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Photos 'Bowser' at 400 Towers

By Howard B. Owens

Jon "Bowzer" Bauman, star of Sha-Na-Na, stopped by 400 Towers on Friday evening to talk with residents about Medicare, Social Security and his career in music and television.

Though Bauman's appearance was sponsored by Kathy Hochul, his talk was pretty non-political. Bauman mostly stuck to the facts of the programs and proposals, at least as he sees them.

Above, Bea McManis escorts Bauman into 400 Towers as Bauman displays Bowzer's trademark muscle flex.

JoAnne Rock

Hmmm....a musician, turned democratic activist, sponsored by democratic candidate for Congress Kathy Hochul, explaining the "facts" about Medicare and Social Security proposals to residents of a publicly subsidized that even legal???

I thought campaigning on public property was prohibited.

I wonder how many times the word decimate was used.

May 21, 2011, 3:49pm Permalink
Bea McManis

JoAnne, I wish you were there. It was non-political. Decimate, to my knowledge, was never said.
Anyone is welcome to come and talk to residents and discuss "facts as they see them". It is always an open forum. They are told, up front, that they can't campaign for the very reasons you mentioned.
Both Republicans and Democrats have come to the Towers to speak. We've had bi-partisan events and events where a single person comes in.
All they need to do is call and request a time and adhere to the guidelines.
Would you be half as concerned if it had been Corwin; Davis; Murphy, or Jeff Allen?
They would be welcome too.
If I recall, Howard was standing behind me when I went over the groundrules with Bowzer. His introduction never included the Hochul name. His message was to get out and vote. He never suggested that they vote one way or the other, just do it.
Yes he is an entertainer and entertain he did. He told stories about his childhood; he played Chopin (twice) on the piano; he explained that his early training was in classical music but he finally got to Carnagie Hall as "Bowzer" with Sha Na Na. Since he was speaking to seniors, he shared memories of his parents and how proud his mother was of him (and herself for forcing those piano lessons on him). So proud, in fact, that at the end of the concert at Carnagie, she signed autographs as "Bowzer's Mom".
The seniors had a ball telling him about their memories of going to his concerts and where they saw the band live.
He stuck to the guidelines. If you feel that the residents should be deprived on an evening they enjoyed then I guess you can get the wheels turning to stop it in the future. If you feel it was illegal, then the person to to have arrested is me since I, as the person who books events for the residents, am responsible.

May 21, 2011, 5:04pm Permalink
Tim Howe

All I could think about when i read the first line of this story was the first hanukkah song from Adam Sandler, for those of you not familiar with it the whole song consists of Sandler just listing tons of celebs that are jewish and one line says "guess who eats together at the carnagie deli, Bowzer from sha na na and arthur fonzarelli"

No Batavian tshirt this time Bea, and you still got on the front page :)

May 21, 2011, 9:12pm Permalink
Daniel Jones

Joanne - Anyone can come and give a talk at 400 towers with the approval of the people who run it. There is no reason to deprive the citizens there the opportunity to learn about issues or where the candidates stand on them. The residents of 400 towers have had many politicians, local and non-local and their representatives visit them in the past.

May 21, 2011, 9:32pm Permalink
JoAnne Rock

"Also, if you’re lucky, you might catch Bowser from Sha-na-na campaigning for Hochul"
posted today by Alan Bedenko at:

"Unless Team Hochul's email has been hacked and I'm being taken for a ride, she will have a special guest star on the campaign trail today: Jon Bauman... better known as "Bowzer" of Sha Na Na. "
posted today by Celeste Katz at:…

SILVER SPRINGS — Jon ‘‘Bowzer’’ Bauman, former member of the band Sha Na Na, is scheduled to appear with Democratic congressional candidate Kathy Hochul at a ‘‘Drop By Bingo Night’’ at 5:45 p.m. Friday at St. Isidore Church, 23 Church St.
posted Friday at:…

Bowzer's "Get out the vote message"

May 21, 2011, 9:51pm Permalink
Bea McManis

His message to the residents was "Get Out the Vote" - not vote for Hochul. His very last comment to them was, "On Tuesday, please vote. Vote for whomever you choose, but vote.".
He attended events where the public was invited. He accompanied Kathy Hochul at those events. The public was NOT invited to the event at the Towers and Kathy Hochul was not there.
He followed the guidelines set down, in fact he was emphatic in keeping within them.
Other than his driver, who stayed out of the picture, he came alone. Other than his pictures, which he autographed, no literature was handed out.

