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February 18, 2009 - 4:33pm

Member of County Legislature posting on The Batavian under assumed name

posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, Jerome Grasso.

Jerome Grasso, LeRoy representative of the Genesee County Legislature has posted 14 comments over the past four weeks as Michael Barney.

In a conversation this afternoon, Grasso admitted that he made the posts because in his new part-time job he is discouraged from blogging.

"I love the site," Grasso said. "I ain't going to bullshit you, but I missed the site and I enjoy the site immensely."

A few weeks ago, Grasso took a two-day-a-week job with State Senator Mike Ranzenhofer working out of his Erie County office.

"They haven't banned me from it (leaving comments on The Batavian), but they just don't want me on there.  But it's a good source for news and let's be real, it's damn entertaining. What can I say? I missed it."

We were alerted by local Democrats (we will let them reveal their identities in comments if they wish) that they suspected Barney was really Grasso. They noted similarities in outlook and writing style.

Upon further investigation, we found that on a handful of occasions, Barney left comments from the IP address associated with previous comments by Grasso. The Barney persona and Grasso where the only users to ever post from this IP address.

When we spoke to Grasso this morning, Grasso identified Barney as a good friend and member of the GOP county committee.  He said he wasn't surprised Barney might post from the same IP address because they were close friends.

During the conversation -- which covered a range of local topics -- Grasso mentioned that he didn't post as frequently on the site because his new employer "wasn't keen" on him blogging.

We checked with local election commissioners and found that there is no Michael Barney on any GOP committee, nor is there a Barney registered to vote in Genesee County.

During our second call with Grasso, he quickly fessed up and said he and his wife discussed the issue on a shopping trip around noon and agreed he should admit to the nom de plume.  "I can't bullshit you, Howard," he said. "I shouldn't have done it, but I just missed the site."

The Barney comments can be viewed here. Some of them do discuss county business, particularly related to the recent ambulance service controversy.

Outside of sticking up for the county's position on the ambulance service and a general conservative/Republican point of view, none of the Barney comments can be said to promote Jay Grasso. Though in one comment, he clearly contradicts the fact that Barney and Grasso are one and the same person:

Most local electeds will contact you if you reach out to them by phone. Perhaps you see Mallow and Grasso on here because they are younger. I am not sure how old they are. Does anyone know their ages? I am thinking older electeds are not familiar with blogs.

There is a term on the Web for prominent people who use fake names to promote their own causes: Sock puppets.

While I sympathize with Jay's predicament and constraints related to his new job, we clearly can't knowingly allow elected officials to post under false identities. The sock puppet issue is one of the primary reasons we do our best to enforce a real name policy on The Batavian.

