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Alice Kryzan

October 23, 2008 - 3:51pm
posted by Anne Wadsworth in economy, environment, Alice Kryzan, NY 26.

Yesterday, Alice announced the formation of Green Businesses for Alice, a bipartisan group of green business representatives from Western New York who are supporting her candidacy. The group is the result of Alice's work in the community bringing these businesses together, showing the leadership skills we will need to help us realize the promise of the green economy and encourage the growth of small businesses.

Local businessman Andrew McLellan, who runs Environmental Education Associates, commented: "During her campaign she's reached out to green businesses across our community, and her efforts to bring us together have served as a catalyst for the formation of an ongoing association of green businesses that will work to bring good-paying jobs here to the district and help us take advantage of the growing green economy."

Alice is already taking steps to make her policy goals a reality once she is elected. For too long we've had politicians who seem more concerned with empty talking points than with getting things done. Alice is the only candidate in this race to put out real plans on how she'll lower taxes, bring jobs to the area, and encourage the growth of small businesses. That's the kind of leadership we need in Washington.

Anne Wadsworth

Kryzan for Congress


October 21, 2008 - 4:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alice Kryzan, Chris Lee.

It seems inconceivable to that Chris Lee, a well-funded, wealthy, hand-picked GOP candidate in a marginally Republican district, could lose the 26th congressional race.

I haven't seen any polls to suggest he could lose, but it seems Alice Kryzan, the Democrat's nominee, is putting up a good fight.

If Lee loses, it could come in part because of a GOP backlash over the war and the economy, but even in a relatively safe district like the 26th Lee probably couldn't lose to a progressive Democrat unless he did himself in.

Which is why, I suspect, his GOP handlers have him running a safe, cautious campaign.

But it is exactly such a campaign that could prove his undoing.

Lee's conduct of his campaign should also have us asking hard questions about his fitness to be a leader in Western New York.

It's difficult to tell at how much of Lee's campaign reflects the real Chris Lee, or whether his GOP handlers have him under such tight wraps that he can't stretch out and make bold moves.

Either way, Lee's conduct in this campaign should be of concern to WNY voters -- either he lacks the vision to take chances, or he lacks the leadership to throw off the shackles of party Plutocracy.

The last thing WNY needs is a congressional representative beholden to the party elite (of course, there's no guarantee we wouldn't get just such a rep in Alice Kryzan, either).

Lee is playing not-to-lose, rather than to win.  Sports teams that play cautious often find themselves on the wrong end of the score. I'm not rooting against Lee, just pointing out what I see as the glaring weakness of his campaign.

Consider, Lee has passed on debates with Kryzan, was slow to respond to the Wall Street meltdown, and declined a video interview with The Batavian, which doesn't hurt our feelings, but the reason given by his campaign manager speaks to the overly cautious nature of his campaign: Nick Longworthy was worried about how the opposition might use the video.

That's being too cautious and too calculating.  That's not how leaders behave.

Meanwhile, Kryzan has been out front on raising issues, such as her immediate (though wrongheaded) support of the bailout, and her push for green collar jobs in WNY (and more on her business plan here).

Lee's campaign has avoided specifics, spoken in platitudes (check this letter to the Democrat & Chronicle), and generally failed to articulate a clear message that sets him apart from a run-of-the-mill Republican.

When you compare Lee's campaign web site to Kryzan's site, you find that Kryzan's site is more dynamic, more frequently updated and a deeper source of information about the candidate and her take on the issues. Lee's site, reflecting the cautious nature of his campaign, is more of a paint-by-numbers brochure site with few specifics.  Look, for example, at his page on jobs. It has a scant three paragraphs of text.

The more information a candidate puts out, the more fodder for opponents to pick over. It's actually risky to open your mouth or write a policy statement.  The safe approach is to say as little as possible and avoid diving deep into significant issues.

On his own site, where Lee has his best chance at presenting an unfiltered message to voters, his brevity is revealing. Kryzan, on the other hand, floods site visitors with information.

Which is the more transparent way to campaign?

When it comes to Lee's commercials, they reflect the same play-it-safe approach. His "positive" commercials, the ones about himself, are filled with the same platitudes we get from him elsewhere, and his attack ads on Kryzan are filled with trite and hackneyed phrases like "liberal trial lawyer" -- the ads seem pulled from the same GOP playbook they've been using for two decades. At this point, Lee should be concerned that these predictable attacks have lost all meaning with voters.  They've heard it all before. These phrases ring hollow.

