Weppner and the Parenthetical Hitler

Hey, the candidates are replying to questionnaires. Let’s take a look! 

Kathy Weppner appears to be the only candidate vain enough to list “Patriot” as a qualification-slash-experience for public office.  That’s just breathtaking. I mean, Harvard Shmarvard. Being a “Patriot” is basically a silent pre-requisite for running for any public office in the U.S., like “sentient being” or “has central nervous system” or “skeleton”. 

Let’s compare the candidates’ “community involvement”, and watch Higgins mop the floor with Weppner’s “hey, I show up when people ask me to” slacktivism. 

Well, well, well. There are so many issues that the government should be addressing, and Higgins focuses on some key ones that fit neatly within a Congressional backbencher’s wheelhouse. But Weppner – she identifies the debt as “our top challenge”, and that if interest rates – that the Fed sets – go up, we won’t make the payments? The US has never defaulted, even in the 80s under Reagan’s debt and double-digit interest rates. People like Weppner who conflate public debt with family debt don’t really understand what they’re talking about. 

First, families have to pay back their debt. Governments don’t — all they need to do is ensure that debt grows more slowly than their tax base. The debt from World War II was never repaid; it just became increasingly irrelevant as the U.S. economy grew, and with it the income subject to taxation.

Second — and this is the point almost nobody seems to get — an over-borrowed family owes money to someone else; U.S. debt is, to a large extent, money we owe to ourselves…

…It’s true that foreigners now hold large claims on the United States, including a fair amount of government debt. But every dollar’s worth of foreign claims on America is matched by 89 cents’ worth of U.S. claims on foreigners. And because foreigners tend to put their U.S. investments into safe, low-yield assets, America actually earns morefrom its assets abroad than it pays to foreign investors. If your image is of a nation that’s already deep in hock to the Chinese, you’ve been misinformed. Nor are we heading rapidly in that direction.

Now, the fact that federal debt isn’t at all like a mortgage on America’s future doesn’t mean that the debt is harmless. Taxes must be levied to pay the interest, and you don’t have to be a right-wing ideologue to concede that taxes impose some cost on the economy, if nothing else by causing a diversion of resources away from productive activities into tax avoidance and evasion. But these costs are a lot less dramatic than the analogy with an overindebted family might suggest.

I don’t know what Congress is going to do about “leadership” in a “dangerous world”, but whatever. She’s running a chain-email campaign

Now, on to income inequality. If you haven’t, you should read Monday’s Krugman, and then look at this: 

Every time an increase in the minimum wage is proposed, the wealthy egotists who think themselves ‘job creators” and their minions whine about how the jobs will all be lost! They do this, of course, while simultaneously denigrating the jobs and their occupants as losers, slackers, teens, or all of the above.

But the loss of jobs doesn’t happen. At all. If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation over the last 40 years, it would be $10.90/hour.  Instead, the federal rate is $7.25. No one’s talking about making everyone earn the same – this isn’t some Stalinist march to the kolkhoz, but ensuring that people who work earn enough to live, and that we halt policies that disproportionately enrich the already rich at the expense of the poor and middle class. You know, to stop this

But note the rhetoric about how “immigrants…started with nothing, did anything, and ended up great! About that

So, on the one hand, immigrants do just great! But on the other hand, they’re all lawbreaking terrorist welfare queens who want to bankrupt the republic. 

See? It’s your own fault that we don’t know who’s funding campaigns. The word salad that Weppner sharts out here is utter nonsense. 

LOLWUT? First of all, I’d like someone to ask Weppner about the science of global climate change and see if she says the same thing. She completely fails to answer the question posed in any meaningful way, and just punts, adding that we like totally really need to be able to transport her phantom resources “based on science”. 

Common Core is not a federal program, isn’t administered or run from Washington, and was not a federal government initiative. Other than that, awesome!

So, on the one hand, she brings up a separation of powers issue that’s been pretty much resolved for some time – the Commander in Chief does not need a declaration of war to commit US troops. But the last time Congress declared war was World War 2, to combat, among others, Hitler – who appears here parenthetically.

