The End of the Clarence GOP’s Hartzell Experiment

casiliokloss

In 2011, political newcomer David Hartzell (R) challenged and narrowly defeated the incumbent Clarence Town Supervisor Scott Bylewski – a rare elected Democrat in that Republican citadel. The Conservative fusion party had abandoned Bylewski, most likely because he wouldn’t violate the town’s master plan and push through the zoning changes needed to build a massive Wegmans on the Clarence side of Transit Road. To make sure Bylewski’s political coffin was securely sealed, the town’s right-wing establishment also mounted a campaign of personal destruction against him, which was as heartless as it was comically hypocritical.

In 2011, Clarence Republican Committee chairman Dan Michnik wrote this letter to the Clarence Bee in support of Hartzell’s candidacy:

As chairman of the Clarence Republican Committee, I am very proud that our committee unanimously endorsed David Hartzell for Clarence supervisor. His business experience, coupled with substantial volunteer work in the Clarence community, makes him uniquely qualified to serve the taxpayers and make decisions that will make our community a better place to work, live and raise a family.

His four children all graduated from Clarence High School, and one is now proudly serving our country overseas as a Navy Seal. As a fiscal conservative, he will hold the line on taxes and root out wasteful spending in town government.

As a successful businessman, he not only knows how to lead, but he knows how to listen also. His leadership is based on transparency and respect for others, and I fully expect Dave to continue these policies as Clarence supervisor. His record on the Clarence Industrial Development Agency is a pro-business, pro-growth agenda that seeks to make strategic investments in local businesses, with the ultimate goal of creating jobs. I would urge the taxpayers of Clarence to take a close look at Dave Hartzell’s private sector record and his platform and plan for Clarence. I know he will make a tremendous supervisor, creating jobs, growing local businesses and improving our quality of life.

Dan Michnik

Hartzell won, and the town board enjoyed its reversion to one-party rule.

For a time, anyway.

Along the way, something happened.

Fast forward to May 2015, when the Republicans shunned Hartzell in favor of town board member and local developer Pat Casilio. In July 2015, here’s what Michnik wrote to the Bee:

The Clarence Republican Committee is pleased to announce the slate of candidates chosen by the members at their endorsement meeting held May 19.

They are Patrick Casilio for supervisor, Robert Geiger and Christopher Greene for councilmen, Nancy Metzger for town clerk and Robert Sillars for town justice.

Casilio earned the committee’s endorsement for supervisor because of his integrity, work ethic, history of public service, and his commitment to always put the Town of Clarence first.

Councilman Robert Geiger earned our endorsement for another term because of his sound judgment, his ethics, and his hard work on behalf of all of the town’s residents.

Christopher Greene is a newcomer to the slate for councilman. His youth and enthusiasm to get things done will bring new energy to the board.

Nancy Metzger and Robert Sillars are seeking re-election to their current positions. Their experience, leadership and sound judgment also earns our endorsement.

Our committee believes in selecting candidates that put Clarence’s needs and best interests first. We want the best candidate for the job. We think that all of our endorsed candidates have the experience, integrity and dedication to the town that will guide us in the right direction for our future. We ask for your continuing support to elect the best candidates for the Town of Clarence.

Daniel A. Michnik

The Republicans kicked Hartzell to the curb, but don’t really tell you why or what happened. They don’t address why they so enthusiastically endorsed Hartzell over Bylewski in 2011, only to abandon him at the first possible chance. Put another way, in 2011, Michnik’s club picked Hartzell to oust an excellent, intelligent Supervisor; if Michnik was so drastically, fundamentally wrong in 2011, why should we believe him now? I don’t much know or care about the ins and outs of Clarence Republican politics, but I have to surmise that Hartzell must have really been just awful for them to have rejected him after just one term, no?

Maybe it was the raises that Hartzell gave himself?

Before election day 2011, outgoing Democratic Supervisor Bylewski had actually cut the Supervisor’s rate of pay for 2012 from $77,096 to $76,357.  Hartzell was sworn into office in January 2012, and reckoned that he deserved more. So in 2013, he bumped himself from $76,357 all the way up to $78,648. That’s a $2,300 raise – 3% – for a part-time job! Not satisfied, in 2013, Hartzell gave himself – with the Republican town board’s help – another $500 raise, from $78,648 to $79,148.

Maybe it was the 2014 audit of the town’s vehicle and fuel use? The state found that controls were lax, resulting in waste – not a headline that residents of any party were especially excited to see.

Some of us saw it coming, though. Here’s what I wrote in 2011:

The town race has been exquisitely ugly this year, thanks in no small part to the execrable Joe Weiss and his puppet, Dave Hartzell. Bylewski enjoys bipartisan support from people who truly care about the town and the direction in which it’s going. His opponents have proven themselves to be a dirty, hypocritical collection of fetid assholes whose idea of good government is to lie to town residents when they’re not berating them. Don’t be fooled by the lies and deception – Bylewski is working hard to keep the town on the right track, despite myriad pressures from many sides to go against the town’s land use constitution.

“Dirty, hypocritical collection of fetid assholes” has a nice ring to it, especially when you recall members like Joe Weiss.  In 2010, someone using Hartzell’s phone number (he denied it) sent out a horribly tasteless “Clarence offers to buy the City of Buffalo” April Fools Day prank. Hartzell opposed moving the Williamsville toll east towards Pembroke, inexplicably calling it Transit Road’s “golden goose”. There was also this, this, Hartzell’s comical behavior at the candidate forum, and a ton of picayune nonsense about stolen campaign signs. I even wrote about shady Republican fundraising in 2011 over the Hartzell race.

Now? Michnik writes – again – to the Clarence Bee demanding that Hartzell return contributions his campaign received from Michele Brown’s Family Court campaign committee. Not to be out-done, the 26-year incumbent town clerk – running unopposed yet again – endorses Hartzell’s opponent, Pat Casilio, who would be the eighth (8th) supervisor with whom she’ll have worked. It’s funny because Republicans are usually the very first and loudest to condemn career politicians. Here’s what she has to say:

I have worked with seven supervisors and have never experienced such disconnect from the operation of the town. The town has been running on autopilot for the last three and a half years without a dedicated leader.

Maybe you should have supported Bylewski in ’11. He was a very “dedicated leader”.

I should not have businesspeople tell me the supervisor ripped them off, or that he will only meet with them at a restaurant and they have to pay for lunch. Every applicant that comes before a board should not be solicited for a campaign donation.

