It's time to challenge the powers that be!
It's time for Primary Challenge!

As long as the system stays the way it is politicians are not accountable.
As long as incumbents hold on to their power, real change will never occur.
It's time to challenge those who are holding back progress.

It's time for Primary Challenge!

For years now our elected officials have been chosen by a select few, groomed and presented by the same political parties. Primary Challenge is a new group designed to help new talent run for office and bring new ideas to the table.
We invite you to join Primary Challenge !
Leonard Roberto

Call  716-207-7138
or Email

Our Mission

Over the past 20 years the residents of New York have been treated to the
most incompetent representation special interest money can buy.

The failures of the legislature and governor include:
failure to enact an on time budget in over 20 years oversight of an economy which consistently lags behind national economic trends the loss of tens of thousands of jobs,  businesses and residents the creation of the most expensive social welfare programs in the country the highest or near highest auto insurance rates the raiding of dedicated funds such as workers compensation for the purpose of funding unnecessary wasteful politically motivated projects.

The enactment of intrusive legislation under the guise of public safety for the express purpose of fleecing residents of New York The passage of legislation without every legislator having been given the opportunity to even read let alone comment on the legislation

In addition to these failures the legislators are unresponsive to their constituents
unless motivated by money

Agencies of government are acting in violation of law without regulation or accountability

Elections are held every two years for the purpose of giving the people the opportunity to correct these failures by elected representatives, however because of jury mandering and the oppressive use of the Board of Elections as a first line of defense the major parties have created a system which denies the citizens the right to an actual choice.

For this reason, it is important that an organization be formed which overcomes the enormous advantage of the political parties in a general election.  Each incumbent must be challenged every election cycle by members of his/her own party in order to ensure legislators are responsive to the electorate.

Primary challenge is an organization whose purpose it is to ensure ballot access for all primary election candidates for the purpose of challenging endorsed candidates and incumbents.

To this end Primary challenge shall:
supply primary challengers with petitions  properly formatted
review each petition to ensure conformity to law
supply legal defense should petition be rejected by the Board of Elections
supply voter registration lists for use in petition drive
supply names of volunteers willing to assist in petition drive
negotiate purchase of campaign material in cooperation with other
primary challengers
provide media exposure
identify locations for signs in appropriate election districts
assist in coordinating speaking engagements and debates
provide challengers with an election year calendar

The assistance of Primary Challenge shall be limited to any person willing to run for political office regardless of party affiliation who has never held public office including appointment or election to the committees of either the Democrat or Republican Parties.

Primary challengers shall be required to pay a modest fee to defray some of the expenses incurred.

Management of Primary Challenge shall seek donations from outside sources

A board of governors shall be appointed whose purpose shall be to ensure all potential candidates receive equal treatment regardless of party affiliation.
It's time to challenge the powers that be!
It's time for Primary Challenge!
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Mr Leonard Roberto founder of Primary Challenge speaks
to a attentive audience laying out the plan for this election..
First meeting at Holiday Inn 20 Jan 05
Public meeting number two 03 Feb 05
A volunteer chats with Rus Thompson
Lenny Roberto talks to a prospective candidate
Ken Hamilton from WBEN joined us in a discussion
Ken is not an employee of WBEN, his opinions are his own.
Rus talks to another volunteer
Taking a step to put politics in new hands



They will meet Thursday in a hotel to begin a revolution. They want to give
government back to the people. They aim to end the sham of rigged elections.
They hope to terminate tenure for career politicians. They want to open the
political door to new people.

The revolutionaries are meeting not in Havana or Haiti, but in Cheektowaga.
The banana republics they're targeting are based in Albany and Buffalo.
About 120 of the frustrated and fed-up have signed up, most of them
business owners, to be nourished by a free lunch and the nectar of change.

It has come to this. The system is so rigged, the roadblocks to political
outsiders so high, that civic guerrilla warfare has begun. Leonard Roberto
is no Che Guevara or Viktor Yushchenko. He's a small-business owner
whose frustration with broken, closed-door government led him to lead.

He started Primary Challenge. The group will find and back candidates to run
against politicians in primary elections (in which only party members vote),
where incumbents are often most vulnerable. Case in point: Joe Golombek
last September nearly took out 12-year Assemblyman Sam Hoyt in a
Democratic primary.

Battling the petrified political status quo is like taking an ice pick to a glacier.
But Roberto has pick and hammer in hand.

It's not a hopeless assault. Public disgust is snowballing. It is fed by everything from
an extra penny sales tax, to a comatose local economy, to runaway Medicaid costs,
to Albany's three-man rule. Anti-incumbent fever is high. Familiarity breeds contempt.

Roberto hopes to raise $40,000 from Thursday's gathering. He's meeting with other
business types in the coming weeks. With money and a core of volunteers, he can
make a dent in a few races - starting with this year's county legislator battles.