We didn’t fight Hitler because of his crimes against humanity – we fought him because he declared war on the US on Pearl Harbor Day, and because the Nazis had overrun Europe and North Africa. Germany, Italy, and Japan were imposing militarist fascist totalitarian dictatorships all over the place, and we fought Nazi Germany because it had to be done. Weppner alludes to ISIS and its vicious reign of terror, but why isn’t the beheading and crucifixion of adults also a “crime against humanity” justifying American action? 

“Why do we deliver humanitarian food and shelter when humanity is threatened but we do not see the same need when life itself is threatened”.  What on Earth does that mean? We fought crimes against humanity in Bosnia and Kosovo in the last 20 years. What is she saying? 

She started her recent career as a caller to ultra-right-wing hate radio. She graduated from there to being a host on ultra-right-wing hate radio. Now, she feels entitled to a title, and in so doing is simply regurgitating nonsense she hears on ultra-right-wing hate radio. She’ll be lucky to hit 20% because the vast majority of WNY voters are not fascist idiots.

Things Worse than #LatteSalute

Eliminationist radio station WBEN spent an entire day Wednesday lamenting / concern-trolling the President’s apparently impeachable offense of saluting Marines with a coffee cup in his hand.  Of course, because he’s Obama, it was a latte. But while Tim Wenger’s obsession du jour was n0bummer’s epic disrespect of every troop and all troops everywhere, what sort of thing has WBEN (and the rest of the local media, for that matter), completely ignored? 

How about a former WBEN employee and current sponsor raising money off the severed heads of Americans slaughtered by ISIS? This isn’t the semi-informed lunatic ramblings of some online crank listener – this is an endorsed Republican candidate for Congress. Not once did anyone on WBEN spend a nanosecond condemning this. 

Or how about WBEN’s afternoon drive time shock jock dreaming – literally – of a military coup in Washington, and his idiot commenters trying to out-do each other with eliminationist wet dreams. (Helpful hint: the page is publicly viewable, so don’t whine to me about not blocking the names out. 

That’s some station Tim Wenger has molded into his own image. So, while it’s a daylong horror for Obama – a civilian – to salute Marines whilst holding a coffee cup, it’s perfectly ok to make political hay off American martyrs and to openly advocate for and dream of sedition, treason, and a coup d’etat. Clear? 

Donovan and Arnold: Out-Weppnering Weppner?

You guys, I think I might have found a current right-wing candidate even more unintentionally hilarious than Kathy Weppner. I know, Kathy “infected poors” Weppner has been highlighting the dramatic threat to our Republic by a bunch of brown-skinned teenaged economic refugees, and she’s even tried to fundraise over the bodies of dead Americans, BUT SHE NEVER SALUTED WITH A COFFEE CUP IN HER HAND IMPEACH!!1!

I’m not a huge fan of Senator Tim Kennedy’s, mostly because of his hard work sabotaging the county’s Democratic Committee and by executing a Republican coup of the Erie County Legislature in 2010

With that said, the tea party has a doozy in this Donovan character

Donovan is a registered member of the Independence Fusion Party, and lost his own party’s primary to Tim Kennedy! How hilarious is that – his own corrupt little political club voted for the money and the bennies that an actual electable candidate offers. He is, however, running on the Conservative Fusion Party line and the Republican line.  Check this out, too: 

Take a closer look at the letter that Donovan shared: 

Dude lives in Kentucky. 

How, exactly, did Governor Cuomo and Senator Kennedy or, I’m guessing, the NY SAFE Act do anything to cause a problem that a guy in Kentucky has with a Federal agency? Does this ostensibly serious candidate not understand the federal system set up by the Constitution he purports to love? Does Rick Donovan think that NY SAFE applies to federal agencies or the Commonwealth of Kentucky? 

Including, I guess, the right to enslave and be enslaved. 

