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August 28, 2008 - 3:15pm

And the Winner Is......$$$$$........ Your Guess Is As Good As Mine

posted by Patrick D. Burk in Democrats, Jon Powers, Elections, Jack Davis, Michele Iannello.

So here we are.  Only in Western New York would the Democrat Party take a wonderful chance and screw it up by having two forced primaries.  Now I know this is the Amercian way of democracy....but it goes to prove what has been said before, " I don't belong to an organized political party.... I am a Democrat."   Here we sit and with just a few days to the Primary,  the Democratic Candidates for Congress are battling on the airwaves, in the media and on the stump.  One has too much money, one has raised money wrong and from the wrong people and one did legal work for chemical companies at Love Canal so therefor she must be a demon.  Whew...and we thought Clinton and Barack were ununifiable? (THANK GOD THAT IS OVER AS WELL!!!!!!)  

The most important thing the Democratic Party had to do was to have a strong candidate to win against the Republican, rich guy - power broker and overseas job shipper who turned more jobs over to overseas companies and sold out on Western New York. I guess the Republican guy just wants to earn his Western New York Congressional salary and live in Washington, DC.  I hear the cherry blossoms are beautiful there.  Let's hope the rich can't buy thier ticket to see them....let's hope the voters look long and hard at this one.

Anyway...that is what is happening on the Congressional side.

On a "happier" note (Did I say Happier????), the race to run for the 61st Senate Seat is also equally challenging for the Donkeycrats.  (Are you sure I said happier???) Here we have a popular, hard-working, competent Erie County Legislator who is endorsed by the County Democratic Committees pitted against a former boxer and "you guessed it"....Her brother-in-law.  If this was Texas, this would be a episodic plot for that old TV Show "Dallas".  As the Republicans put up yet another upper crust muckety-muck, the Democrats roll around in the muck to see who can run and win 8 weeks later.  I am keeping my idea for a TV Script because there has to be one in here somewhere.  I can just see the pan of the camera on the field as the three candidates come toward the camera on sturdy horses... the dust settling as their faces are shot one-by-one into the camera frame with dour expressions..... too funny...anyway I digress.

 I am a BIG supporter of Mary Lou Rath and have always known that her shoes would be hard to fill...she truly cares about our communities and serves us well.  She will be a tough act to follow. Michele Iannello is a tough woman with a lot to be said about what she will do for this district.  She, like Mary Lou, cares about us and our communities.  The brother-in-law, on the other hand, has run for many public offices including Eire County Legislator and Executive, has won a few and has lost a few.  He currently sits on the Amherst Town Board and he talks a lot about his past......maybe that is because there isn't too much on his plate for the future.....I think Amherst should keep him.

Then we have Baby Joe Mesi.....nice guy.  While I was President of the New York State Junior Chamber of Commerce I bestowed upon him the honor of Outstanding New Yorker.  This was given to him because of his powerful approach to being a positive influence on young people's lives.  He didn't just box.... he showed us all what an organized program for young people can do?  He cares about his community.  I give him that much but I guess I find that the toughness that a boxer needs to survive is just not what I think we need in the "Ring of Albany".....  You need to be smart, savvy and quick.  You need to look for opportunities to help Western New York and you have to bring that home.  Baby Joe is a nice guy.....Michele Iannello is a hard-working public servant.  I hope when the dust settles, Baby Joe will still be doing his community service and the brother-in-law is sent back to Amherst.  Let the tough lady from Kenmore take on the upper crusty Republican in the General Election.

So that is that.  Instead of duking it out and coming up with two solid candidates...one for each position, the Democrats come up with three, forcing a primary that is sure not to hand any one candidate the 50% for either race. In the midst of this whirl of politics, we can only hope that the regrouping, refunding and campaigning can be accomplished in 8 short weeks, but then again...I wish all elections in total only took 8 weeks.  I wonder if I would miss all the signs in my yard....  Please vote in the Democrat Primary.