May 21, 2011, 10:12pm Permalink
Charlie Mallow

Maybe if Corwin wanted to one up Bowzer she could show up with the second tape. Heck, better yet she could bring her whole dirty tricks crew down to the towers and they could taught all the veterans.

May 21, 2011, 10:29pm Permalink
Jeff Allen

Bea, thank you for including me in the conversation, I am sincerely flattered. If I were to come that would be the crux of my message as well...just get out and vote. Tonight I am working on my only two yard signs(I truly have a low budget operation).

May 21, 2011, 10:32pm Permalink
Jeff Allen

I honestly wouldn't know how to make one! I guess I'm supposed to disclose my budget so here it is:
microperforated ink jet business cards to hand out - $21
vinyl letters for the yard signs - $23
driving my wife crazy - priceless!

May 21, 2011, 11:19pm Permalink
Bea McManis

Jeff, if you wanted to come with that message, you would be more than welcome.
When I am involved in Towers' activities, my first concern is the Towers. You would be subject to the same parameters as anyone else coming.
It is alarming to read that I am suspected/accused of doing something illegal in a public forum.
Charlie, I don't even want to think about the reaction anyone would get if they came to talk to our residents and taunted the veterans. We have quite a few men and a few women who are proud veterans.

May 21, 2011, 11:41pm Permalink
Brandon Burger

Is Bowser supposed to be Kathy Hochul's answer to Pat Boone's support for Corwin?

Who will Jack Davis have? The Andrews Sisters?

I can't imagine who Ian Murphy would have...I'd like to think maybe the Dead Milkmen or maybe the Dead Kennedys. Either would be awesome.

May 22, 2011, 1:25am Permalink
Bob Price

Thanks Bea for organizing this-when I saw my mom on Friday,she wasn't sure if she was going to go.When I saw her last night(Sat.) and asked her if she went-she was all smiles and said it was fun-how he told story about Carnegie Hall,how well he played piano,etc.She said he talked about Medicare,but said NOTHING about any candidates.Believe me-my mother is sick and tired of all the commercials and phone calls from the 3 rich asshats......

May 22, 2011, 7:16am Permalink
Dave Olsen

Brandon, good call. I can see Ian Murphy having someone from the Dead Kennedys at an event. Or Maybe David Crosby. I have to admit, I used to love Sha Na Na, great harmonizing. I'm glad it was a fun event Bea.

May 22, 2011, 8:13am Permalink
Bea McManis

Posted by Tim Howe on May 21, 2011 - 9:12pm
No Batavian tshirt this time Bea, and you still got on the front page :)

The Batavian shirt had a reason. I booked Howard to come in and speak during a luncheon. It seemed appropriate.
The red, white and blue shirt with flags seemed appropriate for a "get out the vote" event.
Who knows, if we ever do an Easter event, I might show up as the Easter bunny.…

May 22, 2011, 11:33am Permalink
JoAnne Rock

Posted by Bea McManis on May 21, 2011 - 11:41pm

"It is alarming to read that I am suspected/accused of doing something illegal in a public forum."

It is more than alarming, is a total fabrication created for dramatic effect. You inserted yourself into my comment, I didn't.

I work at a private senior residence community and campaigning of any kind is forbidden. It is to protect our residents from being subjected to unscrupulous, annoying or biased campaign practices. It has nothing to do with your twisted interpretation of "depriving them of an enjoyable evening."

You and I will have to agree to disagree on whether or not Bowzer was campaigning for Kathy Hochul...I believe he was. Kathy Hochul announced in an email to the media that he was.

If it walks like a duck...

May 22, 2011, 2:42pm Permalink
Lorie Longhany

I'm sure Pat Boone could come in and sing a tune or two and Bea would lay down the ground rules like she does for all events at the Towers.

Nice that the residents were treated to a little entertainment while all the celeb's are in town campaigning.

Bea has always adhered to the rules. I've heard her read the riot act.

