not the same as a government using secret police, informants, and SIGINT to maintain a totalitarian purity of thought. We don’t have political police out there manning checkpoints to make sure where you’re supposed to be, and limiting what you think, say, or with whom you associate. Having experienced true totalitarianism, I can tell you that my possession of a passport, my ability to write this blog, my right to say and think what I please, and my right to express my political opinion all run counter to any half-brained notion that this country has devolved into some sort of fascist totalitarian nightmare. Anyone who suggests otherwise has automatically disproven their own point: if we truly were that totalitarian dystopia, you’d have no ability to express that fact, and you’d be arrested, subjected to a show-trial, and then exiled or killed. 

Government spending in Germany skyrocketed because they were planning to take over the world through endless war. Germans have always been very ecologically conscious – this pre-dates and post-dates Hitler, and is part of the German psyche. While Nazis and Communists alike purported to love and protect the natural environment, that doesn’t mean protecting the environment is a totalitarian aim. 

Finally, Hitler actually eased gun restrictions, but only for non-Jews. The US has a hodgepodge of state and federal gun laws, none of which have disarmed anyone based on religion. 

The copying and publication of that passage above – alone – disqualifies Kathy Weppner from public office. But there’s so much more. Here’s a list of just some of the abhorrent things that this candidate has done and said since announcing her campaign.  She – and the people who endorse her – are an insult to the intelligence of western New Yorkers. 

March 2014: Weppner Deletes It All

Back in the early Spring, the Buffalo News’ Jerry Zremski picked over some of the more malodorous parts of the Weppner mindswamp, and asked her for an interview. She declined, and agreed instead to answer via email. The result was a glorious, factual recitation of some of the things she’s promoted and said, and her weak explanations for them. (Weppner Vetted 3/24/14) Much of it surrounded her very outspoken involvement in the “birther” nonsense, questioning whether Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, or part of some half-century-long conspiracy to overthrow America. 

The candidate’s response to Zremski’s article was jaw-droppingly horrible. (Kathy Weppner Tries to Explain; Fails 3/25/14) I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself. The passive-aggressive whining about being on vacation, and the declaration of war on the librul meediya set the tone for the next several months’ worth of self-pitying nonsense. 

Much of Zremski’s piece focused on Weppner’s enthusiastic dalliance with Obama birtherism. Among Weppner’s defenses was that she was just asking questions, like everyone else, about Obama’s birthplace, along with other unpersuasive,  halfhearted denials about being part of some wider birther movement. A quick listen to an online radio show on which Weppner appeared reveals not only that she was more than just “asking questions”, she was an active believer in the lunatic rantings of the fringe dead-ender birther movement. (How Not To Be A Birther, By Kathy Weppner 3/26/14). 

Much of the information that the Buffalo News and I had been using to vet Weppner came from recordings of her own WBEN radio show, as well as materials that she published on her blog “str8talk.wordpress.com”. Up until late March, that site was still intact. After Zremski’s piece, she began selectively deleting certain passages, such as a racist “White Guilt” article she reprinted, verbatim, without comment. Soon, she took the entire site down altogether, and redirected the url to her campaign website. It was, for a time, still visible via the waybackmachineFinally, by 3/31, her campaign had successfully petitioned Archive.org to remove her entire internet archive from its site, and we are now left with not a single piece of evidence that she ever published a blog or had a radio show. Despite the fact that she proudly touts her WBEN radio show on her campaign bio, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any lasting evidence of its existence. (Kathy Weppner: So Proud of Her Radio Program She Deleted All Evidence of It 3/31/14). 

All we’re left with now is transcripts of her several calls to the Rush Limbaugh radio program.  Everyone knows who Rush Limbaugh is – he’s the fascist, racist, drug-addled, misogynist radio troll who spits hatred on a daily basis over the publicly owned airwaves. It was her unbelievable deletion of her entire pre-campaign radio and web history that led me to track down what was left, before she got rid of that, too. 