 

Jerome Grasso
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The Republican candidate is hardly upper crust. He is a hard working lawyer and Erie County Legislator. He is also a decent family man. While Michelle is a great lady, Mike has far more experience as a legislator than Michelle and can better represent this county. He also has a law office and works in Genesee County. How do you know he is "upper crust"? Besides, Mary Lou Rath strongly endorses Mike to continue her success in Genesee County. As well, Chris Lee is hardly an oversees job shipper. That is a mis-characterization and unfair. Jack Davis paid what appears to bribes to the I.P. and Jon Powers improperly used his campaign funds to pay his home rent. Powers also paid himself most of the money he raised for his supposed charity to help children in Iraq. This does not pass the smell test. Pat,you are a good guy, be fair! Jay
Daniel Jones
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Hi Mr. Grasso, great to finally hear from you on these issues. Lets get down to it shall we? Firstly, Mike Razenhofer is a good guy and is qualified, I don't question that, secondly, thanks for the compliment on Michele Iannello, she is a great lady....but my reasons for supporting her run a little deeper. Michele Iannello works hard for the right reasons, those reasons are rooted deeply in her personal life, as a single mother she knew what it was like to not to be able to put food on the table and sacrifice to send her kids to Catholic schools. She understands the American struggle and how to pull herself up by her bootstraps, went back to school and ran her own small business, she is the American dream. Mike Razenhofer appears though, to be more or less a typical candidate in the Republican mold, he's for the same tired ideas of the Pataki administration, we need something new and different, check out Michele's 40 ideas in 40 days blog, she's the one making a real and sound case for the district. www.micheleiannello.com Your right on Jack Davis, hard to believe that I would actually agree with you, but I'll take it a step further, it was a bribe, I don't believe that Mr. Davis is a person of honor or integrity.....he also said that Jon Powers had never "had a real job", he's not someone who would get my vote. As for Mr. Powers though, he returned the reimbursement, and for the record, the campaigns office was inside his apartment for a short time, he used it to reimburse for the space used, and it was clearly a mistake, he apologized for it and returned the funds. He also only paid himself 15,000 dollars for a full time job one year for his own salary as part of War Kids Relief, Powers' 990s tell the real story, perhaps you should read them, his program was actually picked up by Cultural Connections and continues to raise awareness. He actually tried to do something about the situation, shouldn't we be commending him for that? Pat is a good guy, he gave a fair characterization of the candidates, I don't think that *you* should criticize anyone for lack of 'fairness' Mr. Grasso, none of us are perfect.
Robert Harding
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Of course Mary Lou Rath would endorse Mike Ratzenhofer. They are Republicans. This happens all the time. Republicans endorse Republicans and Democrats endorse Democrats. Her endorsement is nothing earth-shattering. I will leave Chris Lee for another day. I'm glad we all agree on Jack Davis. No need to touch that one. However, Jon Powers raised about $135,000 for War Kids Relief. Of that money, he was paid $15,000. So your claim that he "paid himself most of the money he raised for his supposed charity" is a false claim. That $77,000 figure was intentionally combined to make it seem as if Powers put most of the WKR money in his wallet. In reality, $62,000 of that was money paid to Powers for his position with Veterans For America as a policy director with the group. The records prove that.
Jerome Grasso
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Regarding Jon Powers, the question (and big white elephant in the room remains) how much money actually went to the kids in Iraq? Very little. The money (either through WKR or VFA) still went to Mr. Powers. Certainly, $120,000 did not go to the kids there. He clearly gave the illusion that the money went to the kids and at times overstated (in media interviews)how much was raised. I am also aware the he sought funding for WKR through congress that did not materialize. Not his fault, but to shift blame on the congress for the failure of WKR is not right. As for Mike and Michelle, I am not sure what a "typical candidate in the Republican mold" is. Actually, I know Michelle fairly well. We sit together as members on a state wide committee and came on to our respective legislatures at the same time. She is "waaaayyy" more qualified than Joe Mesi but falls just short of Mike. Mike just has more experience. He also has a pretty intersting background but later on that. My 5 year old needs breakfast. She comes before blogging! As to fairness, of course Pat is entitled to his opinion. I just dont like terms like "upper crust". In re-reading his blog, I actually think Pat was going more for humor. Which is of course my opinion!! By the way, I do not claim to be perfect (nobody is perfect!) but I do my best to be fair. I dont believe I was criticizing Pat, just giving my opinion on a blog. Pat is a good community guy who works hard for kids. ALLRIGHT.....the little one wants an egg, gotta run!