Lorie Longhany
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This should be an example to anyone running for office or serving as an elected official that they owe the voters their honest and open communication. We have elected officials in the City of Batavia who regularly communicate with voters on The Batavian and in The Daily and who always openly stand by their statements and positions, even if people disagree. That's the sort of public give-and-take that differentiates these representatives from politicians who aren't willing to engage in honest, open conversation with the voters. We need more of that and fewer of these instances of deliberate misrepresentation. If someone has to hide behind an alias to take cheap potshots at people who honestly own up to their statements and opinions, it doesn't speak well of the sincerity of anything they might say during a campaign or while in office. I'm proud that elected Democrats that have chosen to speak out about the issues take responsibility for their statements and honestly take part in the public discourse. I just wish Legislator Grasso would have exercised the same solid judgment.
Russ Stresing
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Nowhere in Mr. Grasso's statements to I detect any regret for misrepresenting himself, even to his own Leroy constituents or the voters he serves in Senator Ranzenhofer's employ. He mentions repeatedly (and earthily) how much he loves reading The Batavian. That hardly explains why he felt such an irresistible compulsion to offer snide remarks that he had to hide behind an alias. And it doesn't explain why he initially not only refused to own up to his actions, but also went so far as to appoint his alternate personality to the Republican county committee. He also had the stones to criticize Batavia's City Council about the ambulance issue when he was a sitting county legislator who had more than a passing influence on the issue. He chose to collect a paycheck as an elected representative to the county legislature and collect a paycheck from a State Senator's office to serve constituents while misrepresenting himself under an assumed name as other people willingly stood by their public comments. Sadly, I'm not surprised, to be honest. Even after ostensibly agreeing with his boss' wishes that he not post on The Batavian, he still couldn't restrain himself from making remarks, even if it meant he had to assume a second personality to go behind his employer's back. Some people just feel like they're smarter than everybody else and deserve more privileges than the ordinary voter. There are other names more descriptive than 'sock puppet'.
Jerome Grasso
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Yes it is true! My alter-ego has been exposed! It was fun while it lasted and no harm was intended. As well, I never promoted myself or my position (no sock puppets here!). "Mr. Barney" (yes Dan, just like the big purple guy!) was never mean. Read the posts, they were never nasty. Old Barn' just wanted to make some points on the ambulance issue and have a little fun. Frankly, I missed the Batavian. It is a good source for news and is very entertaining. It is always nice to see what people are saying, especially the ones you do not always agree with. Being in a new part time position, I was trying to be careful. I fully expect my dem friends to "beat me up good" on this! Then again, I could put my grocery list on this site and some would tear it apart! LOL! To my Rep. friends, we need to keep coming to this site and others like it. The dems are kicking our tails in when it comes to communication and technology. We need to stay informed and present our views here. Rest assured, if we do not have are facts straight, Harding, Jones, and Stressing will tear us up, as they should. Yes, Genesee County and GLOW is red, but we have to work to keep it they way. Once again, sorry to all. I will stick to being my old boring self from now on! As always, anyone is welcome to contact me with any County related questions. Take care, J. Grasso
Daniel Jones
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This is beyond just a normal post of opinion, this is a deceptive and manipulative behavior.....in short, I have a name for it, lying. I think that it's a crying shame that someone who works for my representative feels the need to cowardly hide himself in a screename and create a second personality, I've always been appalled at the use of sock puppets and still am. This time it comes from someone who not only works for my State Senator, but also a County Legislator, someone that's supposed to be representing the people and is supposed to be a role model for people my age. I won't judge, nor will I claim perfection on anyone's part (or my own), but I will say that I am very, very disappointed.
Russ Stresing
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In response to Laz's deleted comment, As much as I appreciate your poetry, the difference is that an elected official, who additionally enjoys a paid position in a State Senator's office, chose to hide behind a manufactured personality to indulge himself even after agreeing with his employer to refrain from exactly that activity. That's questionable on several counts.
Judith Hunter
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Here's some other issues this raises: did Senator Ranzenhofer know his employee was doing this? Did he realize he was taking on such a loose cannnon? How will the Senator respond to this possible deception?
John Roach
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Laz, Why do you still do what Jay did?
Andrew Erbell
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Flog him! Flog him severely!!!! Seriously though, concerns were raised by people who compared writing styles? You know, there are numerous charitable organizations in the area that could use help and it's obvious some folks have plenty of extra time on their hands.
