La Cosa di Loro

WNY is not run so much by politicians. It is, instead, run by the wealthy, connected developers who fund their elections. All the political refusal and reluctance to address unchecked sprawl without population growth and regional planning stems from that.  And racism, often disguised as home-rule parochialism. 

Until there is proper campaign finance reform and an abolition of Wilson-Pakula and electoral fusion, we’ll keep spinning our wheels and going nowhere. Until we address our “parochialism” head-on and re-start the regionalism discussion, no amount of cute polar bear cubs or paeans to architecture will ameliorate the unrelenting grip the small-minded and greedy have on this region. 

Stefano Magaddino and the Buffalo mob of yore might be gone, but we’ve replaced them with a new type of mafia that’s less violent but more harmful to the public at-large. 


  • This is short but very smart–I love the last sentence. One of the defining contradictory sights: a local developer momentarily lifts his snout from the trough of an IDA or some other tub of government money to huff some air and squeal about how high taxes or entitlements are wrecking the nation, then one instant later, plunges his snout right back into the US Grade A swill. I teach at UB, whose public educational mission is systematically warped by the various board, council, and foundation members buzzing around the $680 million dollar endowment.

    I love Alan Bedenko’s final sentence. It’s not always either/or, though: a rich heritage in the annals of American organized crime can come together handily with corporate board membership, as the remarkable history of the corporations owned by Louis Jacobs (Emprise, Delaware North, etc.) can show. Son Jerry is now the head of the UB Council. Francis Ford Coppola was never smarter than when he juxtaposed the New York Mafia summit in The Godfather with the Havana capitalist/political summit in Godfather 2.

  • tonyintonawanda

    And none of the problems stem from the political giveaways these same politicians have given to public employee unions over the years to ensure they get “feet on the street” at election time. These giveaways inherently raise the cost of doing business making sure that no serious outside investment will come our way unless it is heavily subsidized leading to the very IDA trough of which you speak. This system further enhances the entrenched politicians because it also allows government bureaucrats to pick the winners and losers in the game of government largesse and organized labor can extract further concessions and giveaways from those who want to be on the winners side.

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