Jerome Grasso
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Whoops, I forgot. Breakfast and lunch has been served and lawn mowing awaits. I hate to bring it up but Powers was arrested for a disorderly conduct type violation. His supporters are trying to spin the arrest as "jaywalking". I am a retired police officer. NOBODY gets arrested for "jaywalking". Based on reports I can find, he was cursing at police officers in the street with his friends and alcohol may have been involved. He pled and paid a fine.
Russ Stresing
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Jerome's sudden interest in this race is coincidental with the Davis campaign's latest ad. Little, if any, comment until the day after the ad begins running. And it pretty much parallels the Davis campaign ad and strategy. It seems like such a nice, neat, joint effort. Or maybe not. These things are done in such clandestine ways, no one can say for sure who's teaming up with whom. All we have to go by are appearances. Either way, Jerry's late to the party. Jerome and the Davis campaign's spasmodic regurgitation of the same stuff that didn't make much of an impact the first time has the sweet, sickly smell of desperation. While Powers has a "7 counties in 7 days" trip thought out the district as he rolls out his plans to address the issues, Jerome and the Davis campaign double over and heave up the same tired campaign that lost Jack the last two elections. If it seems that both the Davis campaign and the rest of the Republican party sound like they're making a coordinated effort, it shouldn't surprise anyone. Lee wants Davis. Chris is a much less wounded opponent than Reynolds was the last time Jack failed to mount a ground game. They also could expect Davis to get little crossover vote from Powers' supporters. Jack's no Democrat. The Republicans know that it will be a much tougher campaign against Powers if he wins because they will then know that all the strategy Davis used didn't work for him and won't work for them. So, they'll actually have to design a campaign. If Powers beats Davis, then Lee's millions won't loom so large in the general. And that's gotta leave a rancid, filmy taste in their mouth.
Daniel Jones
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Mr. Grasso, sorry that I didn't get back to you sooner, I was at work all day......Jon Powers was cited and paid a fine associated with the same statute as a J-Walking fee, the idea that he was arrested and sent to jail is patently false, the records from the Cleveland Police Department showed that he was never taken into custody, he was given an appearence ticket and ended up pleading guilty to "preventing the movement of persons on a public street" and was ticketed 25 dollars, including 65 dollars in court costs, so, I'll say it again, he was never arrested. http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/415120.html. He also claimed from the time that he was given the citation ticket that he disputed the crime, infact, he refused to sign the ticket, instead writing "I never said that." As to whether he actually yelled the given phrase or not is left to interpretation, however, on that same note, why is this an issue? Jon Powers has said from day one that the Iraq war changed his life and his outlook dramatically. It inspired him built a successful non-profit that has been absorbed into another organization and is still having its mission carried out today. http://www.childrenscultureconnection.com/WarKidsRelief.html His organization raised over 150 thousand dollars, the 60 thousand dollar bulk came from him being the Vice President of policy for the Vietnam Veterans of America, they have a nice office on Main Street in the middle of your district in LeRoy, would you ever criticize them? http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/419607.html The only thing that I ask is that you be honest in your statements, making the claims that Jon Powers was "arrested" or insinuating that he used War Kids Relief money inappropriately is a lie Mr. Grasso.
Robert Harding
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Mr. Grasso, Wouldn't you agree that we all have things in our past that could come back to bite us?
Daniel Jones
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I agree Mr. Grasso, perhaps we should leave personal lives off the table?
