The Republican debate formula

The Republican debate formula

By Steve Banko

 Editor’s Note: Back when I kicked off this blog I mentioned that I would occasionally include guest commentaries because they “add some spice” to the blog. This commentary is written by Steve Banko. Steve’s political experience goes back as far as mine, and includes service in City Hall, in state government and with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. Steve is a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran who often gives speeches on service to the country.

While the commentators didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory Wednesday night, the questions they asked were largely ignored once Ted Cruz used his prepared diatribe to attack the commentators in particular and the media in general.

Anyone paying remote attention during the last twenty years will recognize the disintegration of serious news. Where once we looked to the news media to tell the truth, we now turn to our favor channel to hear the opinions we agree with. Continue reading

Schneiderman defers on politics to concentrate on investigations; some other national and Erie County political stuff

National Public Radio’s Albany affiliate had an interesting story last week that appears to apply to a hot political topic in Western New York, but it didn’t seem to get any attention here. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is deferring on personal political activities and emphasizing his office’s work in conducting investigations into potential illegal activities of public officials. Schniderman’s office, of course, is a major player in the investigation of the political activities of Steve Pigeon, Steve Casey and Chris Grant that was the subject of the raids on their homes last May. Continue reading

A busy week in Congress; the Republican debate; Hardline; Chicago


This could turn out to be a very momentous week for Congress: electing a new speaker; resolving the debt limit crisis; approving a two-year budget; renewing the Import-Export Bank; approving funding for the Highway Trust Fund. This mostly has to be done by Saturday, which seems like a real stretch for a legislative body that has trouble with revolving doors. But hope springs eternal. Continue reading

Sedita refunds nearly $100,000 from DA campaign account, but doesn’t yet have a Supreme Court account report filed; Flaherty raising and spending, but not reporting; Family Court race spending approaching $800,000; democracy in action

The last periodic pre-election financial disclosure reports were due with the State Board of Elections yesterday, October 23rd, reporting on transactions up through October 19th.

I’ll start this post with the unusual and amazing and work my way down to the expected. Continue reading

Politics and football, Trump and Ryan; O Canada!

I have for a long time marveled at how professional football parallels politics. This is not necessarily a good thing for either sport.

I wrote a few weeks ago that I thought Rex Ryan was a great fit as coach of the Buffalo Bills. I know it is only six weeks into the season and they are still in the playoff hunt (along with about five other American Football Conference teams), but this win-one-lose-one-win-one-lose-one scenario does not feel good. And some things about the team, I believe, may demonstrate the downside of politics in football. Continue reading

Why there still isn’t a serious contest for Erie County Executive

On Wednesday we were treated to the one and only televised debate of the County Executive campaign this year.  The statements were predictable and decent, the candidates were gentlemanly, and the show was boring.  The end of the Blue Jays/Texans baseball playoff was much more exciting.  I’m glad I have the picture-in-picture function on our TV.

I started publishing this blog at the end of March 2015, and readership was a little iffy at the beginning.  But since then the number of views has increased substantially with a growing email distribution list and a little Twitter following.  I very much appreciate the interest in the blog and the positive comments.

One of the earliest posts that I wrote was published on April 14th and not a whole lot of people saw it.  It was entitled “Six Reasons Why There Won’t Be a Serious Contest th7JN6KFRDfor Erie County Executive in 2015.” Continue reading