Thursday, March 29, 2018

Anyone over the age of 40 in WNY will remember the name of Judge John Curtin. Chances are, they or someone they know were adversely affected by his ridiculous pie in the sky views on desegregating the Buffalo Public Schools in the 70s and 80s. There are liberals and there are conservatives and then there are outright kooks. Ask anyone who was bused from their neighborhood school across the city to an unfamiliar environment against their will in the 1980s. They will tell you Judge Curtin fell into the latter category. 

Curtin's asinine busing decisions caused families to flee the city to the suburbs in droves from the late 70s on. The end result? Kindergartners forced to get up at 6AM to be shipped off to other parts of the city. Not to return home until after 4:30 or later. Their families were greatly inconvenienced and the whole idea of neighborhood schools was destroyed. And, oh by the way, the white flight to the suburbs caused the schools to be become even more segregated than ever before! Failed social experiment. Despite overwhelming evidence that busing schoolchildren half way across the city was ludicrous, Judge Curtin continued on with his Utopian pipe dream. Of course, he himself lived in the whitest/wealthiest part of the city the rest of his life. Apparently, integration was important to him as long as he didn't have to live in a diverse neighborhood.

Pretty much anyone in WNY with any common sense will remember Judge Curtin as the one man who single-handily destroyed public education in the city of Buffalo. Apparently, everyone except Assembly candidate Pat Burke. Here's how he remembered Curtin on his Facebook page last year after his death...

Seriously. Before you vote on April 24th, please remember that Patrick Burke is reading this article right now and has no idea that 90% of his potential constituency did not see Judge Curtin as  "a truly great man." Would Burke tell friends of mine who were randomly forced out of their neighborhood schools because of the color of their skin, how great Judge Curtin was? I think he'd be surprised by their responses.

Erik Bohen is campaigning against corporate welfare and government handouts. He is willing to stand up to governor Cuomo and has the common sense necessary to lead our area. He is a Democrat who has chosen to challenge Burke on the Republican line. Because it is a Special Election, there could be no Democratic Primary for Bohen to challenge Burke. Regardless of your party affiliation, I'd ask you to talk to anyone regarding Erik Bohen's community involvement as well as his leadership/organizational skills. If you lean to the extreme far Left and think Judge Curtin's busing experiment was awesome, Burke is your man. If you have common sense and view things with an open mind and consider yourself moderate or conservative (99% of you), Erik Bohen is the clear choice on April 24th. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Bohen Gaining Momentum in Race for Assembly

If lawn signs are any indication, candidate Erik Bohen has gained great momentum in the race to succeed former Assemblyman Michael Kearns, whose tenure in Albany can only be described as underwhelming.

Despite the old adage that "signs don't vote", there is no doubt that the number of Bohen supporters in high voter areas is greater than expected. Bohen's support comes from his years of community involvement and his reputation as a hard worker and intelligent leader. I'm told his events have been packed with supporters from both political parties. With this type of bipartisan support, I believe he has a great chance in the April special election.

In a shameless attempt to grab headlines, his opponent, Pat Burke is pretending to take on the Erie County Water Authority. As is usually the case with politicians, it's not what it appears to be. The Water Authority is being run by criminals from both political parties. These lowlifes were all given their jobs with the blessings of their respective party chairmen. Many are big donors. Pat Burke is trying to portray himself as a champion for all taxpayers, yet he is only willing to go after the Republican crooks. He completely ignores the crooks from his own party. If Burke were sincere, he'd vote against the handpicked candidate of the Democratic Party Chairman and speak out publicly against the practice of party chairmen essentially appointing one of their friends to the position of Erie County Water Authority Executive Director. I  guarantee he will not vote against the political crony they hand pick, because that crony is from his party. A true reformer would not support this type of corruption and would be calling for hearings to change the selection process.

If you  have not met candidate Erik Bohen, I encourage you to look at his background and record of community service. He is a Democrat who was snubbed by the local Democrats in exchange for Burke, who County Executive Poloncarz and Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner know will do their bidding. Because there are no primaries in Special Elections, Bohen chose to accept the Republican and Conservative support. His family's deep history with Labor Unions give him instant support from both sides of the aisle. It is this community involvement and bipartisan support that has many people Goin' with Bohen.