Howard B. Owens
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I thought I had blocked Laz's leonard s clark account. It is now and his latest posts deleted. Weeks ago, I asked him to identify himself and he disappeared for a while.
Russ Stresing
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Andy, I'm guessing your comment is meant to misdirect from the fact that an elected county legislator in the employ of a state senator couldn't resist his compulsion to masquerade as an ordinary citizen in order to satisfy his need. Its obvious that some people (Andy) need more time to develop their comments.
John Roach
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Russ, Heaven knows we don’t agree on much (or on anything), but I would be less than honest if I didn’t say you are 100% on this issue. The sad thing is some people, like “Laz” don’t see what Jay did as wrong. He was offered a job and accepted with certain stipulations. One was that he not blog. His boss has the right to set rules and Jay had the right to accept the job, rules and pay, or to reject the restrictions and not take the job and the money. In this case, he agreed to obey the boss’s rules, took the job, accepted the money, then decided to break the rules and lie about it. Don’t you wish you could be a fly on the wall when he goes to work again?
Russ Stresing
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Laz, "It is not questionable to deny burying the body after having agreed to do so". That's an incorrect metaphor on your part. Jerry denied burying the body after he agreed to stop creating bodies. John shares a rare point with me if he and I agree that this is an example of assumed privilege by a political animal. There are many examples (right here on The Batavian) of people who selflessly expose themselves to critique and criticism with no thought toward self-enrichment. Mr. Grasso ingratiated himself at every level of Republican Party participation, and it paid off for him. He has made great effort and achieved enrichment in his efforts to further his exposure in support of Republican candidates. He now stands to answer for his enthusiastic support of the party's candidates and his subsequent personal benefit from that enthusiastic support. Here he is with State Senator Ranzenhofer : http://www.senatorrath.com/61/news.aspx?nid=17844 (by the way, why hasn't Senator Ranzenhofer changed the web address yet?)
Charlie Mallow
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I know every time I post on this site someone is going to take a shot at me. I still do it because; I believe it is my job to help people understand the reasons for the way things are done. I also know for certain that every time I post my opinion or reason for doing something, someone isn’t going to like it. The easy thing is not to do or say anything. Let me give you some background information. Before the City Council voted to end ambulance service, I asked our county representatives to meet with some members of Council. Council wanted to ask the county for help with the ambulance and ask if they would work with us to figure out a better way to provide ambulance service for the county, BEFORE we just terminated the service. Ed Dejanerio was kind enough to come and talk to us. We agreed that he would go back and ask the legislature to speak about the service. The response he received from Jay Grasso, Chair of the Health and Human Service sub committee is that “there was nothing to talk about” and that it was “inconvenient” to discuss the ambulance service at his committee meeting. It’s INCONVENIENT to discuss ambulance service for county residents??!!!! I looked back at the comments that Barney (Jay) made and they revolved around defending himself for refusing to even speak to the city about what we could do about ambulance service in this county. Instead of Jay coming on this site and explaining what his plans where to make sure that this county had ambulance service, as chair of the Health and Human Services sub committee, he joined in on the attack of City Council. With his fake name. Quote from Barney: ”Last I checked, while the city council has been raising taxes and fees, (while assessments keep going up) the county legislature has been lowering them. Why should 44,000 county residents have to bail out 15,000 city residents of their bad deals? ie baseball, youth football, ambulance service.” I take exception to this. Jay hid behind a fake name to help attack me and a majority Republican council that I lead. Jay attacked us for doing what we had to do to keep baseball and stop the bleeding with the ambulance service. He slapped us in the face and hid behind a fake name. He attacked me while he knew I was putting myself out there in public to help explain this issue. I was going to remain silent Jay. The last thing I would do is help the public hang someone in my position but, it was INCONVENIENT for me to be silent!!!
Robert Harding
