Joe Illuzzi Dead

Joe Illuzzi, owner of the Illuzzi Letter and assorted websites, is dead. 

For now, I offer you this open thread. 


Reaction from Michael Caputo

“May he rest in peace, safe from the pain of his illness – and may he meet a forgiving God.”

Send anonymous / confidential remembrances and stories to buffalopundit[at]


  • Joe Illuzzi reached his have you no sense of decency moment last year when poor Jamey Rodemeyer committed suicide and he accused the parents of exploiting the tragedy.  Brian Higgins, Kathy Hochul,and Judge Diane Wray all took their advertisements off his blog rather than support this filth purveyor
    any longer.  Some elected officials never did support his blog.  I wish more of them had not done so.

  • He’ll need a forgiving G-D, Michael, because there’s a lot of folks out there that won’t. He caused a lot of pain in peoples lives, ran amuck with his religion demonizing others… sad that he became such a wretch of a man.

  • I didn’t always agree with what he wrote, especially in regards to LGBT people, but it must be noted that he was a WNY trailblazer by launching when the internet was crawling on dialup and before that hustling hard to move a paper newsletter.  He deserves credit for that if nothing else.  I don’t wish death or pain on any other person, and I don’t understand how people who pride themselves on tolerance and compassion can do the same.  I understand that some pent up fury is about to fly out by those who felt rightfully angered by him, but I do wish that people would give his family and friends time to grieve first, and understand what Dr. Martin Luther King said when he wrote; “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

    • speaking as an actual member of the LGBT community, may i say Dan Jones, what a lovely, offensive, and utterly meaningless sentiment that was. 

      file your inane comment under “the Nazi’s were horrible human beings….
      but they DID introduce VEL-CRO to a world struggling with primitive zippers ~ they deserve credit for that if nothing else?” 

      perhaps if i reach reeeeeally deep into my own humanity, i can find a way to pervert my conscience to your way of thinking ~ i mean, look at the wonderful things the Catholic Church as done to integrate cross dressing, child molesting, degenerates into every walk of society? 


      • With that invocation of Godwin’s law, there will be no responses coming from me (although I thought it would take more time).  If you seriously equate the people you disagree with to the Nazi’s, well, enjoy yourself. 

        • Dan, my hyperbole was in direct proportion to your outrageous understatement of this man’s miserable existence, and the filth he belched from his virtual sewer ~ PoliticsNY. 

    • Fascinating that all the politicians you like advertised on Illuzzi.  In fact our local Roy Cohn always
      made sure his proteges coughed up money to this slimebag. 

    • the responsibility for any real or imagined pain or grief caused to his largely estranged, and allegedly aggrieved, surviving family, and “friends” – is solely the responsibility of Joe himself…that is why we endeavor to teach our children the value of living a good and decent life…well, that’s what most of us outside the stench of this political arena try to do at any rate.

      the tomb stone is not an “etch-a-sketch” to be shaken clean for “propriety’s sake”, with offense to, and denial of, the suffering and insult he heaped on so many, and the civil rights, and human dignity he sought ALWAYS to deny others.

  • Halle-fucking-lujah and Ding-Dong this DICK is dead!  Illuzzi was a miserable  miscreant, a felon, dead, beat dad, extortionist, character assassin, and all around scourge on our community – and the planet. 

    to quote Bette Davis on the passing of Joan Crawford ~ ‘Just because someone is dead does not mean they have changed!’ now, the only question remains is, what slime will ooze into the political void, to take his place??? possibly someone waxing poetic eulogies on this post?

    • You forgot “functional illiterate”, but well said nonetheless.

      I will never understand how this moronic cretin managed to shake down money from half of Buffalo. Good riddance.

      •  it’s called BLACKMAIL Mike, and i was told as much, and in so many words,  “off the record”  of course ~ by half of the politicians and staffers i ever challenged on this issue.  the other half chuckled nervously and said, “well, no one really reads it”….which of course is why they all paid big bucks to advertise on it?

        the ability to lie convincingly takes an intellect not  possessed by many of our elected officials….Illuzzi had that unfortunate acumen, as well as a Hoover-esque fetish for other peoples dirty bed sheets.  when he couldn’t find dirt, he would just make  it up out of thin air, and sordid inuendo.