*(Update: Career political donor Mark Carney was appointed as the new commissioner of the Erie County Water Authority. As I predicted in the article, Pat Burke voted to appoint Carney, despite his obvious political ties and lack of qualifications. The lone dissenting vote came from Amherst Democrat Thomas Loughran who called the proceedings a "joke." If you vote for Burke on April 24th, expect this same type of rubber stamping cowardice every time it supports Andrew Cuomo's agenda. He will undoubtedly act as a shill for Cuomo.)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Assembly Race turning into a Free-For-All?

The race to succeed Assemblyman Michael Kearns could be turning into a free for all. At least two candidates from South Buffalo have expressed interest with others considering jumping in.

There has been no formal announcement regarding a special election yet. However, the Democrats appear to be leaning towards Patrick Burke. Unfortunately for Burke, someone forgot to tell him his liberal political leanings are out of step with the majority of the constituents in the district.

Local Special Education teacher Erik Bohen has also announced plans to hold an election party, despite the fact that the election itself hasn't been announced. He's very popular with the South Buffalo clique, however his relationship with Carl Paladino (Bohen has managed his school board campaigns) won't win him any support from his fellow teachers or other unions for that matter.

Chris Scanlon's name has been mentioned as well, but I don't see him running as anything other than a Democrat, and that nod appears to be going to Burke.

I've also spoken to several people and am exploring the possibility of a run for this seat. I've run the youth soccer leagues for the past 28 years, become close to thousands of families, and have friends on every street in the district. Also, the idea of running as an Independent candidate intrigues me as I believe young people are fed up with the two existing parties and not afraid to look at a 3rd option. Also, a 3rd South Buffalo candidate might open the door for the Lackawanna Mayor or someone from West Seneca/Orchard Park to jump in. The more the merrier! South Buffalo's political leadership (including Patrick Burke) haven't been in my corner when I needed their help. This will be a great opportunity to let them know they need to respect the people in the district who actually get things done.

As soon as an election date is announced, I'll be reaching out to my friends to see who is with me. My enemies can go piss up a rope and support Burke or Bohen for all I care. Burke is a pawn for County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Democratic Party boss Jeremy Zellner. Bohen is the same for Carl Paladino and Republican Party boss Nick Langworthy.

Hopefully,  Lackawanna Mayor Syzmanski will avoid making any deals and jump right into the action. A free for all is just what this district needs. Why let the party bosses choose the next representative? We all know the direction they've led us down. I envision this election resembling something like the picture below. Let's get it on!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Race for Vacant Assembly Seat Heating Up

The race to fill Michael Kearns' NYS Assembly seat is heating up. According to the attached article from the Buffalo News, local teacher Erik Bohen is considering running against Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke.

Bohen, a registered Democrat would have to run in the special election as a Republican, using the same strategy Kearns used in defeating Chris Fahey. Burke enjoys the support of Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner . However, South Buffalo voters, while predominantly Democrats, traditionally vote across party lines if they know the Republican candidate. This has been proven time and time again. I believe most South Buffalo voters are more conservative and actually have more in common with the values the Republican Party stands for (or at least claims to.) The major exception to this is the unions, the reason I believe most of them became Democrats in the first place. Bohen has strong familial ties to Western NY unions through his father. 

Both candidates are good guys and well known in their respective circles. I believe this could be a very close race. I don't believe Zellner, Mark Polancarz, and specifically Poloncarz' staff member Jennifer Hibit have done Burke any favors. They've shown zero respect to the true leaders in the district and this could cost Burke considerable support and could end up being a feather in Bohen's cap. 

When the people in power ignore residents with reach and big mouths, it sometimes comes back to bite them. I don't believe Poloncarz  has done anything to reach out to the leaders in South Buffalo. I know for a fact, Mark Schroeder's recommendations to Polancarz and Hibit were completely ignored. And Schroeder and Burke, in the spirit of career politicians, stood by idly and did nothing to stand up to them. I believe those on the outside might reach out to the outsider candidate (in this case Bohen). Patrick Burke has his supporters. Erik Bohen has his. I believe this race will be won by the candidate who reaches out to the forgotten constituents of the district, who could become very involved in this race. Good luck to both candidates.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Kearns' anti-women Voting Record Becoming a Campaign Issue

Hopefully, the women of Erie County will do their homework before voting in November. Unfortunately, these elections are often popularity contests. The person with greater name recognition usually has a huge advantage with voters. Unfortunately for Mickey Kearns, this name recognition also comes with his Albany voting record. This record should give informed female voters all they need to know about the man now being referred to as "Tricky Mickey." From the aptly named website...

