Lloyd Should Not Be Canceled


There’s an election coming up next week. Obviously, this means that Buffalonians are expressing their political preferences through tortillas.

As we already know, Lloyd served food at the ICE detention facility in Batavia last week. This resulted in a left-wing reaction and threats of boycotts. As we also know, Lloyd reacted positively to that reaction, issuing an apology and donating the proceeds from that outing to a local refugee organization. 

Immediately, Lloyd was branded by bad-faith right wingers as anti-law enforcement generally, and a massive, viral online boycott campaign ensued. One Facebook group has accumulated almost 4,000 members in a few short days. Anecdotal reports reveal that Lloyd was not treated well at the Bills Game. On Monday, Lloyd’s owners held a press conference to apologize yet again, trying desperately to halt a quickening downward spiral. Although it was an odd, belated effort at crisis management, they declared

We serve all communities, we go to all neighborhoods, we are not political. Why would we be? How can any business choose sides in our politically divided country and ever hope to succeed? We make tacos — not war.

As I wrote last weekI think it’s ok if Lloyd serves food at the Batavia facility. After all, it’s not just ICE prison guards who work there, but custodial staff, administrative staff, attorneys for the detainees, and the detainees’ families that would all be able to buy food. I also think that it’s ok if Lloyd decides never to do that again. I think it’s ok for people to not think it’s ok for Lloyd to serve prison guards, and for Lloyd to respond to them as it did — by apologizing. 

The difference between selling a taco to the general public outside of the ICE detention center and giving away thousands in free food for a Tim Howard fundraiser speaks for itself.

Once a business picks a side in politics or the culture war, that business will face an inevitable backlash. Look at Chik-fil-A. Look at the wedding facilities and vendors that refuse service to same-sex couples. Look at Deep South Taco. But that backlash should, in theory, be less acute now that the people who agree will flock there. Conservative evangelicals, for instance, love to own the libs with Chik-fil-A, and to defend the “religious freedom” of places that discriminate against LGBTQ people. So, if a business responds to pressure from a group on the left, can it expect the same level of support? 

As stupid as you may think this whole nacho-flavored proxy war is – and it is stupid – there are several issues that have been neatly distilled in Buffalo in the last few days that merit at least a cursory examination: 

1. If you bring pressure to bear on a person or entity to encourage it to undertake some ethical or political act or omission, this may result in unintended harm. It may rise to the level of existential threat for that business. Be mindful of this unless your goal is to destroy the business itself.

2. If the business upon whom that pressure (e.g., threats of boycotts, pickets, etc.) reacts positively, and bad things start happening to it, a concomitant show of support for that business’ positive reaction would be fair. If not from a non-profit organization, then at least from the most visible and vocal community leaders who pushed for the ethical change in the first place. If you threatened a viral negative consequence against the business and it reacted positively, then why not offer some positive viral reinforcement

3. If you refuse or fail to offer positive reinforcement for good decisions, then that business is up a trapeze with no safety net. This communicates to others that your threats are empty. You can’t boycott a place you don’t patronize. If you threaten the stick and then withhold the carrot, you’re just stirring controversy without regard for the people who depend on that business for their livelihoods; in this case that includes immigrants and refugees. 

If, as the tired trope goes, “there is no ethical consumption under capitalism” then never mind the Guevara wannabes, for they are few. If your critics reject, ab initio, your very existence, then it’s probably best to ignore and quietly continue to do your thing. When they insist to all and sundry that “brands are not your friends,” then don’t try to be. 

The Battle of Rocket Sauce Ridge made the New York Times, and I highlight this passage, 

“There is no aspect of immigration detention that can survive without for-profit businesses,” said Jennifer Connor, executive director of Justice for Migrant Families of Western New York, an advocacy organization in Buffalo. “I think businesses have to decide what their values are and what kinds of stands they are going to take. There is no not-political stance.”

Justice for Migrant Families of Western New York is the organization to which Lloyd pledged to donate the proceeds of its objectionable Batavia stop. But do all businesses have to “decide what their values are” and “what kinds of stands they are going to take?” Is there a “not-political stance?” Does your plumber or electrician or spin class leader need to pass an ideological purity test? Your taco joint? There exists also a difference between a personal decision to avoid an objectionable business and an organized boycott. 