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Jay, I'm not going to beat you up for this. As you said, you didn't promote yourself. But you did break the rules here and you will pay with public embarrassment. This is what you have to consider: You are a Genesee County legislator. You are also on staff with Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer. I know how the rules work when you take jobs with political parties or elected officials. Blogging is a big no-no (unless your job is to blog or write). A friend of mine was an intern with Sen. Hillary Clinton. He told me a story about starting a blog prior to starting his internship. When he showed up for his internship, he was called in and told that he couldn't blog during his time there. It's a small price to pay, but it's necessary. I am not a resident of Genesee County, but having met you, I am concerned for my friends in the county that they are being represented by someone who is willing to lie and trick his way like you did here. You knew what you were doing and if you didn't get caught, we wouldn't be having this conversation. You would have continued on until you were caught. In other words: I don't trust you as far as I could throw you. But I'm not a voter in Genesee County. I will leave your fate in the hands of those who you represent. The people of LeRoy will have a choice in November: Someone who is willing to play games and tricks or your opponent who will no doubt present a different point of view and different approach to leadership. I hope you learned a hard lesson here Jay. While The Batavian is a great tool, you need to get your priorities in order. This blog isn't going anywhere. But your job with Ranzenhofer and your elected position aren't going to be there forever. If I were you, I would put my job above blogging. And if I were you, I would focus on getting re-electing in November.
Rose Mary Christian
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I’m really disappointed to see that Jay Grasso is really a puppet. I just can’t imagine him hiding behind a factious name and saying the things he has said. I often wonder who Mike Barney really was. Le Roy can’t be to, proud of a legislator like that. I’m not, and if you have to hide behind a name than you should of never said anything. I also think that there might be a few puppets on the Batavian. Who ever found this out thanks?
Andrew Erbell
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Nah, I just looked at the headline of the thread again and still feel the same way. OH MY GAWD, WHAT A CONTROVERSY!!! The nation is broke, the state is broke, businesses are failing in Batavia, meanwhile ya'll will be posting about this for the next three days. It's this kind of investigative reporting the keeps "The Batavian" head and shoulders above The Daily News and WBTA. (You'll start ridiculing me now for expressing an opinion that doesn't share in the outrage.)
Russ Stresing
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No, Andy, I'll start ridiculing you because its so easy. You are so terribly obvious in your efforts to distract from the discussion of Mr. Grasso's indiscretions that I have to ask 'why?!?!?!?''. Is there any profit to you? Speaking of authenticity..."ya'll"???... I'll bet you say 'soda' instead of 'pop'. How awfully irresponsible and insulting of you, Andy. Or should I say, "Mr. Grasso"?
Alan Bedenko
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My gosh, this is precious. The Republicans in the GLOW counties are having a bad week, by all accounts.
Howard B. Owens
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Andrew, you're setting straw men afire, my friend. -- We have a well known policy requiring real names. -- Normally, we don't do such a public post about a person being found using a fake name, but in this case, it involves a public official. That makes it a public matter. -- Even Jay admitted he heard the rumor that he had been connected to Barney and one of the things I told him in the first call was that it would be in his own best interest to clarify matter given the prevalence of the rumor. Is this Pulitzer material? I certainly never claimed such. That's your own words. But we've made an decision that as a matter of ethics on a local site, people should be honest about who they are. Even Jay will tell you he knows that rule of the site. I look at this as a house cleaning post -- being honest with readers about activity on the site we believe is wrong and involving an elected official. I'll leave it to others to judge how important this issue is.
lawrence steven...
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Russ Is it acceptable for -Ranz- to tell Grasso not to blog? I think that's the real issue People talk about being upstanding and all that jazz HERE you have a senator telling someone they'd like for him to not blog because of ...what? Fear of someones opinions being jerked around misquoted -Or Not- and using them to attack Ranz -or the party itself- as though he shares the opinion of anyone working for/with him What else could the reasoning be? I don't know. If you're upstanding you allow people their freedoms not restrict them because you fear reataliation from those outside the RIGHT Grasso seems to have said he was only discouraged from blogging "not keen on" Hardly stern sounding warning that if found blogging he faced the chopping block. I don't see where grasso said to Ranz he would not blog "would not create bodies" Even if he had I don't think it matters because I don't think a rule such as that should be followed ...you'll have to give me your reasoning for why that "rule" is flawless He only denied {Grasso identified Barney as a good friend } after being questioned ..outed. I frankly don't see why someone only wanting to share his opinions should have to BE FORCED solely because he is "an elected official" -like they are to be held to a higher standard? lol to incriminate himself There isn't anything wrong in keeping up the charade. Refusing to come clean on some local website is a waste of effort so he finally has There is no sock puppet People here are already beginning to believe there is just at the mention of it in the post Did grasso say anything as barney he wouldn't have said as grasso? Doesn't seem like it He wouldn't have been identified if he had. Where "hiding behind an alias" if you say exactly what you would have said under your real name? Bogus. Mallow Quote from Barney: ”Last I checked, while the city council has been raising taxes and fees, (while assessments keep going up) the county legislature has been lowering them. Why should 44,000 county residents have to bail out 15,000 city residents of their