Metzger supported Hartzell in 2011. You break it, you bought it.

Who else endorses Casilio? How about soon-to-be-former Councilman Bernie Kolber, whom the Republican committee shunned on the same day as they did Hartzell. Also publicly endorsing Casilio is Peter DiCostanzo, who inexplicably used his power on the board to fight petty battles against dedicated volunteers. The only check on such abuses of power and childish fits of pique is public outcry.  The Republicans have even gone so far as to send out lit (citing my columns) calling Hartzell that most unspeakable of Clarence slurs – a Democrat.

I appreciate the linkage, but the notion that Hartzell – who isn’t seeking or running on the Democratic line, and who ousted a Democratic Supervisor by a very slim margin – is a Democrat is laughable. Clarence Republicans enjoy 100% ownership of the Hartzell fiasco. Indeed, Hartzell’s victory in 2011 effectively put an end to the town’s Democratic committee until 2013.

As the mailer notes, in late July, we revealed how Michele Brown’s campaign – which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Pigeon Preetsmas Gang – paid Hartzell over $5,000 for petitioning. What better way to get Republican signatures for Brown on the (R) line than to solicit the help of the embattled Republican incumbent Supervisor? The money was reported as a contribution to Hartzell’s committee, and I got pushback from Brown’s lawyer, Joseph Makowski, on that point.  Makowski claimed that the payments weren’t contributions, but effectively payments made to Hartzell (or his committee) as a vendor.

Here’s how they appeared at the time – listed as expenditures.

It’s still listed that way:

Those are from Brown’s reports. Hartzell’s show the following, and note that the entries were changed in August.

and this:

So, there exists a Board of Elections ruling that dealt with these transfers of funds from Brown’s campaign committee to Hartzell’s campaign committee for, presumably, petitions. But instead of being listed as a straight cash contribution, it’s now listed as a “campaign to campaign transfer”. That seems more appropriate, but Hartzell still lists these sums as contributions to his campaign committee rather than, as Makowski assured me, a payment made to a vendor. If Hartzell was just a vendor selling petitioning services, is his campaign now an LLC or even a DBA? If these sums were paid for services rendered and not a contribution, why is Hartzell listing it as the latter? Why wouldn’t Brown’s campaign just list the individuals who did the petitioning? Even if it was just for convenience’s sake, it remains exceedingly unusual for one campaign to make a contribution or payment to another campaign committee for goods or services.

Who were these individual petitioners that Republican incumbent Supervisor Hartzell retained to perform these services? You can see payments of about $80 – $100 going to individuals for “consulting” services on this page.

The consultants Hartzell paid include Victor Adragna, a Buffalo Democrat, who was paid $88 on June 5th and 13th. Tina Bromund, an unenrolled Cheektowaga voter, was paid $88 on June 5th. Nancy Ferrucci, an Orchard Park Democrat was paid $88 on June 5th. Kimberly LaJudice, a Buffalo Democrat, was paid $72 on June 5th. Ellie Allen, an Amherst Democrat, was paid $88 on June 5th and $94 on June 6th. Joelle Pollak, an East Amherst Democrat, was paid $102 on June 3rd and $66 on June 13th. Also at that same address were Sarah Schultz and Jessica Martin – a Republican and Democrat, respectively, who were paid $77 each on June 13th. Sandra Barile, a Depew Republican, was paid $1,823.72 on June 13th.

The petitions collected for the Hartzell effort were, apparently, all obtained by David Hartzell, Carolyn Hartzell, Ryan Hartzell, and Michael Preggo. No other name appears as a witness to any petition page, except one – you can check them here and here.   Yet, it appears from the July 2015 expense form that myriad people were paid to petition, or – more unlikely – that Hartzell is busy obtaining political consulting services from a gaggle of mostly Democratic 20-somethings living in Buffalo and Amherst. Did Hartzell take the money from Michele Brown’s campaign to hire a bunch of “consultants” to just get her petitions signed, or did he, Carolyn, Ryan, and Michael get them all? What’s going on here? Hartzell personally obtained almost 100 signatures in one day, or did he sign off on the labor of others?

Here’s Hartzell’s mailer, which arrived over this past weekend in Republicans’ mailboxes:

And the other side:

A candidate is generally forbidden from citing an opinion poll in campaign literature. If he does, he has to file its complete results and data with the Board of Elections. Under § 6201.2 of the Election Law,

No candidate, political party or committee shall attempt to promote the success or defeat of a candidate by, directly or indirectly, disclosing or causing to be disclosed, the results of a poll relating to a candidate for such office or position, unless within 48 hours after such disclosure, they provide the following information concerning the poll to the board or officer with whom statements or copies of statements of campaign receipts and expenditures are required to be filed by the candidate to whom such poll relates:

(a) The name of the person, party or organization that contracted for or who commissioned the poll and/or paid for it.

(b) The name and address of the organization that conducted the poll.

(c) The numerical size of the total poll sample, the geographic area covered by the poll and any special characteristics of the population included in the poll sample.

(d) The exact wording of the questions asked in the poll and the sequence of such questions.

(e) The method of polling—whether by personal interview, telephone, mail or other.

(f) The time period during which the poll was conducted.

(g) The number of persons in the poll sample; the number contacted who responded to each specific question; the number of persons contacted who did not so respond.

(h) The results of the poll.

Unless Hartzell made this disclosure to the Board of Elections, he’s broken the law. Again. Also – “unanimous”? Enough is enough with this guy.

As a Democrat in Clarence, my ballot will feature only two races – the Democratic primary for Family Court Judge, and the Democratic primary for town Justice. (Justin Kloss – who is not enrolled in any party and is therefore independent, is the only endorsed Democrat for any office.) Republicans get to pick who gets to run for Supervisor in November against … no one. So, Thursday’s primary election is the whole shebang, and it will only be decided by a small percentage of enrolled members of the town’s Republican Party. There is no primary on the Conservative or Independence lines, so if Hartzell is out Thursday, he’s out.

The local Republicans’ realization that Hartzell was a bad choice came four years too late, and to the detriment of the town and her residents – it was political malpractice. If they would deliberately and viciously remove a perfectly competent incumbent, only to foist upon us someone even they quickly became unable to stand – politically and personally – it calls into serious question their judgment and leadership in all things. Let’s be clear: in 2011, when the Clarence Republican committee conspired with the corrupt minor lines to jettison Bylewski, it wasn’t acting in the best interests of the town.  Instead, it was a simple power grab cloaked in lies and phony moralizing. Out of that came David Hartzell’s tenure, and I contemporaneously warned you that he was a bad choice.

