Jan 2,06 First post of the New Year.
Today I attended the Sheriffs Reception down town, I have never felt safer than to be in a room full of Cops. I congratulated the new Sheriff Tim Howard and wished him the best of luck dealing with the county Legislature this year. I was the only person there from Grand Island. I also saw former Sheriff Pat Gallivan and had a great conversation with him. I had to ask about the rumor posted at postforcash if the Republicans had asked him to run for Congress. He laughed and said, Ya, I heard about that rumor and had to go read it for myself. Point blank he said NO, they have not talked to him about running. Pat had to ask about my run for the Legislature, "what the hell happened over there Rus".
I have known Pat Gallivan for years and have a good friendship with him. We had a good conversation about the past years events, I filled his ear for a while.
Good sources tell me that Golisano will run for governor.
(January 1, 2006) — There has been indisputable progress toward remedying the dysfunction that plagues the New York Legislature since the Editorial Board made "Challenging Albany" its top priority two years ago.
But it would be a huge mistake to assume that state lawmakers are well on the way to reform. Again this year, the Editorial Board will spread even more light on a legislative process that has gone amok in too many ways.
Good editorial from the Democrat and Chronicle, they plan on covering Albany this year with vigor as we all will.
The judge ruled the hospital is entitled to annual subsidies agreed to when the county sold it to a public benefit corporation in 2004.
Hypothetically speaking, ECMC Corporation could be awarded anywhere from 4.4 million to 10.9 million dollars for 2005, and possibly another 18 million dollars for 2006.
When the proceeds from its latest tobacco deal arrive in January, Erie County will have sold $45 million in future income for just $15.6 million, according to an analysis by the executive director of the county's control board.
"The county is willing to pay significantly for an advance against a future asset," wrote Lee Van Riper, who explained the transaction to the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority, a panel of state-appointed advisers that cannot block the move.
The Buffalo Bills and Erie County's Department of Public Works are putting the final touches of a laundry list of repairs and upgrades to Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The repairs, which will cost $1.7 million, are deemed routine in nature.
This past year, the county reimbursed the Bills for nearly $300,000 in improvement made the stadium complex. The allocation was approved by the Erie County Legislature during its Dec. 15 meeting.
In more recent years, the team has installed a new playing surface on the field, constructed the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Fieldhouse and upgrade the player's locker rooms and training facilities.
We're told an 11th-hour but sensible bailout is all but finalized to save the debt-plagued and scandal-ridden New York Racing Association.
This news conjures equal measures of relief and contempt.
Relief because we save, for awhile at least, what I'm told is a vital industry to the state, horse racing.
Gov. Pataki, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno can deep-six the proposed pension change — and they should do just that.
A $100 million dollar transfer from a pension fund to a union that launched the first illegal strike in 25 years does not strike us as a good signal to send under any circumstances.
The details are a bit arcane, but it appears that some 50 percent of the TWU's 33,700 members will get refunds of earlier pension-fund contributions of between $7,000 and $20,000.In cash.
This could mean a $150 million hit on the municipal-retirement fund.
The unions agreed to pay 1.5% to health-care premiums, wow I'm impressed. Off the table is the change from retiring at 60 instead of 55. The Gov and the legislature must throw this out and do it first thing in the new session, I qurantee they will strike again. Fire them for striking? Never happen, the workers have gone on strike twice in the past and they never did, why now? With these kinds of deals that basically reward them and again screw the people of NY.
New Census figures show New York lost 26,000 residents from July 2004 to July 2005. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia also saw their populations drop during that period.
While there is much speculation about the reasons, demographic experts and business groups point to a lackluster economy and high taxes as the primary culprits for New York's decline. If the trend for the first half of the decade continues, the Business Council of New York State estimates New York will lose two more seats in Congress after 2010, going down to 27.
"Although the economies in New York City and the Hudson Valley have recovered from the 2001 recession, the rest of New York state remains fairly depressed," said Rolf Pendall, an associate professor of city and regional planning at Cornell University.
People don't realize how high taxes are here and find out quickly when they look to other areas. We are losing another friend to the south. Chuck Shaw couldn't find a job here and started looking around to different states, he found a good job outside Atlanta and is in the process of moving now. He paid over $4000 in property taxes here and will be paying $800 for his new place in Atlanta. You will be missed my friend as is your brother Dick and wife Connie.
There will be a little extra something for businesses in New York early next year - an extra tax.
Because of past economic downturns, the state's unemployment insurance system is in hock to the federal government, forcing a make-up payment of about $42 per worker.
The bite isn't new, having begun a year ago, and should be eliminated next year as the state's borrowing is repaid. But this year's bill will be double the one that employers paid a year ago, and some business people are fed up.