Jerome Grasso
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Easy boys!! Blogs are opinions and we are all entitled to them. Actually, a traffic ticket or an appearance ticket for a violation (at least in NY) is an arrst. I never said he was sent to jail. I have made multiple arrests for Dis Con related violations. The officer issues an appearance ticket and it almost always adjudicated in a fine and not jail. Therefore I do not lie. As for WKR funds, the money did not go to the kids. I'm not saying he spent it improperly but charity should go to those it was intended for, not administrative costs. Once again, the kids did not benefit but for a few soccer balls. Of course we all have things in our past. But Powers overstated WKR and used it to benefit himself for his campaign. Anything a candidate brings up to benefit themselves is fair game for scrutiny. An arrest or appearance ticket raises character questions. His military service is impeccable and honorable. I may not agree with Powers on all the issues, but if he needed help with a Veterans service, I would go to the mat for him like anyone else. R's and D's have no place in vets issues. Go check with the men and women at the Vietnam Vets center in LeRoy and at the Legion about me. They will vouch for me. I have worked very hard for veterans in this County. I dont care what party they are, I have been there for them. I can give examples but that would be tooting my own horn a little too much. Not cool! As for Jack Davis, I can guarantee I would never do anything to assist him. He wants the office for all the wrong reasons and is trying to buy his way in. Scary. I am a Chris Lee supporter all the way and will always be up front about it. Actually the negative ads between Davis and Powers bum me out. I would rather hear what someone is going to do, not dirt. I have never run a negative campaign. Even when it was done to me, I stayed positive. I hope that whether it is Davis or Powers v Lee, it goes positive. My guess is that Powers would run clean against Lee and Davis would not. Remember guys these are blogs, not ads. Nobody but us political geeks reads them! Sadly, most people would rather watch American Idol! LOL Then again, maybe they are the smart ones. No matter who wins, we still have to pay our bills, go to work, and see our neighbors (no matter what their affiliation) at Tops and the Post Office. Best to keep civil. Dinner time, take care.
Russ Stresing
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Yet, you didn't compile a list of Davis' negatives. You're protestations seem weak. "An arrest or appearance ticket raises character questions. His military service is impeccable and honorable." You first put forth the former as an issue, then try to appear as if you never raised it in the first place. You negated your own assertions. And, 'easy, boys' is a weak attempt to paint your litany of attacks as a simple recitation instead of the calculated repetition of discredited tripe it really was. Don't try to mislead people into believing others over-reacted when they clearly didn't. "I would rather hear what someone is going to do, not dirt." C'mon, Jerry. You say that to imply that Jon Powers hasn't tried to publicize his plans. Your attempt at trying to ignore Jon's "7 counties in 7 days" roll-out is weak and insulting to anyone who's paying attention. I, for one, am fully aware that you had no intent to include me as "you guys". If you find anything in my comments on this particular post uncivil, I'm sure you'll point it out. Otherwise, I have to assume that you're trying to toss out yet more red herrings in an attempt to try to walk back from your original attempt to throw up the Davis campaign attacks you've swallowed.
Robert Harding
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Actually, blogs aren't opinions. Are there opinions shared on blogs? Sure. I do that every day. But blogs aren't solely the opinions of one or more people. Blogs are a source of news, facts and opinions that can be dispensed by anyone. The money from War Kids Relief did go to the kids. Your first claim revolved around most of the money War Kids made going to Powers. We debunked that claim already. The problem with the mud being tossed around about War Kids is that everyone is only focusing on Jon. No one has really looked into what the money they did raise went to. I know from speaking with Jon that his heart was in the right place and remains in that place. He did not start this charity to help his pocketbook. He started this charity to help the children he encountered in Iraq that were being ignored during the war effort and who continue to be ignored by the war effort. The smears regarding War Kids are the biggest smear to Powers and his character that exist because it is being insinuated that he stole money from kids or stole money from people who gave to the charity for his own benefit. As for the disorderly conduct charge, if you have seen the citation you will see along the right-hand side of the citation a short written statement saying "I never said that." You can view the citation here. That was written by Powers himself. He has denied to this day of ever saying that. It was insinuated after this was revealed that he has a problem with authority. If he had such a problem, he wouldn't have made it through the U.S. Army and had the ability to serve in Iraq. You need discipline and respect in the military. Without it, you won't make it. To go back to the blog point, blogs are read by more people than you care to admit to Mr. Grasso. The blog I write for, The Albany Project, is a state issues blog that gets 1,400 unique visitors per day. During the height of the Spitzer scandal, we were getting a couple thousand visitors per day. That's a lot of people and most of them come from New York. A major blog like Daily Kos gets millions of unique visitors per day. So these aren't just for "political geeks." Blogs are becoming just as common as your newspaper or an evening newscast. And believe me - my senior project for college was on this topic. I know that this is the case regarding blogs.