I may be what some call a “liberal jihadist“, but I guess we liberal jihadists can smell malignant BS a mile away. Good to know.

On Thursday November 10th, I urge Clarence voters to vote for Justin Kloss for town justice, and Pat Casilio for town Supervisor.

Joe Mascia on Gerrymandering & his Goons Referred to DA

Joe Mascia, about whom I’ve recently written hereherehere, and here, has chutzpah. Even though he was caught on tape calling some of Buffalo’s African-American elected officials horrible racial epithets, and refusing to exit the race for the Fillmore District Council seat, he is now claiming to be the anti-racism candidate.

It hasn’t been reported that Mascia’s campaign treasurer recently quit, joining Mascia’s original campaign manager.

Also, the Mascia operatives who attempted to manufacture a case against Franczyk aide and attorney Mike Kuzma may soon find themselves in some real trouble. Kuzma’s attorney, Daire Irwin, has referred the matter to the District Attorney’s office in the hopes that the Mascia’s goons are prosecuted for filing a false police report.

Undeterred, Mascia is continuing with his doomed-to-fail campaign by whining about gerrymandering and accusing Francyzk of racism in the expansion of his district to include more predominately white districts. From a press release,

Commissioner Joe Mascia is demanding that 28 year Councilman David Franczyk explain the racism behind the redistricting map that he drew while he was Council President.

During the 2010 redistricting process, then Council President David Franczyk gerrymandered himself a district so contorted for blatantly racial motivations, that it has attracted national criticism from academics at UC Berkeley and in national publications, including The New York Times.

In drawing himself a Whiter district, he simultaneously stole a Black district from the Eastside, a Latino district from the Westside, and a gay district from the Elmwood Village — so that he could use White voters in Allentown to get reelected.

Racism that is codified in public policy is egregious and offensive.  Let’s start talking about the issues that matter.

(See the attached map of current Common Council districts. Note that now-Council President Darius Pridgen lives on the Erie Basin Marina.)

A gay district?

Mascia is being hilarious here, and it’s hard to know whether it’s intentional or not. After all, it’s a tough row to hoe for him to whine about the whiteness of Franczyk’s district, given that its expansion included Marine Drive – offering Mascia himself the opportunity to run for that council seat – and, well, the fact that Mascia is a Caucasian of Italian descent who was recently caught on tape referring to the Mayor, a Councilmember, an Assemblywoman, and others as “ni**er” and “tizzun”.

The press release included a crudely-written graphic, which I’ve fixed for you.

Note the highlights. Who writes “way more”? If Franczyk stole a “black district” and added it to Fillmore, how is that “racist”?

If we are to have a person work to bridge the racial divide, Joe Mascia seems the last person to do that. If you’re going to complain about racial gerrymandering, those complaints ring hollow given the fact that Mascia is also white. He won’t be elected and he’s wasting his time, and I’m sure any push to replace our current redistricting scheme with a mathematical “planning approach to local redistricting” could find quite literally anyone else to promote it, and be a more effective communicator for it.

Paladino on Shredd & Ragan

Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino’s batting average on local radio programs is in the toilet.

First, Sandy Beach embarrassed him with respect to Paladino’s misguided support of racist joke Joe Mascia. Shredd and Ragan spoke with me about it on July 31st.

On Wednesday morning, Paladino called in to the Shredd & Ragan show around 9:30 am and Tom Ragan did a great job. The topic was Paladino’s behavior on the school board, which has been combative, uncompromising, and characteristically obnoxious. Paladino is proud of that noxious behavior, and thinks he’s accomplishing something, and Ragan explained to him why that wasn’t so.

On at least a few occasions, Paladino referred to “the blacks”, “them”, and “they”, clearly delineating race as the dividing line between him and his enemies on the board, when that’s not remotely necessary. Paladino made it as crystal clear as could be that his goal is the complete dismantling of not only the public teachers’ union, but of public education in Buffalo as it exists today. He wants to replace everything with charter schools or vouchers because Nichols costs less per pupil than BPS, and also arglebargle.

Paladino demands that his hand-picked superintendent candidate – Kevin Eberle – be selected as deputy if Kriner Cash is hired for the top job. Ragan rightly pointed out what a set-up that is; if Cash does something Carl doesn’t like, or acts too slowly for Carl’s liking, he’ll just shoot off an email blast demanding his resignation. Ragan implored Paladino to at least give Cash a month. Astonishingly, Paladino treated this like some sort of conspiracy theory, rather than an accurate recitation of a particular M.O.

Ragan asked Paladino to cut it out calling people “blacks”, and Paladino essentially refused, accusing Ragan of being one of those “liberal” “socialists” who scream “racism” all the time, and then telling Ragan that he’d send him “some stuff”.

Listen to the whole thing – it’s an eye-opener. Imagine the Buffalo News comments section coming to life and its very essence being embodied by one wealthy and influential man who now presides over the calculated, planned destruction of a public school system.

I think the whole area has gone mad.

Kuzma to Refer Goons to D.A.

In case you missed it as part of the overall Joe Mascia story, you need to stop and go read this story about how two of Mascia’s operatives tried to manufacture a little attention for themselves at Fillmore District Common Councilman David Franczyk’s office earlier this month.

There, I wrote,

Kuzma then suggested to the detective, “what about charging them with filing a false police report?” The hunt is now on to see what, exactly, was contained in the complainants’ police report.

Here is the police report (you can click to enlarge):

Kuzma says he will be forwarding this information, as well as the identity of his witnesses, to the District Attorney’s office in the hopes that they will prosecute these complainants for filing a false police report.

Paladino Beached

carlsandy

I never thought I’d be praising WBEN’s Sandy Beach for aggressively taking on dumb people and racism, but this Joe Mascia thing seems to have brought out the best in him. Late last week, Beach eviscerated Mascia himself, who called in as part of his fauxpology tour. On Wednesday night, however, Carl “Damn Asians” Paladino expressed his continuing support for the deadbeat Mascia, and Beach took that up as his topic on Thursday. Indeed, I saw a lot of Carl cultists expressing dismay and disbelief over that decision.