In 2008, Weppner called in with a particularly dumb theory about how Hillary Clinton was going to get the Democratic nomination because Obama was such a racist who “bathed his children” in hatred of white people.  She also bleated on about a conspiratorial “October Surprise” and other such half-baked nonsense. (Kathy From Williamsville Calls Rush Limbaugh in 2008 3/31/14). That same day, I found a campaign image on her Facebook page that used the House seal, in direct violation of federal law. (Kathy Weppner Violates Federal Law 3/31/14)

April 2014: Kathy From Williamsville’s Calls to Rush Limbaugh

In 2011, Weppner called Limbaugh to vent about how people need to start attending tea party rallies, or else we’d have “nothing left”. Also, her kids are serving in the military to protect things like Chris Lee and sovereign debt. It was a quick and mindless recitation of a couple of dopey talking points generating no discussion whatsoever. (Kathy Weppner: Why Are American Troops Fighting for Shirtless Chris Lee? 4/2/14). 

This one is one of my favorites – Kathy Weppner complaining about how no one from Congress held any town hall meetings in WNY so she and her cohorts could go and disrupt them. Yet she is so deathly afraid of the opinions and pronouncements that she spat when no one was looking, she deleted all evidence of them. Where have Weppner’s town halls been? (Kathy Weppner on Town Halls 4/3/14

Weppner called Limbaugh in July 2008 to ramble off a litany of groups whom she resents.

You know, we have ended up with a society where all the people that work in government, all the politicians, the teachers, the firemen, the policemen, all of our state governments, municipalities, and we are in a very heavily governed area here in western New York, all of them are living inside the castle walls, and all of us, everybody else is living outside of the castle walls. And all of the rules they make protect them, where our people, the public employee, they can retire at 55 here and they live to 85.

Yeah! To hell with our first responders and educators! Good talk, Kathy! (Kathy Weppner on Whom She Resents 4/4/14). 

There was another call to Limbaugh in 2009 – just a month after Obummer overthrew ‘Murrka, and Weppner threatened to go Galt because Barry and his cadres were going to just take everything anyway and give it to the lazy takers, (ostensibly the aforementioned teachers, firemen, policemen, and lazy blacks). Meanwhile, I learned that even physicians who receive Mexican medical degrees can earn a tremendous amount of money here in the United States. Weppner. What a card! (Kathy Weppner on Going Galt 4/4/14). (I posted the actual audio here on April 30th). 

We discovered that Weppner’s rag-tag campaign team includes a treasurer who has . . . interesting taste in caricatures, and “developed” a blatant ripoff of mobile app “Angry Birds”. In this version, we had angry “patriots” killing famous leftists like Al Sharpton and Karl Marx. (Weppner’s Carnival Sideshow 4/9/14)

If you’re looking for a nice yacht, cheap, try Kathy’s! (Weppner Selling Yacht 4/10/14).  We’re also still waiting for Kathy’s Obamacare report with bated breath! (Guns, Mental Health & Fascism 4/11/14)

May 2014: Issues!

Kathy introduced herself to the “girls” of western New York with this amazing video. You see, if women fight for equality, they’re embracing victimhood, or something. (Girls, Can We Talk?(!) 5/11/14)

Mrs. Weppner wrote an amazing piece blasting the Common Core, and calling for the immediate abolition of the Department of Education. Unfortuately, it needed some corrections. (Kathy Weppner’s Common Core Piece 5/23/14).

Here, our plucky tea partyist campaigns quite literally on the graves of our fallen heroes. (Kathy Weppner, Solving All the Problems 5/28/14).

Just hours after a madman went on a shooting rampage in California, Kathy graciously and with utmost sensitivity posted a YouTube video explaining how America was founded on the principle that armed lunatics should have the capability to commit treason at any time. (2nd Amendment and Kathy Weppner 5/29/14)

She then promptly took the video down, without explanation or apology.  She also knows all the things about Ohio fertilizer runoff. (Kathy Weppner’s Clownshoes: Now with Guns and Corn! 5/30/14)

Summer 2014: Infected Poors!