Regular readers have probably figured out that my politics lean more conservative than liberal, so you would think my inclination would be to support Lee.  Well, I'm not really taking sides here. I am concerned Kryzan is too liberal for my tastes, but really mistrust any candidate from either major party.

And, I've met Lee. I like him.  I don't buy into the attack ads from the DCCC and think he is at least minimally qualified for the job.  If he could maintain an independent mind, he might make a good freshman congressman. He strikes me as somebody with a solid human core who in the long run, if he avoids the pitfalls of power, could make WNY proud.

But, this lack of courage in his campaign is also a concern.  Is this a reflection of the true Chris Lee? Will we find ourselves saddled with a representative -- a representative likely to hold the seat through many terms -- who is kowtowed by his party leadership rather than stepping out on his own?

I just don't know.

Again, I'm not predicting a Lee loss. I'm not rooting against him. I'm not endorsing Kryzan. I'm not offering any suggestion on how you should vote.  I'm just raising a concern that has been on my mind for a few days. Make of it what you will.

October 20, 2008 - 7:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alice Kryzan, Chris Lee.

Alice Kryzan

Alice Kryzan:

Alice Kryzan:

Chris Lee:

Chris Lee:

On the attack ads, Lee's against Kryzan is just a variation on a theme:

The "liberal trial lawyer" meme is so dated. And it's just ad hominem non-sense.

And the DCCC keeps hammering at Lee on the China issue.

Lee has offered a credible -- though hard for us to verify -- rebuttal to the "sent jobs overseas" charge, and the fact his company was sold to a firm that was supposedly caught up in some boneheaded activity with China is the same kind of "guilt by association" attack the GOP is using against Obama with Ayers.


October 18, 2008 - 12:23pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, election, Jon Powers, Alice Kryzan, Chris Lee.

This letter (below) from Jon Powers to his supporters came my way this morning. Powers has finally come out on the side of fellow Democrat Alice Kryzan for the 26th Congressional District. Kryzan will face Republican Chris Lee.

Powers had all but disappeared after losing the Democratic nod to Kryzan during the primary. His camp went silent, and all calls and messages left with his campaign spokesperson went unreturned. Not too long ago, we even heard that he moved out of the state.

I pass on his letter in its entirety. Do you think Powers makes a strong case for Kryzan? Against Lee? Does his endorsement even mean anything to a district that he seems to have abandoned?


Over the last 18 months, together, we have worked to call attention to the many challenges Western New Yorkers face. I listened to families struggling because of our weakened economy, soldiers fighting in a war without the necessary equipment and returning without health care they have earned -- there is no question that our country is hurting because of Washington’s failed leadership. With just 18 days until Election Day, I write to urge you to vote for change. We have a chance to elect a new Member of Congress to represent the working men and women of Western New York and I hope you will join me in supporting Alice Kryzan for Congress.

Families in Western New York have a clear choice. As our youth are moving out of state to find jobs, do we want a representative who will continue to send our jobs overseas? Or do we want someone who will fight to grow good paying Green-collar and Green-tech jobs that will move Western New York into the 21st Century.

Do we want someone who will continue to fail our veterans and military families or someone who will work to restore honor to our fighting forces?

Do we want someone in Washington to continue the failed economic policies of the Bush Administration or do we want someone who will work toward relieving the tax burden on the Middle Class?

The choice between the two candidates campaigning for the 26th Congressional District is clear for Western New Yorkers, and that is why I am endorsing Alice Kryzan.

Alice will fight for the middle class and work to bring a new generation of jobs back to Western New York. She has signed on to the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq and will take care of our returning veterans.

Chris Lee talks about a new direction, but clearly supports the status quo. His website fails to even mention veterans or our brave men and women currently fighting in two wars. That, I believe, is proof of his lack of compassion he has for those who are defending our nation.

The choice between Alice Kryzan and Chris Lee could not be clearer for the working families of Western New York. Western New York deserves a representative in Congress who will fight for us.

You can learn more about Alice’s vision for our country at her website http://www.kryzanforcongress.com/

Please volunteer, spread the word, and help us bring real change to Washington by voting for Alice on November 4th.


