Apathy, that is all I can say Voter Apathy, how sad only 7% showed up to vote.
Interesting how every single voting area was open, why? Everyone knows that few show up and vote in special elections, less this time than usaul but why have every polling place open? If I'm not mistaken the poll workers got paid $132 for yesterday, multiply that by at least 4 for each polling place.

Grand Island has 15 districts X's minimum of 4 each district =60 workers.
It cost Grand Island $7,920 for the day and that is just with 4 per district. How many districts throughout Erie and Niagara county. What a waste of money.

It could have been held at one central place on the island, a couple in Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

I went down town tonight to see Chris with hope of congratulating him.. By a little after 10PM we knew the Dems pulled it out. Chris ran a great race and it was close considering the 100,000 voter advantage Coppolla has....

Chris was gracious in his concession speech.  Thanks for running Chris and good luck in the future.
179 Districts out of   182 Reporting (98)%

COPPOLA, MARC  Totals 6,229 55%
JACOBS, CHRIS   Totals 5,001 45%

I wish I could say that after this "Special Election" things would be better, I can't.. I hope he proves me wrong but Marc Coppolla will accomplish little if not nothing to represent us. B. Brown changed the name of two streets in his illustrious career in the senate. Expect the same earth shattering results from Marc Coppolla.

Chris Jacobs has responded to the Free Buffalo survey and comments are piling up!
After comparing the two candidates responses I will be voting for Jacobs.
Read and compare both, Coppolla will be part of the problem for sure. Things need to change and he will not vote to change anything. Please Vote Jacobs..

Feb 28th

New York Ranks Last in Tax Study

A new report is warning that New York State has the most hostile business tax climate in the nation, largely due to its higher-than-average personal income, sales and business taxes.

New York ranks last among the 50 states in terms of the burden placed on businesses by a variety of state taxes, according to a "business climate" study published by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research group that was founded in the 1930s during the Depression.

The study comes on the heels of two other reports that cast a critical eye on New York's tax system and spending levels, and clash with Governor Pataki's claims that the state under his stewardship has made substantial gains in making itself more appealing to businesses and entrepreneurs. The reports, taken together, could make it more difficult for Republican gubernatorial candidates to portray their party as being more fiscally conservative than the Democratic Party.

In this state they have proven to be one in the same. and the Republican leadership wonders why the people like me are upset. Geez do you think it could be because of people like Joe Bruno that continue drive us further into debt with his agreement with the tax and spend policies of Sheldon Silver and the Assembly Democrats?

Had they been in the forefront of the battle to turn this state around we would be supporting them. Instead they have forced us to start things like Primary Challenge and FreeBuffalo. Sorry folks,.....  no i'm not. I am sorry for the good people of this state that have had their lives shattered because of their policies and continue the status quo. Bruno and Silver have got to go.

The foundation, whose study feeds several variably weighted indexes into a single ranking, says New York ranks 30th in its business tax index, 50th in its individual income tax index, and 39th for sales taxes, the three largest categories.
long-standing culture in Albany.

Shocked, shocked I tell you... I am shocked at the fact that we in this state continue to put the same people in year after year that put us here. What is the defination of insanity? Well we are the epitomy of that definition.

Spitzer looks for new Erie Canal-like investment by state.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Democratic candidate for governor Eliot Spitzer told the state's mayors Monday that he won't "waste" the crisis New York faces but will instead use it to galvanize support for an economic resurgence.

He said the state finds itself in trouble: High taxes, low graduation rates and employers and young people leaving the state for opportunities elsewhere.
"Somehow the vitality of New York state has been sapped,"
Spitzer told the annual gathering of the New York Conference of Mayors.

Somehow? somehow? is this guy for real? I don't know how it happened but have no fear the government will fund more and we will fix the crisis.. Good Lord this guy is lost in space.

But, he added, "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste ... We have to use this crisis to galvanize public support." The two-term attorney general then quoted a malapropism often attributed to baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra: "If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up someplace else."

