Chris Collins began his public career when he was elected Erie County Executive in 2007. He served one term and lost his bid for re-election to Mark Poloncarz. Then opportunity knocked.
Congressman Chris Lee got into a minor personal scandal and decided to resign, leading to a special election in May 2011. County Clerk Kathy Hochul was elected to succeed Lee in Congress. In 2012 new congressional districts needed to be drawn but the State Legislature punted on their responsibilities, which led to a New York City judge drawing the new congressional lines. In Western New York the newly drawn districts resulted in Hochul’s new district becoming the most Republican affiliated in the state.
Which led to Collins’ second try for a congressional seat. He had lost an election to Congressman John LaFalce in the 1990’s. The Hochul-Collins campaign was a tough and expensive one which Collins won by a very small margin. Continue reading
So this is what all the waiting was for? A warmed over hybrid of Obamacare and the House “repeal and replace” bill is all the United States Senate Republicans could come up with? They hid in a secluded room for weeks to produce this?
I’ll give them this: amending Obamacare is hard and complicated work. Who knew? Continue reading
The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) is charged with the responsibility of monitoring and enforcing the laws and regulations on public ethics. Yes, I know that seems like something that has not actually been happening in Albany. There certainly have been many transgressions. Continue reading
A lot of information is floating around, some facts and some heard-on-the-streets: Continue reading
Here is a thumbnail history of the Erie County Water Authority (ECWA): The organization was created by state legislation in the late 1940’s to provide water service to a growing suburban population in the county that was pushing out from the central city. County government at that time was not much removed from horse-and-buggy days, so an authority was seen as the best vehicle for answering the needs of a sprawling community. Continue reading
I grew up in Kaisertown. I watched the Niagara Section of the Thruway built right before my eyes. The Ogden toll barrier was in sight of our front porch.
That toll barrier collected millions of dollars from drivers over a period of more than fifty years. It slowed traffic pouring into the city. What a crazy idea – charging people in a mid-sized metropolitan area a fee to enter the central city.
That barrier, of course had a sister location along the Niagara River, near Breckenridge. That was so that area residents coming into the central city from the north towns could also pay to enter. There was no fee to leave the city.
A few years ago those barriers came down after an aggressive campaign by local political and business leaders. Traffic finally, after more than fifty years, flowed freely into Buffalo. Continue reading
When the Trump administration was being put together there were a whole lot of questions raised about the competency of certain nominees. In some cases there has already been evidence that those concerns were legitimate.
Take Dr. Ben Carson, for example. Dr. Carson is an eminent brain surgeon, but he was put in charge of Housing and Urban Development. Bad choice. Allowing Carson to pontificate about his philosophy of life – worse choice. Carson recently told the world that poverty is a “state of mind,” suggesting that poor people basically will themselves into being poor. There are some such people, much like there are some billionaires and multi-millionaires who inherited a ton of money but believe that they are self-made rich people. Education, housing, medical care, job opportunities – those are the drivers that affect someone’s ability to make a good life for themselves and their families. Continue reading