October 15, 2008 - 12:02am
posted by Daniel Jones in Alice Kryzan, Joe Mesi, Chris Lee, Mike Ranzenhofer.

I attended a candidates forum in Amherst tonight, it was well attended (I would say about 50 people or so) and featured many candidates, including those seeking to represent Genesee County in Congress and the State Senate. Here's the Rundown:

Alice Kryzan: Check

 Joe Mesi: Check

 Mike Ranzenhofer: Check

 Chris Lee: MIA

I can say that Chris Lee's absence did not play well among the crowd tonight. I overheard one woman, who said that she's a life-long Republican, say that she's voting for Kryzan because she felt that Lee didn't care about her vote enough to show up....ouch.....

 I give full credit to the rest of the candidates, even Mike Ranzenhofer (whom I've been very critical of) for at least showing up, without getting into the merits of their issues, they at least came to present themselves. Where in the world is Christopher Lee? *Crickets Chirp*


October 12, 2008 - 1:08pm

Please join the Genesee County Democratic Committee for an open house meet and greet this Thursday, October 16th from 5 - 7 PM at the Democratic headquarters.   The office is located at 10 City Centre (across from Sunny's). We are pleased to welcome all of our 2008 candidates -- with the exception of  the top of our ticket, Senator Barack Obama.

Alice Kryzan -26th Congressional candidate

Joe Mesi - 61st Senate candidate

Phil Jones -147th Assembly District candidate (representing the southern parts of Genesee County)

Judge John Michalek -Incumbent State Supreme Court Justice candidate

Judge Tracey Bannister -State Supreme Court Justice candidate

Judge Larry Stabell -Darien Town Justice candidate

Councilman Tom Stella -LeRoy Town Council candidate

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come by and meet the Democratic  candidates.    Refreshments will be served.

Obama/Biden lawn signs are now available beginning Monday at our office in the City Centre.  There is a great demand for signs and we will distribute first to our volunteers and folks that have come by and signed up ahead of time and then to the public on a first come first serve basis.

October 10, 2008 - 7:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alice Kryzan.

Alice Kryzan can't do a thing about the attack ads the DCCC is running against Chris Lee, her her spokesperson Anne Wadsworth told me this evening.

Kryzan, she said, is not happy with the ads. They don't represent her, but campaign law prevents her from speaking with the arm of the DCCC financing and producing the ads.

Wadsworth said the DCCC probably did polling that suggested the line of attack that would work in the 26th District. She called them hard hitting and agreed the ads are negative.

Yesterday, I did a blog post about the candidate debate broadcast on WXXI and I didn't buy Kryzan's assertion that she hasn't run negative ads against Lee. I do agree that I am not aware of any attack ads funded by Kryazan.

I told Wadsworth that when I worked for a Democratic assemblyman in California, the state Democratic party didn't do anything with out the advice and conscent of the nominee, even while the candidate often disclaimed responsibility for some of the attacks launched in his name.  Wadsworth noted that campaign laws, particularly federal campaign laws, have changed a good deal in the past few years.  Kryzan is prohibited from even the slightest communication with the DCCC committee responsible for the ads.

OK, so let's assume the DCCC is savvy enough to find this blog post about its candidate. Here's my message: Grow up! Stop foisting on voters the negative attack ads and get in step with a candidate who clearly wants to promote a campaign based on issues and ideas.  Kryzan is the nominee primarily because she refused to associate herself with spiteful messages. Don't be idiots.

When I was involved in California politics, both as a reporter and a legislative aide, one of my great pleasures was to get to meet and know Lucy Killea. She is a political legend in California.  Alice in some ways reminds me of Lucy, and one of the hallmarks of Killea's entire political career was that she never once attacked an opponent.  She always ran on issues and ideas. To me, there are few things more admirable than a candidate who disclaims attack ads and runs on issues and ideas.

Now, don't get the idea I'm endorsing Kryzan.  I'm just saying, this is an admirable characteristic, one Chris Lee would do well to emulate for the remainder of the campaign, if not the rest of his political career (should he be fortunate enough to have one).

During our conversation, Wadsworth mentioned that Kryzan will be in Batavia tomorrow, walking precincts and she will make a campaign appearance for lunch at Larry's Steakhouse, the new restaurant on Main Street.  (FWIW: I had lunch there today and liked it).