"The system is rigged to make sure incumbents stay in power," said Roberto,
dark-haired and intense. "They need to be challenged, or they will never
respond to the people."

We've got the most dysfunctional state government in the land. People say they're
mad and not going to take it anymore. Yet 98 percent of state lawmakers get re-elected.

There's a reason for it, and it's not public stupidity. Politicians rig the system so well that unless a lawmaker sticks up a 7-Eleven or gets caught playing footsie with a floozie, he's in office for life.

Legislators draw themselves districts stuffed with friendly voters, use handouts from
personal stashes of tax dollars to buy support and discourage challengers with a maze
of rules and regulations. A newcomer without big-party backing has as much chance
of prying voter lists from the patronage hires at the Board of Elections as Osama bin Laden does getting through airport security.

Roberto, 49, is no political Bambi. He was an Independence Party official back in the
Perot-Golisano era. He ran headlong into the system in races for county executive and
assembly. He knows where the black ice and potholes are.

He wants to make elections work the way they're supposed to. He wants to open the
political door to talented outsiders of all stripes. It doesn't matter where challengers stand on casinos and guns or abortion. Roberto's agenda is populist, not philosophical.

"I'm just trying," he said, "to reassert the right to run."

He has the know-how to help challengers navigate and volunteers knock on doors and the start of a pot of money to feed campaigns. If it works here, he will take it statewide.

One way or another, Roberto wants to give us back our government. It's good news for people, bad news for career politicians.

This article is also posted at for added comments .

Group seeks to unseat incumbents throughout Western New York
News Staff Reporter
More than 40 politically minded people from all over Western New York showed up Thursday evening for a meeting of a new organization intent on unseating incumbents in the next election.

Primary Challenge zeroed in on Erie County legislators who support a penny increase in the sales tax.

"We have been in existence for four weeks, and already we have mobilized a small army," said Leonard A. Roberto of Batavia, head of the group. This first public meeting was held in Veterans Park Baptist Church in Depew, where Roberto is the pastor.

First-time candidates will receive help from Primary Challenge, regardless of political affiliation, he said, as long as they have never held public office or a committee position with the Democratic or Republican parties.

Roberto, also a businessman, ran against County Executive Dennis T. Gorski under the flag of Ross Perot's Independence Party in 1995, then challenged State Sen. Mary Lou Rath, R-Williamsville, in 1998. Once a member of the Independence Party's executive committee, Roberto said he got fed up with party politics and decided to work from the outside.

"I'm not going to get involved in issues," Roberto told his listeners. "The issue is whether or not we are free people with free and unincumbered rights to public office. The group's goal is to help people get on the ballot. If you're for casino gambling, who am I to say you can't run? Let the voters decide."

The group also promises to work against "the oppressive use of the Board of Elections as a first line of defense" for incumbents seeking re-election.

Roberto said the group has a goal of "toppling a political class that has gutted this region for its own interest." He said it "wishes to supply comprehensive, purposed reform - not tokens like regionalism or waterfront development."

The meeting broke up into small discussion groups based on goals for political office.

Grand Island businessman Rus Thompson, one of the group's organizers, said he is considering a run against County Legislator Charles M. Swanick, R-Kenmore, or for Grand Island Town Board.

"We should target every legislator who voted for the sales tax increase," Thompson said. "We're taxed to the hilt already."

A Hamburg man who withheld his name said he is a member of the Independence Party and is gearing up for a possible run against County Legislator Edward J. Kuwik, D-Lackawanna.

A Niagara County woman, who also withheld her name, said she is considering challenging Niagara County Legislator Renae Kimble.

"Who are Silver and Bruno, sitting in a room in Albany and deciding everything for upstate?" asked Mike Yerina of Marilla, referring to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, and Senate Majority Leader Joseph R. Bruno, R-Brunswick.

"Our people in the Assembly and Senate have to kiss up to them," he said, "and if our people don't do the right thing, then we don't get the aid that we want. I came tonight because it's very frustrating to sit there and see that 97 percent of the people are against the sales tax increase, and then all of a sudden they're passing the (larger) sales tax."

The group's board will meet next Thursday and a public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 17 at a place to be announced.
Erie County Charter  and Erie
County Administrative Code         

1806.Appropriations; reductions
and transfer after budget adoption.

Washington car insurance is never a replacement for citizens taking action, don't let the legislators get the best of America. Come and make your voice heard.
Primary Challenge has secured the Buffalo Convention Center for our next meeting Friday, April 15, 2005 at 5:00 PM.

Detail of the presentation are still being finalized but this is the day we introduce our candidates to the community.

Tell all your friends and business owners. This is where the taxpayer revolt is meeting.

We are going to change government in New York forever.

Since this meeting will end during the dinner hour, please take advantage of the fine restaurants in the downtown area.

A list of supporting establishments will be provided.

Please visit