        • I get all that, but I shudder to think what he could have possibly had on the countless politicians (of both parties) that would have convinced them to pay off a complete buffoon.

          At a minimum, I would have thought that everyone would have walked away from Illuzzi when he proved that he could not take down (or even put a dent into) Sam Hoyt.

          Bottom line, I am just pleased that this disgusting chapter of Buffalo politics is finished.

          •  People forget there was a time when he was a must-read even if you took it all with a grain of salt.  He had enough of the inside scoop on somethings that you had to check in.  That is what made the politicians buy the advertising.

            While always on the edge, I thought he jumped the shark on the Sam Hoyt mess and became less relevant from that point forward.  Between Albany blogs, BP, Artvoice, there became numerous other sources for good scoop without the intolerant policy views.

          • that’s a great point Mike, and one i was reluctant to bring up for fear causing further hurt to Sam’s family… let’s not forget it was his family that paid a heavy personal price for Sam’s principled stand against PoliticsNY, and the resulting, unrelenting attacks it instigated. 

            it was merely serendipitous that the whole scheme blew up in Illuzzi’s face,.  some might argue in fact,  that gibberin’ Joe was actually the best thing that happened to that particular Hoyt campaign.  her sordid association with Illuzzi  in that same campaign forever sullied Barbara Kavanaugh’s reputation, and fairly so – in spite of her protestations and denial of any personal involvement.  she was slow and reluctant about distancing herself from,  and condemning the whole mess – a debacle whose sole purpose and timing was designed to assist her campaign.

            you’ll find politicos like @facebook-100003256415979:disqus have NO problem justifying that  kind of a salacious attack on a person’s family, but the rest of us who put up with YEARS of his abuse, aided and financed by own elected official’s complicity – are supposed  to somehow feel conscience bound to be considerate of the deadbeat Joe Illuzzi’s  kin? 

            like i said, if you’re gonna manipulate the truth, and reality, with malicious intent ~ it helps if you’re smarter than a paste eating 6th grader.  then again, it’s what makes watching these folks choke on their own two feet such a grand and satisfying pastime.

  • Vacuous diatribe. Albeit. 

  • Hmmm… how nice to see the open minded folks who gather to share their same opinions week after week have come to dance on a man’s grave.
    He may have been this that or the other, but you people have no class.