UPDATE: tea partier Ricky Donovan is an employee of the great State of New York as a corrections officer at the Albion Correctional Facility – a medium security female prison. Socialism is, evidently, ok if your name rhymes with “Nicky Flonovan”. 

On another note, check out what our favorite vacillator Gia Arnold is up to up in Niagara County. She apparently didn’t have enough valid signatures to be on the Libertarian Party line in November in the race to replace George Maziarz in SD-62. She lost the Republican primary to North Tonawanda Mayor Robert Ortt in a downright blowout, and she was taken to court over the validity of her Libertarian petitions. Specifically, signatures came from outside the district. Our ballot access laws may be too cumbersome, but as Weppner says, if we don’t enforce the laws, we become a lawless society. 

As Arnold announced that she’d not appear on any party line in November, Ortt was professional and on-point: 

While I am glad the integrity of the process was upheld, my focus remains where it has been since day one — speaking directly to voters, sharing my vision for how to create more good paying jobs for Western New Yorkers and fighting for our shared values in Albany as their next State Senator.

But Arnold? Not so much. 

If you happen to have a Rob Ortt for State Senate sign in your yard this election cycle, you are a fool to support the elite establishment that counts on your ignorance and apathy in order to continue to control our elections, state and national governments. VOTE ANTI – ESTABLISHMENT this year. Do your research.

Carl’s and Rus’ inexperienced, unqualified, naive one-issue candidate embarrassed herself throughout this process (see here, and here, and here), and lost dramatically to the established Republican elected official who is a serious person. Voting anti-establishment is great and all, but wildly aggressive fits of pique because you torpedoed your own campaign are bad form. She seems to be really bad at this whole “politics” thing, because what she’s doing is great if you want to be elected to chief rabble-rouser, bad if you want to be elected to any sort of elected statewide office. 

Carl Being Carl

Courtesy Marquil at EmpireWire.com

It was a cool evening; cool in the sense of temperature as much as atmosphere. The sun had just set and the cloudless sky was turning a lovely shade of dark blue, with a disappearing tinge of orange on the horizon. 

I pulled my car into a spot about a block down from the Dinosaur BBQ on Franklin Street to attend the City & State “welcome to Buffalo” party. The New York-based paper had just hired a Buffalo reporter, and it was hosting a celebration. 

As I walked up Franklin, I ran into County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who was rushing to get to a dinner at Bacchus with bigwigs from a local utility company. I saw Buffalo Rising’s Newell Nussbaumer and said hello. As I approached the Dinosaur, I saw Mike Desmond from WBFO speaking with City & State Editor-in-Chief Morgan Pehme and Chris Thompson – Pehme’s new Buffalo hire. 

After a while, a very slim, dapper gentleman from the statewide office of AARP came by to chat with Pehme and Desmond. He mentioned that Erie County had the 9th oldest population in the country. 

Right around that time, I caught a glimpse of a black BMW X5 across Franklin. It stopped to let out City & State President & CEO Tom Allon and G. Stephen Pigeon. Allon is a tall, bespectacled man who looks like he stepped right out of a Brooks Brothers catalogue. I introduced myself to both men. Pigeon shook my hand. Understandably, he wasn’t especially warm and friendly to me, but behaved like a gracious adult. They went inside. 

At this moment, the BMW had made a u-turn and parked, halfway in a spot, in front of the Dinosaur BBQ. Out comes Carl Paladino, and he is smiling and gesturing at me as if I was someone he was happy to see. He came around the car and was being gregarious and friendly with everyone. As we both extended hands to shake in greeting, I hesitated and said, “you don’t like me. I’m Alan Bedenko”.

At this he recoiled and inquired whether I was fucking serious. When I answered in the affirmative, he took a step or two back to tell me that I’m “a real fucking asshole, you know that?”  I replied that yes, indeed, I am, as I grinned from ear to ear.  He went on to berate me as a “disgrace” and a “fucking coward”.  I continued smiling as this old man angrily spat expletives at me on a sidewalk, in front of people, on a cool Buffalo night. He then went inside in disgust, informing the people with whom I was chatting that he would not speak to them while they were talking to an asshole like me. It was surreal. 