The first sentence above notes that “immigration detention” cannot “survive without for-profit businesses.” Few things can. A facile slippery-slope argument could be made whereby we wonder where that ends – do restaurants run background checks on patrons to make sure they’re not serving someone who works for ICE? There exist myriad businesses that do not take political stands, others do overtly, and still others do so quietly. Dick’s Sporting Goods loudly decided to stop selling guns. The foundation run by the founders of Chik-fil-A quietly donates to homophobes. Lloyd is a small local business, wholly unlike Dick’s or Chik-fil-A. Deep South Taco donates free food to fundraise for Sheriff Tim Howard. When people criticized Deep South, its conservative owner doubled down and was unapologetic. The critics boycotted. As the Supreme Court ruled, how you spend your money is political speech.

I try to direct how I spend my money by patronizing good actors in the marketplace and not rewarding bad actors. I prefer small local businesses over megachains. I eat Lloyd, but not Deep South. But that’s not the same as a threat of boycott.

What if the owner of Deep South had relented- apologized and made a donation to a non-profit that promotes some social justice? Would its critics have uttered a word of encouragement about spending money there? The power of a boycott is only as strong as the willingness to spend the money. As a personal example, Carl Paladino could be revealed tomorrow to be the messiah and I’d still never park in an Ellicott Lot or buy things at one of his “Trading Company” locations. This leaves me with a sense of satisfaction, but ultimately powerless to influence Paladino’s or Ellicott Development’s behavior because I won’t willingly or knowingly spend money there, no matter what. 

On Facebook and Twitter, I shared someone else’s thoughts about what happened with Lloyd between the time of its original apology for the Batavia / ICE outing and Monday’s re-apology presser. While the pro-ICE brigades mounted a viral anti-Lloyd holy war – unfairly branding Lloyd to be anti-law enforcement writ large, the people and groups who were originally critical of its Batavia outing said and did nothing to support it; to cushion the blow. Lloyd did the right thing and no one had its back.

That’s not to say Lloyd will suddenly do business with no conscience or moral outlook – just that it’s going to be more careful about what it does and to whom it reacts – once bitten, twice shy.

This being Buffalo, the counter-arguments ranged from bare insults to inanity to wild mischaracterizations. The inane likened Lloyd – a locally owned small business – to Target or Wal-Mart. The bad-faith commentators – the erstwhile pals who lobbed ad hominem attacks about my physical appearance and those too insecure in their own argument to @ reply me, were, as always, a treat. For instance:

The “Lloyds ICE fiasco…” isn’t the “fault of the ‘progressive community'” and no one said it was. Lloyd made its own decision and has to live with it; it chose to react positively to pressure from people and groups that didn’t have its back when the chips were down. This is apparently a lesson Lloyd had fully absorbed and digested by Monday. Lloyd has debts to pay, rents to pay, hundreds of employees – many of them immigrants and refugees themselves – to pay. Lloyd serves food. Does that have to be a political act? Not really. Lloyd’s owners could, of course, donate time, goods, and services to groups and causes they believe in. Indeed, I’m sure they do. Whether they choose to make a big deal about it is their business.

So was all of this really about redirecting Lloyd’s behavior, or about something else? Conceding that Lloyd has a reputation generally as a good corporate citizen, critics of the ICE stop could have reached out privately to Lloyd’s easily accessible owners with a “not cool” and redirected Lloyd in a way that would have not resulted in a firestorm. The whole thing could have been handled in a way that achieved the stated goal of advocating for companies to avoid ICE while minimizing harm to Lloyd and its employees. No business is going to risk public humiliation and widespread boycott for an entity that doesn’t have its back.

Once you demand that businesses take a visible and public political stand, you expose that business to blowback from reactionaries. If you’re quick to punish bad behavior, yet withhold support for good behavior, the business is going to learn from that example and not support you or heed your advice again.

You don’t have to believe in capitalism, by the way, to understand the simple point here. Any parent can tell you the value of positive reinforcement for good behavior. 

We can all agree that Lloyd is better at making food than handling crisis communications. I don’t know who has won from all of this. Certainly refugees, immigrants, and inmates in Batavia have gained nothing. Lloyd has gained nothing. Last week’s critics have gained nothing, except a pledge of a donation and perhaps some moral satisfaction. So, cui bono?

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

Tacogate II: Censure Mychajliw


Republicans love to complain about what they term “political correctness,” often going so far as to assert that being empathetic or mindful of others’ feelings is destroying western civilization as we know it. 

Except, of course, when there’s some virtue signaling (another favorite right-wing trope) of their own to do. 