The list of people defending Mascia is small and malevolent.

Paladino called in sometime just before lunchtime Thursday and it was a simply jaw-dropping call. It left Paladino hanging up sounding defeated. Here is the audio:

I also live-Tweeted it:

I heard David Bellavia bring up the topic generally, pivoting it into a discussion about a typical WBEN trope – political correctness run amok. It’s the excuse Carl tried to use, and it’s weak.

It’s weak because nine times out of ten, the people whining about being victims of “political correctness” are defending themselves for having behaved like assholes. I posited it this way for Bellavia: there’s a fine line between “political correctness run amok” and common human decency. One example I heard on the afternoon drive was about how Seinfeld can’t perform at colleges because these kids are so PC, and a caller called these people “weak”. No. The difference is that the younger generation doesn’t want to be treated like shit by some asshole.

That right there is, to me, the central theme of the anti-PC whinging – it’s people defending their right to be complete assholes to other people. We see it, for instance, in Lancaster with the “Redskins” controversy. Calling your team a racist epithet may have been just swell, or the bee’s knees 70 years ago, but we’ve evolved as a society to the point where it’s not ok to denigrate American Indians, or to treat them as less than people. We’ve grown to the point (or, at least, we’re trying) where we acknowledge their basic humanity. The people whining about how the effort to change the name to the “Legends” is PC run amok are merely fighting for their ability to continue to be assholes about Native American people.

Coming back to l’affaire Mascia, Carl Paladino whining like a baby to Sandy Beach about “political correct liberals” is shorthand for his true intent, which is to defend and excuse Joe Mascia’s asshole behavior.

Is it PC to complain or condemn someone calling an Italian a “wop”, a Jewish person a “kike”, a Black person a “nigger”? Well, I suppose it is, within the dictionary definition – the use of those epithets is improper, inappropriate, and disqualifies anyone from running for public office. If you willingly use words that dehumanize an entire group of people, you are not fit to serve anyone. But is it unreasonable political correctness? Absolutely not – again, condemnation of someone using racial epithets, or someone who deliberately picks on an entire race of people to make a falsely and inaccurately lie about how they are subsidized by taxpayers or steal college slots from American kids, that’s you being an asshole, and people are right to condemn you for being an asshole. If your defense is, “you’re PC!” rather than, “sorry I lied and picked on an entire race of people who look different than I”, then you’re just an old joke of a fossil.

Carl Paladino and Joe Mascia may have grown up in old Italian families, but just because your forefathers might have called black people “tizzun” or “nigger” doesn’t give you some special license to continue the practice. That, after all, was Paladino’s best defense. It was laughable, and frankly raises the question of whether he uses that word himself, coming from a similar background. The outrageous logic – Paladino said what Mascia did was ok because he was only calling individual black people “nigger”, not the whole race. It was likely the stupidest thing I heard in a week of unrelenting stupidity.

Mascia and Paladino: BFFs

Courtesy of Tommunist.com

Courtesy of Tommunist.com

On Twitter, someone commented that Mascia must have, “missed the thing about integrity is what you do in private.”

Generally speaking, you can get away with saying you’re not racist so long as you’re not, I dunno, caught on tape calling black political leaders “fucking nigger” multiple times, “camel jockey” once, and “tizzun” once. Rod Watson’s column in the Buffalo News, however, posits a very important question about racism and the perception of racism.

On the one hand, Mascia has spent time fighting for BMHA tenants of all races, but is caught on tape blurting out horrible racist things. On the other hand you have Carl Paladino, who has forwarded emails just as racist and disgusting, and who has used subtle codes to express his feelings about people not like he, but

One’s racial slur draws immediate condemnation and calls for his political exile, from both black and white members of the political establishment, as well as other members of his own board. The other’s racist rants and forwarding of emails depicting the black president and first lady in despicable terms drew silence from those same elected officials.

Watson concludes that it’s easy to condemn Mascia because he’s a nobody; a little-known, essentially powerless gadfly. Yet few people stand up to Paladino,

…a wealthy developer and political power broker whose money and influence seem to have neutered the principles that other leaders apply so easily against Mascia.

This is true. Mascia has no business, at this point, being anywhere near elected public office because he has disqualified himself from it. His casual, repeated use of hateful racial slurs are, frankly, inexcusable. In all of his public pronouncements, he’s expressed remorse over those words, but he’s much more upset over having been caught.

I have no idea, thankfully, how Carl Paladino privately refers to people who don’t look, act, or think like he, but he’s at least never been caught using race-hate on tape. A few weeks ago, he told reporters with mics and cameras about how those “damn Asians” were coming to take slots at UB away from real American kids. When challenged, Paladino made a fauxpology, as the Buffalo News reported,

Paladino said he does not take issue with the fact that foreign students attend UB, but thinks their education should not be subsidized by taxpayers. He said he selected Asians as an example of out-of-state students because it is easy to assume they are not from the area, an assumption for which he apologized.

UB made it clear that Paladino’s feeble “point” about foreign students being subsidized is false and inaccurate; they pay their full ride, and they pay it in cash. They can’t claim New York domicile by attending school because they’re here on student visas that automatically disqualify them from doing so. But the real racism here is the notion that Paladino reckons that Asians probably “are not from the area”, which is just fundamentally inaccurate (New York is a big state, by the way, and it’s got Asians in it), and picking on a racial group because of their non-Caucasian appearance – there’s a word for that and the word is “racist”.

Yet while Mascia is pilloried in the media and community for calling the Mayor a horrible racist epithet, Paladino skates. Where’s Sandy Beach to viciously cross-examine Carl Paladino about not only his anti-Asian animus, but the falsity of his underlying charge about “subsidizing” foreign students?

Hulk Hogan gets caught on tape using the word, “nigger”, and he apologizes and the WWE scrubs all evidence of his very existence. Joe Mascia gets caught on tape using the word, “nigger”, and he’s running for public office, and now being defended by…

Carl Paladino.

You cannot make this stuff up.

Oh, yeah. Carl’s not a racist – he’ll laughably threaten to sue you for defamation if you think that of him and express itHe just supports the racist guy. Carl’s not a racist, he just thinks it’s cool to say that Dr. Pamela Brown and Dr. James Williams were hired simply because they were black. Carl’s not a racist, he just sends around emails showing the President and First Lady dressed as a pimp and ‘ho in full blaxploitation garb. Carl’s not a racist, he just sends his buddies emails with links to videos of African tribesmen dancing, calling it the rehearsal for the Obama inauguration. Carl’s not a racist, he just selects people who look different from him, calls them “damn Asians” and accuses them of stealing opportunities and tax dollars from real Americans.