I continued speaking with Mr. AARP guy, Pehme and Desmond before going inside to check the event out.  I met Erie County Legislator Joe Lorigo, who is a nice fellow even if his politics are all wrong. I like that he recognizes that the legislature is – and should be – a deliberative legislative body, and the role he plays in it.  I saw his dad, too, but we didn’t get a chance to speak. I spoke with lobbyist Jack O’Donnell and met his lovely wife, Marina. It was O’Donnell’s birthday, evidently, and Pehme led the gathering in a round of “Happy Birthday”.  There was even cake. 

I spoke at some length with Camille Brandon, fresh off a primary loss in her Assembly race. While we were chatting, Paladino passed behind me and said hello to her, but indicated that he would speak to her later when “that asshole” was gone.  She later found me and said Carl had asked her why she was speaking to that “asshole”. He was entering Mean Girls territory. 

I saw Jim Heaney and Dan Telvock of Investigative Post, and Justin Sondel from the Niagara Gazette.  I spoke briefly with @HeyRaChaCha from Twitter, and we talked about all the fascinating people who were there. 

As I spoke with Sondel and Mark Cornell from Poloncarz’s office about hydrofracking and Niagara County journalism, Pehme and Allon took to the stage to thank everyone for coming to the event.  Evidently, Paladino was a sponsor of the event because he, too, took the mic.  He welcomed City & State to Buffalo, adding that it was about time Buffalo got some real journalism up in here. He added that Buffalo media had too many “worms like Alan Bedenko”, expressing surprise and dismay as to how I even got into this event, to which I had been invited. 

Of all the elected officials, journalists, and dignitaries who filled that room, only one name was mentioned – mine, spat out by Buffalo’s favorite son – a walking, talking insult billboardatorium

Oh, how delightful this all was. I don’t think you’ve really arrived in Buffalo until you’ve been viciously cursed out by Carl Paladino.

What have I done to this man, except tell the truth about him? His sordid racist emails? His failed candidacy? The horrible things that come from his mouth? This guy is the personification of dishing it out but not being able to take it. (Mr. Tea Party is hanging out with Steve Pigeon, now?) What have I done, except be one of the few not in thrall of his money or perceived power? He hides behind his money, hurling misogyny, homophobia, and invective from emails and billboards, but I’m the coward?  I mean, I never circulated anal horse pornography, but that’s just not my thing. 

What’s with the hate and anger? Here he is, a millionaire in his $70,000 truck, being feted and paid attention to by all sorts of VIPs from not just the region, but throughout the state, but he’s got to take especial time to attempt – and fail – to insult me from the stage at the Dinosaur BBQ at someone else’s event. How great is that

Almost everyone said it was “just Carl being Carl”. It was, indeed.  That is, of course, the problem, but he’s attained folk hero status and can get away with just about anything, and the list of “cowards” who are willing to call him on it is regrettably short these days. There’s a fine line between being a straight talker and the state of being “Carl”. 

As for me, it was one of the proudest nights of my life; a story to remember. I make it a point to never knowingly do business with Carl Paladino, and I didn’t touch a drop of liquid or morsel of food that he underwrote at the event. 

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you. – Matthew 5:44. 

Kathy Weppner Gets Participation Award

Now that the Erie County Democratic Committee’s biennial re-org shenanigans have devolved into Pigeon/Mazurek self-parody, let’s check up on Kathy Weppner, the very serious candidate for very serious congress

Ms. Weppner took to Twitter and Facebook to tout her 1st place award in the ArgleBargle olympics. Or something. 

She received some sort of press-release-only “award” from a school choice advocate in New Jersey.  For the uninitiated, New Jersey is quite far from here and not at all within the 26th Congressional District. Rabbi Israel Teitelbaum is the head of this “Alliance for Free Choice in Education”, which has one of the reddest, whitest, and bluest webpages in all of the world. 

