When Charley Fisher lost to Crystal Peoples in the 141st assembly district Democratic primary by approximately a three to one margin last Tuesday, a lot of people speculated as to why the otherwise popular Fisher, lost so decisively?
Asking some people in the district, PoliticsWNY.com got the same answer everywhere. Summing up the matter succinctly, political activist, turned "Soul food" restauranteur, Darnell Jackson explained:
"Firstly, Charley did not have any money, " Jackson said, " Secondly, the black community felt that Crystal was the first one to stand up to Arthur O. Eve, and, thirdly, the black community felt that Charley only announced after his job was in jeopardy, and, now that he might lose something, he was going to be running against his sister. They felt that wasn’t right."
Pointing out to Mr. Jackson that Mr. Fisher announced before the downsizing debate saw a sudden shift caused by Common Council Majority leader, Rose Lotempio’s swing vote, which made the loss of Mr. Fisher’s job a strong possibility, Mr. Jackson said he knew it, but that was irrelevant since the widespread (albeit false) perception of it was pervasive in the black community.
"That’s how the voters felt," Mr Jackson said. "And it worked against Charley. The voters decided that since Crystal had gone in first, it was her turn."
Mr. Jackson who is known almost universally by the appellation "Poop" on the streets of the inner city, added, "if Charley were to run for reelection, or, say, for a district council seat, or even for Crystal’s county legislative seat, the same people who voted for Crystal in the assembly race would probably vote for him.
"They know him and they like him. We all like him, " said Mr. Jackson, who added that he had supported Ms. Peoples in this past primary election.
"But Charley is still my man, "Mr. Jackson said. "He’s down with us."
Splitting the white vote
Referring to this same primary, one local, elected official, who asked that his name be withheld from publication, added that there was a third candidate besides Ms. Peoples and Mr, Fisher in the primary, a man "now wholly and utterly obscure," who got a mere 8% of the vote. The district is about 26% white.
"This guy is white, " said our elected politico, "and this guy - I won’t call him a gentleman- he entered the race to benefit from a split of the black vote between Peoples and Fisher and he hoped he would get all the white vote. Factually he wound up not even getting the majority of the white vote. He got about only a third of that. And none of the black. But he did wind up splitting the white vote a little and that took away from Charley, too, I think."
Look out old "Q" is back.... ?
This will come as no surprise to some, but former Hispanic Niagara district councilman, Robert Quintana has been telling supporters that he will likely be seeking reelection to his old council seat and plans to make a run against the popular incumbent Nick Bonafacio in 2003.
SENATOR SCHUMER USES NIAGARA FALLS TO DEFEND "BORING" BUFFALO FROM WISECRACKING JAY LENO
By now, almost everybody in Buffalo knows that TV host Jay Leno made a quip about Buffalo and the suspected terrorists. Leno said the best way to punish the five men arrested on terrorism charges in Western New York is to "let them stay in Buffalo and die of boredom."
A cadre of local people were quick to squawk, including Buffalo- Niagara Falls business leader Andy Rudnick, and Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello. But it was US Senator Charles Schumer who was the most creative. Senator Schumer invited Mr. Leno to come to Buffalo on November 3rd, when the Bills play New England. Mr. Leno apparently is a native of New England.
Senator Schumer's defense of Buffalo seemed a little tepid, but he did have the inspiration to include Niagara Falls as something that is not boring about Buffalo.
"Buffalo is a great town," the Senator told Mr. Leno, "with the perfect mix of blue collar grit, grand arts, natural wonders (Niagara Falls), historical significance (the Underground Railroad), and the best eating west of the Hudson (beef on weck).
"On behalf of the entire city and it's surroundings, I'll wager a bucket of our tastiest Buffalo chicken wings against the best of what L.A. has to offer (Jay Walking?) over the outcome of this year's Buffalo Bills - L.A. Rams game. Oh yeah, L.A. doesn't have a football team, does it?"
As of press time, we had not heard Mr. Leno’’s response.
EVERY LITTLE BREEZE...
Congressional candidate Louise Slaughter recently introduced herself to voters with a greeting card with a yellow flower on the front, and with these modest words: "Finally, a real breath of fresh air."
On the reverse, she tells about the honor she feels representing the 28th Congressional district - with its new boundaries in WNY.
Her second paragraph begins: "so what is it that makes me such a ‘‘breath of fresh air?’’"
She answers that because of her stupendous skills she can, "unlike many of the representatives who serve in Congress," "evaluate legislation and other proposed initiatives on an entirely different level."
She has a "reputation for making things happen"
She talks about "positive changes" she’’s "implemented."
In fairness, she may not have written this manifesto of feminine hubris. But, this "breath of fresh air," albeit self- proclaimed, seems, like a gust of "real hot air."
Hope her next mailing is modestly better.
GOLISANO STILL OUT THERE AFTER LOSING HALF A BILLION
Although Paycheck Inc. stock plummeted, and he may have dropped below the top 100 richest men in America, Rochester billionaire B. Thomas Golisano, seems unperturbed. He is in the race for governor for now, and in business for the long haul. And he’’s not selling his stock anytime soon. Besides, the clever billionaire says, he owns more than just Paycheck stock.
Mr Golisano also just made a huge investment in his campaign which will be quite evident in the next few days to those unfortunates who waste their precious time watching that idiot's refuge TV.
Mulitiple sources, including Dr Hormoz Mansouri, the Tonanwanda based nuclear engineer and multi millionaire partner of Mr Golisano's confirmed that they are indeed "truly serious"- about buying the Buffalo Sabres.