Wednesday afternoon, Mascia defiantly refused to leave the race for the Fillmore District. Forget the racism for a second – this guy still owes about $10,000 to people for his past runs for County Legislature and Assembly. Every penny he takes in for his city race should go to pay off his creditors. He’s unelectable because he can’t handle money, and he’s a racist dummy. Here is his statement (obviously [sic])

Mascia is now in full victim mode, and oblivious when it comes to crisis management. You don’t double down and become Mr. Self-Righteous. You bow out and re-examine what you’ve become. This behavior is, alas, some sort of oddball narcissism. At this point, you have to assume that Mascia is digging the attention.

But in the end, here is the real insanity with respect to all of this: Paladino’s support and defense of the guy who called black political leaders “fucking niggers”:

Carl P. Paladino, the 2010 Republican candidate for governor and member of the Buffalo School Board, said Wednesday that Mascia represents the only “balance against corruption in the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.” He added that tapes of Mascia’s recent “N-word” characterization of several African-American politicians result from a “purposeful attack on him.”

See? Carl agrees – Mascia is the real victim because that audiotape viciously recorded Mascia’s words, verbatim. Carl, too, has been a victim of that insidious practice when the media recorded his thoughts about students foreign and Asian.

“They’re going after a guy who keeps going out on a limb about corruption,” he said. “He should be respected, and I don’t see anybody buying into this racist stuff.”

Carl Paladino, the Italian-American multi-millionaire developer and forwarder of racist emails isn’t offended, so it’s no big deal – not a fundamental character flaw, just a conspiracy to smear the guy who called Mayor Byron Brown a “tizzun”!

Paladino – Mascia’s major financial supporter in past elections and again this year in the Fillmore District campaign – called him an “honest guy.”

“He is sorry,” Paladino continued, claiming Mascia was tricked into using racial slurs in the tape.

“Now all the politically correct people want to get up and say ‘Oh my God’ about this,” Paladino said.

Wait – why is Mascia sorry if this is all just political correctness run amok? Mascia isn’t honest – he lied, at first, when confronted about using “nigger” before the tape came out. Mascia may say he’s sorry, but his media blitz reveals that he’s much sorrier about having been caught. The news flash for Paladino is that it’s not just the “politically correct” who find fault with calling the Rev. Darius Pridgen a “fucking nigger” who, with his “nigger” cohorts just wants all the power. Mascia’s words were reprehensible and ugly – Paladino’s apologia is, amazing as it seems, even more so.

But while Paladino is being ignorant and tone-deaf, Conservative fusion Party head Ralph Lorigo sees the real deal:

“He has told me it’s a conspiracy and that it will all come out,” said Chairman Ralph C. Lorigo. “Unfortunately, no other person put those words in his mouth.”

Exactly. No one’s interested in excuses – the tape speaks for itself. Paladino probably feels a need to defend Mascia because he’s heavily invested in that person. As the News reports, Paladino has contributed over $20,000 in money and things to Mascia’s various efforts to get elected to something.

Paladino said Wednesday he realizes he has been criticized for racial views, pointing to controversial emails that figured in his unsuccessful campaign for governor. His recent remarks in Olean about “damn Asians” and other “foreigners” attending the University at Buffalo on discounted tuition also provoked criticism.

“I have never made racial remarks,” Paladino said, adding his recent comments pointed only to observations that out-of-state students – whether foreign born or not – are taking advantage of New York’s heavily subsidized university system at the cost of taxpayers.

“They were legitimate statements and did not have racist intent,” he said.

Two deluded guys strutting around Buffalo spitting racist crap and getting away with it. We can do better than this, can’t we, Buffalo?

Look at the pattern: Paladino denigrates “damn Asians” because they look different and “aren’t from this area”, and he thinks that’s not racist? He claims no racist intent? That’s sort of the definition of racism. Ignorant. Base. Unbecoming of a public servant. Disgusting. He pretended to apologize, but now continues to defend what he said as a “legitimate point”, but UB explained in detail how it was a completely illegitimate point. So, it was, at best, racially insensitive and factually false. Yet he continues to defend it, and his loopy gang of groupies holds a rally for him.

For his part, Mascia thinks that getting caught repeatedly using racial epithets on tape now qualifies him to be a social justice warrior. No, that’s not how this works. Although he has apologized for what he said, he’s claiming to be the victim now, blaming the guy who taped him for doing so without his knowledge, for waiting to release the tape, and for somehow tricking Mascia into saying what he did. No, that’s not how this works.

Mascia doesn’t deserve public support, but then, neither does Paladino. Mascia’s a deadbeat and Paladino’s an influential millionaire, and the latter is defending the former. Finally,

You know what they say about birds of a feather.

Michele Brown Campaign: Update

It bears repeating that the endorsed Democratic candidate for Family Court is Kelly Brinkworth, and she’s not able to self-fund to the degree that her Democratic rival, Michele Brown, can and has.

On Tuesday, I spoke with Joseph Makowski, who is legal counsel to the Michele Brown campaign. He wanted to clarify some of what I wrote here, relying in part on Ken Kruly’s analysis of Brown’s financial disclosures at the NYS BOE website. Makowski says that Kruly has it, “all wrong” and “made it up.” Because Brown is running a judicial race, Makowski is adamant that the “financials are all fine”, characterizing them as “meticulous”. Indeed, there doesn’t seem to be anything facially wrong with them, as such.

Although Makowski didn’t go so far as to say that the numbers Kruly extracted from the disclosures were faulty, he alleges that the issues surrounding payments made to the David Hartzell for Clarence Supervisor and Christina Bove for West Seneca Council campaigns were not contributions, but payments to vendors. Indeed, they are listed as expenses for petitioning.

As I wrote yesterday, judges are limited to buying tickets to – and attending – other candidates’ events, up to $250 per ticket during the time they are actively campaigning. They are not allowed to otherwise make contributions to campaigns, so if payment was made to the Hartzell campaign of over $5,000 as a “contribution” it would be completely illegal, but Brown’s campaign is within its rights to hire Hartzell’s crew to circulate Republican petitions in Clarence on Brown’s behalf to secure for her that line.