Spitzer's Democratic opponent, Tom Suozzi, said Spitzer missed the top priority of the mayors and New Yorkers: Reducing local property taxes.
"He's a prosecutor and I'm a chief executive," Suozzi said. "I have dealt with these issues like job creation and bringing in local business face to face."

Bingo, Suozzi get's this right and there is the difference between a Manager and a political hack.  Like I said before, if Sheldon Silver is against this guy I am for him. Taxes are killing us and Spitzer is just another big government, tax and spend hack that will continue the shelly silver form of government that has driven us further into the abyss.

Giambra, Paladino, Sue Thruway Authority Over Toll

Erie County Executive Joel Giambra says it's unfair Western New Yorkers have been paying tolls on the I-190 since the 1950s while other commuters using the 390, 490, and 590 don't have to pay tolls

Thruway Authority Spokesperson Betsy Graham tells Newsradio 930 WBEN the 190 is under the jurisdiction of the Authority while other routes are not. She says if tolls weren't collected, roads and bridges on the 190 would not be maintained. Graham says a transportation hearing will be held Thursday and testimony on the tolls is expected.
Here is the Law----Niagara Toll Removal Act
Typical response from them, with out your money we are out of a job. Our toll money pay for the roads down state in the Hudson valley area too. Why don't they pay tolls?  Political influence... New York State authorities borrow and spend Billions everyyear to fix roads, don't give me that excuse.

Everytime I drive through a toll booth I feel like I am either feeding the homeless or just giving them more money toward their pensions.

10:30 pm
Cheney seen retiring after midterm elections
Senior GOP sources envision the retirement of Mr. Cheney in 2007, months after the congressional elections. The sources said Mr. Cheney would be persuaded to step down as he becomes an increasing political liability to President Bush.

The sources reported a growing rift between the president and vice president as well as their staffs. They cited Mr. Cheney’s failure to immediately tell the president of the accidental shooting of the vice president’s hunting colleague earlier this month. The White House didn’t learn of the incident until 18 hours later.

Mr. Cheney’s next crisis could take place by the end of the year, the sources said. They said the White House was expecting Mr. Cheney to defend himself against charges from his former chief of staff, Lewis Libby, that the vice president ordered him to relay classified information. Such a charge could lead to a congressional investigation and even impeachment proceedings.

“Nothing will happen until after the congressional elections,” a GOP source said. “After that, there will be significant changes in the administration and Cheney will probably be part of that.”

Feb 27th

Giambra and Paladino want a lawsuit filed against Albany because of the tolls.
If they are calling for removal of tolls we need to remove them all.
Grand Island has major problems coming and they must be adressed!
A friend brought up a very good point to me this morning and one that will effect the new Homeland Security building here on the island. They moved here because of the central point between Niagara Falls, Buffalo and the Canadian border. The ease of getting to these places will also be hindered by the closing of this bridge and the massive backup that that will be happening everyday. Everyone is ignoring the Bridge tolls and the effect we have hear on the environment with traffis backed up. Sure I'm using the environmentalist arguement now but think about it. I need to look up everything pertaining to the bridges and post it all in the Grand Island Page.
From Sam Hoyt
Elimination of Grand Island tolls: My bill, A2556, will eliminate the tolls at the Grand Island bridges.

Toll Lawsuit Plan
Erie County Executive Joel Giambra and local developer Carl Palladino announced Monday morning that they were teaming up to sue the New York State Thruway Authority to get rid of the Odgen and Breckenridge toll barriers on I-190.

Palladino says that the collection of toll money at the barrier is illegal, as stipulated by the Niagara Toll Removal Act. He claims that it unfairly affects commuters, which is not allowed under that law.
From Sam Hoyt
Elimination of Ogden/Black Rock Tolls: This bill, A2495, directs the New York State Thruway Authority to discontinue the collection of tolls at the Black Rock toll barrier and the Ogden Street toll barriers.