Notice they said "should" be eliminated next year, reminds me of their promise to get rid of the tolls when the bridges were paid for, never happened.
Dec 28 7:20PM
As the end of the year gets close so does the first meeting of the New Erie county Legislature.
A few weeks ago Matt Spina had an article that talked about the staffing at their local offices and at the county. I ran on the idea that we do not need district offices or staff. Close to a million can be saved by closing them. How will they vote on district offices, I will be keeping an eye on it.
Also staffing at the county office. Right now the Republicans have no staff and the Dems have an excess. Who will control the hiring and firing of the county staff. Holt did for both sides, will this change with Marinelli at the helm?
This year will be very interesting with the "New Legislature" the run for Governor and the various runs for assembly and senate, all seats are up in Albany. Wouldn't it be nice to see a house cleaning there too.
This is kind of a fun article, so glad I found it..
Until recently Spitzer has been all alone running in the race for Governor, prancing around the state as the heir apparent to Pataxme. But in this artticle it is claer that Suozzi will be running in the primary against him and it will surely be a blood fest and will be fun to watch as the other enemy of Spitzer is Spitzer himself..
Spitzer was just another office-seeker in New York state. It took him two tries to win the attorney general's office — and in his unsuccessful 1994 race and his successful 1998 race, he cut some campaign-finance corners in pursuit of his dream. He received two sweetheart loans from his own father and lied about them.
Here's what the Times editorial endorsing him said in 1998: "Spitzer has misled the public about how his father's wealth was used to support about $9 million in loans that financed his campaigns in 1994 and 1998. His conduct may not be illegal, but it was clearly designed to circumvent laws that would have limited his father's direct contributions to the campaign. In normal circumstances, Mr. Spitzer's evasions would have made it impossible to endorse him for the state's top legal position."
Pretty extraordinary, don't you think, in light of Spitzer's shameless pose as a heroic Mr. Clean, throwing the moneychangers out of the Wall Street temple?
Circumvent the Law? I'd say, whew 9 Million in loans from Dad, isn't that special.. That is a tad of an understatement it also appears to be a little unethical then of course enemy number 3... His temper, just read the threat to the writer of an article
Yes, but not quite as extraordinary as Spitzer's reprehensible behavior toward John Whitehead, the distinguished banker and public servant.
In April, Whitehead published an article defending his friend Maurice "Ace" Greenberg — whom Spitzer was publicly claiming had committed fraud in his role as chairman and chief executive of the insurance firm AIG. Spitzer had done so without actually filing a single charge against Greenberg, in an effort to get AIG to fire him.
Last week, Whitehead revealed that, after his article's publication, Spitzer tracked him down on the road in Texas. According to notes Whitehead scribbled down right after the call ended, Spitzer told him: "Mr. Whitehead, it's now a war between us, and you've fired the first shot. I will be coming after you. You will pay the price. This is only the beginning, and you will pay dearly for what you have done. You will wish you had never written that letter."
Because Whitehead had committed the evidently unspeakable crime of questioning Spitzer's conduct, Spitzer could not restrain himself from issuing an implicit threat to use his legal powers against Whitehead.
This is the behavior of a thug. This is the behavior of a goon.
Never met the man and don't care to meet him. He sounds just like a few political hacks I have run into over my years in politics. Run against the political machines and we will tear you apart... Hmmm I'm still in one piece and all the better for it.
This sheds a different light on Mr. Spitzer, one I didn't really know was there. I will surely not be voting for him. When you are the top cop and circumvent the Law and a hot head on top of it? Not a man I want to see be governor. I still like Golisano
2005 brought about big changes in area politics. On the county level, residents went to the polls and voted out a number of the culprits of the Erie County budget crisis. On a local level, races were tight, and history was made.
The election results will welcome new faces and new challenges for 2006 and beyond.
One for the history books
Tonawanda’s Town Board election led to a majority swing more than 80 years in the making. Democrats Lisa Chimera, John Bargnesi and Joseph Emminger unseated Republicans Joseph Shiah, David Rider and Raymond Sinclair to create a Democratic town board with a 5-2 majority.
The race in the Town of Tonawanda just proved the people were fed up with the Republicans and their pompus attitudes and their ties to Giambra. The finances of the town like alot are in sad shape. 80 years they controlled the town's politics and it was thrown away in one election, no gradual change for them.
Now in the 10th as a Legislative district is a different story altogether. After being controlled by Swanick for 26 years the seat was up for grabs... I stepped forward back in February and on the 12th my picture and commitment to challenge Swanick was offically announced. The only way a Republican can get elected in this district is to have a track record of working with both sides as the district is 60-40 Democrat.