Daniel Jones
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In between your self-praise you seem to be quite gaffe prone. "Actually, a traffic ticket or an appearance ticket for a violation (at least in NY) is an arrest.", so your saying that anyone with a speeding ticket isn't qualified to hold office? After all they were arrested right? Jon Powers got a 25 dollar fine and a 65 dollars in court fees, a whopping 90 dollars total for "holding up public foot traffic,", isn't that all a little silly for having this kind of commotion over? As for the other litany of, ummm, stuff (such as that vets issues don't have D's or R's attached to them, does anyone disagree on that?), its all completely irrelevant to the point that we were pursuing, you said that Jon Powers' "arrest" disqualified him from being a United States Congressman or holding office, therefore anyone who ever had a speeding ticket is disqualified from holding public office, right Mr. Grasso? Isn't that what you just said in the afore mentioned comments? Oh, and "easy boys", I get the joke, your aware of my age, funny how you're still lying about Jon Powers regardless of it. He tried to accomplish some sort of stability in an ignored conflict of the Iraq war, his charities absorption into Cultural Connections proved that he did just that. Instead you throw out a used sound-byte that according to evidence just isn't true, frankly I would expect more out of a county legislator, none of your colleague's have engaged in this sort of smear. "I have never ran a negative campaign,"...HA! See you at the next Jon Powers event in Genesee County.
Howard B. Owens
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I can I just address "blogs are opinions" on a technicality. Blogs are web sites that use a software technology that allows for easy publication of words (be they strung together to make opinion or fact). A blog post -- the individual entry of a blog -- may be opinion or fact. I may be journalism or a personal journal entry. The only blog post you see in this thread is the original post by Patrick Burk. All that follows on the initial blog posts are comments on that blog post, not "blogs" nor "blog posts." I'm just a stickler for the correct use of these terms.
Jerome Grasso
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Getting a little touchy gentlemen? First, Mr. Jones I do not know how old you are, let alone WHO you are. No joke was intended. If you want to blog (or comment, sorry Mr. Owens!!) with the "big kids", thicken your skin up. Based on your response, I am guessing you are young and easily offended by perceived slights. This was not my intention. Life is short, lighten up! Politics is nothing to get upset about. It should be a civil process. Mr. Jones, I can tell that you want to insult me with things you think you know about me or just insult me in general. Settle down, in America we can have a difference of opinion and still be civil. In fact Mr. Jones I will buy you a cup of coffee (or a beer if you are 21!! kidding!!)and we can talk like gentlemen, probably be a good time for both of us. Serious about that. Methinks you guys are upset because you have had this web site all to yourselves. The site has been pretty much all pro-Powers entries. Someone else expresses an opinion or support for another candidate and you do not like it. Oh well, the site is open to all. Positive Republican posts will be forthcoming! There is room for all. Once again an appearance ticket in NY is an arrest. Look it up in the NYS CPL. Might not disqualify someone, but then again it might call into question their character as might paying money to wives of party chairman or accepting donations from strip club owners. Traffic tickets probably do not count in a political race. As for Davis, I guarantee we are not a team. Frankly, watching Powers and Davis beat each other up helps Lee and Kryzan(sic?) rise above the fray. Reminder, as a legislator I represent everyone, regardless of party. I will provide examples if you dont believe me. I represent everyone in my district. As a citizen, I am free to work hard for any candidate I would like to see elected. The two are easy to seperate. Gentleman, relax, life is to short to get upset about politics. Take care, Jay
Daniel Jones
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Mr. Grasso, your the one making this seem to be some sort of confrontation between you and I, I merely pointed out the facts, facts which are backed up by records, I'm not getting "touchy" or angry, in-fact I'm having a pretty good time spreading the truth about what a great American Jon Powers is. I hope that your having as much fun with Democracy as I am. Your the one who also took offense, the 'things you might think you know about me' comment really shows that, maybe you should be ready to be subject to public criticism, after all, you are a public official Mr. Grasso. I'm not even elected to anything and have been criticized here and have taken it with a smile because I believe in the process and in the role of debate in this country. Your right, your free to endorse candidates, that is completely your American right and I would go to the mat myself to defend you if someone was threatening your ability to speak freely, however, when you misconstrue or just blatantly lie about the facts given, expect to be checked on it. After all, that is everyone's American right as well. Glad to hear that we all can agree on Jack Davis. As far as this WKR, the arrest, or the Strip Club Owner, for how many people does this being an issue get heat for their homes? How many kids have better schools? Lets bring this down to the real bread and butter issues, lets look at who's tried to do everything to help Western New York, this country, and the world during their own lives. I believe that Chris Lee, even though I've disagreed with him outsourcing, is a good man, so is Jon Powers, they will run a clean campaign, which is what this district needs...."America is too great for small dreams,"-forgot who said it.