This week, Lloyd sent a taco truck to the Batavia Detention Center, which is a Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility, housing various non-citizens awaiting trial and/or deportation. Many people are outraged over ICE’s conduct under the Trump Administration, most notably the separation of child refugees from their parents or guardians, unlawful indefinite detention of refugees, and lax oversight leading to physical and sexual abuse of detainees, including children. It is indicative of poor management and a complete abdication of the duty the government has to protect the people in its custody.

For a country that once took pride in being a melting pot of immigrants – of being perceived as a beacon of light, justice, and freedom in a dark and unfree world, it’s been quite the harsh, self-inflicted comedown.

It is also indicative of a wildly toxic anti-immigrant, anti-refugee furor that has overtaken the American government and a wide swath of its citizenry in recent years. It is a new fascism wrapped in the flag and holding the Bible, as prophesied. 

Personally, I think it’s ok if Lloyd serves food at the Batavia facility. After all, it’s not just ICE prison guards who work there, but custodial staff, administrative staff, attorneys for the detainees, and the detainees’ families that would all be able to buy food. I also think that it’s ok if Lloyd decides never to do that again. I think it’s ok for people to not think it’s ok for Lloyd to serve prison guards, and for Lloyd to respond to them as it did – by apologizing. 

If you don’t like it, start your own taco truck empire.

Because that’s ultimately what free enterprise is about. “ICE agent” isn’t a protected class under the Civil Rights Act and its progeny, so Lloyd is wholly within its rights to choose not to ever go there again. Not long ago, I criticized a competing taco business for its ties to Sheriff Tim Howard and other Republicans. At that time, of its owner I wrote, 

Richard Hamilton, the owner of Deep South Taco, supports Sheriff Tim Howard. There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with that — he is free to support whomever he wants. 

In fact, he has hosted fundraisers for Howard in the past, and intends to host another one in the near future. He even cuts Howard a deal, with a $1,600 in-kind contribution for food showing up in Howard’s campaign coffers. 

There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with that — he is free to support whomever he wants. 

Hamilton is tight enough with the Howard that he became a “Reserve Deputy Sheriff”. I have no idea what that is, but there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with that — he is free to support whomever he wants. 

I went on to explain my personal decision never to patronize his businesses, and I respect the decisions of people to make the same choice, or not. The same goes for Lloyd. When a company decides to make a political statement, it has to brace for a backlash from the people who disagree. That’s life. For his part, Hamilton is trying to capitalize on the anti-Lloyd brou-ha-ha by offering a 35% discount to law enforcement. I suggested some additional discounts he might consider.

Free speech is fun. 

Never one to shut up when he’s not needed; never one to not insert himself into a controversy that has nothing to do with him, Erie County’s Comptroller and perpetual candidate Stefan Mychajliw piped up. The mission statement for his office reads as follows:The Comptroller’s Office serves as the county and taxpayer’s independent fiscal watchdog, providing fiscal leadership, ensuring fiscal integrity, timely and accurate reporting, and maintaining public trust and accountability through audits, reviews, reports and investigations.

Whilst running for like four different other offices simultaneously, Mychajliw writes: 

This needs to be unpacked not only because of its factual inaccuracies and poor logic, but because it is dangerous. I have to believe – and consistency dictates – that the people who complain most loudly about the insidious nature of political correctness and cancel culture will not succumb to the things they hate most. Right?


First of all, here is the Comptroller – a petty elected bureaucrat; a bean-counter – whose duties are mostly ministerial, directing MAGA cretins to hate on two local businesses. Obviously, the tweet’s original theme had to do with Lloyd, which decided that its five food trucks and two restaurants have a relationship with local refugee and immigrant communities that it would be a betrayal for them to feed ICE guards. Just like Richard Hamilton and his toy badge, Lloyd has the right to not go back to Batavia.

Mychajliw is preening for his MAGA / Bannon followers. He’s running for Congress/Assembly/State Senate/Senate/County Executive by tearing down a beloved local restaurant that employs lots of local people and pays loads of county taxes. But in so doing, he has to invoke the name of Chik-fil-a, and the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The secret is that there was never a plan for Chik-fil-A to come to the airport. Never. It was never booked. It was never even a thing – Delaware North simply included that franchise on a list to the NFTA of potential brands that could conceivably be brought in. Stef knew this, probably, but isn’t above trying to score a virtue-signaling point for the Rus Thompson set.  

