Eddie Egriu: Ordinary Guy, Extraordinary Problems

Last week, walking, talking chain e-mail Kathy Weppner decided that she was throwing her hat in the ring to challenge Democratic incumbent Brian Higgins for the congressional seat in the 26th district. Weppner is a stereotypical low-information WBEN caller, and she somehow managed to parlay “Kathy from Williamsville” into an actual, paying radio gig. You should note that Weppner has gone back and scrubbed her webpage of the especially racist and vile things that used to be there. 

That’s ok. The Google cache and waybackmachine will help us to revisit the ideas that were convenient when she was a WBEN personality, but somehow inconvenient now. 

But from the left (ostensibly) we have another challenger – Emin “Eddie” Egriu. Egriu is set to announce that he is running in a Democratic primary against Higgins. Egriu is something of a perennial candidate – think “Kosovar Rus Thompson” – and used to pay Illuzzi and Gramigna off to get articles written about him. Both individuals are now deceased. 

Egriu is something of a character, but the problem is that he’s been lax about his duties as a citizen. Here’s what we know: 

1. The federal government filed liens against Egriu for unpaid taxes, most recently in November 2013 for $90,225.69. He evidently failed to pay his 2005 and 2006 income taxes. In 2009, a federal lien for almost $7,000 was filed, and in 2008 there was one for almost $8,000. 

2. New York filed warrants against him for failure to pay unemployment insurance premiums (under his bizarre dba, “Violation Enterprise”) in 2006 and 2007. He also failed to obtain necessary worker’s compensation insurance, and a judgment was filed against him for $3,000.

3. Egriu is late on his 2013 and 2014 Erie County property taxes. It’s not a lot – less than $200, but then again it’s not a lot – less than $200. 

4. In 1998, he lost two properties to foreclosure for unwillingness or inability to pay his bills. 

5. Since 1995, over $32,000 in civil judgments have been filed arising out of lawsuits against him. 

 Egriu says this in a press release this morning: 

He will make his announcement at the corner of Pulman Place and Shepard Street, near Broadway and Bailey avenues, in the heart of Higgins’ decaying district.

 It’s Pullman Place, and that part of town was decaying long before Mr. Higgins went to Washington. 

Eddie is a liberal anti-war populist challenging Higgins, a right-of-center neo-conservative, in the Democratic Primary.

  • Eddie supports universal single payer healthcare and will fight to eliminate the profit seeking industry that has been leeching the life out of our healthcare system. Higgins voted for Mitt Romney’s plan. 

Higgins voted for Obama’s plan. In 2012 Mitt Romney ran – and lost – opposing Obamacare. 

  • Eddie is anti-war. Higgins is a neo-con who sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Homeland Security Committee.

It’s easy to be anti-war when you’re, at best, a local housing activist. 

  • Eddie opposes the bank bailouts. Higgins voted for them. 

Yes, but is Higgins in favor of the needed Egriu bailout? 

  • Eddie supports the legalization of marijuana for adults. Higgins does not.


Mr. Egriu’s heart may be in the right place, but his track record reveals a fundamental inability to be taken seriously, and to pay the taxes and fees we all pay to maintain a civilized society. 


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