bad deals? ie baseball, youth football, ambulance service.” I take exception to this. Jay hid behind a fake name to help attack me and a majority Republican council that I lead. Jay attacked us for doing what we had to do to keep baseball and stop the bleeding with the ambulance service. He slapped us in the face and hid behind a fake name. Is this something Grasso would not have said? I don't know. If grasso as grasso would have said it No hiding behind a fake name Sounds like an opinion you could get from anyone. HOWARD Cert. is up on Myspace if want to see it Gotta be good enough verification to not get banned for the 5th or 9th time this evening on thebatavian. You can't inspect it over the net but could you inspect it in person any better? It's legit and solid. This is my name Home Identity I expect this to end the debate If it doesn't I can only laugh and keep on creating accounts not to be an ass but because I should
Chris Charvella
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I had a lot to say here but I decided to just keep it short: Mr. Grasso, if you want to have private opinions then stop running for public office. Your glib 'who me?' responses are neither cute nor funny. If you want to be taken seriously then act like a serious man. When a person is elected to public office, large or small, he/she carries with them the implied trust of their constituents. Any lie told, large or small, is a breach of that trust and speaks volumes about the person telling it.
Russ Stresing
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Laz, As reluctant as I am to say this...duh. It is entirely acceptable for an elected official to ask an employee to show some discretion. You poor baby, as nobly as you want to portray yourself ( you cute little knight, you)(and I do mean you)) as some sort of 'above the fray' avatar in some video game, the fact that you repeatedly choose to hide your identity and connection to the community tells me that this is nothing more than a game to you. And that puts you in Mr. Grasso's camp. To the both of you, this is more than winning an argument..winning a debate...fighting big, scary monsters in World of Warcraft. As big as your lip might get as you frown, Larry, if you take money and accept the benefit of influence from someone, you make an agreement. There. Don't you feel better that I explained it to you. Here's a caramel, sweetie. If you argue otherwise, it explains why you and I do mean you are an ass. Because you can't be otherwise. You don't have the capacity to engage people other than under rules you are allowed to create and adapt. You choose not to accept the rules because, as does Mr. Grasso, you can't make your case within the rules. Only by making your own rules and/or ridiculing the existing rules can you claim victory. There now. Does that make you (both) feel better? Sleepy-bye now, dears.
John Roach
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Laz, Looks like you’re just another “sock puppet”, like Jay. You're still lying about who you are. At your invitation, I went to your phony My Space site, where it’s clear you continue to make stuff up. You list your address as Byron, here Basom. You still use a phony zip; you’re a “Sock Puppet”. The fact you feel lying to your boss and others is ok tells even more about you, since you lie to us all the time. And the issue is not has anyone ever lied to a boss, it’s that you say it’s ok to do it. The issue is also not if his boss should tell Jay not to blog. He’s the boss. Jay took his money, he takes the rules. Jay did not have to take the job. In addition, his boss is an elected official. If Jay said something political, some people might think he is speaking for his boss, when he is not. That’s why he was told not to blog. Laz, there are lots of sites that don’t care who you are or if you lie, like you do. This one does, so why do you continue to do it? Laz, a question. Would you still take the same stands if you admitted who you really are as you do as a sock puppet? Until then, we have to hope Howard keeps dropping you until you get some backbone. One more point, Jay’s pay as a staff worker comes from the tax payers, so while he lied, he did it while taking our money. Jay, give it back.
Philip Anselmo
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Andrew: We have been reporting on everything else that you mention as if to say that we ignore it. I frequently author posts about the state's financial crisis. We were the first to report the facts about several of the recent businesses closing in Batavia. And we have very much kept up with national news: particularly those issues related to the state of the economy, including the bank bailout and the stimulus package. Simply because this story is included among those others does not negate all of the other news reporting we do. If you do not care for this sort of post, you have only to pass it by while searching out the news that better suits your needs. There's plenty to choose from here on The Batavian. Thank you for your participation.
Andrew Erbell
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To one and all, I apologize. From now on I will post only in agreement with whatever the consensus of opinions appears to be on any given topic, whether I actually share those views or not. Baaaah.
Philip Anselmo
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Andrew: I thanked you for your comment. Sincerely. I neither asked for an apology nor implied that your opinion wasn't welcome. In fact, I quite appreciate your commentary. My previous comment served the sole purpose of stating that our coverage includes all of the items that were said to be lacking from the site. In the past three days alone, this site has included posts on arrests, protests, owls, lots of sports, politics, city administration, the downtown economy, community organizations, education, and the switch to digital television, among other topics. I think we do a pretty good job in the diversity of our coverage considering that our full-time staff totals two people. And none of that includes the many other topics and conversations that are broached in our comments. Again, thanks for your participation.