The month of June was pretty quiet.

In July, a campaign volunteer who was also managing some of Weppner’s social media, Laura Yingling, sent an email to the campaign’s list, seeking “not so nice” photos of “vacant homes, urban blight, anything I can use against Brian Higgins on Twitter and Facebook”. (Weppner Campaign Seeking “Not So Nice” Incidental Blight Photos 7/17/14). This led to a hilarious Twitter meme “#HigginsBlight”, showing off all the wonderful things that have happened in Buffalo and WNY since Higgins came to office. 

A few days later, Weppner reprimanded Yingling for this idiotic idea. (Weppner Disavows 912 Blight Exploitation Strategy 7/22/14). 

At the end of July, Weppner inexplicably chose the Peace Bridge as a backdrop to spout a bunch of hate-filled rubbish about a crisis of migrant children crossing the border. She went so far as to Tweet that Guatemala was sending us their “infected poors”. (Kathy Weppner and the “Infected Poors” 7/30/14). 

When the “infected poors” thing made national news and became embarrassing, Weppner blamed the help, (Laura Yingling again), and posted pictures of “Mariachi Kathy” in a sombrero to prove that some of her best friends are infected poors. (Shorter Weppner: #BlametheHelp 7/31/14). 

September 2014: ISIS Fundraising

August was also quiet, but campaign season sort of starts in earnest in September.  The civilized world watched in horror as radical Islamist murderers from the ISIS death cult slaughtered American and British hostages. Not one to let a beheading go by without a fundraising plea, Kathy Weppner displayed her shocking lack of propriety and morality, and did just that. (Kathy Weppner’s Moral Depravity 9/4/14). This insensitive exploitation of tragedy was becoming a pattern for the endorsed Republican candidate. 

Later that month, Weppner touted the fact that she had received a participation award – a prize for just showing up – from some obscure New Jersey-based school choice lobby that no one’s ever heard of. (Kathy Weppner gets Participation Award 9/24/14). The irony, of course, is that right-wing nutjobs like Weppner detest what they perceive to be participation awards and social promotion in our public schools. It makes the kids soft, don’t you know?  

The League of Women Voters put out the results of candidate questionnaires, and Weppner’s was just wonderful.  Any WBEN caller could have written it, right down to the throwaway, casual parenthetical Hitler reference. (Weppner and the Parenthetical Hitler 9/30/14). At least we know she’s a patriot. 

October 2014: Desperation Sets In 

The more desperate Weppner became, the more hateful and odd her pronouncements.

October 1st, Weppner declared that Ebola needed to be dealt with medically, not politically.  In the very next breath, she politicized Ebola. (Cognitive Weppner Dissonance 10/1/14). 

She decided to hammer Brian Higgins for not doing enough to stop the growth or territorial expansion of ISIS. She claimed that you should “change your congressman” because, presumably, she’d be appointed to the very same committees as Higgins, and by gosh, she’d get the anti-jihadist job done! The problem for Weppner goes back to her careful-then-comprehensive scrubbing of everything she ever wrote or said before March 2014. It’s disingenuous, at best, to attack Brian Higgins for past acts or omissions of word and deed, when you’ve deprived everyone of the ability to do the same with you. Certainly if ISIS was such a clear and present danger, Weppner’s own radio show or blog must be replete with warnings and pronouncements about this threat? (How Did Kathy Weppner Warn Us About ISIS in 2013? 10/9/14). 