Rabbi Teitelbaum’s cause is to force taxpayers to fund religious schools under the guise of “school choice”; a clear violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. Under the Supreme Court’s test in Lemon v. Kurtzman, any alleged violation of the Establishment Clause will be determined through a three-prong test: (1) whether the government’s action has a secular or a religious purpose; (2) whether the primary effect of the government’s action is to advance or endorse religion; and (3) whether the government’s policy or practice fosters an excessive entanglement between government and religion.

Handing out taxpayer money to fund religious schools violates all three prongs of the Lemon test; to be unconstitutional, in need only violate one. As Kathy Weppner points out, if we don’t enforce the law, we’ll become a lawless society

So what does western New York’s most unintentionally hilarious candidate do? She accepts an award from a ersatz Constitutionalist group that advocates violating the Constitution. 

The Alliance for Free Choice in Education is pleased and proud to congratulate Kathy Weppner, Republican & Conservative candidate for the House of Representatives from New York’s 26th District, for leading the battle to restore Constitutional Government. She joined candidates from across the country who visited the new nonpartisan website [omitted], and took the pledge to do all she can in support of the Constitution, beginning with lower taxes, individual-controlled healthcare and parental choice in education.

So, in order to get this “congratulations”, all Weppner had to do was scour the internet for some cockamamie pledge to take – a pledge not to her putative constituents, but to a particular special interest group that seeks to starve the public schools and subsidize religion with taxpayer money

The site was recently developed by the New Jersey based Alliance to provide the ways and means for citizen candidates to identify themselves as champions of the Constitution, and where voters may meet them, vet them and support them.

While the site is nonpartisan, its mission is to restore Constitutional government by identifying and supporting those who are truly committed to the Constitution and its clearly-defined limited powers. Although most Americans profess to support the Constitution, and every public official takes an oath to do so, a plain reading of the Constitution’s opening paragraph – the Preamble – does not resemble twenty-first-century America.

What’s great about that passage is that the Preamble has absolutely no legal effect.  It’s an introduction.  

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Constitution has been our founding document for over 200 years, and some obscure Rabbi in New Jersey has declared that it bears no resemblance to contemporary American society, and Weppner touts this as totally cool.  So, what the hell are these people talking about? 

One-million-four-hundred-thousand gang members roaming the streets of American [sic], and a crime rate that impacts at least three percent of Americans annually, cannot be described as “domestic tranquility.” Open borders will not lead to “the common defense,” and the “blessings of liberty” are inconsistent with government financially coercing parents to send their children to substandard schools where they are subject to government indoctrination.                                                                                                                                            

Gosh, that doesn’t sound nice at all. Gang members roaming the streets! Remember back in 1787 when there was no crime at all? Remember how we committed genocide against the American Indians? Now that’s what I call “domestic tranquility”.  Also, the War of 1812, slavery, the Alien & Sedition Acts, the Burr/Hamilton duel in New Jersey – all of these things are ostensibly better examples of “domestic tranquility” and “liberty” than what idiots call “open borders” and public schools -an idea pioneered by Horace Mann.  

The United States was a product of the Enlightenment – not the middle ages. 

One need not be a Constitutional expert to recognize that we have veered far off the Constitutional track. In an attempt to turn the tide, masses turned out to vote in the most recent midterm election of 2010, and changed more seats than in any midterm election since 1938. Yet, the distance from our founding principles continues to grow more quickly than ever. It will take informed and activated voters to drive us back on track.

I thought this was a “nonpartisan” organization? 

We can restore Constitutional government, provided we not only vote, but also vote for those who stand for the Constitution and its essential principles of liberty, limited government and equal opportunity under the law. Ideally, we need to meet the candidates and vet them, just as we would do if we were hiring an employee. Alternatively, we may rely on those who have done so. Modern technology now makes it possible for this to be facilitated online.

The ways and means to restore our nation back onto its Constitutional track are now available. It’s now up to every American to do what it takes to turn our government onto the right track. We are most grateful to Kathy Weppner, of New York’s 26thCongressional District, for her courage, fortitude and tireless efforts on behalf of us all. 