scott rytlewski
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This is funny i thought Orleans County had the only Legislator with a alter ego or should i say a little friend to talk to hahahahah
Maddie LaNova
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I am new to the site. Thanks for existing! I follow politics (mostly national) but read Grasso's posts. To be a "sock puppet", one must promote themself or the guy they work for. It does not appear that he was promoting himself or anyone else. He mostly talks about ambulance issues. ZZZZZZZZ! His actions do not fit the label. True, he should have used his own name but lots of people do this. Since he did not take personal shots, its NBD. The responses to what he did seem to be mostly from Democrats and only because he is a Republican. That is not cool. Looks kinda personal. I think that is why most people my age (19 last month!) register as an independent. My mom would call it a "mountain out of a mole hill". Thanks, TTFN!
Howard B. Owens
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Maddie, welcome to The Batavian. Great to see your comment. One point of clarification: Jay did use the Barney account to push a county position on the controversial topic of ambulance service. That doesn't make it in anyway one the worst case of sock pupperty you'll ever find, but it does fit the definition. That said, I don't think that was really Jay's intention. I take him at his word that he missed the site and just wanted to participate.
Daniel Jones
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Russ Stresing
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I'm having a little trouble chalking this up to Jerome Grasso "having some fun, so no harm, no foul". Jerome Grasso has done a lot to ingratiate himself to Republicans up the line and his comments on this site as mike barney continued that habit. Jerome Grasso (as his imaginary personality 'mike barney') repeatedly criticized Democrats at every level without having the stones to identify himself as Jerome Grasso, someone who holds an elevated position in the Republican Party. "Stressing is right about the local nursing homes being shafted on medicaid. The hospital as well. This blame falls squarely on the three "Democrats in a room" who made this decision. WNY is getting shafted by downstate interests because they have the population and the votes. The two Dem. State Senators from Buffalo (Thompson and Stachowski, not sure if I spelled that right!)said this would not happen with new Senate leadership. Bull! Even Stachowski got it handed high and hard on a promised committee chairmanship by his own party. Another example is CHIPS highway funding that all municipalities receive. Here are the proposed cuts: NYC 20%, Counties 30%, Towns/Villages 40%. Once again downstate benefits and we all eat it. Why dont the Dems make the cuts fair? The Dems have the Assembly and have done squat. Now they have the whole ball of wax. I just cant see how those three democrats in a room will look out for upstate. They just swept the power money to close the budget. I was told by a Dem friend of mine involved with GLOW locally that the GLOW Dem chairs are going to do a negative news release every time Lee votes. Then again there are not a lot of elected Democrats in GLOW so it is probably akin to a tempest in a teapot! Posted by Russ Stresing about 2 weeks ago in response to 'mike barney' By your comments and Mr. Hawley's suggestion, mike, I guess you align with the party of misdirection. I don't believe in ESP but I think I might have it. Jerome Grasso / mike barney isn't some concerned citizen with an opinion on politics. Jerome Grasso is someone who earns more than one paycheck from his support of and association with a political party structure. To argue that Jerome Grasso was just having fun when he was attacking one party while taking a paycheck he won by supporting another makes it sound like Jerome Grasso still thinks he can continue to pull the wool over the eyes of simple-minded voters, and keep his seat. Everyone should keep in mind that Jerome Grasso's salary for working for State Senator Mike Ranzenhofer comes through the New York State budget that is in a state of crisis.
Michael Farnsworth
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This is so not cool! Everybody goes on line with other names! I sat in a high school class that Legislator Grasso came to when I was a Senior. It is a local government seminar. He was pretty decent. He talked about how to access your local government and things like that. He also helped some kids with their exit projects. He did not come accross as political and I did not know his party from it. If he was posting s**t like "vote for grasso", then you should hammer him. He did not do this. Not cool at all. I have read his other posts and it seems he is being ragged on here for being a Republican. Most of the people posting on this site seem to be from the "left". I will stick to the middle, thanks. Oh yeah, he helped a friend that had his car stolen in Rochester. Grasso actually called and went to Rochester to help the kid when Rochester Police were giving him a hard time. The site seems pretty decent though! Does it take summer interns?
Conor Flynn
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A politician lied about something? Wait, what? No way..
Gabor Deutsch
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If this site is far left and your middle why would you want to intern ?
Howard B. Owens