I highlighted the insanity of some of what Weppner was pimping in this post (Kathy “Purple Penguin” Weppner 10/10/14). She is – and will always be – the Snopes candidate; whenever she mouth some weird nonsense, you have to check Snopes first and determine just how wrong or misguided she is.  Is that who should be sent to Washington as a legislative representative – someone so casually loose with reality and facts that you have to check what she says against an urban legends debunking site

Weppner’s so-bad-they-must-be-joking media allies defamed the League of Women Voters for supposedly succumbing to Brian Higgins’ scary pressure, deciding to not hold a NY-26 debate. The problem is, the local LWV isn’t holding any congressional debates in WNY this season. (The League of Women Voters Would Like Everyone to Stop Lying, please 10/17/14). It’s come to right-wing lunatics denigrating one of the most venerable voting organizations as a bunch of “libtards” and “demoncrats”, because that’s a normal way to talk. 

In a follow-up to the abysmally written “Stop Common Core” piece that Weppner released in May (above), I red-lined an equally bizarre Ebola/ISIS thing she posted on her website. (Kathy Weppner on ISIS and Ebola 10/23/14). 

That same day, as Canada was reeling from a terrorist attack against its Cenotaph and Parliament, resulting in the slaughter of a serviceman guarding the War Memorial, Weppner took that as an opportunity to idiotically discuss Canada’s gun laws. (Weppner Disrespects Canada’s Fallen 10/23/14). It was, for her, typically and shamelessly disrespectful. 

Finally – at long last – we come full circle.  A birther to the last, on  October 26th, Kathy Weppner told the Buffalo News’ Jerry Zremski

But there’s one thing Weppner doesn’t regret: her repeated questioning of whether President Obama was born in the United States.

Nonpartisan fact-checking sources such as PolitiFact dismissed that question out of hand years ago, but Weppner said last week: “I think that was a very legitimate conversation to have.”

There’s only about one week left of this shambolic campaign, and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last dumb pronouncement. But given all of the above, it’s clear that you simply don’t let a low-information WBEN caller run for elected office. What vision has she offered, other than poorly articulated, paranoid hatred? The removal of the “str8t talk” archive tells you all you need to know about a tea party candidate who refuses to answer for the things she’s said or done before she was involved in a campaign.  If the stuff she’s said and written during the campaign, as chronicled above, is as bad as that, you can image what sort of insanity lurked in those archives. 

Brian Higgins deserves re-election because he’s a strong champion for Buffalo and WNY. That, and his opponent is not deserving of consideration, much less support.

Caveat: Artvoice does not do political endorsements. Nothing written in this post should be interpreted, construed, or cited as an endorsement by the owners or editors of Artvoice itself.  This endorsement is mine alone.  In addition, because of how prolific Weppner’s campaign has been in putting out horrible things, some have accused me of being a paid blogger for the Higgins campaign.  This is categorically false and defamatory.  It presupposes, of course, that no one could possibly support a Brian Higgins or a Democrat unless they were on the take – an accusation so despicably sleazy that it requires no response. In any event, I do not know whether Higgins has ever paid for an advertisement in Artvoice, nor would I be in a position to know. I am an independent contractor and have no involvement or employment with Artvoice or its advertising or editorial staff. I can also state unequivocally and unreservedly that Higgins, his staff, and his campaign have never paid me in money or favor, ever. 

Kathy Weppner on ISIS and Ebola

23 Oct

The silly radio lady – our own politically backward version of Mariann from Brooklyn, Kathy “Infected Poors” Weppner – is following up her big May hit, “Stop Common Core in NY” with this doozy that links together Islam, ISIS, and Ebola.

Remember – this is a serious candidate for Congress. Not a joke. Not at all. Now, on with the countdown. 

Kathy Weppner on ISIS and Ebola and Islam

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/243984430/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=true

Tea Party Protests Grisanti Fundraiser

21 Oct

An exclusive image of the massive tea party protest of Mark Grisanti’s fundraiser, courtesy of @HeyRaChaCha on Twitter

Kathy “Purple Penguin” Weppner

10 Oct

Step 1: See what appears to be regurgitated, unvetted nonsense likely spreading rampant through the fascist blogosphere in order to assail the imminent destruction of ‘Murrka by n0bummer and the Alinskyite cadres. 

