Bee Stings

In the Buffalo News’ Tuesday article regarding Mark Poloncarz’s hard work and competence, it was revealed that Conservative County Legislator Joe Lorigo didn’t like a letter that Poloncarz sent to him in response to an op/ed piece Lorigo had published in the Bee.

“Some people don’t like it that I’m willing to stand up for what I believe and sit there and say, ‘I think you’re wrong and here’s why,’ ” Poloncarz said. “They’re used to the back-slapper elected official who will say anything to anyone to get a vote and keep them happy.”

He knows that can rub people the wrong way, but he sees it as standing up for what he sees as right. He’ll put it in writing, too.

Last April, after Legislator Joseph C. Lorigo, a West Seneca Conservative, criticized Poloncarz’s four-year plan in a column that appeared in the West Seneca Bee, Poloncarz sent out a four-page letter picking apart the piece and accusing Lorigo of leveling “factually inaccurate partisan attacks towards my administration in a cheap attempt to score political points.”

The letter was copied to the entire County Legislature, the county control board and the county comptroller.

“It was completely over the top,” said Lorigo, a frequent critic of the Poloncarz administration. “He doesn’t know how to respond rationally. I think the best leaders, whether it be county executive, mayor or president, are people that can effectively communicate their point of view without being so partisan.”

Note that Poloncarz didn’t publish his rebuttal in the Bee, or in any other paper – he just sent Lorigo a letter explaining to him – in detail – how he was wrong. Telling someone who is wrong that they are wrong is neither irrational nor partisan

Joseph Lorigo’s 4/19/12 West Seneca Bee column by Alan Bedenko

Mark Poloncarz’s Letter to Legislator Joe Lorigo


More like this, please. 


  • It does say Poloncarz “copied to the entire County Legislature, the county control board and the county comptroller”.

    Joe was probably hurt that everyone else saw it too.

  • Thanks for posting both. Looking back on my letter I probably could have deleted the one line regarding being either “uninformed or disingenuous…” as it took away from the substance of the letter which was a factual rebuttal of his assertions but everything else I stand by. If you are going to criticize me and my budgets/4 year plans publicly you better have the facts on your side. I don’t see anything wrong with a letter of rebuttal to what a person writes. Heck, our Founding Fathers were known for doing so all the time in the papers of the day (though i didn’t request mine be published). As Senator Moynihan used to say, you are entitled to your opinions but not your own facts.

  • Not surprised that this column would feel the need for a prompt and timely Poloncarz image boost, after yesterday’s less than worshipful News piece.

  • This Alan Bedenko put me right off my coffee. A wonder he is allowed to be a journalist and not get drummed out of the corp.
    Unlike the nice little “popularity contest” articles “The News” is running this guy actually put the full text of both letters in the article. People can actually read them and come to their own conclusions! Is this allowed?
    Serously though after reading the letters I am pleasantly happy that I voted for Poloncarz. And speaking of pure political self interest go ahead and count the times Lorigio threw in the oh so trendy “taxpayer” word in his article. Just keep saying “taxpayer” I guess and no matter what the facts and the reasoning many a taxpayer will automatically just think the guy must be looking out for them.
    A most sincere thank you Mr. Bedenko.

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