A Tuesday For the Books

Eligible WNY Voter

Antoine Loses: Faith in Humanity Restored

Crystal Peoples-Stokes easily halted Antoine Thompson’s effort to go back to Albany, this time as an Assemblyman. That’s enough, Antoine. You had your chance and the power and prestige went to your head. There’s plenty of other ways to help the community – including, but not limited to, just getting a job and paying your taxes.

Tim Kennedy Wins Handily

Tim Kennedy also defeated Betty Jean Grant. This is, to me, a shame because Tim Kennedy is a sellout. He sold out the Democrats and his constituents when he cut a deal with Steve Pigeon and Chris Collins to hand over a Democratic legislature to the Republicans. He sold out to further his own political career – to replace Bill Stachowski in the state Senate. He out-spent Betty Jean by a huge margin, and she simply couldn’t raise the money to get the word out against someone who was, this time, ready for her.  Kennedy ran on legislation to strengthen child abuse laws, and securing some back-office jobs for our Bangalore-on-the-Lake. One thing is for sure – Betty Jean can go to sleep every night secure in the knowledge that she’s no sellout. 

Tea Party Finally Gets Grisanti

Oh, you tea party. You got a huge victory last night! You finally got rid of Mark Grisanti. Your disgust for him began when he voted for same-sex marriage – you still bring it up today. The SAFE Act vote mobilized you, because guns > gays for you; guns are your common denominator. Congratulations! I saw sponsored posts in my Facebook timeline from Rus Thompson’s extremist “Tea NY” and from former GOP challenger against Brian Higgins, Mike Madigan.  The visceral hatred that the right wing has for Grisanti finally manifested itself in an electoral victory – they got Kevin Stocker.  On the other side, we have Marc Panepinto, a Democratic activist and personal injury lawyer. The district in question is predominately Democratic and people with Italian surnames tend to do well in that district.

But here’s one possibility: Grisanti and Panepinto are both lawyers. Wouldn’t it be funny if Panepinto dropped out, Grisanti switched to the Democratic Party and was appointed to replace Panepinto on the Democratic ballot in November? Panepinto would have to run for Supreme Court somewhere – anywhere in the state. This is a thing that can happen. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the tea party spent all this time and effort just to expel Grisanti from the GOP and have him win in November as a Democrat? 

Teachout’s 35%

Cuomo and Hochul easily defeated Teachout and Wu, which is no surprise. What was a surprise was the fact that Teachout earned about 35% of the statewide vote with almost no money, very little name recognition, and a pretty short race. Hopefully a message was sent to the Governor’s mansion about the importance of fighting corruption. Or maybe not. Maybe we should shut up because of the Buffalo billion and other stuff, and just be satisfied with what we have. What difference does it make if the state is still run like it’s 1953? Shut up, you. 

Tea Party Didn’t Back Gia

Robert Ortt easily defeated on-again, off-again candidate Gia Arnold. Arnold’s entire campaign centered around getting rid of George Maziarz. Once Maziarz announced he wasn’t running again, he stole a ton of her thunder and she was stuck becoming a silly kid, talking about guns, guns, and guns, going so far as to wear a clip as a prop jewelry. In the end, Ortt was the serious and credible Republican guy, and he won handily. 

Mazurek Defeats Brandon

It should come as no surprise that the guy with the Polish name came out ahead in what was once Gabryszak’s Cheektowaga/Sloan district. 

Pegulas Buy Bills

All of this political nonsense was overshadowed by the palpable civic sign of relief when it was confirmed that the Pegula family had won the bidding war to buy the Bills. Not only is the uncertainty over the Bills staying in WNY over for the foreseeable future, but the team can now begin its second chapter in earnest. What amazing news. 

Shredd & Ragan Will Not Be Intimidated

I called in to Shredd & Ragan’s show on 103.3 WEDG Tuesday morning at 7am.  When they asked me something about guns and the SAFE Act, I accidentally said, “I don’t give a shit about guns”, forgetting in my uncaffeinated haze that I was on terrestrial radio and not a podcast. A thousand apologies for that. 

But what would you say if you knew that someone attempted to intimidate WEDG into not having me on the air? 

