Erie County Legislature…wow…imagine that

All the people who hated Chris Collins to begin with are in a uproar over what happened in the Erie County Legislature today with the changing of the guard in leadership for the county’s legislative body making it more Collins’ friendly.

I guarantee that these same folks will go out of their way as they have since Chris Collin’s was elected to hate him the same way they have for the last two years regardless of what the new makeup of the legislature is.  Why? Because all politics in this area are agenda driven.  If your side is on the outs, the other side deserves the hate.  And people will do and say anything to protect their side and  get their side elected.

Who loses…we do of course…the political power aspect trumps any hope of people actually working together to better Erie County and WNY.  Cuz it is politics first and the business of the people a distant second.

22 thoughts on “Erie County Legislature…wow…imagine that

  1. You condescend to people who genuinely disagree with Collins’ views on government, on how to run it, and his priorities.

    It’s not all politics. Collins is genuinely a bad actor in many people’s opinions, mine included.

    The “agenda” thing is a Collins schtick, and while you decry Paterson’s “schtick”, you buy Collins’ hook, line, and sinker.

    Collins just cut a deal with the literal political devil – Steve Pigeon. He thereby forfeits any right or claim to the mantle of good government actor. I don’t know why you or Professor Hardwick don’t see that, but whatever.

    The county is royally screwed. The most vulnerable in our society here are rendered infinitely more vulnerable today, and the leg will focus on bullshit for two years rather than working to make WNY competitive regionally and globally.

  2. As you have noted…Chris Collins hates poor people…he hates black people…he hates you…he hates me…etc…etc…etc.

    “The most vulnerable in our society here are rendered infinitely more vulnerable today, and the leg will focus on bullshit for two years rather than working to make WNY competitive regionally and globally.”

    He just so evil and he is going to keep us down…he’s the reason county government is bad.

    I have no idea what people in the county are going to without the unparalleled legislative leadership of Lynn Marinelli, Michele Iannello, Dan Kozub and Betty Jean Grant.

    I heard a rumor the other day the Collins also hates cats, dogs and goldfish…who is going to stop this madman?!?!?!?!?

  3. Chris, it’s no secret that in your mind Collins can do no wrong. In my world, Collins has done some good, done a lot bad, but fundamentally has missed many, many opportunities to really remake and change county government into something that works. He talks a good game, but ultimately it’s about jobs and political power with him. He is already looking towards Albany.

    The fact that Kevin Hardwick would align himself with Steve Pigeon, regardless of the reform agenda he says BMW promised to let him put before the legislature, is equal parts sad and laughable. You don’t cut deals with the devil. Pigeon is the devil. There is not one single, solitary thing that Pigeon touches politically that is good. Not good for politics, not good for government.

    And really, do you really think Marinelli would have blocked Hardwick from presenting his reform agenda in front of the legislature? Really?

    I’m the one, by the way, who advocates for the abolition of county government altogether. I recognize that it’s a joke – it’s a prophylactic that helps us forget the fact that Albany is the power behind everything that happens here. We don’t need 15 legislators to handle 10% of the county budget. Nor 9. Nor 5. Nor 3. Nor any. Hell, the Republican legislators won’t even open district offices. They say their constituents don’t use them.

    You know why?

    Because no one needs them. No one needs to visit their legislator’s district office because no one needs their legislator. Or the legislature.

    We don’t need 15 people to decide how to mow the grass in a park or how to allocate funding between state-mandated or federally-mandated social services. These are ministerial things that shouldn’t be open to political considerations.

    So be smug and snarky all you want, that’s fine. Believe me, I get it.

    But don’t sit there and condescend to me or to anyone else that what happened yesterday in any way, shape, or form advanced the cause of good government.

    When Ed Rath claimed last night that the Republicans had previously been shut out of the process when they were only 3, that’s not altogether true, on the one hand, and on the other hand as Ray Walter reminded me like 4 times, “elections have consequences”. There’s a damn good reason why there were only 3 republicans in the leg – namely the fact that the Republicans and Giambra sailed the ship of county government over a Goddamned cliff. But that was a whole 5 years ago, so let’s just forget that, shall we?