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Michael, Jay knew the rules of the site and admitted as much. We require people to post under their real name. Jay knew this. Also, he did write about issues related to his position with the Legislature. Finally, internships are available if for class credit. Non-paying at this point.
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Michael- This isn't a matter of right or left....it's a matter of right or wrong. Mr. Grasso knew the rules of this website, broke them and lied about it. That has nothing to do with the fact that he has an (R) next to his name.
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MIKE, You're right, many sites let you use any name you want. You can make up a whole fake life story if you want. But this site has its own rules and Jay broke them. Then he lied. Now he takes his lumps.
Ken Toal
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All politicians LIE !!! That is the name of the game, got elected, and lie some more, cheat and steal also, if you think you can get away with it without getting caught. Elected officials can get away with that, more often than the common man. RUSS, are you saying all Republicans are simple minded? Posted by Russ Stressing2/20/09 "To argue that Jerome Grasso was just having fun when he was attacking one party while taking a paycheck he won by supporting another makes it sound like Jerome Grasso still thinks he can continue to pull the wool over the eyes of simple-minded voters, and keep his seat" Kenneth R Toal Jr.(R)
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What the heck are you guys talking about? I’m not a liar and I don’t cheat or steal. For that matter, I find it really hard to believe that Jay Grasso does either. I don’t care if he’s a Republican or a four eyed Martian; this is just over the top. I for one get absolutely nothing for what I do; my council check doesn’t even pay my phone bill, not to mention the thousands it cost me to run out of my own pocket. From what I have seen, people in elected office have this idea that they can make the world a better place. Maybe we can’t but, most of us want to try. We are not the type of people who sit playing with their computer in the dark and complain about the world around us. We get up and do something about it. So get off your high horses and get to work if you think things are so bad. Stop the complaining and just do something. I don’t believe for one second that elected people are more or less crooked than you average plumber. Charlie Mallow (Human being)
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Its like you know me ! " We are not the type of people who sit playing with their computer in the dark and complain about the world around us. We get up and do something about it". I love that one !
Ken Toal
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We are not the ones raising taxes, spend money we don't have, hanging onto mall properties in hopes of retail showing up. Service in the city has not changed in the sixteen years I have been here, but I am still paying more every year for the same poor service!!
Ken Toal
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We don't work in a brick two story white elephant, we don't line our street with thousands of dollars of flowers, we don't even face our benches the wrong way. But we do get to smell the lovely sewer ponds during picnics in our back yards, and ruin the suspension on our cars and trucks driving down these smooth city streets. Lets not even talk about the sidewalks. We don't cut the hours of dedicated employees either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Charlie Mallow
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I don’t see where any of that adds up to you having the right to call someone a liar or thief?
Charlie Mallow
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Mr. Toal, I’m not your enemy. I only take exception to the tone of your posts.
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Ken, You say nothing ever changes, then why do they elect the same people, like Frank Ferrando, over and over? He would tell you he must be loved. Are you going to work against him this year? Or are you running? Yes, some elected officals lie, cheat and steal. but, to say they all do means you're not too bright.
Ken Toal
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I would guess about 70% of the scandals you read and hear about involve a politicians! I am not campaigning for office, I could not set in those meetings and vote to do the most thoughtless things that you do, like raise the taxes of the poor soles stuck here, hire unqualified employees to save the city money, and then look myself in the face when I shave.
John Roach
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Ken, Then what do you do to turn things around?
Ken Toal
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It is just some of them are smarter at it than others, the dumb ones get caught.If I was elected to office, there would have to be security guards in the room, because I could not take listening to the stupidity coming out of their mouths.
John Roach
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Ok Ken, so you have anger management problems. What do you, Ken Toal, so to stop it? What does Ken Toal think the others should do?
Howard B. Owens
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Such bitterness is no way constructive or helpful. Yeah, there's a lot of creeps and crooks in politics, but some of them are sincere public servants -- people got pissed off, but decided to do something about it. There's no point in coming on here and calling anybody -- even politicians -- names and then saying, "oh, but I don't get involved." It's that kind of attitude that keeps communities in ruts.

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