(Observant readers may recall that Annalise Freling was the first of several women to come forward and accuse former Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak of sexual misconduct).

Makowski acknowledges that this is a “highly unusual practice”, but when you’re concerned about ballot access, you have to think outside the box. He maintains that Brown’s campaign only bought a small handful of $200 tickets to Byron Brown events – well within the legal bounds of what’s permissible. Makowski also notes that Brown decided to use Steve Casey’s LSA Strategies before the Preetsmas raids of late May, and they girded themselves for the inevitable controversy.

Finally, Makowski acknowledged that the campaign would likely have to issue 1099s to the vendors who were paid for petition labor, as I reported they would have to.

How The Preetsmas Gang is Spending its Summer Vacation

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Note: The Attorney for the Brown Campaign spoke with me after this piece was published, and that update can be found here

We’re still waiting for the inevitable Preetsmas fallout. The statute of limitations for all of the alleged misdemeanors expires in the next month, so everyone expects something to happen shortly.

Although somewhat hobbled by a federal and state investigation into alleged campaign finance fraud and illegality, Steve Pigeon’s crew is still active in the Michele Brown for Family Court race. The endorsed Democratic candidate is Kelly Brinkworth.

The Buffalo News and Geoff Kelly in the Public have recounted the political oddballs helping Brown out, and the curious inflow and outflow of money regarding that campaign. Most notable was the $10,000 to Steve Casey’s LSA Strategies – a business carefully set up using a proxy Brooklyn address, perhaps to thwart or slow scrutiny into its ownership. It remains an open question whether this is the rumored company that Casey co-owns with Chris Collins’ Congressional Chief of Staff, Chris Grant.

Local political veteran Ken Kruly runs an excellent blog, and he looked into the Brown campaign’s campaign disclosures, noting this:

  • As of July 15th, Ms. Brown had $125,205 in her campaign account, more than the amount that Freedman ($64,791) and Brinkworth ($38,048) had combined.
  • Brown has raised nothing from individuals, corporations, other candidates, etc.
  • Brown loaned herself a total of $60,000 in three different loans.
  • Brown has also received a $100,000 loan from her husband, Eugene Cunningham.
  • The Brown campaign paid $10,000 to LSA Strategies LLC, the consulting firm operated by Steve Casey.  (Just wondering, is Chris Grant a partner in that firm?)
  • The Brown campaign paid $4,000 to political consultant Maurice Garner.
  • Grassroots of Buffalo was paid $750.
  • The Brown campaign paid $2,000 for petition circulation to Louis Turchiarelli, who has previously petitioned for at least one Pigeon-supported candidate in Niagara Falls, an effort that stirred some controversy.
  • The Brown campaign paid $5,568 to the committee of David Hartzell, Clarence Town Supervisor, for petition work.  Why is the campaign of the Republican town supervisor in the business or circulating petitions for other candidates?  Looking at the dollar amounts that were paid to “consultants” to the Hartzell committee, it looks like they turned a nice profit.  There are contribution limits that apply to various offices and it may be that $5,568 exceeds the legal limit that the Brown for Family Court committee may give to Hartzell’s committee.
  • The Brown campaign gave $1,500 to the committee supporting Christine Bove, a candidate for West Seneca supervisor in the upcoming Democratic primary.  Bove allies also circulated Brown petitions.  This one has an interesting twist.  Steve Casey is working on the redevelopment of the former Seneca Mall site in West Seneca and it would certainly be nice to have some connection to the town supervisor.  But the incumbent supervisor is Sheila Meegan, the daughter of Chris Walsh, and Walsh is Steve Pigeon’s mentor.  So the question is, why would Casey be working with an opponent of the Meegan-Walsh-Pigeon alliance?
  • Casey and Kristy Mazurek, of Pigeon’s WNY Progressive Caucus fame, carried petitions for Brown.
  • Pigeon ally Joe Makowski, who resigned his State Supreme Court seat in 2009 , is assisting in the management of the campaign, operating out of his law office.

The “payments” made by the Michele Brown campaign are indeed wrong on a number of levels:

1. You can’t “hire” a political committee to do work for you, since the very nature of a political committee under the IRS code exception is to keep the money going in and out  “tax free”. As soon as a political committee gets into the business of making money by being paid for circulating someone’s petitions, they have become a profit-making entity subject to state and federal taxation.  What Clarence Supervisor Hartzell is doing is “earning” money payable to his political committee without paying taxes on it. This is pretty basic, and not an obscure rule, so the Michelle Brown campaign is participating in a tax avoidance scheme. Since she has now stated that she paid the money for petitioning services, will she be sending the Hartzell political committee (and the Christina Bove committee in West Seneca) an IRS 1099 form, as a vendor? And will his committee start filing tax returns and pay income taxes on the money received? If not, that’s illegal.

2. The legal limit for “contributions” to the Hartzell campaign is about $1,000 for the primary race against Town Councilman Pat Casilio, and $1,000 if Hartzell makes it to November.  Brown’s campaign “contributed” – and he “accepted a contribution” – of over $6,000.  Seems like a pretty big faux pas on the part of such a business savvy town supervisor. The limits in West Seneca for the Bove “contributions” may be higher.

3. The Brown campaign has another problem. If she has listed these payments, under the sworn signature of her treasurer, as “contributions” made to two candidates’ political committees, judicial ethics rules prohibit such “contributions” generally, but makes an exception for the attendance at political parties as a part of “campaigning”.  The committee for a judicial candidate may purchase up to 2 tickets (@ $250/each) for attendance at such political events. Paying another political committee for petition labor doesn’t count, and any such contribution is illegal.

So, we have the same old crew running the same old racket, with Pigeon as boss and Casey as underboss. As always, the promise of money and patronage help them marshal a crew of soldiers, (who are, at best, ignorant), to break laws and ethical rules in order to funnel campaign cash into friends’ vendor businesses and buy an elected office. In this case, it’s comparatively small potatoes, since the Family Court judgeship doesn’t control a significant number of jobs. This amounts to an attempt to stay relevant even when under investigation.

But as set forth above, they seem to have an almost innate inability or unwillingness to follow the law and rules, prefering instead behavior so brazen, one could coin a new phrase, “political racketeering”. They’re taking a big risk, because there is an Attorney General and US Attorney who are aggressively pursuing violations of laws that had previously been subject to lackadaisical enforcement.