    As far as I’m concerned, anyone who makes deals with Steve Pigeon is no better than he. When I ran for office, I made a conscious decision not to seek or accept any support from, or seek addition to, any minor party lines. I fundamentally believe that electoral fusion is corrupt and keeps politics dirty in New York State. I would not compromise my views on that issue in order to gain political leverage or power or to win an election. I expect the same stand on principle from everyone. When they don’t, they disappoint me. When they disappoint me, I don’t shrug my shoulders and whine, “oh, well. What do you expect?” I expect better. I demand better.

    Maybe you and Paterson and Collins all think that the best WNY can do and the most we can be is Bangalore-on-the-Lake. I think we can do much better.

  4. Alan…
    Snarky and smug…that is great coming from you…I’ll even throw out the word rich on that one.

    You have hated Collins right from day uno in his role of CE…that’s fine and that is your right.

    You say you expect and demand better. What about the deals the ECDC makes? They are the purveyors of political virtue in this town…right? Also, you want Collins to fail…that is just wrong…don’t want him to succeed and help turn around WNY? You don’t even give him or the new group of legislators a chance.

    The Paterson comment is also rich.

    I have consistently pushed good government here and other places. I tend to support candidates I feel will achieve that goal and who I feel are good people.

    My guess is that if the tables were turned and ECDC backed legs did what happened yesterday to take control away from a Republican majority, you would have been loving every minute of it.

    And you really think that Marinelli and company wouldn’t have blocked a reform agenda? Just look at what she did a few years ago with charter reform…and that was from a non partisan group.

  5. And another thing:

    Ask Professor Hardwick if it’s true that Lynn Marinelli approached him and Fudoli and other new Repubs and offered to let them promote their agendas if they supported her for chair.

    My sources tell me that this happened, so for any of the Republicans to suggest or insinuate that they’d have been shut out of the process is disingenuous, at best.

    And even if, e.g., Hardwick or any other legislator hasn’t personally spoken with Steve Pigeon about any of this, the fact remains that Pigeon is helping Collins with his gubernatorial run because Collins desperately wants the IP line, which only Pigeon can deliver. Help Collins and you’re helping Pigeon. Help Pigeon and you’re helping Collins.

    In this case, even if Hardwick didn’t talk with Pigeon, who tried to destroy him 10 years ago, he is doing his bidding. Could have gone with Marinelli and still promoted his agenda, but he chose this alliance with Grassroots, the Independence Party, and the Collins/Pigeon alliance of convenience.

    Just so we’re clear and so you know that I know that’s not rain I’m feeling on my leg.

  6. Snarky and smug…that is great coming from you…I’ll even throw out the word rich on that one.

    That’s right. That’s why I wrote that I understand that.

    You have hated Collins right from day uno in his role of CE…that’s fine and that is your right.

    No, I have disagreed with Chris Collins from day one and don’t think he or his Six Sigma is about “running the county like a business”. He has increased pay for his patronage hires, he has created new six-figure jobs, and otherwise behaved in a way that is as a typical politician would behave – not like a CEO in the private sector running a failing billion-dollar entity (which, incidentally, is staring at a $15 billion budget deficit next year).

    You say you expect and demand better. What about the deals the ECDC makes? They are the purveyors of political virtue in this town…right? Also, you want Collins to fail…that is just wrong…don’t want him to succeed and help turn around WNY? You don’t even give him or the new group of legislators a chance.

    No, I never said I want Collins to fail. If you can point out where I did, I’ll buy you a cookie. I think he is failing, however. See above.

    ECDC is a political animal, for sure. Its job is to win elections. It has gotten people jobs and made political deals. But do you perceive Len Lenihan to be an evil monster who is only out for personal aggrandizement and political power? Lenny, who has been stabbed in the back multiple times by erstwhile allies who chased the quick buck or the easier job? Say what you want about ECDC, but Len Lenihan was never motivated by personal power or evil.

    The Paterson comment is also rich.

    OK, how?

    I have consistently pushed good government here and other places. I tend to support candidates I feel will achieve that goal.

    My guess is that if the tables were turned and ECDC backed legs did what happened yesterday to take control away from a Republican majority, you would have been loving every minute of it.