Step 2: Not being privy to the rampant dementia infecting the idiot fasict blogosphere, Google it and find who’s talking about it. 

Step 3: Be a curious and intelligent person, and try to get to the truth

Step 4: Find out that the whole fascist outrage is not only false, but damningly critical of an attempt to make kids feel comfortable in the classroom. In other words: based on evil. 

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Weppner and the Parenthetical Hitler

30 Sep

Hey, the candidates are replying to questionnaires. Let’s take a look! 

Kathy Weppner appears to be the only candidate vain enough to list “Patriot” as a qualification-slash-experience for public office.  That’s just breathtaking. I mean, Harvard Shmarvard. Being a “Patriot” is basically a silent pre-requisite for running for any public office in the U.S., like “sentient being” or “has central nervous system” or “skeleton”. 

Let’s compare the candidates’ “community involvement”, and watch Higgins mop the floor with Weppner’s “hey, I show up when people ask me to” slacktivism. 

Well, well, well. There are so many issues that the government should be addressing, and Higgins focuses on some key ones that fit neatly within a Congressional backbencher’s wheelhouse. But Weppner – she identifies the debt as “our top challenge”, and that if interest rates – that the Fed sets – go up, we won’t make the payments? The US has never defaulted, even in the 80s under Reagan’s debt and double-digit interest rates. People like Weppner who conflate public debt with family debt don’t really understand what they’re talking about. 

First, families have to pay back their debt. Governments don’t — all they need to do is ensure that debt grows more slowly than their tax base. The debt from World War II was never repaid; it just became increasingly irrelevant as the U.S. economy grew, and with it the income subject to taxation.

Second — and this is the point almost nobody seems to get — an over-borrowed family owes money to someone else; U.S. debt is, to a large extent, money we owe to ourselves…

…It’s true that foreigners now hold large claims on the United States, including a fair amount of government debt. But every dollar’s worth of foreign claims on America is matched by 89 cents’ worth of U.S. claims on foreigners. And because foreigners tend to put their U.S. investments into safe, low-yield assets, America actually earns morefrom its assets abroad than it pays to foreign investors. If your image is of a nation that’s already deep in hock to the Chinese, you’ve been misinformed. Nor are we heading rapidly in that direction.

Now, the fact that federal debt isn’t at all like a mortgage on America’s future doesn’t mean that the debt is harmless. Taxes must be levied to pay the interest, and you don’t have to be a right-wing ideologue to concede that taxes impose some cost on the economy, if nothing else by causing a diversion of resources away from productive activities into tax avoidance and evasion. But these costs are a lot less dramatic than the analogy with an overindebted family might suggest.

I don’t know what Congress is going to do about “leadership” in a “dangerous world”, but whatever. She’s running a chain-email campaign

Now, on to income inequality. If you haven’t, you should read Monday’s Krugman, and then look at this: 

Every time an increase in the minimum wage is proposed, the wealthy egotists who think themselves ‘job creators” and their minions whine about how the jobs will all be lost! They do this, of course, while simultaneously denigrating the jobs and their occupants as losers, slackers, teens, or all of the above.

But the loss of jobs doesn’t happen. At all. If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation over the last 40 years, it would be $10.90/hour.  Instead, the federal rate is $7.25. No one’s talking about making everyone earn the same – this isn’t some Stalinist march to the kolkhoz, but ensuring that people who work earn enough to live, and that we halt policies that disproportionately enrich the already rich at the expense of the poor and middle class. You know, to stop this

But note the rhetoric about how “immigrants…started with nothing, did anything, and ended up great! About that

So, on the one hand, immigrants do just great! But on the other hand, they’re all lawbreaking terrorist welfare queens who want to bankrupt the republic. 

See? It’s your own fault that we don’t know who’s funding campaigns. The word salad that Weppner sharts out here is utter nonsense. 