TL;DR: Phony Constitutionalist Kathy Weppner gets a “thank you” from an obscure New Jersey crank who doesn’t understand the Constitution. 

LOL GOVERNOR TRUMP ROTFL

First, let’s recall the mass fellating that local Republicans gave Donald Trump when he pretended to be interested in running for governor, and then again when he pretended to be in interested in buying the Bills. 

Shorthand: back when Donald Trump pretended to give two shits about our fair backwater. 

The Pegulas, on the other hand, have taken a billion and a half of the money they made fracking Pennsylvania and bought the Sabres, and then the Bills. In just a couple of months, the Bills went from likely departure to an indefinite Buffalo domicile. 

Trump sharted this on his Twitter machine Friday: 

Quite possibly the best response came from one of the Pegula daughters, Jessie. I’m sure being a billionaire is awesome in many ways, but here’s the difference between a sociopathic narcissist and a real human being: 

Indeed, it isn’t. Meanwhile, Trump should probably concentrate on his gaming business, which is facing its fourth (maybe fifth?) bankruptcy. Stop idolizing this guy. He’s not emblematic of how rich people should act.  Quite the opposite. 

About that Peace and Progress

stinkfaceSaturday is the big Erie County Democratic Reorganization meeting, where Jeremy Zellner will battle it out with Mark Manna for the 2-year chairmanship of the party.  I’m on the committee in Clarence, which easily has at least a dozen Democrats. 

I’ve received mail and calls from Zellner’s effort, but nothing from Manna’s. This is interesting to me, because the anti-Zellner bloc purport to want to fight “Republicans again instead of Democrats” and bring “peace and progress” to the party. 

The reasons I reckon this is utter bullshit include: 

1. If they wanted to bring peace, they’d reach out to people like me in some meaningful way.  Not only am I a committeeman, but for years, I’ve been writing about the stupid unproductivity of Democratic infighting. I have not received a call or a piece of mail or a Facebook message or an email. Nothing.  UPDATE: I received a Facebook message (I thought it was just a generic announcement) and Manna called me to chat this afternoon. We aired our various issues as between Zellner and the people backing Manna, and I continue to like and respect Mark even if I am not supporting this effort of his.

2. The people backing Manna are not people known for bringing “peace and progress” to the Democratic committee.  On the contrary, Byron Brown, Steve Pigeon, and Tim Kennedy have spent most of their time sabotaging first Lenihan and then Zellner. When Zellner actually made an effort to bring peace by endorsing Byron Brown, he did so with Brown’s agreement to reciprocate. Byron Brown is reneging on that agreement, and it’s simply dishonorable. Tim Kennedy is supremely butthurt that ECDC endorsed Betty Jean Grant over him, but what did he think? That you could hand over a Democratic legislature into Chris Collins’ hands and just get away with it? Give almost $100k to a PAC working to sabotage ECDC candidates and be forgiven the next day? And convicted felon Pedro Espada’s patronage hire – neither peace nor progress is not on the agenda, ever. 

3. Former TV personality Kristy Mazurek is aligned with the anti-Zellner effort. Kristy Mazurek called WEDG on primary day to try and intimidate the station into keeping me off the air, telling them that a “team of lawyers” was “monitoring” me, threatening Shredd & Ragan with a subpoena. Perhaps “peace and progress” is this crowd’s way of saying, “retribution and intimidation”. They’re being quite transparent about the kind of operation they intend to run. They also don’t scare me or Shredd & Ragan. 