May 22, 2011, 8:36pm Permalink
Bea McManis

What part of this didn't you understand?
Posted by Bob Price on May 22, 2011 - 7:16am
Thanks Bea for organizing this-when I saw my mom on Friday,she wasn't sure if she was going to go.When I saw her last night(Sat.) and asked her if she went-she was all smiles and said it was fun-how he told story about Carnegie Hall,how well he played piano,etc.She said he talked about Medicare,but said NOTHING about any candidates.Believe me-my mother is sick and tired of all the commercials and phone calls from the 3 rich asshats......

"...said NOTHING about any candidates...".
Most of the people there were not aware that he was campaigning for Hochul at other events. His message was get out and vote and that came at the very end of a very entertaining evening.

You are insinuating that more was said. It wasn't. He didn't campaign. He didn't mention a candidate. He stayed withing the guidelines set forth. It wasn't a case of "if it walks like a duck.". I can count on one hand the number of people who have email. I doubt any of them saw the press release you speak of.
Yes, we may agree to disagree, and I will gladly give you your due when you are right.
Are you telling me that an entertainer can't come to our residence because of his other outside activities or affilitations?
We do not allow campaigning. We will, and have hosted bi-partisan Meet and Greets, where candidates can come in to have a coffee hour with any residents who care to participate. The candidates are told, in advance, that the event is exactly as billed, a meet and greet. No campaigning, just introductions and a chance for them to listen to the residents' concerns.
No one forces anyone to join in this type of activity. This is their home and the center of their community.
We do not allow candidates to knock on doors or do lit drops at doors. But, this is not a prison. Our residents chose the activities in which they want to participate.
Is it really 'twisted' to provide our residents the opportunity to meet those who will represent them either locally, or in the state or national arena?
A meet and greet is a far cry from an entertainer coming to remind them all to get out and vote. The residents who came to the event enjoyed it. I doubt if any of them will tell you they were subject to annoying campaigning. It just didn't happen.

May 22, 2011, 8:59pm Permalink
Bea McManis

Posted by Howard Owens on May 22, 2011 - 8:59pm
Bea, think you could get Pat Boone to come to 400 Towers? That would be something.

Howard, all it takes is a phone call from whomever is handling his schedule and he'd be warbling like a bird.
Same rules apply. You could come and make sure that he sticks to them :)

May 22, 2011, 9:04pm Permalink
Daniel Jones

Posted by Jeff Allen on May 21, 2011 - 10:32pm
Bea, thank you for including me in the conversation, I am sincerely flattered. If I were to come that would be the crux of my message as well...just get out and vote. Tonight I am working on my only two yard signs(I truly have a low budget operation).

That's what I call grassroots, my man!

May 22, 2011, 10:38pm Permalink
Daniel Jones

Joanne - The people at 400 towers are not stupid and do not need to be 'protected', they know when they are being snookered by an untrustworthy campaigner and will gladly tell them to shove off (I've seen it happen). Furthermore, this event was approved by the management of 400 Towers.

There are principled conservatives on The Batavian, like Jeff Allen and Bob Harker, who do not resort to these sorts of silly shenanigans. Enough is enough.

May 22, 2011, 10:47pm Permalink
JoAnne Rock

Dan, exactly what silly shenanigans are you accusing me of? Should I check with Jeff and Bob first before I post anything to make sure it is principled enough? What do Jeff and Bob, being principled conservatives, have to do with my comment anyway?

My objection is to the Hochul campaign bringing in a lovable guy like Bowzer to present a one-sided and biased view of an issue as important as Medicare, to a group of seniors, under the guise of entertainment. I think it's underhanded, you think it is performing a service...we disagree.

Seniors should be informed on the issues...all sides of the they can make an informed choice.

Last I checked, all viewpoints are welcome on The Batavian. Sorry if mine don't fit the idealogical pigeon hole that you have assigned to me.

May 23, 2011, 12:22am Permalink
Daniel Jones

Joanne - Hyperbole much? I won't take your troll bait. Your silly shenanigans are saying that somehow a candidate bringing a representative to a senior citizen housing complex is somehow indicative of an evil conspiracy to fraud seniors out of their vote. The Corwin campaign had every opportunity to bring a representative to 400 Towers and they chose not too.

It is the job the Hochul campaign to present their case at 400 towers, the same goes to the Corwin and Davis campaigns. They chose not too. That is their fault and not Kathy's.