  • Ladies and Gentlemen,   the man has a young daughter.   Are you so full of hate and lack such character that you need to post your infantile comments on the internet on the date of her Dad’s death?   
    Should any of you be hit by a bus tomorrow, let’s hope the community doesn’t rally behind every non-perfect thing and/or mistake that you’ve ever made, and then promptly list all of them on the internet within minutes of your passing, (particularly when all of what was posted was ancient news).   Your families are certain to find comfort in such a responses.   Each of your posts certainly suggest that you personally fear no pay-back when your “day of reckoning” comes, (because, of course, you are all perfect).  But the fact remains that a family is grieving; and by acting disrespectfully, and without any sort of humanity; you have confirmed for all just how imperfect you are.  
    I am also certain that your parents and children aren’t the least bit embarrassed at (1) your inability to make a point without using vulgar language, and (2) for finding such delight in possibly bringing further heartache to Joey’s daughter, a kind and caring young woman who just lost her second parent.
    If you are so unstable that you were immediately compelled to respond with viciousness in this manner upon hearing of Joey’s passing,  then it really is time for YOU to consider getting yourself into therapy.  If there is lack of kindness in this situation, obviously you lack kindness in a variety of situations.  
    Each of you had the option of sharing your points of view privately with one another, but chose to use a forum such as this instead.  I suspect your “wit” was lost on most, and was provided mostly for your own  entertainment, (which is more than a little weird — a father of a young woman has just passed away).  
    There is no doubt that any reasonable, mentally health person who has read the horrible posts herein,  has either thought exactly as I have stated, or now thinks that it’s YOU (not Joey) that is lower than low.
    Anger at someone’s political viewpoints without putting yourself out there yourself is the hallmark of lazy individuals.  If you disagreed with anything Joey wrote or the way that he wrote it, the intelligent man challenges that viewpoint with a rebuttal. 
     If you disagreed with Joey’s viewpoints you all have the choice of putting yourself out there by  starting your (1) own online paper, (2) running for elected office to change things, honestly and without political kickbacks, or (3) or volunteering for a cause to help improve your community.  Instead you choose to hide behind your computer screens.  How cowardly can a man be? 
    My personal suggestion is that it is about time that the people of Western New York start gathering in mass and begin picketing companies like Tonawanda Coke for not giving a darn about all the benzine they release into the air, so that their profit margin could be higher.   If you must write nasty emails and posting than perhaps the time has come for you to start the posts and steady stream of non-stop letters to your elected officials letting them know that enough is enough.  The leukemia, lymphoma and other cancer rates in Western New York are beyond shocking.  That is where your anger should be today.  That another man in Western New York just lost his life to cancer caused by careless corporations and ineffective environmental policies and enforcement.  Your elected officials are choosing to look the other way because they want those political contributions these companies provide for their relection.     
    In the meantime, lets all hope and pray that the next Western New York cancer victim isn’t you; and if it should be that your community will either show kindness towards your family as they grieve, or at least have the class to keep their thoughts to themselves out of consideration and respect for the family.
    As Jesus has often been quoted, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone . . . . “

  • Let it go, this is not the way decent people respond in my opinion. I did not agree with Joe but occasionally enjoyed bantering with him years back.  Rest In Peace and sympathy to his daughter who he obviously loved and was very proud of.  

  • Joe’s love for his city were evident in his writings which came from his tireless attendance at hearings and council meetings to probe city and county matters. That was the impetus for the Illuzzi Letter which later became his present-day Web presence. I didn’t always agree with him, but appreciated he was out there doing what he was doing.  Thanks and RIP, Joe.

  • Joe Illuzzi’s successes in the political realm were a reflection of the norms and standards of the local political scene. His unapologetic proclamations on morality and faith interspersed with political commentary and all too personal detail were revealing of a man in all too apparent constant turmoil. As a student and altar boy at St. Francis de Sales R.C. Church in the 1960’s, he may have been a disciplinary concern but he was not, to my knowledge, known as a bully. As an outlaw, a convict, a guy with the savvy of the street he ‘parlayed’ the skills he had into a semblance of a ‘respectable’ career. If he was parochial, opinionated, bigoted, expansive, and vocal, he had the courage to take the stage and proclaim in an all too public way, without remorse, what he believed and where he stood. He didn’t cower in the shadows or hide behind surrogate voices afraid to give offense or jeopardize his sinecure. Despite the fact that I most often found Mr. Illuzzi’s commentary to be uninformed or infuriating, I invariably culled his pages for that nugget of actionable intelligence not to be found in more cautious or erudite forums. His views on race and gender were to me, patronizing, paternalistic and/or antiquated, yet I did not know him to practice in a personal one on one way that polite manner of treating persons of color as invisible or irrelevant. Methinks he professeth too much, too loudly, and that his tirades reflected a personal uncertainty or ambiguity that were swaddled in the confining cloth of religious certitude, moral rectitude, and personal virtue that may have found a comfortable fit with his political orientation. In short, Mr Illuzzi was often a reflection of my own failings and aspirations. I hope that the political discourse that he initiated continues, that it becomes elevated, with more diversity and objectivity, but no less passion. He was reviled and excoriated, not without some justification. He loved and was loved and will undoubtedly be missed by those he held close. I pray that in the end he was reconciled with his God and that he finds peace in eternity. I hold open the possibility that he and I will meet again in less temperate climes.

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