Anne also mentioned something about Kryzan's site I hadn't paid much attention to before -- her photo journal from her campaign.  She invited use to use photos from the journal any time we like, which is where the photo for this post is taken from.  This is a nice use of the web by a campaign. Now, if we can just get Alice to blog.


October 9, 2008 - 10:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alice Kryzan, Chris Lee.

So I sat in front of the TV tonight watching WXXI trying like hell to figure out why either Chris Lee or Alice Kryzan is qualified to represent the 26th District in Congress.

And I sat here trying like hell to figure what what the real differences are between the two candidates.

And frankly, I'm stumped.

Both were tentative in their presentations and offered up little more than platitudes and facile analysis of the issues facing the country and the district (to be fair, the format sucked -- no more than a minute for any sustained statement from either candidate, and often less).

On the bailout: Both essentially support it.  Lee talks about updated regulations, Kryzan talks about new regulations, but neither questions whether the entire pretext for the bailout isn't just trumped up by the power elite in Washington.

(Though, I gotta say, Kryzan could have given a little stronger shoutout to The Batavian.  During the discussion, she noted that Lee had been silent on the bailout issue until this past Saturday. Well, the first place that had any solid information on Lee's position on the bailout was The Batavian -- come on, Alice, give us some credit! -- It wasn't the Daily News, nor the Buffalo News, nor the D&C that sought Lee out and tried to get him on the record on the topic -- it was The Batavian ... though, perhaps I brag too much).

On the war in Iraq, both agree the troops should come home, but neither addressed  troops in Iraq in context of the current financial conditions in the United States: How the frig can we justify even one more day of this expense?

Both candidates think we should get more militaristic in Afghanistan.

On taxes, both claim they will cut taxes, but neither address how the can do that in current economic conditions, and neither question the current state of the large and growing central government.

On education, both candidates say there needs to be reforms to "no child left behind," but neither question why education is a national government issue at all.

On the environment, both talk about being green and bringing green jobs to Western New York. Neither offer any concrete examples of how they might create green jobs in Genesee County.

if I have bones to pick with either candidate, it would be with Alice Kryzan.

First, Kryzan called herself a fiscal conservative, but the only example she could offer to support that claim is that she knows how to balance her family finances. Big whoopee do! Can't we all do that? That doesn't address the issue of federal taxation and spending when the government has the power to A) raise taxes or change tax codes as it likes; B) because of the fed, print money at will; C) borrow money from over seas lenders at will. 

I really want to know how Kryzan can qualify as a fiscal conservative? What taxes will she cut, specifically? What government spending will she cut, specifically? How will she reign in the Federal Reserve? How will she end deficit spending?  What federal programs will she end in these tight economic times?

Second, Kryzan accused Lee of lying when Lee said she has run negative ads against him. Kryzan is, she said, running a campaign on issues and she hasn't run a negative campaign. I have two words for Alice: Bull and shit. It may not be her campaign directly funding the attack ads on Lee (and I tend to believe Chris at this point that the ads are unfair and inaccurate, and I will believe that until somebody can prove Chris wrong), but I have enough experience in politics to know that if Alice really objected to those ads, they would not be running. (see this post updating this point).

I doubt many people watched this debate tonight, but if any undecided voters did, I can't imagine this debate helped them come to any sort of conclusion about who to vote for, and for the rest, all of the people who already decided that they will support  either the Republican or the Democrat, you probably believe your candidate won and the other candidate is an idiot.  That's the nature of these things, but really -- there isn't a hairs worth of difference between either Republicans or Democrats in any race.

Now, more than ever, this country could use some independent-minded voices calling for real change. We're just not getting it.

October 7, 2008 - 7:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alice Kryzan, Chris Lee.

The Democrats paid for this attack ad on behalf of Alice Kryzan:

The Chris Lee campaign has this ad out now:

Shame on both camps.

October 4, 2008 - 1:45pm
posted by Anne Wadsworth in Alice Kryzan, Chris Lee.

Lee hides behind lies and attack ads, won’t talk about issues

October 3, 2008                                                                                               

Amherst, NY – Unable to explain why he supports failed policies that have led to the worse financial crisis in a generation, Chris Lee is now hiding behind lying attack ads. He has refused to explain his positions, is hiding from debates with his opponent, and now, in an act of desperation, is refusing to even tell the truth.