4. Mike Deely, the local head of the teacher’s union, is viciously against Zellner. No one really knows what this guy’s deal is, but he parachuted into his position in 2011, marshals hundreds of thousands in union dollars, and now wants to dictate who the chair should be? I wonder whether Deely thinks that, e.g., Tim Kennedy handing over the legislature to Chris Collins was good for public education or teachers. Wynnie Fisher ran for the legislature last year. Deely donated to her campaign. What does Deely think about the vicious attack that his new allies launched against Fisher last November? Furthermore, Deely swore under oath that John Rivera and Assemblyman Sean Ryan saw Dennis Ward destroy Deely’s committee petitions. Rivera and Ryan say they saw no such thing

5. They don’t want to fight Republicans, they want to control jobs and settle scores. It’s evident from their words and deeds. If they win, I’ll probably switch to unenrolled. I won’t ever play their game and sabotage Democrats or their party apparatus. But I certainly won’t help them, either. I don’t reward bullying, trolling, and bad behavior. 

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. – George Santayana

Political Shorts and a Hot Dog Stand

1. Schneiderman Kickoff

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman kicked off the WNY leg of his 2014 re-election campaign in Niagara Square on Tuesday, flanked by a wide variety of politicians, activists, and union leaders from throughout the area, some of whom don’t always get along (more on that later). Throughout his first term, the former State Senator from New York’s Upper West Side has brought a new energy to the Attorney General’s office, with his most significant focus being the protection of the average consumer from predatory, unfair, and deceptive business practices.

After glowing speeches from former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul and Mayor Byron Brown, Schneiderman was introduced by Avi Israel, an average guy from North Buffalo. Israel’s son, Michael, tragically committed suicide a few years ago in part  because he was taking several prescription medications that different doctors had prescribed.  Because there was no mechanism in place for the physicians to see what others had prescribed, and at the time of his suicide, Michael was taking about 20 different medications

With Schneiderman’s help and lobbying, New York passed the I-STOP prescription monitoring program last year. The program requires providers to review a patient’s medical history before prescribing any opioid pain medication. It also requires any such medications to be e-prescribed, and the filling of any prescription by a New York pharmacy updates the database in real time. This has decreased doctor-shopping in New York by an incredible 75%

Just this week, the AG’s office cut a deal with Wal*Mart over a fraudulent “sugar tax” it was levying on sales of soda

Schneiderman’s opponent is hitting the incumbent on his silence over the Moreland Commission debacle. But consider this

I think you may have heard that that is the subject of an ongoing federal investigation, and I don’t comment on ongoing investigations,” Schneiderman told reporters in Schenectady, where he announced $20 million for a land bank initiative. “My office is cooperating with the United States Attorney and we’ll leave it at that.”

Schneiderman has said little about the Moreland Commission’s demise or whether he knew about claims that Cuomo’s administration was interfering in the panel’s work and steering them away from Cuomo’s allies.

Schneiderman’s office deputized the members of the commission, and has been cooperating with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office in connection with its ongoing investigation. Meanwhile, Schneiderman’s opponent touts his work with George Pataki, a governor who didn’t need to shut down his own investigation into public corruption because it never made its way to his agenda. 

For his part, Schneiderman noted that his office had prosecuted over 50 cases of public employees and electeds stealing taxpayer money and abuse of power. 

2. Scratch that!

State Sellout Tim Kennedy is not challenging Jeremy Zellner for the chairmanship of the Erie County Democratic Committee at this Saturday’s re-organization meeting. Instead, it will be Amherst Town Councilman Mark Manna. Manna reportedly has the backing of Mike Deely from NYSUT, State Sellout Tim Kennedy, and Mayor Byron Brown. 

This is all very interesting mostly because Zellner and ECDC endorsed Brown’s re-election campaign last year on the express condition and guarantee that the Mayor would back Zellner’s re-election as chairman. That’s honor for you. I’m not 100% sure what it is about Steve Pigeon’s track record of running the party in the late 90s is so desirable to people, so it must come down to who doles out the jobs, and possibly something to do with the judicial nominations. There’s no other objectively rational explanation. 

I like Mark, so I’m not going to bash him, but I will say this: Zellner’s opposition is running on a “peace and progress” platform. It seems to me that Erie County Democrats could easily have had peace and progress over the course of the last decade if there wasn’t a conspiratorial opposition working feverishly to sabotage the county committee every so often. A group of malcontents (Deely, for example, was for Teachout/Wu and now he’s aligned with people who sell out to the GOP regularly?) conspiring in Steve Pigeon’s house to overthrow the guy they’ve been working feverishly to weaken over the last few years is hardly the picture of party unity anyone needs. This time, at least, they don’t have Governor Cuomo’s blessing or support. 