Jerome Grasso
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Very nice quote at the end Mr.Jones. I have been scrutinized before and will be again. Comes with elected office. No big deal. Remember, thick skin! Coffee offer still stands. You might have a good time. Take care. Jay Grasso
Robert Harding
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Mr. Grasso, I don't believe this site has been "pro-Powers." I think that insults the objectivity that the staff of The Batavian uphold. Are there a lot of pro-Powers people who comment here? Sure. I can think of a few others, other than myself of course. But the people who run this site and the site itself is not pro-Powers. They have covered the race fairly. They have criticized Powers when necessary and criticized the other candidates too.
Howard B. Owens
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Well, we avowedly make no pretext to objectivity. However, I am personally non-partisan, and in this particular race, we haven't taken sides. When I've posted on the 26th District race, I've tried to look at each fact or set of facts independently and open up a discussion on those points.
Russ Stresing
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Jerry, you keep trying to play the poor, wounded, put upon soul with this transparent attempt to paint others as being reactionary bullies. You characterize every response and every responder as some sort of flamethrower merely because they don't agree with what you say and take you to task for your remarks. Really, Jerry, not everyone who doesn't agree with you is being mean. If each of your comments has some element of whining about people hollering at you, it sort of makes you look like the one who is taking unreasonable umbrage when people merely disagree with you.
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The Powers/Davis race? Everything that's needed to be said has already been said. Instead, let me address Mr. Ranzenhofer. After all, I ran against the guy in 2007 and I know a bit about his record. He is not an effective legislator, and never has been - not until this election season when he goes out of his way to do cool things with Chris Collins. He's been in the EC legislature for 20 years. Can you name one thing he's accomplished in that time? What is the Ranzenhofer record? That he didn't vote for a tax increase? Look what's happened to Erie County in the last 20 years. More people leaving. Higher taxes. Failure. When Giambra took office, Ranzenhofer was among his biggest cheerleaders. More spending + tax cuts - remember where that led us? Remember how Erie County had a budget crisis that led to a control board? We have Joel Giambra and his legislative henchmen like Ranzenhofer to thank for that. Then, when it came time to clean up the mess, Ranzenhofer was absent. He voted against the creation of a charter revision commission, but later had the chutzpah to support its conclusion that we need a county manager. He has repeatedly voted for variable minimums (which permit Giambra & Collins appointees to skip over seniority requirements and start their jobs as if they had worked there for 5 years). Is that fiscally prudent? When Joel Giambra held marathon meetings to try and find ways to cut a budget with a $200 million shortfall in the midst of the budget crisis, Ranzenhofer simply didn't show up. During Ranzenhofer's tenure, the roads in Akron and Clarence have crumbled and remain unrepaired. County services have been slashed while taxes have been raised. Is that a record to run on? The guy's been there forever, and he's got tons of money - I'll give him that. He's also got a nice enrollment advantage over whomever his opponent will be, and I'll be happy to help whoever wins the Dem primary, although I'm backing Iannello. If I had had the money, I could have really poked some big holes in Ranzenhofer's supposed record of citizen legislator service.
