Food for Thought Re: Lenihan's Departure

Erie County Democratic Chairman Len Lenihan is leaving, and a reorganization meeting will take place in mid-September – shortly after the primaries – to elect his successor. 

Several candidates have come forward seeking that office, and I’ve already seen quite a few bitter, angry comments about them all from a variety of people. As if any of it matters. Really, as if any of it matters

Well, I should qualify that. If you rely on the party boss for your job, I suppose it matters. And smug Republicans should look around, because they’re no different on this point. Next GOP hack who tells me how bad Obamacare and socialism are while collecting a state check with state benefits and state pension will be invited to go expletive himself. 

But to average western New Yorkers, it has very little bearing on anything. Our byzantine election law and ballot-access systems will remain the same. The way in which candidates are selected will remain the same. There will continue to be dealmaking and secrecy and quids pro quo inherent in the job of party committee chair. The only difference will be whether the new chairman will be able to hand out enough gimmes to splinter factions to ensure more frequent loyalty.  And even on that point, an operative who is aligned with, or who appeases, a faction led by someone who actively supports Republicans or regressive homophobic Democrats is not a chairman Democrats should want. 

I’m absolutely not looking forward to the next few months, because there are a handful of important races for Democrats that can do without clumsy, hyper-nerdy gang warfare between party factions. But it would behoove the various faction partisans to set aside past hatreds and insults and select someone who can at least have a chance to unite the party, elect Democrats, and raise money to do so. 

2 comments

  • Hear, Hear BP!!  But we all know that the majority of the Democratic Party in Erie County could care f’n less about party unity and electing the best qualified candidates.  It’s about who’s dick is bigger, power and JOBS, that’s all, not people, not issues, not what is best for our party, not bringing everyone to the table.  Put women in charge of the committee and you will see an incredible change for the better.

  • It might do well for some to remember just what Len Lenihan inherited when our local Roy Cohn, one
    Steve Pigeon got ridden out on a rail in 2002.  His crowning achievement will be his engineering the
    candidacy and election of Mark Poloncarz as our County Executive.   Mark will no doubt have the biggest
    say in who succeeds Len.   As long as the chair that is chosen is committed to electing progressive voices
    to public office and in my case that most assuredly means electing candidates favorable to the LGBT community and our issues I can live with whomever.   That by the way does not include any candidates
    explicitly or implicitly supported by Steve Pigeon.

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