Your viewpoints aside, I was pointing out that other conservatives on The Batavian don't make a mountain out of an anthill because someone campaigned in an officially sanctioned event at 400 Towers. It is possible to have entertainment and information at the same time. I think the intelligent and good people at 400 Towers understood this when they went to the event.

May 23, 2011, 12:37am Permalink
Brandon Burger

While I often don't agree with her, I don't believe JoAnne could ever be considered a troll and I certainly would not characterize her as a purveyor of trivialities.

Bowser engaging in 'non-political' advocacy at 400 Towers while actively participating in the Hochul campaign is, while perfectly legal, definitely greasy. It is most definitely not trivial. Pointing out the greasy aspects of politics is never trivial.

May 23, 2011, 12:44am Permalink
JoAnne Rock

Chris, I hope that is not what you are taking away from my objection. I believe strongly in the importance of an informed citizenry. You and I have had this conversation before.

All political opinions should be heard by anyone wishing to listen.

Is full disclosure too much to ask when a speaker's political agenda may not be known or obvious? Shouldn't voters have a right to know if someone is a paid representative for a candidate/party as opposed to being just a loyal supporter?

Maybe I'm the only one that feels this way, but it is one of the things that I really hate about politics.

Brandon, thank you for understanding my point and Chris, thank you for inquiring first before accusing me of wanting to shred the first amendment.

May 23, 2011, 5:00am Permalink
Charlie Mallow

Having your opponents followed by a dirty tricks team is greasy. Having each registered voter robo called 8 times a day is greasy. Sending the Bowser to campaign for you is a good fun idea. Having been someone who had a meet and greet at the towers, I can tell you that the residents dont need to be protected. These are senior members of the community, they are smarter than the average voter. Why do they need protection? One things for sure, you better bring a bullet proof vest if your going to feed them a line of crap.

May 23, 2011, 7:01am Permalink
John Roach

What's wrong with campaigning there? True, it's public property, but you can't just come in. You have to ask and you are restricted to the common area. The residents can go or not go, it's up to them. And for many with mobility problems, it's much easier than trying to go to other events. Just be honest what the event is.

May 23, 2011, 7:53am Permalink
Chris Charvella

JoAnne, since campaigning is verboten in 400 Towers, how is the man supposed to identify himself without breaking the rules.

'Hi, I'm Bowser from Sha-na-na. I came out to NY to campaign for Kathy Hochul, but for the moment I'm not really campaigning for her, because I'm not allowed to do that here. Wait, now that I've identified myself as a Hochul supporter, I guess it's against the rules to talk about anythi8ng other than the weather, so I'll just stand here and make this face while you guys snap pictures.'

How stupid is that? The man came out here to talk about Medicare. He wants people to vote for Kathy Hochul because she shares his opinion on Medicare. He didn't say a word about Hochul at 400 Towers, but he said more than a few of them about other things. Conversation over.

If Pat Boone was willing to cut off his leather pants and vest for long enough to put on a tie and come to NY, Bea would have gotten him in as well.

May 23, 2011, 7:20am Permalink
Lorie Longhany

Shame on the Corwin campaign for pretty much writing off Genesee County, probably under the assumption that their presence isn't needed in deep red Genesee County.

The Corwin surrogates surely had the opportunity to visit, not only 400 Towers, but any number of places to reach out to voters here. They chose not to. Meanwhile I can no longer count Kathy Hochul's visits, because she has been here so many times.

Every candidate has the same opportunities at 400 Towers with the same guidelines to adhere to. It's the same for local candidates and the major Parties know this.

Maybe Paul Ryan should have set up a visit so he can explane the vouchers. I'm quite sure he would be given permission. But can he sing and entertain?

May 23, 2011, 7:47am Permalink
bud prevost

Lorie asked " I'm quite sure he would be given permission. But can he sing and entertain? "

Of course he can, he's in the House of Representatives. The proverbial home of the song and dance.

I'm excited this is over tomorrow. No more commercials.

May 23, 2011, 8:13am Permalink
Jeff Allen

Daniel, I appreciate the support, but truth be told, I have made some mountains out of anthills, said some stupid things and "debated" out of emotion and not just on issues. I have posted things where I should have clicked "preview" before "save", but this has been a great learning experience in forum communications.

May 23, 2011, 4:56pm Permalink

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