I have that track record and the Grand Island Republicans know it and because of that track record they would have nothing to do with me running. Joe Shiah even put in his two cents and joined along with Dick Planavsky and Mary Cooke to nominate and throw into the race Bruce Kaiser to stop me.. By doing this the effectively gave the seat to Iannello, I told Carl Calabrese that she would win as my prediction was right, the results were right down Party lines.
Although in the Primary I won Kenmore, the town and city of Tonawanda, the Grand Island Republicans holding to their true form, violated Elections Law, and Kaiser was able to beat me by just enough votes to win the Primary.
The Party Hacks have effectively helped killed off the Republicans in the Tonawanda, if they really cared for the people in this district things should have been different. Once again proving that Party Politics are destroying the county and state.
I still need to raise more funds to be able to file in Supreme court, it costs $350 just to file. If you can help, Please do. I have a paypal acct or you can email me for the adress at RusThompson@adelphia.net
Here are links to two great daily Blogs from Iraq. The first one is a friends nephew
Michael is a Photo Journalist and is inside and all over Iraq. He is well known for this picture
You cannot miss this post, just look at the faces of these Happy Iraqi Children.
We need to focus on the good is happening in Iraq, the positive, not just the negative.
(Grand Island, NY, December 26, 2005) - - He was just working hard to earn some extra money. But one paper boy is making news himself after his morning route took a heroic turn.
12-year-old Joseph Reines was making his special-issue paper delivery rounds Monday morning when he noticed something unusual at one elderly woman's home: Sunday's paper was still in the door, and that's not all.
Joe said, "I heard pounding and banging, so I went to the side door and looked, and saw a broomstick hitting the door."
He immediately told his mother, who was waiting in the car.
The 81-year-old woman inside was lying on the floor.
Audry Yehle is in stable condition at Kenmore Mercy Hospital.
Audrey is a friend of ours, we lived across the street from her for 5 years. She is a sweet lady. I have an update, She is very dehydrated but doing well. Will probably be in for a couple of days.
Audrey wanted to make sure that Joe got his Christmas Card & payment monies for newspsper before she went to hospital.
Joe is a friend of my son Abram, he is a good kid and did exactly the right thing, he most likely saved her life. God Bless you Joe..
Report implicating Clinton: Will it be hidden for good?
Bipartisan congressional negotiators squelch independent counsel's findings
Though it has had scant attention from the mainstream media, a bipartisan effort to squelch an independent counsel's final report on Clinton-era abuse of the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department has gotten the attention of Web activists and commentators, causing a growing call for the release of the document that is said to including damning evidence against the 42nd president and his administration.
Over 10 years ago, independent counsel David Barrett was charged with investigating former Clinton Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros in relation to his lying to the FBI about tax fraud he committed trying to cover up payments to a mistress. Though Cisneros pleaded guilty in 1999, Barrett, in the course of his probe, found evidence of wrongdoing within the IRS and Justice Department in relation to the Cisneros fraud.
Reportedly, Clinton team members tried to interfere with Barrett's investigation, which has cost $21 million, including conducting surveillance of his office.
An IRS whistleblower told Barrett, a Republican, of a cover-up surrounding the Cisneros matter.
Dem, Repub, I don't care, if there is evidence that a former President violated the Law it needs to come out. Apparently some congress critters are concerned about their own butts, cover it up and they will maintain their seats in congress. I swear Washington DC is full of Felons. If there is something in here that will indict Hillary, I want it out. If any of them violated the Law, I want them out. We need to demand the release of the whole Barrett report.
How much HUD money came to Buffalo during the Clinton reign? Isn't the missing $560+ million all HUD money...... Hmmmmm.....
Dec 26, 05
Folks, I am not going to allow this issue to fade away into the abyss. I contacted SpeakupWNY and asked T. to start another petition to try and stop the madness. And stop it we will with your help.
By ROBERT J. McCARTHY
The Erie County Water Authority has hired veteran County Legislator Edward J. Kuwik for a $93,600 job that was not advertised and for which nobody else applied.
And County Executive Joel A. Giambra contends that it was traded for a political vote.
"I believe there was a quid pro quo on a vote for commissioner and the job being given, and [District Attorney] Frank Clark should look at it," Giambra said. "It stinks that there's a political deal here."
The county executive said he believes that Kuwik, a Lackawanna Democrat who announced last spring he would not seek a 12th term, voted for the appointments or reappointments of Commissioners Frank E. Swiatek and Robert J. Lichtenthal in exchange for the senior distribution engineer job Kuwik is scheduled to assume on Jan. 3.
"Everyone knows what happened here, and it happened," Giambra said. "It stinks."
And for once in a long time I agree with Giambra. This wreaks of the same type and on going corruption that we have been trying to stop for years. From what I understand Kuwik gets paid $93,600 for this job, better than the $42.5 he got as a legislator. It get's worse, after 3 years in this position he can retire and receive a pension of $63,000 a year? More, I am sure this will include health care for the rest of his life and to top it off pay NO state taxes!