Chris Jacobs response to our survey:
Marc Copppola declined to respond.
To bad for

Schools, Tokasz huddle over future

Area school officials met with State Assembly Majority Leader Paul A. Tokasz (D-Cheektowaga) and New York State education officials last week at St. Joseph Hospital to discuss future planning, including educational points of emphasis and finances.

Tokasz was accompanied by Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents Robert Bennett, who identified three priorities of the Regents: closing the achievement gap, addressing failing high schools and keeping college affordable and accessible.

"Secondary education is very important," Bennett said. "A high school diploma will not be enough to support a family."
The achievement gap can be closed, Bennett said, with a comprehensive early childhood strategy that includes universal pre-kindergarten and coordinating government services that affect children, such as the categories of health, mental health, children & family, and social.

"The science is very conclusive about when a child can learn," Bennett told the group as he touted the importance of schools providing pre-kindergarten services.

"Universal pre-K has always been a priority of the Assembly," Tokasz added as officials from Cheektowaga Central, Cheektowaga-Sloan, Cleveland Hill, Depew, Lancaster, Maryvale and West Seneca listened. All of the districts sit within Tokasz’s 143rd District
According to Bennett, there are 127 high schools in New York State
that have graduation rates of 40 percent or less.

Our education system has failed us year in and year out by creating and expanding the system with universal pre-k will do nothing but create more teaching jobs and just another glorified babysitter paid for with our tax dollars.

Concentrate on opening Charter Schools- Competition is the best way to rebuild and fix the school system, not more money.

Feb 25th

Dale Volker... Whew, what a piece of work..  I have the text  of the letter he sent out to his district.. Now let your opinion be known, vote in the poll above.
I have also added follow the money, a list of his contributors.. I will update as I find more info on him.
Primary Challenge may have a candidate to run against Mr. Volker, you know the man that thinks that Joe Bruno is his boss.. and not the people..

Would you support a candidate from Primary Challenge to run? We need to get support for him as this will be an expensive race, if you can help please let me know send me an email...   I will pass the word.

And Now the Suburban Revolutionary

The coronation has been called off. This Saturday, the Nassau County executive, Thomas Suozzi will announce his candidacy for governor of New York, pitting him against the former consensus candidate on the Democratic side, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. It promises to be the rare high-stakes primary fight between two eminently qualified candidates.

Mr. Spitzer's activist tenure as attorney general has revived the office, but his blunt and some say bullying style - with its emphasis on achieving settlements instead of courtroom convictions - has raised growing questions as to whether he has the executive temperament best suited to be a great governor. Those looking for a strong Democratic alternative have found a hero in Mr. Suozzi's record of reform and results in turning around a dysfunctional local government

Bullying style?  That is being kind, he uses union thug tactics left over from the 50's. If Silver is against someone or something, I am most likely to hold the opposite opinion.  If I were a Democrat I would be campaigning and voting for Thomas Suozzi Go there and help the guy out!
Feb 24th

Dear Anti-Toll Friend,    
               Knowing of your interest in eliminating Thruway tolls from the commuting area of Buffalo, I wanted to be sure you were aware of a public hearing that will be held on this issue on Thursday, March 2 at 10:00 in the Buffalo and Erie County Library Auditorium at One Lafayette Square.
               I was very pleased that the Chairman of the NYS Assembly Committee Transportation agreed to our request to hold this hearing.  I also want to thank committee member Assemblyman Sam Hoyt for his work in bringing this hearing to Buffalo. Hopefully this will be a key step in bringing the removal of Thruway tolls one step closer to reality.
David J. Swarts
Erie County Clerk
We all Must be there!

Charter Revision Commission Debates

The committee assigned to revise Erie County's charter is debating what needs to be done to make county government work more effectively.
One possible solution is to strip powers away from future county executives and give them to a non-partisan, appointed county manager.
That person's main responsibilities would be to create a budget, hire department heads, and work with the county legislature.