I distinctly remember people threatening to sue the NFTA, and the FAA investigating the NFTA, over its supposed refusal to consider leasing to a Chik-fil-A over religious freedom. Chik-fil-A is a fast food joint, not a church. If it wants to be treated like a church, it should become one. There is no statute requiring a public entity to cut a deal with a private business on the basis of religion, and if the NFTA rented to, e.g., Joe’s Halal Chicken Shack the MAGA red hat cadre would be apoplectic – pitchforks and all.

The reason why Mychajliw brings up Chik-fil-A to attack Delaware North and the NFTA is that it is emblematic of the “pwn the libs” ideology that is the centerpiece of Trumpism and modern conservatism. They hate that snowflake soy-latte-drinking libs won’t eat at Chik-fil-A, and to really underscore their outrage over beta lib ideological boycotts, they’ll never eat at Lloyd. I mean, the cognitive dissonance is huge.

To reiterate – Stefan Mychajliw is not a candidate for anything right now. He is a bean-counter with an almost exclusively ministerial job which he executes by calling bingo and visiting senior centers. His instagram is loaded with images of him delivering county checks to local businesses and, thusly, promoting them.Which is fine. 

But against that backdrop of looking out for the taxpayer and promoting small businesses in Erie County, why on Earth would a petty county bureaucrat knowingly take to social media to do harm to a locally-owned, job-creating, taxpaying business? It is beyond irresponsible for Mychajliw to do this to any Erie County company. It is a knowing effort to hurt the business over politics (i.e., his own version of “political correctness”), and this could hurt it and, in turn, county tax revenues. 

There should be a consequence here. There should be a palpable consequence to a bureaucrat using his bully pulpit to effectively harm a locally owned business over a political disagreement. It is political correctness run amok. Furthermore, the notion that it is some evidence of creeping totalitarianism – a taco truck’s non-discriminatory decision about with whom to do business – is so incredibly ignorant and stupid, and something Mychajliw should know better than to suggest. But alas, here we are. Totalitarianism comes from dictatorial government fiat, not from public opinion or private company decision-making.

The radical Bannonite neo-fascist Erie County Comptroller used his bully pulpit to attack an Erie County taxpaying, job-creating business for his own political gain. He put the jobs of hundreds of Erie County residents at risk, as well as the income, property, and sales taxes they pay. All over a political disagreement. It is unconscionable for an elected head of an Erie County bureaucracy to single out a taxpaying Erie County employer like this for economic harm. If he’ll do it to Lloyd, he’ll do it to any small local business to advance his own craven self-interest.

Someone on the Erie County Legislature should immediately introduce a resolution condemning the Comptroller’s wildly reckless attack on an Erie County business, and formally censuring him for knowingly doing harm to an Erie County-based company which employs Erie County residents, all of whom pay to Erie County property and sales taxes – directly or not.

“Free The Press Canada” Could Have Called

Sweet mother of God, it’s not every day I get accused of being a defender of that certain website, or that I’m somehow in league with Roger Stone, but there’s a first time for everything.

If you have a solid hour to spare, go read this blog post that purports to link – in excruciating detail – a local purveyor of fake news with Roger Stone, and name-checks me as somehow nefariously involved. Amy MacPherson of “Free the Press Canada” did quite a thorough job, except for the part where she didn’t reach out to me to ask me about certain details about which she writes.

In the absence of Ms. MacPherson’s message, I’ll address her “reporting” and conclusions here.

Although Alan Bedenko plays a bit part in this saga, it is an important role because he appeared on CBC News to represent Matthew Ricchiazzi and the Buffalo Chronicle.

I did not appear on the CBC to “represent” them; I appeared to indict them – to offer a WNY perspective into a matter of apparent Canadian media urgency.

Bendenko portrayed himself as an enemy of Ricchiazzi, backed by a blog entry he posted about Parlato’s apprentice. In it he embedded the full segment by Adrienne Arsenault, even though it’s not readily available for Canadians to find on the CBC website (original with video / archive without video).

(All is [sic], by the way). I’m not an “enemy” of his, per se – I am an enemy of lies and harassment and fake scandal.

In the short interview he did not disclose that he had been a lawyer for Erie County and known Ricchiazzi for several years in the course of municipal and state politics. He didn’t disclose that he engaged with Ricchiazzi at Parlato’s sister website ArtVoice, where the latter two regularly published along with Roger Stone (original / archive). He didn’t allude to knowing anything about Matthew Ricchiazzi’s agenda, or that his attack on the Canadian election was a concerted effort as opposed to a one-off fake news specimen.