IS GOLISANO SERIOUS ABOUT THE SABRES?
The answer is emphatically "Yes," according to one of Buffalo's leading minority engineers, Dr Hormoz Mansouri, who is working closely with IP Gubernatorial hopeful B. Thomas Golisano, in trying to acquire the team.
"It is really a civic matter," the multi- millionaire, nationally recognized nuclear engineer told us," "...We want to make sure the team stays in WNY and,... the team has enough money to attract the talent it needs to be a serous contender."
The latter point, Dr. Mansouri said, will probably cost more than the franchise. When questioned about the final tag for the Sabres, Dr. Mansouri was elusive, but admitted the deal is "very complicated" because of financial obligations and bankruptcy proceedings that have intertwined the Sabres with the troubled Adelphia Cable and current owners, the Rigas family.
The Golisano -Mansouri group may be viewed as, if not front runners, among the serious contenders, and perhaps the only group which has the needed capital to buy, operate, and invest in the Sabres, a franchise not likely to be profitable in the near future.
How old is that Judge really?
Erie County Surrogate Court Judge Joseph Mattina thought he had to retire this year because he was 70 - the mandatory retirement age for County jurists. He may actually be 68.
Judge Mattina, we hear, was born in Sicily, where records are kept, but not scrupulously. When he emigrated here, it was recorded he was born in 1932, but records from Sicily purportedly show he was born in 1934, which, if true, may give him another two years on the bench.
We would be inclined to dismiss this as fantasy, perhaps, except, the precise thing happened to our paternal grandfather, also an immigrant from Sicily, who was one year younger than the age recorded for him by US immigration officials.
EXIT STEVE PIGEON AND ENTER LEN LENIHAN 349
In order to be a political entity, it seems one needs a common hate, as well as a common love. For some time, Erie County Democratic Party Chairman
G. Steven Pigeon has been for many that common hate. Even his nemesis, County Executive Joel Giambra has quipped, that for this reason, he led the committee to keep Steve Pigeon in office.
But Steve’s day as Democratic party chairman is done.
Len Lenihan, the affable, extremely intelligent, peacemaker, consensus builder, big-tent inclusionist, will succeed him. Lenihan is the combative Pigeon’s direct antithesis.
Still, Pigeon's career is hardly finished. Whether it be counsel for the Buffalo Sabres, under Tom Golisano’s ownership, or whether it be one of many offered political positions in Albany, or DC, Mr. Pigeon will be a force to reckon with.
Meanwhile, the Democratic party locally is undergoing change. It will be a party that will work in an united fashion to win elections, to defeat, not Steve Pigeon, or Mr. Pigeon’s foes, but Republicans.
Mr.Lenihan is ideal for this task. He follows the adage of Ben Franklin, distilling the art of diplomacy in a sentence, "speak with contempt of none, from slave to king, for even the lowest bee hath, and will use, a sting." Mr Lenihan is fulsome in his praise of everyone.
As for Mr. Pigeon, he lacked diplomacy, but not industry. He lacked the ability to build deep and wide support, but had, and has still, the ability to raise money and attract powerful sponsors.
For now, Mr. Pigeon will help Mr. Golisano, and, by this, indirectly aid Democrats. For the Republican Governor George Pataki, Mr. Golisano’’s attacks, (many of which will be orchestrated by Mr. Pigeon) may have a telling effect in a race where there is a 5-3 edge for Democrats. And for the Democrat, Carl McCall, he can only hope Mr. Golisano will tap all of Mr. Pigeon’s formidable talents to soften up his main foe, Governor Pataki.
In the meantime, Republicans beware, a unified local Democratic party is looking for a new common hate, as we speak.
NO, YOU CAN’T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN
THE IP AND CHARLEY FLYNN
Erie County Independence party chairman Charley Flynn is required, because of term limitations, to step down as the IP Erie county chairman this month. However, we learned from sources in both Albany and NY, that Mr. Flynn apparently has the necessary votes to become the IP’s next state-wide vice-chairman.
Frank McKay, the current state chairman, is expected to seek and win reelection also.
Additionally, in spite of the schism between two separate factions of the IP, one side led by Colden Restauranteur, Anthony Orsini and assisted by a number of Republicans, and the other led by Mr. Flynn and his long-time Independence party faithfuls, we learn that Ricky T. Donovan is the man most likely to be the next Erie County chairman. It seems Mr. Flynn’s group has enough of the weighted state committee votes to elect Mr. Donovan handily.
Of course, the matter is not so simple because of efforts that Mr Orsini and some Republicans have made to seize control of the party locally with the advent of a county committee which requires some 600 members and may supersede a state committee election of the county chairman. The ultimate decision of who will be chairman is, we strongly suspect, probably something that will once again be settled by a judge in court.
To date, Mr. Flynn, with the help of his close ally, State chairman McKay have prevailed time and again. In the last pitched battle, Mr Osrini and his associates were removed altogether from IP office by the State committee which, according to the IP party by-laws, has quite a bit of authority to resolve inter-party disputes.
By the way, Mr McKay, had long supported Governor Pataki’s candidacy. Sources tell PolticsWNY.com that he now, in light of Mr Golisano’s stunning victory, will obviously support the IP standard bearer.
Frank Parlato Jr, who writes for a number of local and national publications, including the Niagara Gazette, the Tonawanda News, the Buffalo Criterion, and PoliticsWNY.com, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org