But frequent critic George F. Hasiotis, a former authority commissioner, said it has become an "extension of political interests" in recent years.
"You know they've lost touch when unnecessary political jobs are extended to facilitate someone's retirement," he said. "That's not the function of the Water Authority or any other public entity."
I couldn't agree with you more Mr. Hasiotis.
Other sources with direct knowledge of the situation point out that Kuwik provided a key vote for appointing two authority commissioners - Swiatek and Lichtenthal.
Is any one catching on yet? I will be watching to see where other legislators go after the first of the year and what kind of deals have been made for them. We all need to be watching..
"It's an open secret in the political world that this deal went down at Mattie's," Pigeon said, lamenting what he says are backward steps from the days when he was party chairman from 1996 to 2002.
He said Lenihan conducted the meeting that led to the deal. He said he did not have direct knowledge but talked to several people attending the meeting.
Lenihan and Holt denied Pigeon's charge.
Of course they deny, that is the way they work, deny, deny, deny and it will go away.
They lie to your face like it is the gospel truth. It sickens me.
In an effort to reduce the enormous burden of some of the highest property taxes in the country, Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno and members of the Senate Majority Conference today proposed the REBATE-NY plan, a comprehensive, 25 point plan to provide more than $2.4 billion in school and municipal property tax relief over the next three years, including direct rebate checks to property taxpayers, expanding the STAR program and the property tax circuit breaker, and encouraging consolidation of local government services. The Senate plan would save property taxpayers approximately $1.4 billion in the 2006-07 State fiscal year.
The only thing this is is a political move because it is an election year. Bruno is now the leader of the aimless, failing Republican party in this state. Pataxme is leaving, moving on to bigger and better things? *choke* president? of what failed institution?
The Republicans have been losing ground across the state and instead of doing anything of real substance like "Restructuring county, municipal, city, town and Albany politics they continue down the same path of implosion….
When you run as Republicans, get elected and serve as rino’s, continue the status quo, keep up the quid pro quos, raise taxes, raise costs in every aspect of life from cell phone bills, licenses, permits, fees blah, blah, blah… Your just as bad as what we have been putting up with for 40 years.
Pensions, health care skyrocketing with NO plans to help fix them, debt that my grand children will be paying for. You want to do something Joe? Get out!
The 2nd reason this is happening is because of the excess they now have because of the taxes on gasoline. When prices skyrocketed to 3.00 a gallon the state was reaping the benefits as we dug deeper into our shallow pockets to pay more. They do it now because they don’t have to get the money from anywhere else, it came from us when we desperately needed it.
Bruno may possibly lose the senate control he has had since Pataxme got elected, now he is panicking and will try to dig up any ideas to save his ass. Notice I say HIS, because all our corrupt leaders care only about their own asses. IF and I say IF they had done their job as a leader they would not have to worry never mind panic. You reap what you sew
Rebates would be tied to STAR program; Pataki, Democrats cool to idea
Less than a month after a national consultant urged state Senate Republicans to start campaigning early and focus on taxes, Majority Leader Joseph Bruno unveiled a $2.4 billion proposal Thursday to expand the popular STAR school property tax break.
A national consultant? They need a national consultant? Good Lord what have we come to? Do any of our elected leaders have any original ideas or is this a buddy that donated heavily to a campaign? If they listened to "The People" we wouldn't need them to hire anyone. Open up your ears and get out into the real world, get out of your boxed life..
But of course from the other side of the aisle we have Sheldon Silver and the Democrats....
Assembly Democrats, though, were cool to Bruno's proposal.
Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, took aim at one part of Bruno's plan, which would allow seniors to use reverse mortgages to help pay their taxes. Under a reverse mortgage, a bank buys back a home over time, making regular payments to the homeowner.
"It's hard to see how encouraging senior citizens to pay their taxes by mortgaging their homes only to make them wait months for a rebate check is tax relief," said Silver spokeswoman Sisa Moyo.
And just tell me Mr. Silver what is wrong with Reverse Mortgages? I have seen many elderly people use them to help them stay in their homes when their income could not pay for their taxes, utilities, food, prescription drugs and healthcare. Reverse mortgages are a great asset in in some cases a clear necessity in their lives. Are you afraid you won't be able to pick their pockets after they die because the bank will own their homes?
Not all Seinor Citizens desire to be shipped off to a state run Nursing home because their homes were taken for back taxes Sheldon, think about them and the electorate for once. See that is what we in WNY get when we have NO representation in Albany. Sheldon Silvers district is in Manhattan yet he controls the whole state with his egotistical, self righteous attitude.