The interview took almost an hour, but a very small portion of it was aired. To say I was a “lawyer for Erie County” is somewhat misleading – until June 2018, I worked for a firm that represented the county, defending it in lawsuits; I was not a county employee.

Here’s where this goes off the rails, though.

I left Artvoice on November 10, 2014. At that time, it was still owned by Jamie Moses. At no time during my tenure at Artvoice did I “engage with Ricchiazzi”, nor did I ever write for Artvoice after Parlato bought it. I never published – not once, nor “regularly” with Roger Stone at Artvoice or anywhere else.

As for that website’s motive for inserting itself into – or creating – controversies in Canadian politics, I have absolutely no knowledge of that. Anything I suggest would be speculative.

Alan Bedenko has been involved with Matthew Ricchiazzi since at least 2012, when he participated in the uproar about the Seneca casino for a Buzzfeed article and the subsequent banter about it on Twitter (original / archive). Bedenko’s handle is @BuffaloPundit and he curiously tagged two bystanders into the conversation. One of those accounts belongs to a Russian who doesn’t follow or interact with anyone. It’s a suspicious account to say the least (original / archive). As Bedenko didn’t provide his full disclosure for the CBC News broadcast, it leaves much to the imagination why a strange Russian account was deemed important to the exchange about Ricchiazzi.

Actually, I have been “involved” with him since I first became aware of him during his failed mayoral run in 2009. As for that 2012 set of Tweets relating to that person’s use of a still from a gay porn movie, I “tagged two bystanders” because it was Paul Dub who originally asked about it on Twitter.

At that time, in 2012, @ChrisSmithAV (which is now a Russian account) was run by Chris Smith. At the time, Chris was a colleague at Artvoice, and before 2011 at WNYMedia.net.

I’m not sure why a Twitter exchange with Chris Smith in 2012, together with the fact that Chris’ then-account is now hijacked by some Russian, should have been disclosed in the 2019 CBC report.

Furthermore, Alan Bedenko, as a qualified lawyer, suggested that Ricchiazzi may have a relationship with the Maggadinos, Todaros, and “Butchie Bifocals”. Free The Press Canada is aware the first two are part of the Buffalo Italian Mafia and that includes the Musitano crime bosses who were murdered in Hamilton, Ontario due to the ongoing turf wars. They are all part of the same organized crime family network.

I didn’t suggest it; the other guy did. He specifically set forth in his “contract” of demands to the CBC that questions about the mob would be off-limits. I found this curious and worthy of mention.

The suggestion of mafia is especially unsettling, given that Frank Parlato defended a biker gang accused of making pipe bombs and in the process he cited Angelo Musitano, who was the top boss until he was murdered in Waterdown, Ontario. These hotspots are all around the area where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was required to wear a bulletproof vest to be able to give campaign speeches. This disturbing reference was made by Parlato on Ricchiazzi’s Buffalo Chronicle (original / archive).

Again: I never worked with or published alongside Parlato or Ricchiazzi. Indeed, a quick Google search would reveal that I have been massively critical of Parlato in the past. A similar Google search (or a phone call, email, or Tweet) would reveal years’ worth of Tweets and posts critical of that other guy.

As a side note, I will add that the article in question borrows heavily from matters written about this topic that are found at the “BuffaloRecord” WordPress site. What the author doesn’t realize – because she didn’t ask – is that “BuffaloRecord” is the archive of Chris Smith’s and my articles from WNYMedia.net and Artvoice from about 2007 until November 2014, when we left Artvoice. So in one instance, Ms. MacPherson cites my work, and in the next she accuses me of being in cahoots with Ricchiazzi, Parlato, and Roger Stone.

Chris Collins’ Coda


This is the second – and hopefully the last – epitaph I need to write on the political career of Christopher Collins. The first is here. His governmental record is, on balance, replete with abject failure. He was a disastrous County Executive who spent wildly to implement dubious corporate hocus-pocus, with little effect. He raised taxes and cut critical services on which citizens relied. He was openly hostile to Erie County’s cultural institutions and used his public office for private gain. 

Yet after a humiliating defeat in 2010, he re-emerged in 2012 to narrowly win a seat representing the most conservative district in New York. 

