Stephan Miller was prophetic; run, Chris, run

If you look up the word “twerp” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is defined as:

noun: a silly or annoying person

A second meaning should be: Stephan Miller. Actually, that would be an insult to all the other mere ordinary twerps of the world.

Yes, that Stephan Miller. Senior advisor to Donald Trump. Supreme czar of all things concerning immigration.

Miller is one of the most obnoxious members of the administration of Donald Trump, nearly in a class by himself. Even some of the Trumpsters are smart enough to understand the toxicity of Miller – not just his policy positions, but his personality. Continue reading

New stealth legislation in Albany has fusion voting in its sights

New York State government, to borrow a phrase, moves in a mysterious way. Not always in a good and proper way, but oftentimes, mysterious.

I’m referring to such things as the preparation and approval of the annual budget. While most of the budget is day-to-day management of the government, there are always some surprises.

This year’s surprise was public financing of elections for state office, potentially providing up to $100 million in public funds for campaigns. The stated goal, aside from spending a ton of money, is to drive corrupt “bad” money out of elections. Continue reading

Ink by the barrel, facts by the byte, progress by the bit — contrasting views of Buffalo’s budget

Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and former Buffalo Comptroller Mark J. F. Schroeder has never been a shrinking violet. Whether he was taking on a political challenge or belting out an incredible version of a classic Italian song, he’s always put his heart into it.

And that was the case last year when he, still the Comptroller, published a very strong, hard-hitting analysis of Mayor Byron Brown’s 2018-19 city budget. In a detailed review, Schroeder laid out the argument for the proposition that the city’s finances were in trouble. Continue reading

WNY firms and organizations spent $5.1 million on lobbying in 2018

Budget-wise, things have been getting a bit tight in Albany recently. The urge to spend state money by newly-elected liberal Democrats from New York City was tempered by the realities of diminishing tax revenues as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s interest in continuing to hold down the growth in spending.

Nonetheless, determining how state resources will be used continues to feed a large segment of the business community that tries every year to get a larger piece of the pie. Lobbying is alive and well in New York State. Continue reading