In 2013, Mickey voted against the Women’s Equality Act,which includes guarantees for equal pay for equal work, protections for victims of domestic violence, and access to reproductive health services. It passed, but no thanks to Mickey Kearns.
In 2017, Mickey voted against a bill (A00566A) that would have prevented your employer from accessing your health records to see if you are using birth control, and discriminating against you if they didn’t like the answer they found. The bill also would have prevented your employer from making you sign a waiver that would allow them to make your reproductive health choices for you.
Mickey's strings are now being pulled by Erie County's conservative Republicans. In fact, Kearns has accepted over $25,000 in campaign contributions from local developer Carl Paladino. And when Paladino referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as a "gorilla", the normally outspoken Kearns was uncharacteristically silent. It was a great opportunity for Kearns to show some true leadership but as usual, Mickey was thinking about Mickey. Very disappointing.
Kearns' supporters have taken an odd approach early on in responding to the revelations of his misogynistic voting record. They are saying the Clerk's position is administrative and not legislative, so Kearns' tendency to lie and his conservative voting record shouldn't matter. I suspect it does matter to the thousands of women of Erie County making less than their male counterparts.
The Clerk's position is an administrative one. However, Kearns has no plans to stay in it for long. The position has been used in the past by other career politicians as a stepping stone to more powerful offices. In exchange for the local Conservative endorsement, Kearns has betrayed a big part of his base. We'll find out in three weeks whether or not this was a smart move on his part.

I have no affiliation with the attached website. However, I do believe it's content is factual. It was definitely created by Democratic opponents of Kearns. However, the facts they use are indisputable and a matter of public record...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Paladino's Critics Use Obscure Loophole to Have Him Removed: Democracy Mourns

The Buffalo School Board holds elections every four years where the residents of specific districts can choose the candidate they believe in. The winner gets a four year term, unless the President of the Teacher's Union and other members of the Board don't like him or his ideas. Then, they can look for a loophole and have him removed without any input from his constituents. Welcome to George Orwell's 1984, better known as the 2017 Buffalo Public School System. 

What Carl Paladino said to Artvoice regarding Michelle Obama was disgusting and reprehensible. The saddest part to me was that it wasn't even funny. As vile as his comments were, they were protected by the 1st Amendment. His critics knew this, so they found a loophole and contrived a scheme to rid themselves of the thorn in their side. In an actual democracy, the decision to remove Paladino would have been left up to the voters come election time.

Before Paladino became involved, the Board members would meet, talk about how great the Buffalo Schools were, suck as much public money as they could off the system, pad their own political careers, and do whatever Phil Rumore told them to do. The last thing these career criminals cared about were the students. If they did, they would have talked about the violence and disruption that occurs in many Buffalo schools on a daily basis. It was this anarchy in the Buffalo Schools that caused thousands to flee the city for a better education for their children. This was not the fault of the teachers. They do great work under oftentimes horrific working conditions. How many times have you heard someone say they moved to the suburbs for "better schools"?

Now, the Park (South Buffalo) School Board member will be handpicked by the corrupt Sisterhood and Union President Phil Rumore. Hardly democratic. Like him or hate him, Carl Paladino was elected by his neighbors and provided an opposing viewpoint to the status quo members of the Board. The reason they removed him is laughable and those responsible for doing so should be embarrassed with themselves today. Supporters and critics of Paladino should be alarmed. If a vocal minority doesn't like your representative, they can find some obscure loophole, go to Albany, and have him removed. Scary stuff for a supposed Democracy.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Kearns Record on Women's Issues will be Scrutinized in Clerks race

When Donald Trump won the Presidency in 2016, I heard and read from people that this was going to be the impetus to initiate activism from the Left. Many of these people were Democrats and many of them were women. Kathy Griffin and Chelsea Handler are two famous ones that come to mind. But I also heard it from many friends locally on social media. They pledged to become active and outspoken on issues important to them.

The women of Erie County will be given that opportunity in the unlikeliest of  forums; the race for Erie County Clerk. Democrat Steve Cichon will be going up against Mickey Kearns. Kearns, a registered Democrat will be running on the Republican and Conservative (possibly) lines. This makes sense, since Kearns has received more financial support from Carl Paladino than any other local politician in recent years.

Remember last election when Mickey said he was heading to Albany to fight the New York State politicians? Well, that was before the Clerks' race came about.  The Clerk position is viewed by many as a stepping stone to higher office. Kathy Hochul and Chris Jacobs have both used the position to move on to bigger and better things in recent years. Always looking out for number one, Mickey decided to do what he does best, campaign and make a whole new set of promises. 