It is fitting that the resignation of former Representative Chris Collins (R-Club Fed) should come within a week after the House of Representatives formally commenced its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s various, sundry, and myriad misdeeds. After all, Collins was the first Congressman to formally and publicly support Trump’s candidacy, and remained one of Trump’s most steadfast Congressional supporters right up until last week. 

Birds of a felonious feather flock together. 

It was last summer that Collins was first indicted for securities fraud and insider trading. I wrote then: [b]efore we go on, I have this to say directly to my Congressman: Resign. Now. We deserved better than you; we deserve better than you. You are in it only for yourself and your cronies, and that has palpably been true since day one of your benighted tenures in public “service”. 

Despite efforts to challenge the government’s evidence based on the Speech or Debate Clause‘s immunity shield, the government simply put forth a superseding indictment that avoided that pitfall. After a year of constantly gaslighting his beleaguered constituents by falsely proclaiming his innocence, Collins is at long last about to come clean, and receive the reckoning he deserves. 

It wasn’t too long ago that Collins gave an interview to Channel 4 where he confidently predicted his exoneration on these insider trading charges. As recently as July 30th, Collins held a press conference and declared, 

“I am innocent of the charges,” Collins said. “Why would I ever even enter a plea deal? I’m innocent.”

He called it a “circumstantial case” that prosecutors through “some tunnel vision decided to take.”

“I’m quite comfortable where I’ll be at the end of all this, which is not guilty,” Collins said.

It looks more likely that Collins clung to his Congressional office as leverage in his corruption prosecution. 

Rather than recount the misdeeds of Chris Collins, the Congressman (try this and this), or rejoice in his self-immolation, let us take a moment to seethe. 

After all, Chris Collins is a crook and a liar. 

He used his public office for personal gain. He leveraged his influence in Congress to advance the interests of at least one business in which he owned a massive stake. He wasn’t looking out for his constituents – he was looking out for himself and his friends and family. Assuming a guilty plea, I hope he gets some time in prison and then moves to Florida and never darkens WNY again. 

Guys like Collins (and there are many around here) think this is all a big joke – “public service”. They should be using their office to protect and lift up the weakest and most vulnerable in our community, but repeatedly and chronically use power to comfort the comfortable and further to afflict harm on the already afflicted. It would come as no surprise that the first and loudest Trump supporter goes down a convicted felon. The criminality and egotism was perverse and pervasive. 

If he’s pleading guilty, then he’s known of his guilt all this time. He strung us all along – his supporters and detractors alike – proclaiming a non-existent innocence, predicting an exoneration that will never come. He stole from us our right to be represented in Congress by someone who had our back, who was looking out for our best interests. He stole that from us just as surely as he stole from the investors in Innate Immunotherapeutics to whom he did not provide that juicy inside scoop. He is a crook. He is a thief. He is a liar and a cheat and a scoundrel and a criminal. 

A dozen years ago, he promised to lift Erie County out of the ashes of another, dramatic Republican financial disaster with promises of “running government like a business.” Did his Six Sigma black belt inform his decision to cut a plea now? Was it for the sake of efficiency? Did he finally confront his likelihood of success at trial and decide to streamline the inevitable process? 

Last November, we could have elected a representative who actually cared about representing this constituency. We could have elected a representative who would look out for the little guy, rather than his millionaire buddies and his own wallet. And we came so close. But Collins convinced his Trump-supporting base that it was all lies, all a big smear, and that they would be better off with an indicted Congressman stripped of all committee posts rather than a Democrat. More lies. There was nothing so consistent as Chris Collins’ cynicism, and his reliance that his voters would always pick a party label over a candidate’s merits. 

When his journey through the criminal justice system is over, Christopher Collins will always be a convict and a disgrace. He is now just another corrupt Republican politician representing the reddest district in the state to leave office in ignominy. The third in a row, actually. 

The parade of Republican millionaires and clowns salivating over this vacancy will keep us entertained for weeks – especially given the massive cloud of corruption that is the Trump Administration. Every one of these power-hungry clones will trip over each other to pledge undying fealty to the Maximum Leader. As that party keeps sinking, looking for that elusive bottom, those of us who knew what Collins was this whole time will drink a toast to being right. We will also lament all of the lost opportunities we had to be properly represented. 

We didn’t have to agree all the time, Mr. Collins. We didn’t have to have a perfect Congressman. But I think we deserved a Congressman who cared about more than scoring cheap political points.

You’re resigning? However will we know the difference?

Good riddance. 

(Updated 10/4 to replace deleted Tweet with screen capture)