Unfortunately for western New York, our Erie County District Attorney is completely absent when it comes to prosecuting blatant, repeated violations of election law.

The Unelectable Joe Mascia

If you’re most people, you never heard of Joe Mascia before this past week. He’s a nothing; a nobody. 

He’s a failure. 

Mascia is running to represent the Fillmore District on the Buffalo Common Council. He’s running with the blessing of the Conservative fusion Party, but Mascia is an unendorsed Democrat who also filed petitions for that line. David Franczyk is the incumbent. Mascia resides in the Marine Drive housing project, which is a waterfront blight whose tenants’ association was

…discriminating against minorities who applied to move in and giving special preference to government employees and people with political connections.

“It was publicly subsidized segregation,” said Scott Gehl, executive director of Housing Opportunities Made Equal, a not-for-profit group that fights housing discrimination in Buffalo. “A lot of the older tenants say things were wonderful in the good old days, but it was a segregated place for people who were blessed with political connections.”

A federal investigation and legal action that HOME filed in 2002 led to a federal judge ordering the tenants’ association to revise its rental policies and give minorities a better chance to move to Marine Drive.

Simultaneously with Mascia’s 2014 conviction for election law violations, he was elected to his fifth term as the tenants’ representative on the board of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority – an agency that offers public housing to the poor in a city with a property vacancy crisis, an urban prairie, and a land-banking program. Although the BMHA owns the Marine Drive complex, it is privately managed

Mascia is only nominally a Democrat. His 2011 race for county legislature was partly funded by contributions from LLCs owned by Carl “Damn Asians” Paladino. In his 2012 run for state Assembly, he received $4,800 from Carl Paladino’sTurning Albany Upside Down” (2nd entry, 3rd entry, 4th entrytea party PAC and $1,666 from Paladino personally. (Query what sort of political committee this is, given that it’s not only contributing to candidates, but also evidently making expenditures on someone’s behalf). At least one of his reporting periods ended up in the red – a huge no-no. By 2012, his campaign war-chest had debt of over $10,000, which rose to $15,000, and was being charged overdraft fees (and here). As of the July 2015 disclosure, Mascia’s campaign account is still over $9,000 in debt

Mascia’s city council run has only the July 2015 disclosure on file, and it reports $500 from Paladino’s PAC, and $239 on-hand

Last week, a recording surfaced where Mascia repeatedly referred to local African-American elected officials as “fucking niggers”. Under no circumstances is a person who harbors such thoughts and utters those words fit for public office. In a normal world, Mascia would have resigned his BMHA seat by now and withdrawn from whatever political campaign he’s engaged in. In a normal world, Mascia would be radioactive. 

Even Hulk Hogan and the WWE know this. 

This isn’t the normal world, though.  This is Buffalo, and Mascia apologized but also made excuses – he’s never used those words before, he was recorded without permission, others are racist, too. It’s beyond unseemly. 

On Friday, Mascia called in to the Sandy Beach show on WBEN. To his credit, Beach treated Mascia with the contempt he deserves. 

It was an astonishing phone call; extraordinary to witness and observe racist old Buffalo taking its dying breaths. Beach called Mascia a “blight”, and said that, “you’re a liar, phony, hypocrite…you’re the perfect candidate for WNY.” Beach said the person who recorded Mascia’s racism, “did the public a service”. Mascia spent time making excuses and calling this a set-up before Beach said, “don’t you have any decency?” At one point, Mascia accused Mayor Brown of using the “same explicative” against white developers building on the east side. He didn’t; he expressed frustration at the lack of African-American developers working in that area. 

Perhaps most hilariously in his ill-fated call to Beach, Mascia attempted to pivot his way into victimhood by paraphrasing this quote from Goodfellas : “If you’re part of a crew, nobody ever tells you that they’re going to kill you, doesn’t happen that way. There weren’t any arguments or curses like in the movies. See, your murderers come with smiles, they come as your friends, the people who’ve cared for you all of your life. And they always seem to come at a time that you’re at your weakest and most in need of their help.”

Mascia wasn’t at his weakest – he was quite aggressively challenging David Franczyk. He was funded by a wealthy benefactor. 

Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner demanded on Friday that Mascia withdraw from the race for the Fillmore District. Conservative fusion Party Chairman Ralph Lorigo expressed dismay, but never demanded Mascia withdraw. That particular point is moot, as the Board of Elections rejected Mascia’s Conservative petitions.  Mascia’s campaign manager, Katrinna Martin, quit over the weekend, and urged Mascia to abandon the race, as well. For his part, Mascia doesn’t get it. He says that it’s a set-up, and his online mouthpiece is now accusing former County Executive Joel Giambra of organizing an anti-Mascia “conspiracy”. 

So what if it was a set-up? Mascia obviously takes umbrage at the fact that he was recorded without his knowledge – something permitted in New York. He is clearly upset that he was set up by someone he considered to be a trusted friend. It’s also evident from the tape itself that the guy making the recording was baiting Mascia, bringing up certain non-white people and asking Mascia, “what is he?.”

The problem isn’t whether Mascia was set up. It frankly doesn’t matter; there are thousands of things Mascia could have said to insult Byron Brown or Darius Pridgen when prompted. Had he just called them a name or some expletive, it wouldn’t have amounted to much at all. Instead, Mascia called them “fucking niggers”, and called someone else a “camel jockey”. It’s not a crime to be profane or obnoxious or hateful or even a racist. Mascia is free to sit in his house and blurt out whatever hateful stuff he can muster to whomever will tolerate it. 

But Mascia is an elected official, and running for a further elected office. Not just any elected office – but one to represent a predominately African-American constituency. I have no doubt that Mascia’s expression of racist hatred has led many to make calls of support to him. But his attitude toweards African-Americans in Buffalo isn’t the only thing that disqualifies him from public office. 

Mascia pleaded guilty to serious criminal violations of New York State Election Law – a wholesale failure to disclose how he funded his campaigns. Court records also reveal Mascia’s $307.877.64 in unpaid liens, judgments, and debts over a forty year period. Mascia could have been talking about himself when he cynically declared that, “crime has gone too pervasive,” at a public rally on May 23rd. He also ironically – brazenly – said that he is running “against corruption.” The record shows that corruption is his milieu. 