Charter Commissioner Michael Zabel said, "It would subtract the politics and some of the personality that you pointed out was the root of the failures that we've been through recently."
"You're not gonna take politics out of government. I don't care how you go."
The Charter Revision Commission has a few more months before it will present its ideas to the county legislature.

I know there was a couple members of the Forum on County Government we had, sounds like they took some ideas with them from the forum. I stood up at the end of the forum and said exactly that. Politics in Eire County is toxic..
It has become that way because of Albany, the same type of Albany politics is now here and we saw it when 2 years ago they voted to give the chairman all the power to control jobs and money. It of course went on brfore this but was catapulted then.

Party politics is the worst here, and not always dems against repubs or vise virsa, it is within the party aimed at each other and the candidates. Just look at my race last year, the local republicans (note small R) ran a candidate against me because of my history of working for the "Best" candidate and they were not always republicans. Because of their desire for "revenge", I lost... But, I must clarify "The People" of the 10th district lost. I can still hear the voices of all the seasoned citizens calling me so worried and concerned they would lose their homes with tax increases..

Next year can't come soon enough for me. In the mean time we will watch our county implode..

Erie County cannot have ‘hard’ control board

Attorney says there are no provisions in place to trigger such a move. 
BY MELANIE LARSEN The Tonawanda News

BUFFALO — Making the leap from a soft control board to a hard control board won’t be happening anytime soon, despite calls for such action.

Vice Chairman David Campbell opened Thursday’s meeting of the Erie County Fiscal Stability Board of Directors by addressing what he called a misconception some in the county might have about the group’s role.  The misconception, Campbell said, is that the board is in place to control county spending, when in reality its current role is only advisory.

Members of the board asked what moves would allow a transition to a hard control board that would have a grip on the county purse strings. “There is no provision whatsoever to go into a hard control board,” attorney and guest speaker G. Stamm said, adding that “the trigger points are very narrow.”

A hard control board would only go into effect when and if the county executive and the Legislature could not agree and come up with a balanced budget, according to the board’s Web site.

Campbell said the public is placing too much authority in the hands of the board members. “We are not elected; we don’t have the authority to run county government,” Stamm said.
In other board news, Campbell officially resigned as chairman of the control board after Thursday’s meeting. His resignation follows former chairman of the board Ed Regan, who resigned Wednesday. Campbell said he was stepping down because he felt his integrity had been attacked by media outlets.

Gov. George Pataki, who appointed both men, must now find replacements.

How frustrating this is..  they respond to our frustration with a control board that can do nothing but suck more money out of our pockets. Why bother even responding to us Albany?  This whole thing is for decoration, that's it, make it look like they are doing something but in reality they are useless. As long as the legislature and the county executive can agree to raise taxes to balance the budget nothing will happen. They can advise till the cow comes home and it does us no dam good atall.

Now that there are two vacancies let's just go ahead and send the rest of them home too. Either that or give them some teeth so they can do something but pose for animal crackers.   Campbell stepped down because of his integrity being attacked? Geez, if we hadn't been fed a line of cow manure and they actually could do something about this counties fianacial mess his integrity wouldn't have been questioned. They are as useless as our elected socialist legislature. Go home and come back when you can actually help us.

Let me on the control board and give me the power to do something...
The election is not coming soon enough for me, I don't think my sanity will last over the next year and a half.

Stolen Map of Water System May Put Supply in Jeopardy

By LAUREN ELKIES - Staff Reporter of the Sun

New York City's water supply could be the target of contamination if a water system map made its way into the wrong hands, an environmentalist said.

The threat has arisen since someone broke into a vehicle belonging to a Department of Environmental Protection maintenance supervisor and stole an agency laptop containing a map of the water system. If the map was detailed enough,"there could be the opportunity to pose a threat," the executive director for the Center for Environmental Information, Cindy Stachowski, said. Even without a map, Ms. Stachowski added, someone pouring biological, chemical, or radiological contaminants into a fresh water source could adulterate the water system.

