This Will All Be Over Tomorrow, Right?

In the Max-Panepinto-Zellner three-way battle to become chief cat-herder of the Erie County Democratic Committee, Max and Panepinto seem to be splitting the “not Zellner” vote, to the latter’s benefit. Part of the Max camp’s aim is to push Dennis Ward out of the Board of Elections. The pretext is some remote and perceived slight or another, and the real reason is who gets to control BOE jobs. So, Max sent this out yesterday:

Honorable Chairs:

It has come to our attention and is our belief that Erie County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dennis Ward, who also serves as Secretary of the Erie County Democratic Committee, has unfairly and intentionally manipulated the redistricting process in order to gain an unfair proportional vote that he controls at the upcoming Erie County Democratic Committee Reorganizational meeting.

As Party Secretary, he believes he will be running the reorganizational meeting September 29, 2012. The sole purpose of his running the meeting will be to secure another 4-year term as Erie County’s Election Commissioner.

The only hope of unifying the Erie County Democratic Party going forward is if all sides have faith in a fair and free election. Therefore, we ask the New York State Democratic Committee to intervene and dispatch either Chairman Miner or Chairman Wright to oversee the meeting. Only through such oversight will the integrity of this meeting be insured.

Your immediate response is appreciated.


Frank C. Max Jr.
Erie County Democratic Chair – Candidate

The emphases are mine. It’s basically “do it my way, or else”. Yesterday, City of Tonawanda committee chair and county committee treasurer Gayle Syposs wrote on her Facebook page,

read and believe if you can from the guy whose strategy meeting last night was with Pigeon, Casey, Garner, Maybe we could call in the state police too and see if he can win that way. I guess threatening peoples jobs didn’t do it huh?

That’s Steve Pigeon, Deputy Mayor Steve Casey, and Grassroots chair Maurice Garner. Threatening people’s jobs? Gayle continued,

What has been going on in Erie County the last few weeks and days will go down in history as the worst example of campaigning that could be in what is a Democratic Process. People who apparently feel that they can’t win this chairman race straight up now resort to threats to peoples employment, threats to families and political careers.

It is disgusting and shows me how proud I am to have been part of the administration of Len Lenihan, the most decent honest man that ever could have led us.

We will have our vote Saturday in a secret ballot and that is that. Majority rules and hopefully decency too. This ain’t Russia or China. This is Erie County New York and we will pick a Chairman because the bylaws say so.

Sounds like nothing else is working, so one candidate is resorting to threatening committeepeople. Andrew is right – maybe we shouldn’t judge the chair candidates on their pasts – sordid or clean as they may be – but on their present behavior.

Meanwhile, outgoing ECDC Chairman Len Lenihan wrote a farewell letter:

All good things must come to an end. On Friday when I leave Democratic Headquarters for the last time it will bring to an end an amazing ten year ride that has resulted in the reestablishment of the Erie County Democratic Committee as the dominant political force in Western New York.

This would not have been possible without your support, dedication and commitment. Regardless of what role you played as a candidate, contributor, party leader, volunteer, or just a great booster, we could not have done it without you. There are no words that can adequately express my appreciation to you for being there for us.

The numerous victories are hard to fathom. All three area congressional members are now Democrats, two of them being women. The restoration of the County Executive and the County Legislature to Democratic control. 11 of the last 13 Supreme Court Justices were elected on the Democratic line. The list goes on and on.

We had the best staff, using the most advanced techniques and strategies. Never once in our ten year run was there even a scent of scandal or impropriety. Our debt was greatly reduced, and the number of our volunteers were greatly increased.

In the end, what it all boils down to, are the values, principles, and ideals that bind us together as Democrats. Those principles have always been worth fighting for, and fight we did for ten years. I ask only that you give my successor the same level of support and dedication that you gave to me.

It has been a great honor to lead this great party, and an even greater honor working with you to achieve our goals. If ever I can be of help to you, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to seeing and working with you again in the future.



Len Lenihan Chairman,

Erie County Democratic Committee 2002-2012

And this was, in part, the topic of Wednesday’s “One Thing” podcast with Brad Riter from Trending Buffalo.



  • HOLD STRONG GAYLE!!!!!!   you single-handedly turned back these fucking thugs since that clown governor stuck his ego maniac brain into our area last year!!!!   why does anyone listen to cuomo anyway – he’s on tv now with grisanti, says he might endorse grisanti and other republican senators, handing the senate to republicans again.  didn’t cuomo also get his ass kicked here?  what moral authority does he have colluding with republicans, zero voter mandate in erie county, and his bizarre bias against lenihan and lenihan supporters, and then dictating who lenihan’s replacement would be???   his local thugs mentioned here are the republicans’ best friends in erie county, just ask RATS tim kennedy and barbara miller williams.  cuomo and his clown lt. gov. should be installing the republican chairman, not the democratic chairman.  why in the fucking world does anyone listen to any of these fucking clowns?