    Your guess is based on a fantasy. I don’t like backroom deals, and I don’t like good people who work hard in a competent way (see Hosey, Kevin) getting fired so that some hack who is friends with someone who is friends with Barbara Miller-Williams can get a job instead.

    If the Republicans had won a majority of the seats in the legislature in November, I would have been disappointed (because of the Collins factor, mostly), but I would have accepted those results and not cheered a coup attempt. So your fantasy guess is misguided. As Ray Walter said, “elections have consequences”. The Republicans managed to completely thwart those consequences last night to enable Chris Collins and Steve Pigeon to gain political power. Period, full stop.

    And you really think that Marinelli and company wouldn’t have blocked a reform agenda? Just look at what she did a few years ago with charter reform…and that was from a non partisan group.

    Yeah, and if you had been paying a lick of attention, you’d know that she had actually aligned herself with Collins and with Mills, Ranzenhofer, and Rath to become Chairwoman 2 years ago, promising (and living up to it) them that they would get certain reform items on the legislative agenda.

    Plus, see my comment above about Marinelli making an offer to Hardwick about that very thing.

    Nothing that happened yesterday had a stitch to do with “good government”. You choose not to admit it because your guys won, and you ascribe the same sentiment to me – falsely.

    Good luck with that.

    Hopefully, next time around, the county can do better.

  7. My post wasn’t about my guys or your guys…it was an observation about yesterday.

    Who loses…we do of course…the political power aspect trumps any hope of people actually working together to better Erie County and WNY. Cuz it is politics first and the business of the people a distant second.

    I think that illustrates where I am on the situation.

    I wrote about the Marinelli coup a few years ago…if I recall, as I think you don’t, it was ECDC meddling in the background that caused it all.

    Kevin is your “friend” too…why don’t you ask him? Hopefully he will bring his platform to the legislative table.

    What happened to Kevin Hosey is bad and illustrates why things need to change on both sides of the aisle at county hall.

  8. Of course Kevin will bring his platform to the legislative table.

    The point is that he intimated that only BMW gave him assurances that this would happen.

    That might not be true, in which case his choice was to ally himself with people allied with Steve Pigeon – the Sauron of the Mordor that is politics in this state.

  9. So, to sum up this nonsense:

    – Byrd says YAY! to the “reform coalition”
    – Bedneko says it’s not reform, it’s Pigeon powered politics with Collins seasoning
    – Byrd says, “Oh Yeah? Well the ECDC guys did the same thing”

    So, if the immediate reaction to the proof that this is not about politics is “You’re guys did it too”, I think Byrd loses here.

    The fact that Hardwick would so quickly align himself (directly or indirectly) with a despicable political operative who nearly destroyed him several years ago is absolutely bizarre and ultimately disappointing.

    Also, if you could outline all of the positive results of the Collins administration over the past couple of years, that would be educational. Thanks!

  10. Pundit tags Geek

    Geek hops into the ring and follows Pundits lead

    Byrdman puts Geek in figure four leg lock FTW

    So what your saying is that if someone directly or indirectly aligns themselves with the despicable one it is absolutely bizarre and ultimately disappointing…Congressman extraordinaire Brian Higgins fits that bill and must be a major disappointment to you.

    To go back to what I was saying about the ECDC…

    I think what the ECDC does in the background dealings is wrong, but Pundit never seems to go there.

    Let’s put it like this…

    Geek and Pundit don’t mind political games or alliances if it fits into the narrow scope of what they like.

    That type of thinking is nonsense and what ultimately keeps the region and state down.

    We need better than that and we need people to start thinking better than that.

    If we don’t, we will continue to have these same conversations over and over again.

  11. For the record . . .

    Lynn Marinelli never asked for my support as chair, which was a bit surprising. (This is not to say that I needed to be asked. I only mention it to address Alan’s question. I don’t know, btw, if Lynn talked to Fudoli and Dixon.) Lynn did call and congratulate me shortly after the election. It was a nice call and we both said we looked forward to working together for the next 2 years. If she made any assurances that issues of concern to me would make it to the floor I didn’t hear them. (Now my wife might tell you that Lynn probably said everything Alan assumed she said and I just wasn’t listening.) That was the only conversation I had with Lynn prior to Thursday’s meeting.