Realizing that he can’t win on the issues, Lee is using the millions he made from creating jobs in China instead of Western New York to distort Alice’s support of middle class tax cuts. The last thing the people of Western New York want is another Bush Republican giving more tax cuts to millionaires and more profits to Wall Street CEOs, insurance companies and Big Oil.

“Chris Lee said he was going to talk about the issues, not that he was going to lie about them,” said spokesperson Anne Wadsworth. “Lee is hiding from the press, hiding from the voters, and hiding from the truth. People want someone they can trust, not someone who will spend millions of dollars to lie to their face.”

While Lee keeps trying the same tired old attack politics, Alice is out in the district talking with voters and explaining how she’ll help our struggling middle class. Alice will bring good paying alternative energy jobs to the district, support tax cuts for our hardworking families, provide affordable health care to all, and end the War in Iraq safely and securely.

Chris Lee, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to want to talk about the issues. He refuses to say where he stands on the financial crisis, on job creation, on outsourcing or on healthcare.

Maybe Lee thinks those issues aren’t important, but voters in the 26th district are tired of millionaires who think they can buy an election while ignoring the real life concerns of the people of Western New York. Lee just doesn’t get it. He needs to stop distorting Alice’s position on tax cuts, and start focusing on explaining his own stand on the issues.

“I’m very disappointed by my opponent’s shameful actions,” said Alice. “He owes the voters of this district an apology for avoiding their questions and then lying to them. We don’t need this kind of attack style politics in our part of New York. Lee’s lies won’t create one new job, fix our broken health care system, or change our energy policy. The voters of this district deserve a representative they can be proud of, and Chris Lee has shown he clearly isn’t it.”

Will Chris Lee continue to hide behind false political ads or finally make himself available to the voters?


Paid for and Authorized by Kryzan for Congress


September 30, 2008 - 7:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tom Reynolds, Alice Kryzan, Chris Lee, Randy Kuhl.

Lame duck Rep. Tom Reynolds has not yet posted any news release to his web site explaining his vote yesterday in favor of the Bush-requested, Democratic-sponsored $700 billion bailout for Wall Street banks.

The following passage from the Buffalo News contains a brief quote from Reynolds explaining his position:

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said the bill would have put the nation “on the slippery slope to socialism. If you lose your ability to fail, soon you will lose your ability to succeed.”

Some Democrats indicated that the consequences of refusing to act had been exaggerated. “Like the Iraq War and the Patriot Act, this bill is fueled on fear and hinges on haste,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas.

Reynolds and Higgins disagreed.

“This is one of the last votes I will cast on behalf of the people of Western New York, and it may be the most important one,” Reynolds said.

Acknowledging that he wished he could support a more cost-effective alternative, Reynolds said: “But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my over three decades in public service, it’s that you cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Too many jobs, too many homes, too many 401(k)s, too many college educations, too many community banks are on the line to risk further inaction.”

In contrast, Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-29), issued a statement immediately after the vote.  He's also posted an alternate plan. Blogger Rottenchester says the plan is hardly serious.

As for the positions of the two candidates for the 26th district on what to do in regard to current economic conditions, still no word from Republican Chris Lee. Several days prior to yesterday's vote, Alice Kryzan issued this statement.

UPDATE: Via the 26th District blog, we get an updated statement from Kryzan.  Kryzan talks about the importance of consumer protection and oversight, but the plan rejected yesterday was weak in both those areas. Also, the blog contains this quote:

“Chris Lee has made deregulating our economy a centerpiece of his campaign,” said spokesperson Anne Wadsworth. “Now that we’ve seen the disastrous result of continuing Bush’s failed policies, he has nothing to say. The people of this district need answers, not knee-jerk deregulation rhetoric.”

The problem with the statement is there is already no lack of regulation in place -- such as the job-killing Sarbanes-Oxley Act -- and none of it  prevented the current situation. The housing bubble has a lot more to do with Clinton-era policies, which Bush neglected to address, and with the Fed manipulating interest rates (which Bush doesn't control at all).  I'm not defending Bush here by any stretch, just trying to keep the record straight.  If you want to blame Bush for anything, blame him for trying to shove this "rush to bailout" down the throats of Americans, which House Democrats (except for 95 brave souls) seemed quite willing buy into hook, line and sinker.