Wouldn't you think they would be a little more responsible for their laptops? I would also think that they would know how detailed of a map was in the laptop.

Feb 23rd
7 Charges filed against Tony Orsini from the State Independent Party.
Party endorsements bought and paid for...
Fraudulent use of Party funds..
County Manager proposal from the Erie County Charter Review Commission. I don't like it, it's redundent and it is doomed to failure, read it here..

The Ostrowski,Iraci,Thompson plan is the way!

In lieu of lots of meetings, I think we can discuss this online.
These proposals are on the table:
1. recall, petition and term limits.
2. banning corporate welfare
3. tying public sector compensation to private sector compensation
4. making the clerk an appointed position (if possible)
5. county manager/modified board of supervisors system–

This would simultaneously eliminate the county legislature and county executive.
The legislature would be replaced by a board of supervisors made up of town supervisors, the mayors of Lackawanna and Tonawanda and the nine councilmen in Buffalo. They then appoint a county manager as in Niagara County.

This move eliminates sixteen politicians in one stroke! Consistent with Free Buffalo’s philosophy, it makes the county a creature of the towns and cities. Power flows up!

Don’t bet on judicial reform in New York State

Ever vote for a State Supreme Court Justice before? Of course you haven’t. You might think you have, but you’ve never even had the chance. In New York, Supreme Court judges are chosen by the voters, but only after a judicial district convention. Slates of delegates are elected in each Assembly district, and then those delegates decide who will be on the ballot for their particular political party.

Posted this here for follow up, I posted it here for comment and my opinion.
This is a sad for the people of this state.

NY Gov.: Conservative Party Head Issues Ultimatum to GOP

The chairman of New York’s politically potent Conservative Party has thrown down the gauntlet to the state’s Republicans:
Joe Bruno told them last time to stick the endorsement up their.........
Republicans and Conservative voters across the state are fed up with the way the elected Republicans have drifted more and more to the left on issues and they are suffering for it across the state. 

N.Y. Designates Funds to Restore Buffalo Psychiatric Center, Wright House

The future looks $100 million brighter for two historic buildings in Buffalo, N.Y.: a 100-year-old house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and H.H. Richardson's Buffalo State Hospital, now the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, listed on the National Trust's list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 1999.

Ya, the future looks bright for the union contractors one of Sam's biggest supporters. Stop PLA's........
Lawmakers Take New Approach

Several lawmakers are taking a new approach in trying to get Erie County back on firm financial ground. Senior Correspondent Rich Newberg takes a look at what they're doing and whether or not their ideas are working.

The 11 to 4 vote to share $12 1/2 million dollars of extra sales tax revenue, may have been a turning point for the new county legislature.

Really, ya think?  Since when has the turning point been to raise taxes, that is  the way it has always  been done. So to think this is something new is niave.

Task force chairman David Rutecki said, "They seem to be people who are willing to take a position. I think there were more who were members of the previous legislature who wouldn't vote for anything!"

The members of the previous legislature took a position and held to it, they refused to vote to raise taxes, is that wrong? No, it's the "Right" thing to do.
They held strong to their convictions that there would have to be cuts too. By simply raising taxes to get more revenue is doing nothing to take care of the root problem. County government and it's leaders have the diluted idea that everything must remain the same, they still need the ever increasing revenue without ever looking inward.The mindset has to change.

Many of the new lawmakers were elected as reformers, and they are challenging the county executive when he said:
Joel Giambra: "I think the budget crisis is behind us..." He's in dreamland.......

The challenges are immense: Legislature Chair Lynn Marinelli (D): "Track 'em, monitor 'em, report on 'em, and hold the administration accountable."  Every committee must fill out periodic accountability sheets listing the initiative and how it is to be implemented, the department impacted and status of savings, and the details of the action taken.

Lynn I must ask a stupid question... Why hasn't this been the policy in the past?