    Also for the record, I did not align myself with Steve Pigeon, although I’m sure he is pleased with the outcome. I can’t help that. I didn’t vote the way I did to curry favor with the guy who helped engineer my 2003 defeat. I did it because I thought it was the best way to advance my agenda. I hope I was correct.

  12. Buffalo Pundit and Chris Smith do you really believe Chris Collins hates black people?

    These two ass clowns are poster children of a why Western New York remains a shit hole. I hear from sources that they are going to form their own reform coalition called BACK THE HACKS.

    Buffalo Pundit and Mark Poloncarz were holding hands at the legislature meeting on Thursday. Chris Smith got jealous and was seen crying in a corner with his thumb in his mouth.

  13. @Steve…regardless of where you stand on the issue at hand, throwing barbs like that at BP and Geek really does nothing more than absolutely nothing.

    Do it again and I will have your comments thrown into eternal commmmment limbo. Okie dokie smokie…

  14. Kevin: “I did not align myself with Steve Pigeon”

    You’re a smart guy, do you really expect people to believe that you had no knowledge about how Grassroots affiliated BMW, Pigeon sponored Kennedy and IP/Pigeon connected Bove were brought to the “reform” party? Pigeon’s involvement with Tim has been an open secret for at least six months and Steve and Tina go back years.

    No one said you did anything to “curry favor” with Pigeon, but your strongly stated opposition to him and the kind of politics he represents was a reason many people voted for you and supported you. Now, on your first day in office, you partner up with the coalition he assembled.

    It’s also been known since about the third week in November that all of this was going to happen, you’re telling us that you had no knowledge that Steve was involved? Really?

  15. @Steve

    Do I believe Chris Collins “hates” black people? Well, hate is a strong word, I’d say he is ambivalent at best and ill-motivated at worst when it comes to minorities and urban issues. Would you argue that his policies and proposed spending cuts tell a different story?

  16. @Chris

    I don’t think that the people who voted for me want me to first find out what Steve Pigeon desires and then vote the opposite way just to spite him. I am sure that most of them want me to do what is best for them regardless of Pigeon’s position. That is what I tried to do. I may eventually be proven wrong and I know you disagree with my vote, but you’re going to have to deal with it.

  17. @Kevin

    Thanks for responding…as with most things, time will be the ultimate judge as to how your term goes and how everything in the legislature works out. The legislature has long been a pit of bad politics and I sincerely believe you want to change that.

    @Chris and Alan

    I understand your skepticism…I also think what we all want and expect is our local elected leaders to be better than what we have grown accustomed to. You guys do what you do because you know we can do better.

  18. The point is that you don’t enlist the help of Steve Pigeon to bring about “reform”. That’s what Chris Collins has done, that’s what the Republicans in the Legislature have done, and that’s what the three turncoat “Democrats” have done.

    If Marinelli didn’t guarantee Hardwick a floor vote on his agenda, that’s fine. But I’d bet that if he asked her, she’d give it to him in exchange for chairmanship support.

    Instead, now we have a descendant Democratic Party, a Whore Party, and the Republican Party which is all too happy to align itself with the Whores.

    Lie down with dogs, etc.

  19. The electorate in Western New York needs to stop falling in line behind their parties and start voting more good people into government.

    The anger I see behind what transpired on Thursday seems to be coming from people who already had an anti Collins agenda.

    I don’t know Kevin Hardwick outside of his radio show or when I’ve seen him on news but he comes off as being a person who is beyond the piddling seen in Western New York politics.

  20. I love it! “Anti Collins Agenda”! I absolutely adore the use of the “agenda” phraseology. It’s like everyone has the same playbook!

    Frankly, I haven’t seen a good reason to have a pro-Collins “agenda”. So far, six sigma is laughably lacking in results, Collins has done the same thing as the leg – hire people with big raises, created new patronage jobs, and in the end nothing has really, fundamentally changed in the way the county does anything.

    Collins seems intent instead on getting rid of opposition and ending fiscal oversight of anything he’s doing.

    How’s that $50 million deficit for next year looking?

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