September 29, 2008 - 11:53pm



The Genesee County Democratic Committee

Cordially invites you to a meet the candidates open house


Alice Kryzan - US Congress

Joe Mesi - State Senate

Phil Jones - Assembly (147th)

Judge John Michalek - State Supreme Court

Tracey Bannister - State Supreme Court

Judge Larry Stabell - Darien Town Justice

Councilman Tom Stella - Le Roy Town Council


GCDC Headquarters

10 City Centre (across from Sunny's)

Thursday    October 16th    5 - 7 PM


free and open to the public

refreshments will be served









September 29, 2008 - 3:10pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in congress, politics, election, Alice Kryzan.

Over a month ago, The Batavian sent out three questions to candidates running for the 61st Senate and 26th Congressional District. Alice Kryzan's campaign got us her responses today. Kryzan is the Democratic nominee for the 26th District.

Here are her responses:

What is your favorite thing to do in Genesee County?

Elba Onion Festival

When you meet a person who has never been to Western New York, what is the first thing you tell him or her about the region?

It is a wonderful place to raise a family. The people are down to earth, hard-working, generous and friendly.The region is beautiful and there are many ways to enjoy it. Once we moved here, over 30 yrs ago for my husbands job, we never wanted to be someplace else.

What is your favorite book about Western New York?

Secret Places: Treasures of WNY and S Ontario, by Bruce Kershner

Answers from Republican Chris Lee were posted two weeks ago. We have not yet heard from the campaigns of Joe Mesi and Mike Ranzenhofer who will square off in the 61st Senate District.

September 26, 2008 - 9:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alice Kryzan, Chris Lee.

Chris Lee, pulling language from the 1990s-era GOP play book, says up front, he approved this attack ad, which claims Kryzan wants to raise taxes $2,800.  I wonder where he gets those numbers?

I fairness, the Democrats already had an attack ad out.

So much for a campaign on the issues.

Instead of attacking each other, why don't they tell us how they're going to enable New York businesses to grow and create jobs, to improve living conditions and standards, to promote peace and stability?  I don't care if they don't like each other, or each other's parties. I want to know what they stand for, not against. Anybody can tear down. It takes a leader to build up. Instead of inciting fear, how about promoting hope?

September 22, 2008 - 8:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alice Kryzan.

We asked both canidates for the 26th Congressional District for their positions on the Wall Street bail outs.

First to respond is Alice Kryzan. Her campaign sent over the following press release:

Amherst, NY – The financial markets have undergone a severe shock in the last few days. Risky speculation in a deregulated market led to a crash, bringing calls from Washington to have government bail out financial institutions. But where have these same voices been while millions of hardworking Americans have suffered through their own financial crises, facing stagnating wages and fewer jobs with rising housing and energy costs?

As she has from the beginning of her campaign, Alice Kryzan, Democratic Congressional Candidate for NY-26, decried this  ‘same old same old politic’, calling for political leaders to start putting the people’s interests first;

“We don’t need oil lobbyists writing our energy policy, insurance companies making our medical decisions, or financial institutions taking huge risks and then asking Americans to foot the bill. We can’t have two more years of these failed Bush policies, two more years of fewer jobs, stagnated wages and work sent overseas. We need someone ready to help us realize our future, not cling to the knee-jerk deregulation rhetoric of the past.” 

Alice called on Congress to act quickly to stabilize the market in order to ensure hardworking Americans don’t lose their homes or other assets. But she also insisted that any legislation include accountability measures to improve financial regulation and ensure this disaster is not repeated. Furthermore, taxpayers should receive their fair share of any profits these companies make after being bailed out, CEO compensation should be limited, and Congress should give homeowners the assistance they need to protect their homes. And, of course, any efforts to stabilize the market should have independent oversight to ensure the job is done right.

Alice expressed disappointment that so many politicians refuse to grapple with the serious issues facing our country;

“People are tired of candidates who only offer platitudes and quick fixes. Whether it’s offshore drilling that increases oil companies’ profits without lowering gas prices or writing a blank check to the financial market to protect CEO’s record salaries, the public has had enough. We need people with real solutions who we can trust to go to Washington and get results.”

We left off the final paragraph, which characterizes Republican Chris Lee's position. We'll let Chris Lee speak for himself, if he chooses to do so.