LOLWUT? First of all, I’d like someone to ask Weppner about the science of global climate change and see if she says the same thing. She completely fails to answer the question posed in any meaningful way, and just punts, adding that we like totally really need to be able to transport her phantom resources “based on science”. 

Common Core is not a federal program, isn’t administered or run from Washington, and was not a federal government initiative. Other than that, awesome!

So, on the one hand, she brings up a separation of powers issue that’s been pretty much resolved for some time – the Commander in Chief does not need a declaration of war to commit US troops. But the last time Congress declared war was World War 2, to combat, among others, Hitler – who appears here parenthetically.

We didn’t fight Hitler because of his crimes against humanity – we fought him because he declared war on the US on Pearl Harbor Day, and because the Nazis had overrun Europe and North Africa. Germany, Italy, and Japan were imposing militarist fascist totalitarian dictatorships all over the place, and we fought Nazi Germany because it had to be done. Weppner alludes to ISIS and its vicious reign of terror, but why isn’t the beheading and crucifixion of adults also a “crime against humanity” justifying American action? 

“Why do we deliver humanitarian food and shelter when humanity is threatened but we do not see the same need when life itself is threatened”.  What on Earth does that mean? We fought crimes against humanity in Bosnia and Kosovo in the last 20 years. What is she saying? 

She started her recent career as a caller to ultra-right-wing hate radio. She graduated from there to being a host on ultra-right-wing hate radio. Now, she feels entitled to a title, and in so doing is simply regurgitating nonsense she hears on ultra-right-wing hate radio. She’ll be lucky to hit 20% because the vast majority of WNY voters are not fascist idiots.

Carl Being Carl

24 Sep

Courtesy Marquil at EmpireWire.com

It was a cool evening; cool in the sense of temperature as much as atmosphere. The sun had just set and the cloudless sky was turning a lovely shade of dark blue, with a disappearing tinge of orange on the horizon. 

I pulled my car into a spot about a block down from the Dinosaur BBQ on Franklin Street to attend the City & State “welcome to Buffalo” party. The New York-based paper had just hired a Buffalo reporter, and it was hosting a celebration. 

As I walked up Franklin, I ran into County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who was rushing to get to a dinner at Bacchus with bigwigs from a local utility company. I saw Buffalo Rising’s Newell Nussbaumer and said hello. As I approached the Dinosaur, I saw Mike Desmond from WBFO speaking with City & State Editor-in-Chief Morgan Pehme and Chris Thompson – Pehme’s new Buffalo hire. 

After a while, a very slim, dapper gentleman from the statewide office of AARP came by to chat with Pehme and Desmond. He mentioned that Erie County had the 9th oldest population in the country. 

Right around that time, I caught a glimpse of a black BMW X5 across Franklin. It stopped to let out City & State President & CEO Tom Allon and G. Stephen Pigeon. Allon is a tall, bespectacled man who looks like he stepped right out of a Brooks Brothers catalogue. I introduced myself to both men. Pigeon shook my hand. Understandably, he wasn’t especially warm and friendly to me, but behaved like a gracious adult. They went inside. 

At this moment, the BMW had made a u-turn and parked, halfway in a spot, in front of the Dinosaur BBQ. Out comes Carl Paladino, and he is smiling and gesturing at me as if I was someone he was happy to see. He came around the car and was being gregarious and friendly with everyone. As we both extended hands to shake in greeting, I hesitated and said, “you don’t like me. I’m Alan Bedenko”.

At this he recoiled and inquired whether I was fucking serious. When I answered in the affirmative, he took a step or two back to tell me that I’m “a real fucking asshole, you know that?”  I replied that yes, indeed, I am, as I grinned from ear to ear.  He went on to berate me as a “disgrace” and a “fucking coward”.  I continued smiling as this old man angrily spat expletives at me on a sidewalk, in front of people, on a cool Buffalo night. He then went inside in disgust, informing the people with whom I was chatting that he would not speak to them while they were talking to an asshole like me. It was surreal. 

