Just Like Lincoln

On Wednesday night, the Erie County Republican Party will be giving its “Lincoln Leadership Award” to former Attorney General and rumored Brian Higgins challenger Dennis Vacco. 

What exactly is it about Vacco that made the GOP associate him with – of all people – Abraham Lincoln?  When you think of Lincoln, you think of leading the nation through an existential constitutional crisis, a civil war, emancipation, abolition of Southern feudal estates,  and other pretty pivotal events that plotted the course of the United States into the modern world.  

 So what is it in Vacco’s past that makes the GOP consider him in the same breath with Lincoln?  Indulge me a poll: 


$50,000 fine for casino lobbying allegations.

Representation of Haggerty.

Mass firings at AG office.

Drawing out the 1998 AG election uncomfortably long, using NYPD to conduct door-to-door investigations.  

Columbo family scion claiming to have had a “hook” in Vacco’s office


  • Didn’t Bowerly Once do a poll like this on the WBEN web site about same sex marriage. I’m “OK, with it” emphasis on the quotes lol.

  • Neither height nor intellect suggest Abe Lincoln in Dennis Vacco. But Abe did
    represent the railroads while in private practice so possibly special interests?

  • I’d forgotten until sportsroadtrip said that. When wben.com ran a biased but less so (than above AV poll about Vacco) meaningless internet poll about gay marriage, you had a giant cow in your previous blog and IIRC you even whined to Entercom until they removed it. Welcome to your new, better philosophy about meaningless internet polls!

    Your other flip flop looks worse, however. Didn’t you very strongly condemn Antoine Thompson for criticizing Grisanti about law clients he represented? But your poll here says for Vacco as a private attorney to represent Bloomberg’s former consultant is a bad on Vacco because of the client? Are you withdrawing what you said about Thompson back then? You even said his criticizing of it was by itself a reason to oppose Thompson in that election, as I recall.

    • I’m WBEN? Really?

      And I’m not criticizing Vacco at all for representing Haggerty. I’m asking whether that fact is among the ones that justifies his receipt of the Lincoln Leadership Award. Abraham Lincoln didn’t represent the rich, politically-connected, and powerful.

      In fact, when riding the circuit as a country lawyer, Lincoln represented average people from all walks of life, and it helped to shape his worldview.

  • You aren’t wben.com, but aren’t you artvoice.com in the same way whoever posted that somewhat biased internet poll on wben.com “is WBEN”?

    You really don’t find it amusing that you flipped out so much about the wben poll sportsroadtrip recalled because its only positive choice was “I’m ok with”, and now you wrote an even more biased poll with all negative choices about someone you’re against? Looks like a Romney level mind change about whether it’s okay for meaningless internet polls to be biased. Traffic rankings of wben and artvoice dot coms look close, if that matters (if Alexa is meaningful).

    If usually the political content of wben.com leans right and AV leans left, that might be the biggest difference.

    Good post about Acropolis, btw.

  • I’m not criticizing Vacco at all for representing Haggerty

    Right, how ever could anyone interpret that as you criticizing Vacco because of a client he represented? Just because your post looks intended to criticize him in many ways (fine in general), and in the middle of doing that you bring up the crime committed by of one of his clients?

    Abraham Lincoln didn’t represent the rich, politically-connected, and powerful.

    Really? Have you notified Wikipedia and the authors they cite? If you’re right about it, there’s a lot of misinformation that should be corrected.


    Lincoln handled many transportation cases in the midst of the nation’s western expansion, particularly the conflicts arising from the operation of river barges under the many new railroad bridges. As a riverboat man, Lincoln initially favored those interests but ultimately represented whoever hired him.[72] … In 1851, he represented Alton & Sangamon Railroad in a dispute with one of its shareholders, James A. Barret, who had refused to pay the balance on his pledge to buy shares in the railroad on the grounds that the company had changed its original train route.
    … From 1853 to 1860, another of Lincoln’s largest clients was the Illinois Central Railroad.[79]

    In Lincoln’s day, weren’t railroad corporations among the most rich, politically-connected, and powerful potential clients?

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