September 22, 2008 - 2:13pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in congress, politics, video, election, Alice Kryzan.

This television commercial, which we were told is already running during Buffalo newscasts, is the first "negative" spot to hit the airwaves since Alice Kryzan and Chris Lee emerged with their party's endorsement following the primaries. Democrat Kryzan is not referenced in the spot that attacks Republican Lee for employing workers in China. It's endorsed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

September 21, 2008 - 6:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alice Kryzan.

New Alice Kryzan commercial:

New Chris Lee commercial:

At least they're not attacking each other. Yet.

September 13, 2008 - 1:10am

After Alice Kryzan's primary victory on Tuesday, I went over to see what Mike Wrona had to say. After all, Wrona is a vocal Kryzan supporter and has criticized me for my support of Jon Powers in the past. What I discovered is that, even with his candidate winning, Mike Wrona still wants to divide us instead of unite us.

Wrona wrote a post that called Kryzan a "big winner" on Tuesday. He also decided to take jabs at myself and my friend Alan Bedenko, a fellow blogger and Jon Powers supporter. He also seemed to question whether or not we are progressive. I don't know how that does anyone any favors in this situation, but it's not exactly what you should be doing after your candidate wins a primary. Wrona also said that we fell for the "Iraq War veteran label." There is no "label" when you are a veteran. If you are a veteran, you ARE a veteran. It's not a label. It's an honor. Wrona also asserted in that post that the local party leadership in all seven counties picked Powers because of money and "form over substance." Actually, Wrona is wrong. The four rural counties backed Powers first and it was because he is genuine, listens to voters, is very approachable and personable and wanted to go to Washington to be our representative. He traveled every corner of this district early on and that didn't change throughout this campaign. So Wrona clearly does not understand why the party leadership backed Powers.

Wrona wrote another post about Kryzan getting the DCCC's backing. He started off the post by saying "better late than never." Better late than never? Why would the DCCC back a candidate who showed virtually no fundraising ability after being in the race since September 2007 (technically) and a candidate that was very quiet in this race until about a few weeks before the primary? I remember seeing Kryzan at an event in June. It was the Wyoming County Flag Day Party. I guess she had a few supporters there and that's where she stayed. I never saw her walk around the room to introduce herself. Whether it was a pro-Powers crowd or not, people still would have greeted her and treated her with respect.

In that same post, Wrona makes a blatantly false claim. He claims that Charlie Mallow, the current chair of the Genesee County Democrats, said he would be supporting Chris Lee in November. This is not true. What Charlie said is in this post on The Batavian. If you notice, there is an update in that post which reads, "Some will seek other options but, the vast majority will sooner or later support her before Election Day. We are Democrats; we have an ideology that puts us more in line with Kryzan than Lee."

September 11, 2008 - 9:18am
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, election, Alice Kryzan.

Those who knew her and those who didn't have been hearing more and more about Alice Kryzan, the unexpected victor in the Democratic primary race for the 26th Congressional District. Jack Davis had the name recognition and the spending spree. Jon Powers had the adulation of party bigwigs and union bosses. But in the end, it was the semi-unknown who won over the hearts and minds... or at least she got the most lever pulls in the voting booths.

Since that victory, dubbed a "shocking upset" by more than one news affiliate, everyone has been racing to the press, the keyboard and the tube to get in their theories of how and why it happened, what it means for Kryzan and what it means for Powers and Davis. We ran a story earlier this morning that claimed not that Kryzan won because of this or that, but that Powers lost because of this or that.

A story that ran today in the Buffalo News pins the upset victory on the effect produced by a single television ad. Here's that ad:

What do you think? Is that enough to tip the scales?

Buffalo News reporter Robert J. McCarthy conjectures that "Alice who?" was "languishing" only a few weeks prior to the primary. Then magic happened...

That’s when the candidate — also known as Alice J. Kryzan— rolled out a television spot that just about everyone credits with capturing the Democratic nomination for the Amherst environmental attorney in the 26th Congressional District.

“It did the trick of bringing attention to the campaign,” said Kryzan campaign manager Anne Robinson Wadsworth.

Rarely has one political spot — produced by Adelstein & Liston of Chicago — made such an impression on local voters. But the scene of a boyish fellow resembling the 30-year-old Powers wrestling in the park with an old man who looks like the 75-year-old Davis seems to have resonated.