I continued speaking with Mr. AARP guy, Pehme and Desmond before going inside to check the event out.  I met Erie County Legislator Joe Lorigo, who is a nice fellow even if his politics are all wrong. I like that he recognizes that the legislature is – and should be – a deliberative legislative body, and the role he plays in it.  I saw his dad, too, but we didn’t get a chance to speak. I spoke with lobbyist Jack O’Donnell and met his lovely wife, Marina. It was O’Donnell’s birthday, evidently, and Pehme led the gathering in a round of “Happy Birthday”.  There was even cake. 

I spoke at some length with Camille Brandon, fresh off a primary loss in her Assembly race. While we were chatting, Paladino passed behind me and said hello to her, but indicated that he would speak to her later when “that asshole” was gone.  She later found me and said Carl had asked her why she was speaking to that “asshole”. He was entering Mean Girls territory. 

I saw Jim Heaney and Dan Telvock of Investigative Post, and Justin Sondel from the Niagara Gazette.  I spoke briefly with @HeyRaChaCha from Twitter, and we talked about all the fascinating people who were there. 

As I spoke with Sondel and Mark Cornell from Poloncarz’s office about hydrofracking and Niagara County journalism, Pehme and Allon took to the stage to thank everyone for coming to the event.  Evidently, Paladino was a sponsor of the event because he, too, took the mic.  He welcomed City & State to Buffalo, adding that it was about time Buffalo got some real journalism up in here. He added that Buffalo media had too many “worms like Alan Bedenko”, expressing surprise and dismay as to how I even got into this event, to which I had been invited. 

Of all the elected officials, journalists, and dignitaries who filled that room, only one name was mentioned – mine, spat out by Buffalo’s favorite son – a walking, talking insult billboardatorium

Oh, how delightful this all was. I don’t think you’ve really arrived in Buffalo until you’ve been viciously cursed out by Carl Paladino.

What have I done to this man, except tell the truth about him? His sordid racist emails? His failed candidacy? The horrible things that come from his mouth? This guy is the personification of dishing it out but not being able to take it. (Mr. Tea Party is hanging out with Steve Pigeon, now?) What have I done, except be one of the few not in thrall of his money or perceived power? He hides behind his money, hurling misogyny, homophobia, and invective from emails and billboards, but I’m the coward?  I mean, I never circulated anal horse pornography, but that’s just not my thing. 

What’s with the hate and anger? Here he is, a millionaire in his $70,000 truck, being feted and paid attention to by all sorts of VIPs from not just the region, but throughout the state, but he’s got to take especial time to attempt – and fail – to insult me from the stage at the Dinosaur BBQ at someone else’s event. How great is that

Almost everyone said it was “just Carl being Carl”. It was, indeed.  That is, of course, the problem, but he’s attained folk hero status and can get away with just about anything, and the list of “cowards” who are willing to call him on it is regrettably short these days. There’s a fine line between being a straight talker and the state of being “Carl”. 

As for me, it was one of the proudest nights of my life; a story to remember. I make it a point to never knowingly do business with Carl Paladino, and I didn’t touch a drop of liquid or morsel of food that he underwrote at the event. 

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you. – Matthew 5:44. 

About that Peace and Progress

19 Sep

stinkfaceSaturday is the big Erie County Democratic Reorganization meeting, where Jeremy Zellner will battle it out with Mark Manna for the 2-year chairmanship of the party.  I’m on the committee in Clarence, which easily has at least a dozen Democrats. 

I’ve received mail and calls from Zellner’s effort, but nothing from Manna’s. This is interesting to me, because the anti-Zellner bloc purport to want to fight “Republicans again instead of Democrats” and bring “peace and progress” to the party. 