Jerome Grasso
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Mr Owens: I realize the site is objective. Clearly more Powers people were responding. My guess is more Republican's will begin posting after the primary. Should creat some healthy debate. Thank you. Mr.Stresing: I am Jay, Jerry is my dad! No whining, just stating a difference of opinion. Still waiting to be "taken to task" on facts, not opinion. On Powers, one more thing. In his 2007 990-EZ (filled out by hand no less!) he claims WKR took in $41,738. He then paid himself $15,000! Another person was paid $3,900! Powers paid himself almost 37% of what he took in. I sit on the board of a non-profit (I am not paid) and work with several others. No more (and preferably less than) 10% should go to admin costs. This is not right. Today's Buffalo News points out that Powers is not using WKR in his new mailer or new ad. Why? He promoted the heck out of it early on. If it is legitimate, he should run with it. I'm sure you guys will say he is trying to focus on the issues, but resume inflation is still resume inflation. I will leave Powers alone for know and wait to see who wins the primary. Mr. Bedenko: Two words "sour grapes". You lost to Ranzenhoffer something like 72-28%. That is from your own web site which is actually pretty decent. Erie County is indeed bloated with patronage, waste, duplication of services, and high taxes. That being said, last I checked, the Democrats hold vast majorities in the Erie County Legislature and a virtual stranglehold in the City of Buffalo. Giambra was a RINO and made his career before he was County Executive as a Democrat. With the Dems in control who have two state control boards and are always listed as one of the highest taxed areas in the country. Also Buffalo is listed as one of the most impoverished cities in the Nation. The Republicans are not in charge there. Mike is in the minority. One of only three Republicans on your Legislature (which desperately needs downsizing). MIKE HAS NEVER VOTED FOR A TAX INCREASE! this matters a lot to an over taxed public. He is actually quite active in Erie County boards,agencies, civic groups and charitable organizations. While I know and like Michelle Ianello, Mike is vastly more experienced,educated,and qualified.
Russ Stresing
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Having no idea who you are, I went with the most common diminutive, Jay. Having done what research you appear to have done, its disingenuous of you to equate your own efforts at part-time support of local organizations or charities to a full-time effort at starting up an international entity predicated on helping children in a combat-zone. WKR during Jon's tenure was in the process of being created. Given the experience you extend to yourself in your claim of expertise, then you probably understand the greater scope and difficulties inherent in international efforts as opposed to those of a village, town or county effort. You choose to ignore the facts in the filings that detail how Jon was able to get the veterans organization that he worked for to extend their support to WKR. That's a measure of success, I'm sure you'll agree. Its all out there if you choose to do more than just cherry pick the parts that have already been re-hashed long ago. The issue hasn't been ignored up until you chose to chime in. You're just finding your way through the issue long after all the questions have been addressed, if not answered in a way that satisfies everyone. As you look into it further, J, you'll see that your comments here are only part of the story, the part you want people to believe is only now being discussed.
Alan Bedenko
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Mr. Bedenko: Two words "sour grapes". You lost to Ranzenhoffer something like 72-28%. That is from your own web site which is actually pretty decent.
Yes, I've heard the sour grapes accusation before, but believe me, I'm far happier for not having won. My loss doesn't make Ranzenhofer a fantastic legislator.
Erie County is indeed bloated with patronage, waste, duplication of services, and high taxes. That being said, last I checked, the Democrats hold vast majorities in the Erie County Legislature and a virtual stranglehold in the City of Buffalo.
Perhaps you need a geography primer on the 4th Leg District. It is comprised of parts of Amherst, Cheektowaga, and all of Clarence and Amherst. Any talk of Buffalo is somewhat beside the point when it comes to Ranzenhofer's seat. Also, you may have forgotten, but Ranzenhofer was not only in the majority, but was majority leader in the legislature for all of the Giambra years leading up to and including the budget crisis. You can blame the Democrats if it makes you feel better, but the budget crisis was wholly an abandonment of good governance and leadership by Erie County Republicans.
Giambra was a RINO and made his career before he was County Executive as a Democrat. With the Dems in control who have two state control boards and are always listed as one of the highest taxed areas in the country. Also Buffalo is listed as one of the most impoverished cities in the Nation. The Republicans are not in charge there. Mike is in the minority. One of only three Republicans on your Legislature (which desperately needs downsizing).
Giambra may or may not have been a RINO, but Ranzenhofer went along with every single thing Giambra ever proposed and gave him everything he asked for when the legislature was majority Republican (remember Chuck Swanick's switch?)
MIKE HAS NEVER VOTED FOR A TAX INCREASE! this matters a lot to an over taxed public. He is actually quite active in Erie County boards,agencies, civic groups and charitable organizations. While I know and like Michelle Ianello, Mike is vastly more experienced,educated,and qualified.
Mike may not have voted for a tax increase, but he sure as hell voted for loads and loads of spending increases that helped send the county to economic ruin. This was under Republican majority leadership.

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