Mascia’s conviction for election law violations were so brazen that he’s lucky to not be in jail. But beyond this, Mascia has a longstanding documented history as a notorious deadbeat.  Court records show that Mascia, his failed companies, and immediate family members, engaged in a decades-long swindle against honest vendors and creditors. Yet, the 70 year-old Masica, lives in public housing and drives around in a new Cadillac when he should be paying back all those he knowingly and deliberately swindled. Indeed, Mascia’s own mother secured a money judgment against him in 1999. 

Mascia says he’ll deliver “concrete results” for the Fillmore District. Mascia should know what he’s talking about: his failed concrete companies, Mascia Concrete Co. and Lor-Sam concrete company defaulted on tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Mascia even stiffed his workers, and was successfully sued by the New York Department of Labor over and over again. That’s bad enough, but he and his companies have sixteen tax warrants and judgments totaling tens of thousands of dollars by the New York State Department of Taxes and Finances and United States Federal Tax Department.

Crooks like to play the victim. That’s why Mascia shed crocodile tears in a published report saying he went into debt because of a traffic accident in the mid-1990’s. Yet how does that explain Mascia’s pattern of willful, staggering debt and swindles decades before the alleged accident? And how does it justify twenty years of more debt after he’s seen laying more concrete masquerading as community activist? 

State Judgments against Mascia include:  

  • New York State Division of Labor, Unemployment Division vs. Joseph A. Mascia – $4,495.57 judgement against Mascia (6/11/97)
  • New York State Department of Labor, Unemployment Division vs. Joseph A. Mascia – $301.04 judgement against Mascia (7/15/97)
  • New York State Department of Labor vs. Joseph A. Mascia dba Mascia Concrete – $16,019.60 judgement against Mascia (10/5/98)
  • New York State Department of Labor vs. Joseph Mascia $4,903.60 against Mascia (1/12/99)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph A. Mascia dba Mascia Concrete $2,310.94 tax judgement against Mascia (4/28/99)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph Mascia $8,880.19 tax judgement against Mascia (6/21/00)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph Mascia $559.76 tax judgement against Mascia (12/16/02)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine  Mascia $96.00 tax judgement against Mascia (1/14/04)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $1,062.47 tax judgement against Mascia (2/24/04)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $2,229.50 tax judgement against Mascia (2/10/05)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $1,648.38 tax judgement against Mascia (12/05/05)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $1,654.36 tax judgement against Mascia (1/05/07)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $1,045.74 tax judgement against Mascia (9/28/07)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $1,204.88 tax judgement against Joseph and Lorraine Mascia (6/29/09)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $1,712.66 tax judgement against Mascia (3/22/10)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $898.92 tax judgement against Mascia (9/21/10)
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance vs. Joseph A. and Lorraine Mascia $258.04 tax judgement against Mascia (1/9/13)

Federal Tax Liens against Mascia include: 

  • United States Federal Tax Lien against Joseph and Lorraine Mascia – $19,787.83 (6/4/04)
  • United States Federal Tax Lien against Joseph and Lorraine Mascia $12,441.15 (9/13/05)
  • United States Federal Tax Lien Against Joseph A. Mascia – $1,400.40 (8/16/06)
  • United Stated Federal Tax Lien Against Joseph and Lorraine Mascia – $562.13 (5/4/10)

State Board of Elections judgments and fines include: 

  • New York State Board of Elections judgment against Joseph A. Mascia, candidate, $1,070.50 (6/4/13)
  • New York State Board of Elections judgment against Joseph A. Mascia – $1,070.50 (6/14/15)
  • New York State Board of Elections judgment against Joseph A. Mascia – $1,070.50 (6/27/13)
  • New York State Board of Elections judgment against Joseph A. Mascia -$1,070.50 (9/12/13)
  • New York State Board of Elections judgment against Jospeh A. Mascia – $1,070.50 (10/3/13)

Other actions against Mascia include, 

  • Federal National Mortgage Association vs. Lorraine Mascia foreclosure on $50,000 loan for 109 Greenwood, Buffalo, N.Y. (8/20/98)
  • Allan Murray vs. Jospeh and Lorraine Mascia $410.00 judgment against Mascia (5/16/96)
  • The Kiesten Corporation vs. Mascia Concrete $14,399.52 judgment against Mascia (1/29/99)
  • Katherine Mascia vs. Joseph A. Mascia  $462.90 judgment against Mascia (7/9/99)
  • Fast Track Structures vs. Mascia Concrete $1,328.09 judgment against Mascia (5/28/00)
  • Fast Track Structures vs. Mascia Concrete $18,030.05 judgment against Mascia (8/07/06)
  • Napeir Fitzgerald and Kilroy vs. Jospeh and Lorraine Mascia $49,688.61 judgment against Mascia (2/22/08)
  • Great Lakes Concrete vs. Jospeh Mascia $778.08 against Mascia (12/08/09)
  • The Buffalo News vs. Joseph Mascia $4,131.14 against Mascia (4/9/12)
  • Samantha Mascia (residing with Joseph and Lorraine Mascia; namesake for another of Mascia’s failed concrete companies, Lor-Sam) $97,997.30 bankruptcy

So, the base racism is merely the icing on the cake of Mascia’s unfitness for public office and electability. Serious questions ought to be directed to anyone for their political or financial support of this hypocritical malefactor. It’s Buffalo, after all, and this sort of vocalized racial animus is succor to myriad people who feel economically left behind, or are otherwise socially, politically, or economically stunted. Of course Mascia should drop out of the race. The things he said were so profoundly racist that there was really no chance for him to salvage this already ill-fated run. 

Slowly, and at long last, our world is changing. After 150 years, the confederate battle flag has finally earned its place as little more than a symbol for little more than genocidal race-hate. The small-minded Jimmy Griffin Buffalo is dying in fits and starts, no matter how many rallies people hold for themselves, how many excuses people make for their racism, and no matter how many others in town share these backward views. 

Carl’s Spontaneous Yay Carl Demo

Hey, kids! All those mean people are saying horrible things about Uncle Carl! Won’t you show up to a “support Carl” rally at 5pm Wednesday on the steps of City Hall?

All of your favorite kids from Getty stock photos will be there!

The image, specifically, is called “Kids K through 12th Grade” and here’s what the rally is all about!

Carl even went on WBEN to argue that he’s not a racist! You guys! And from whence did this totally not-at-all-astroturf display of spontaneous affection for our Carl come from?

Awesome!1!!

Carl's Kids!

All the kids say: Yay Carl!

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