On Monday around lunchtime, I posted my standard September primary endorsement post, and noted at its conclusion that I’d be appearing on Shredd & Ragan’s show at 7am Tuesday morning. 

After my appearance on WEDG, I spoke with a few people who work behind the scenes for Shredd & Ragan’s show. It turns out that one particularly noxious politically connected individual had contacted the station about my upcoming appearance. This poor creature started out almost eerily polite, explaining that he or she was a friend of the show,  calling as a courtesy to advise them that – now, they’re not threatening anyone – but that I was “under investigation” by a “team of lawyers” and that WEDG – and anyone who gives me a “platform” might be held responsible if I said something slanderous. To say this is completely bizarre, outrageous,  and uncalled-for is an understatement. 

To their credit, the people at WEDG would not be intimidated into keeping me off the air, and directed this complainant to contact the station’s legal department if there were any further issues. 

I’m not altogether sure that the public figure who called the station wants to litigate his or her reputation, but empty threats and petty bullying will not intimidate me into shutting up. 


  • So the gun nuts and the tea pubs and the other extremists that like to vote in primaries came out to further their agendas yesterday. I could see Grisanti winning in November on the independent line alone with his name recognition/incumbency working for him or in your scenario as well. Good to see that Teachout reached more people than most expected but of course once again the ignorant electorate votes against itself again. They did, however, give Antoine his due in his loss to his do nothing opponent Peoples.. Tim Kennedy, probably the dirtiest player locally, outspends his challenger and wins again. Arnold got what she deserved as she never was a viable candidate ( I wonder if Russ Thompson has bought some new sneakers to replace those old dirty ones he likes to be photographed wearing). I also wonder who made the call to the radio station, I think you should pursue that Alan, and report on it as well.

  • I am just so very proud of Betty Jean Grant, and the Democrats who supported her, and mostly proud that they stood up to Senator Kennedy and certainly made him work for his re-election. Jeremy Zellner, Mark Poloncarz, Tom Mazur, Darius Pridgen, Tim Whalen and Terry McCracken are GREAT DEMOCRATS for standing by this courageous woman. I believe these leaders represent the very best of our Democratic Party and deserve a lot of credit for bucking “the man” and backing Betty Jean.

    And you sure are right, Alan, that Betty Jean “can go to sleep every night secure in the knowledge that she’s no sellout.” She stands for principle, and fundamentally, she truly is a True Blue Democrat – she always was. And while Betty Jean came up short this time, she most certainly should hold her head high!

    And the Democratic Party did the right thing, too, in supporting Betty Jean with the Democratic endorsement, a vote by the way that was 53-11. They, too, stood on principle and I hope that under similar circumstances, would do it again. Win or lose, you have to stand for something – and they did. Good for them.

    Betty Jean speaks a truth in politics. She is a passionate voice for people who need a strong champion, and I hope she continues that kind of advocacy for a good, long time! And she drives to “typical” politicians just crazy – forcing them to resort to all sorts of underhandedness, and makes them spend untold sums of money because she is the Champion of the People.

    Stay strong Betty Jean Grant – you are the best and by far the most progressive leader in the community!!!! WE NEED YOU NOW MORE THAN EVER!!!!!

    • This result, however, also proves that virtue isn’t going to get you elected. Without strict limits and enforcement on donations, the Cuomo’s and Hochuls and Kennedy’s will just grease everyone’s palms and get elected. Or, as in the case of Teachout and Wu, you need a very good internet communications strategy. Probably both. Betty Jean is an example of old-school. She needs to retool, or she will be wasting everyone’s time.

  • Shame about Grisanti, but not surprising. Not being a spineless, brainless regurgitator of party lines obviously cost him the vote of the gun-hugging anti-human rights voting bloc.

  • In the only anti-Grisanti ad I saw they didn’t bring up gay marriage at all, which I thought was surprising.

  • “Someone tell Pigeon to use a more manly voice when he calls The Edge from now on!!”

  • Cost per vote – Cuomo vs. Teachout

  • “a team of lawyers?” sounds like someone was reading A Confederacy of Dunces.

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