About that Peace and Progress
Saturday 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