Let it be clear: if you hand over the reins of the party committee to Steve Pigeon, the last things you’ll get are peace or progress. 

3. Grisanti Staying In The Race

State Senator Mark Grisanti remains on the Independence Fusion Party’s ballot, and dammit he’s got bank, and he’s gonna spend it. Right now, it would be a 4-way race involving Grisanti, Marc Panepinto on the (D) line, Kevin Stocker on the (R) line, and Timothy Gallagher (who?) on the Conservative Fusion Party line. Stocker and Gallagher split the gun-fetish vote, so look for Stocker to somehow wrangle the Conservative Fusion line in the next few weeks. With Stocker picking up the anti-Cuomo vote, Grisanti and Panepinto duke it out for the general electorate, which is overwhelmingly Democratic, but not especially liberal. 

126,000 people voted in 2012, and turnout might be about that high, given the gubernatorial race. But when Paladino ran in 2010, only 65,000 people voted overall, and Grisanti narrowly beat incumbent Antoine Thompson. 2012 gave voters a chance to express their outrage at Grisanti’s same sex marriage vote, and 2014 gives the NY SAFE Act opponents a similar opportunity. But Grisanti can tout the fact that both major parties have rejected him and posit himself as the centrist alternative to ultra-left-wing Panepinto and extreme right-wing Stocker. Don’t count Grisanti out just yet. In November,  the tea party’s influence is significantly more diluted than it was in September. 

4. How hard is it to operate a bridge,

for God’s sake? The Peace Bridge is the steel emblem of western New York. It is our physical connection to a huge, wealthy Canadian marketplace, and stands as a symbol of political gridlock, secrecy, inaction, failure, and idiocy. 

5. Reverse Cowdog Taken?

The contrived use of shipping containers – whatever. But I quite literally hate everything else about this “Dog e Style” from the name, to the font, to the sign, to the mascot. Get it? The hot dog is wearing a tux, so is “é” “is” in Portuguese? But the double entendre is “doggy style”, which will make parents of pre-adolescents cringe the hell away from that place because, really. The day my kid asks to get a “gourmet” hot dog at a place pronounced “doggy style” is not a day that will ever happen. 

Via @buffalovebirds at Twitter

Via @buffalovebirds at Twitter

 

“New York Revolution” Goes Eliminationist

This was found at this Facebook page around lunchtime on Monday September 15th. 

 

I have no words for this. 

This “New York Revolution” group had the support of Republican challenger for the SD-62 (Maziarz, incumbent) seat, Gia Arnold. 

Antoine Thompson: Alleged Assailant

A campaign worker went down to Antoine Thompson’s campaign HQ this past Thursday – two days after Thompson lost a primary to incumbent Crystal Peoples-Stokes – and says he got the crap beat out of him

Christopher Patterson, 37, said in a police report that Thompson held him down at his Assembly campaign headquarters on East Delavan Avenue, two days after the candidate’s defeat in the Democratic primary for Assembly. He also said two others, Neil Mack and Rashad Howard, punched and kicked him. He said that the assault caused him pain and abrasions to the back of his neck and that he needed to seek treatment at Sisters Hospital.

That whole thing will play itself out on the criminal and civil dockets, but congratulations seem to be in order for Mr. Thompson, who has evidently recovered nicely from the injuries he allegedly suffered in a fender-bender; injuries that were so mild that he used the experience as an effort to weaken the state’s no-fault threshold of “serious injury” for car crash lawsuits

The most amazing thing about Thompson’s attempt to re-enter the political arena is that Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Byron Brown basically gave him the best gift – a job when he needed one, a couple of years after Mark Grisanti kicked him out of the State Senate. 

Maybe he can get a job advising the Weppner campaign? They seem made for each other. 

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