Hold the administration accountable? Boy I hope that is not the only focus, sure the Giambra team is responsible for alot of financial screwups but,  the legislature is just as responsible. Lynn, Holt, Smith, Swanick etal have enjoyed the ability in recent times to point the finger at Giambra, it's all his fault at the same time working hand in hand with him pushing for tax increases, then when they don't come to pass because of pressure from groups like PrimaryChallenge  FreeBuffalo, ReformNYS and Speakupwny they cut and slash where it will hurt the people of this county the most. They closed parks, the DMV offices etc....

Problem as I see it right now is the same as before. The faces have change but  the mindset is the same. Rape, rob and pillage,  only they have the super majority to put it into action. I don't expect to see any real structural reforms with this current class.  The most serious issue is the mindset of the majority especially when their "New Leader" Maria Whyte claims they have a mandate.

I still wonder how a freshman can get elected Majority leader. I suppose it may have something to do with her campain manager being close allies with Lenihan and Hoyt and he is now the "Chief of Staff" for the majority Dems. When they all meet at Democrat headquarters for a caucus you can figure out their agenda. Protect our committee jobs at all costs and blame the Republicans for everything, after all we have a Republican county executive and it's his fault.

I also see the same negotiating tactics happening with the Republicans, Lynn Marinelli controls all the jobs and any pork for all the legislators. Hold it over their heads and threaten to keep it from them, as she will do with her own Democrats and that could be worse for us. Vote the way I tell you or you get nothing.   This is Albany politics thru and thru, Sheldon Silver and Joe Bruno yield the exact same power over our legislators there. Until this changes we are stuck with Party politics dominating our government.

Regan Resigns From County Control Board

He came in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb.. I had high hopes when he first came to town, I think everyone did.  The County control board has been useless for us at the same time sucking out 1.8 million in county resources. Renting office space? That blows me away, here they are coming here to advise our inept legislators on how to deal with financial problems and they cause us more problems.

Ned Regan sounded just like me when he came storming into town, everyone applauded him for his out spoken criticism of the county legislature and executive, the waste, fraud, abuse, yadda, yadda, yadda...... Just a bunch of bloviating and no action. Another one down, a supposed reformer silenced, we had high hopes..

Bass Pro Moves Ahead Outside Buffalo Faster

In the months since Bass Pro announced their deal to bring a mega-sized fishing and outdoor store to downtown Buffalo, the company has added 12 other projects to the development list, and is apparently moving ahead more quickly in other places than they have been able to do here.

And each project moving ahead faster than a speeding bullet. Most are moving faster because government has not offered any tax breaks or government bribes.  A couple moving slowly due to road and infustructure work.  Erie County the place to come for government bribes... Will we ever learn?

Feb 22nd

Chris Jacobs for Senate.
At this time I am putting my support behind Chris Jacobs for Senate in the 60th district. I put aside what the local Republicans have done to me in this past election, I will always get behind the candidate that can and will do the right job to represent the people.
Chris is a Republican, and as a Republican he will have the ability to get things done in a Republican controlled Senate. Marc Coppolla is living in dream land thinking that he can do anything in the senate. What did Byron Brown accomplish? Nothing except have a couple streets names changed.
All I can do is laugh at the claims Coppolla is making in his radio commercials, he wants to properly represent the district and bring western NY thinking to Albany. If a Democrat had a voice in the senate don't you think Maisello, Nanula and Brown could have done something? They did nothing, just drive around and look at the condition of this district, Nia Falls and Buffalo are in shambles, boarded up abandoned buildings and homes. So much for doing the work for "working families" all that is is a message to the unions that he will carry their torch and bring  their agenda with him, that is baggage we do not need.
I am asking you to get out there Feb 28th and pull the lever for Chris. Don't write my name in as alot of you want to do, don't waste the vote on me or Coppolla. I will make my way around to my supporters in Buffalo and the rest of the district and ask them to vote for Chris.