  • What happens on Saturday won’t be as interesting as what happens over the next two years during the next Chairperson’s reign. 

  • The word is none other than Sam Hoyt is making calls on behalf of the Governor threatening anyone with a state job to support Frank Max. Of course these geniuses don’t seen to understand there is a secret ballot and probably doing more harm.

  • Don’t forget to add the others who orbit around Pigeon, Casey and Garner, and who will be returning to Dem Hq. with them: Jack “didn’t I do a great job running the Kennedy and Swanick campaigns” O’Donnell, First Deputy Mayor Byron Brown, Chris Walsh, Gary Parenti, Tim “who me a Republican?” Kennedy, Clarence Lott, Adam “don’t say I’m with Byron Brown” Perry, and everyone’s “crazy uncle” – cyber-bully Andrew Kulyk.   Can anyone remember all the campaigns these dudes drove into the ground??????

  • Two things I got a call from Sam Hoyt and was threatened with nothing.  All he asked was my feelings on the race and I told him.   Secondly as far as Dennis Ward is concerned he’s certainly a 1000% improvement
    over the guy he succeeded.   Or does everyone here need a refresher course on Larry Adamczyk’s sordid

  • Hooray!!!!!!Miner Coming To Re-Org SessionWritten by Glenn Gramigna, Editor   NYS DEMOCRATIC CO-CHAIR MILLR COMING TO “OVERSEE” RE-ORG MEETING AT REQUEST OF MAX…FULL TEXT OF MINER’S LETTER TO MAX CAMPAIGN FOLLOWS: Thank you for your letter regarding the Erie County Democratic Committee’s re-organizational meeting. The New York State Democratic Committee takes very seriously any concern over the integrity of an election and will always work to secure a fair and ethical process. Per your request, we are willing to send State Party Co-Chair Mayor Stephanie Miner to oversee the meeting.Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to ensure the integrity of the Erie County Democratic meeting. If you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to contact the state party’s Executive Director Rodney S. Capel at 917-733-4075.Thanks again.Hon. Stephanie MinerCo-ChairRodney S. CapelExecutive DirectorNew York State Democratic Committee120 Broadway, 32nd FloorNew York, NY 10271

  • Frank’s thuggery over the last few days has all but guaranteed war in Erie County will continue. Getting into bed with Pigeon and Casey and relying on Cuomo to dispatch his goons has shown Frank Max is much more concerned with gaining power than electing Democrats.

  • Here’s who’s coming to back up Frank Max today. 

    LawyersJoe MakowskiAdam PerryJulie BargnesiTim LoVolloJim OstrowskiJeffrey WhitingMike KuzmaPeter ReeseStaffHormoz MansouriChris WalshSam HoytTony MassielloAngela NicometiJoAnn CavalerriMaurice GarnerDan McPartlandKristy MazurekCamille BrandonBob BrandonGary ParentiPaul ClarkStephanie MinerMike DarbyCredentialsWhitney Kemp + 1Carol ZuickWillie Morris + 5Kristie Mazurek + 6Lashawn ChinnDiana Cihak + 1Peter and  Ellen  ReesePaul Clark + 2Camille BrandonDemone Smith + 3Kelly HarrisJoe Mascia + 1Jim TricoliTom WeismanFrank from AmherstGene Hart +1TellersDavid PfaffMaxAdam Locher + 2Dan WardPaul ClarkBob BrandonMikeDarbyGary ParentiJoAnne CavaleriHormoz MansouriCamille Brandon

  • I think bringing in the NYS party is a really good thing.  There is too much hate on all sides and I wouldn’t trust ANYONE on any side to be honest with anything.  Bringing in someone from the outside is the only way we might get some integrity. 

    The war will continue no matter which person gets in.  Zellner is as angry, divisive, bitter  hate-filled and not out for the good of the democratic party as anyone is.  The only hope we had was Masiello to maybe have a real honest to goodness leader.  Now that he is out, we do not have anyone to be the real leader that our party needs to unify us, bring everyone to the table and bring this stupid men-inspired, to see who’s dick is bigger and who rules the goddamn playground, war over.  And it’s everyone’s fault, not one side or the other, not the just the Mayor or the County Executive or Grassroots, or Sam Hoyt or Frank Max or Dennis Ward.  It is ALL of them.   It is embarrassing to the rest of the state and to the democratic party as a whole of which I am a part.

    This is disgusting and will not change until we get some real leadership in all democratic positions of power.  Leadership that actual cares about promoting honest democratic values through the election of real democrats.

  • Seems like this vote will be like deciding which eye you want gouged out with a fork. Truly amazing choices.

  • Dear Governor Cuomo,

    Mind your own fucking business.

    Respectfully yours,

    Erie County Democrats

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