It all allowed Kryzan, 60, to appear on-screen and contend that “fighting will not create jobs, fix health care or change our energy policy.” That’s when she looks back at the scuffle actually filmed in a Chicago park and adds in a now-famous aside: “Boys, take it somewhere else.”

According to several observers, Kryzan’s campaign began to pick up after voters identified her as an alternative to her better- known opponents. Former Erie County Republican Chairman Robert E. Davis, who is now a political media consultant, said it ranks among the best he has ever seen because it offered “the ‘same old/same old’ or me.”

How much of a role can a single television ad play in an election? Were you convinced by it? Do you think most folks had already made up their mind by that point?

September 10, 2008 - 2:32pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in election, Jon Powers, Alice Kryzan, Chris Lee.

A win in the Democrat primary by Alice Kryzan yesterday played up across the media last night and this morning as a "shock" and an "upset victory" has hit especially hard here in Genesee County. Whatever reasons you want to give for the win—that people were just fed up with the tooth-and-nail battles between Jack Davis and Jon Powers is getting the most cred in the papers and blogs today—the end result is the same: voters said no to the bigger names and yes to the lesser known.

Buffalo Pundit has this to say:

Because Powers and Davis spent so much time bashing each other, 2/3 of Kryzan’s job was done for her without her having to spend a dime. She needed one thing to stand out, and the “boys, take it somewhere else” ad was just the ticket. She comes out of this relatively unscathed, so Republican Chris Lee doesn’t have a lot of negative ammunition to use against her. Hopefully Kryzan is able to capitalize on the desire for change in Washington and take the seat away from the Republicans.

Nor is the Pundit alone in finding solace in the loss of his favored candidate—Powers—in the train wreck conclusion to the political career of one of the Democrats least favorite representatives: Jack Davis. And least favorite representative is a euphemism wrapped in a pink bow compared to what I've heard from many Democrats about Davis. So many of them outright detest the man.

But what does it all mean for Genesee County? Jon Powers was the favored candidate here by nearly a hundred votes over Kryzan and another fifty over Davis. I haven't heard anything from the Powers crew since the loss, and I have to imagine that they are somewhere dark and cool nursing the shell shock of a campaign that went from the little engine that could to a primetime fight to: Hey, we've got a real chance to win this thing, only to crash and burn amidst the collateral damage of the negative campaigning.

So I turned to Charlie Mallow, who, for one more week anyway, is the chairman of the Genesee County Democrats. He put it pretty simply and straight out.

I think we have been left with a candidate that we know very little about. Alice’s win was surprising and not the will of the voters in our county. There is going to be a period were people will come to their own conclusions about who they will support in November. All of the active Democrats in our district were behind Powers and whole party infrastructure was setup to support him. It’s going to take a lot for Alice to turn the ship around and develop the support she is going to need in November. Alice has been to Genesee County, her record defending chemical companies in lawsuits against people who suffered due to their neglect of the environment isn’t sitting well with me and it didn’t sit well with the core of our committee when we were vetting candidates. District wid, it’s clear this vote was about supporting someone who wasn’t Jack Davis or Jon Powers. Jack Davis ran the most despicable campaign that I can ever remember. His baseless attacks on Jon Powers turned the voters off. I believe Powers was stuck in a tough a position defending himself from Davis and it was felt that he hit back too hard and dirtied himself.

Ouch. There's some real hurt in the county this morning. Charlie's right, if not a little bit exaggerated, in his statement that the endorsement of Alice by the Democrats was not the will of the voters in this county. Powers pulled 621 votes. Kryzan took in 524.

So what does it mean for the future of the party? What does it mean going into the general election in November? I asked Charlie what would happen and if Democrats in the county might turn away from Kryzan, for whatever reason.

He wrote back to me:

Some will seek other options but, the vast majority will sooner or later support her before Election Day. We are Democrats; we have an ideology that puts us more in line with Kryzan than Lee.

Lee is Chris Lee, the Republican that will be running against Kryzan in the 26th Congressional District. His television ads were already running as the primary results were coming in last night. I guess that's game on.

What are your thoughts, whether you're a Democrat or Republican? Will you support Kryzan? Were you a Powers supporter who will not back Kryzan? Why do you think she ended up getting the nod?

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