In my eyes, Kearns is the favorite to win the Clerk position. He has name recognition and people in Erie County can be highly apathetic and uninformed on the issues. A candidate can vote against his constituents' interests and yet get their vote because he says hello to them at the local lawn fete. Former WBEN reporter Steve Cichon seems like a nice guy, but when I tell people he's running against Kearns, they always ask, who is he? 

Despite a huge advantage in name recognition, don't underestimate Mickey's ability to hurt his own cause. 

His debt to Paladino has come at a huge cost to Erie County women. If Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner can reach the female voters of Erie County and inform them that Kearns voted against the Women's Equality Act as an Assemblyman and remains anti-choice on the issue of abortion, perhaps the impending female outrage can benefit Cichon.

Can you imagine a female candidate running and telling her male constituents that she should be the one making decisions regarding their bodies and not them? Male voters would never tolerate this. Why do female voters tolerate this from Kearns? The only reason Kearns votes this way is to gain the support of the Erie County Conservatives. He's assuming that the women of Erie County will not organize and unite against him and his voting record.

Zellner sums up Mickey pretty well in the attached article in which he aptly labels Kearns as a "serial opportunist".

  “Tricky Mickey will say anything and do anything necessary to get elected,” he said. “Once in office, he disregards the promises he’s made to constituents along the way and works on crafting new alliances to get him to his next political office.”

When you see Mickey on the campaign trail, be sure to ask him why he voted against the Women's Equality Act and why he thinks he is better suited to make decisions about your body than you are. Also, remind him about how excited he was to head to Albany to fight for you as your state representative. 
(Oh, about that. Please read the following article documenting how Tricky Mickey skipped a vote in Albany that if passed, could have given Erie County tax payers a double digit tax increase. He was marked absent.) Must have been out campaigning for his next political office.

And here is the link to the original article from the Democratic Chairman...

ECDC Chair questions Kearns' loyalty

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Limited Base Hindering Schroeder's efforts

About a month to go before the September Primaries and three before the general election. Three Countywide elections up for grab as well as the Buffalo Mayoral race. 

The mayor's race seems like a yawner. And that's not to take anything away from South Buffalo's Mark Schroeder. Trying to defeat a well funded, party-backed incumbent would be a daunting task for anyone. At a time when people view the city in a renaissance, even more challenging. 

I read Susan Schulman's financial report on the two candidates (spoiler Betty Jean Grant's candidacy is irrelevant) and was not surprised at this fact:

Almost $53,000 of the $115,600 Schroeder raised in the past six months comes from outside of Buffalo, with big chunks from Hamburg and Orchard Park, according to a Buffalo News analysis of the campaign reports.

I've been around long enough to know that people who donate to political campaigns do not do so out of the kindness of their hearts. They expect favors, and in this case, that means jobs for their children. Including certain jobs in which the job candidate is supposed to be a city resident. I've witnessed firsthand, several of these jobs go to children from political families. Former South Buffalo families who moved to the suburbs yet have no problem "buying" city jobs for their children. Nothing like having your cake and eating it too. 

Mark Schroeder is a great guy, but his tent is very small. His support within the city  appears to be limited to a few neighborhoods . Many work in government jobs and are content with the South Buffalo politicians. 

Nothing wrong with that. But the rest of the city (including large parts of South Buffalo) are not in this club and will be disinterested on Primary Day or voting for Brown. And despite dancing the Wobble, districts like Masten and Ellicott will be 80/20 for Brown. And that's an unscientific fact.

After a summer of campaigning against Brian Higgins for NY State Assembly and having everyone tell him they loved him only to vote for Higgins, it was the late Jimmy Griffin who remarked, "I've never met so many wonderful liars in my life."

As long as the tent remains small, those not in the South Buffalo` clique, will seek and find other tents elsewhere...

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Big Changes at Bishop Timon High School

My phone's been blowing up. I've received calls from the Buffalo News as well as 2, 4, 7, and the other station that repeats the same news every 20 minutes. Ok, so none of this is true and nobody really cares about what I have to say. But this is 2017 when anyone with a laptop and a 6th grade reading level can report on the news. I have to ask the question on many peoples' minds today. What is going on at Bishop Timon High School?