The reasons I reckon this is utter bullshit include: 

1. If they wanted to bring peace, they’d reach out to people like me in some meaningful way.  Not only am I a committeeman, but for years, I’ve been writing about the stupid unproductivity of Democratic infighting. I have not received a call or a piece of mail or a Facebook message or an email. Nothing.  UPDATE: I received a Facebook message (I thought it was just a generic announcement) and Manna called me to chat this afternoon. We aired our various issues as between Zellner and the people backing Manna, and I continue to like and respect Mark even if I am not supporting this effort of his.

2. The people backing Manna are not people known for bringing “peace and progress” to the Democratic committee.  On the contrary, Byron Brown, Steve Pigeon, and Tim Kennedy have spent most of their time sabotaging first Lenihan and then Zellner. When Zellner actually made an effort to bring peace by endorsing Byron Brown, he did so with Brown’s agreement to reciprocate. Byron Brown is reneging on that agreement, and it’s simply dishonorable. Tim Kennedy is supremely butthurt that ECDC endorsed Betty Jean Grant over him, but what did he think? That you could hand over a Democratic legislature into Chris Collins’ hands and just get away with it? Give almost $100k to a PAC working to sabotage ECDC candidates and be forgiven the next day? And convicted felon Pedro Espada’s patronage hire – neither peace nor progress is not on the agenda, ever. 

3. Former TV personality Kristy Mazurek is aligned with the anti-Zellner effort. Kristy Mazurek called WEDG on primary day to try and intimidate the station into keeping me off the air, telling them that a “team of lawyers” was “monitoring” me, threatening Shredd & Ragan with a subpoena. Perhaps “peace and progress” is this crowd’s way of saying, “retribution and intimidation”. They’re being quite transparent about the kind of operation they intend to run. They also don’t scare me or Shredd & Ragan. 

4. Mike Deely, the local head of the teacher’s union, is viciously against Zellner. No one really knows what this guy’s deal is, but he parachuted into his position in 2011, marshals hundreds of thousands in union dollars, and now wants to dictate who the chair should be? I wonder whether Deely thinks that, e.g., Tim Kennedy handing over the legislature to Chris Collins was good for public education or teachers. Wynnie Fisher ran for the legislature last year. Deely donated to her campaign. What does Deely think about the vicious attack that his new allies launched against Fisher last November? Furthermore, Deely swore under oath that John Rivera and Assemblyman Sean Ryan saw Dennis Ward destroy Deely’s committee petitions. Rivera and Ryan say they saw no such thing

5. They don’t want to fight Republicans, they want to control jobs and settle scores. It’s evident from their words and deeds. If they win, I’ll probably switch to unenrolled. I won’t ever play their game and sabotage Democrats or their party apparatus. But I certainly won’t help them, either. I don’t reward bullying, trolling, and bad behavior. 

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. – George Santayana

Antoine Thompson: Alleged Assailant

15 Sep

A campaign worker went down to Antoine Thompson’s campaign HQ this past Thursday – two days after Thompson lost a primary to incumbent Crystal Peoples-Stokes – and says he got the crap beat out of him

Christopher Patterson, 37, said in a police report that Thompson held him down at his Assembly campaign headquarters on East Delavan Avenue, two days after the candidate’s defeat in the Democratic primary for Assembly. He also said two others, Neil Mack and Rashad Howard, punched and kicked him. He said that the assault caused him pain and abrasions to the back of his neck and that he needed to seek treatment at Sisters Hospital.

That whole thing will play itself out on the criminal and civil dockets, but congratulations seem to be in order for Mr. Thompson, who has evidently recovered nicely from the injuries he allegedly suffered in a fender-bender; injuries that were so mild that he used the experience as an effort to weaken the state’s no-fault threshold of “serious injury” for car crash lawsuits

The most amazing thing about Thompson’s attempt to re-enter the political arena is that Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Byron Brown basically gave him the best gift – a job when he needed one, a couple of years after Mark Grisanti kicked him out of the State Senate. 

Maybe he can get a job advising the Weppner campaign? They seem made for each other.