Something to consider: political “reforms” have tied this country into knots; what can be done about that?

Politics in the United States is pretty crazy in 2016. And not all of that dilemma is related to Donald Trump.

In opening up the process, increasing transparency, letting the people decide, challenging the establishment, letting sunshine sanitize the public discourse, and all sorts of other good intentions, we seem to have developed a system of laws, rules, regulations and new customs that basically come together to prevent anything positive from being accomplished. Continue reading

Baghdad Bob working on Trump staff?; more Republican email tidbits; is Flaherty’s campaign running for control of the party?

Trump communications staff


Baghdad Bob, Information Minister/Communications Director

In the early days of the Iraq War in 2003 there was a spokesman for Saddam Hussein who tried to explain how everything was going great for Iraq, even as American tanks approached Baghdad. Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, the Iraqi Information Minister, became known to Americans as “Baghdad Bob.” Given how Trumpsters constantly glow about how well the disastrously run Trump for President campaign is doing, it looks like Baghdad Bob is living in New York and is employed as communications director for the campaign. Continue reading

ECMC is still a public institution, so why the high salaries?

The Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) has a long public history. It was originally run by the City of Buffalo, but it was later turned over to the County of Erie for management and funding. The City retained the reversionary rights to the hospital should the County ever seek to divest itself of the institution. The hospital was known as E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospital in those days. Continue reading

Trump has affluenza; some Reps want to try an intervention

2016 is no ordinary year. There is no precedent for the presidential election that we are living through.

Donald Trump is basically a spoiled rich kid who never grew up and who always got his way. Think of him as a more visible version of the kid from Texas who was in the news a few months back. He drove drunk into a crowd, killing four people and injuring nine others. He fled to Mexico (a bit of irony here) to avoid probation. The term “affluenza” has been used to refer to an inability to understand the consequences of one’s actions because of financial privilege. A person suffering from affluenza is someone who is not able to accept responsibility for his or her actions since his or her privileged upbringing did not teach him or her responsibility. Continue reading

Some facts and heard-on-the-streets; is a Pigeon indictment imminent? Updated

Here is a summary of some things making the rounds:

  • There are seemingly credible conversations in town that Steve Pigeon will be indicted by the Attorney General’s Grand Jury in the very near future. There is also talk that Pigeon’s counsel has arranged for him to surrender after the indictment rather than go through a perp walk. Stay tuned to see if this is rumor or fact.
  • Before anything even happens with the Pigeon matter that directly affects Justice John Michalek, candidates for a potential second open 8th District State Supreme Court seat are already making the rounds. The potential candidates include Niagara Falls attorney John DelMonte, who was handily defeated in a 2014 court race by Justice Frederick Marshall, and Daniel Furlong. There will probably be others.
  • There is also speculation that if a second seat opens up the Democratic and Republican parties might just cross endorse Democrat Lynn Keane and Republican Mary Slisz.
  • As of this morning, June 3rd, the Erie County Republican Party still does not have a candidate for District Attorney. The two potential candidates, Mark Arcara and Joe Treanor, do not seem to be gathering any serious interest – or maybe one or both of them are having second thoughts. Petitions hit the street next Tuesday.  UPDATE:  Treanor was endorsed by the Republicans last evening.
  • The Republican Party also continues to search for a candidate in the 143rd Assembly district to replace Angela Wozniak. One potential candidate from Lancaster has expressed interest if he can get substantial financial support from the Party. The Democratic primary between Monica Wallace and Kristy Mazurek will probably settle that seat.  UPDATE:  Jim Rogowski will not be a candidate.
  • County Democrats will endorse Amber Small in the 60th State Senate District and County Legislator Tom Loughran in the 61st Senate District on Saturday. Small may have a primary from former Senator Al Coppola, and the winner faces an uphill fight against the likely Republican candidate in November, County Clerk Chris Jacobs. Jacobs still needs to win a primary against Kevin Stocker, who continues to actively campaign for the seat.
  • Tom Loughran will face an uphill battle against incumbent Senator Michael Ranzenhofer. The enrollment in the Senate district favors a Republican and Loughran’s war chest ($1,317) is considerably smaller than the $689,915 that Ranzenhofer has in his account. He added $35,200 since January. That being said, Tom has often in his political career run against big odds, and things have worked out pretty well in previous elections. Ranzenhofer’s refusal in the Senate Committee he chairs to report out a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) reform bill that would control campaign spending will offer Loughran a good issue to start with.
  • The selection of Mayor Byron Brown as new Chairman of the New York State Democratic Party is an honor for both him and local Democrats. There has not been a local politico serving as State Chairman since Joe Crangle left the Democratic Chairmanship in 1974. Now if Ed Cox, Chairman of the Trump, er, Republican Party sees things go down in flames in November, maybe there will be an opportunity for Nick Langworthy to become State Chairman.