The school's Board of Directors decided not to renew the contract of principal Michele Battin after her first year at the helm. No public reason was given. A cryptic message on the school's website thanked her for her "years of service." Before becoming principal last year, Battin was a longtime, popular teacher at the school. Battin's firing has reportedly led to the resignation of the school's Athletic Director and football coach Charlie Comerford. 

Battin was a true asset to the school and the community and will be greatly missed. I've never heard anything but praise from her former students and colleagues. I'd be hard-pressed to find a valid reason for her to be let go. My sources tell me that someone from the Board of Trustees is using her as a scapegoat of sorts. 

I do admit the bigger sports teams (football and basketball) really did well over the last six years with Comerford running the show. So what if half the players were brought in from out of state. They did produce some good teams. Not so much the other sports, but how could they with such a small pool of students to choose from? 

It will be interesting to see what else comes out (if anything). Any school would be lucky to have Principal Battin next year and I'm sure she will land on her feet. The same can be said for Comerford, who did the admirable thing by stepping down. My sources tell me he's already received overtures from Fortune 500 companies IBM, Exxon Mobil, Bank of America, and AT&T, but will most likely end up in a politically appointed no-show position working for the City of Buffalo.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

2017 Mayor's Race: South Buffalo Divided?

It's one of those opinionated days...

As Democratic petitions circulate, the 2017 mayoral race in the city of Buffalo begins to heat up. Several questions are being asked. Will Betty Jean Grant rethink the deal she made with City Comptroller Mark Schroeder and drop out of the race? Will she circulate dual petitions for her seat on the Erie County Legislature (just in case)? Should she pursue the Mayor's race, will Betty Jean Grant consider hiring an English translator so people can understand a word she says? These are just some of the questions people are asking.

From this voter's perspective, the biggest hurdle facing South Buffalo's Mark Schroeder is his inability to excite the masses. The average resident simply doesn't care. Downtown and the waterfront are in the process of being revitalized. Whether that had anything to do with Mayor Brown and his administration is irrelevant. It has happened under his watch and he can claim responsibility, and the average voter is too stupid to know otherwise.

If Schroeder wins, it would be a great individual accomplishment. Unsurprisingly, the rest of South Buffalo's career politicians are not on his side. Councilmember Chris Scanlon and State Senator Tim Kennedy are publicly backing Brown. It is unknown if Michael Kearns is backing anyone. He'll wait until Carl Paladino instructs him (just like he does on every other issue). Even longtime Schroeder friend Brian Higgins seems to be very quiet regarding this race. If I were Schroeder, I would wear these lack of endorsements as a badge of honor. If all the politicians are against you, you're probably a good guy.

I believe Mark Schroeder represents one very small section of South Buffalo voters. They live in one small neighborhood, think the whole city is Irish, and are most likely married to their third cousin. As long as they're happy, they think the rest of South Buffalo is happy. And boy, could they possibly be any more wrong? This may have flown during the 1970's but the steel mills and all the other private sector jobs have moved to North Carolina.  The political climate has changed. People expect more from their local officials.

Many of us from the other side of the tracks are happy with Mayor Brown's South Buffalo appointees. Martin Kennedy and Steve Stepniak are both really great people and reflect well on the Brown administration. Brown hired Mark "Rogo" Rogowski, a guy completely overlooked by the South Buffalo politicians for decades because he wasn't part of their clique. Rogo's mistake was helping politically unconnected people over the years. These people don't make political donations so they were of no use to the South Buffalo career politicians. Fortunately, Brown saw through this and took a chance on him. Mark Schroeder has been in one office or another for 16 years. Who has he hired? You probably don't know because they most likely are not your neighbors. They are his neighbors. For Schroeder to win, he will need 100% unity in South Buffalo and I don't believe he has it. Personally, I wouldn't vote for any South Buffalo politician in 2017. They say all sorts of things when campaigning and then once elected, help themselves, their families, and close friends. It's like a broken record. You can set your watch to them. Until one comes along and expands the tent, outsiders will continue to win. The South Buffalo political clique is a very small, shortsighted group. They are greatly outnumbered by the rest of us. They are NOT your neighbors and the average resident with the ability to think for himself/herself is onto them. The gig is up.

I welcome your comments. Please attach your name to them however and keep them civil. Please keep in mind, I know South Buffalo's working poor because I am one. And unless you are too, you have no right to speak for us. If you feel Mark Schroeder can serve the working poor better than Mayor Brown, please state your case and provide evidence.