Mohan Says Amherst 'Mismanaged'

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Amherst Supervisor Satish Mohan says when he took office, he encountered a number of surprises--there were no employee files, no evaluations and no chain of command for the 1,000 employees, 23-department heads and 9-elected leaders.
Mohan, who spent two hours answering listener's questions on WBEN's Tom Bauerle Show, says the lack of paperwork is "unacceptable" and that he is working to correct that situation.
Mohan also said he is working to tackle the towns debt load, which he says puts them $64-million in the hole.
I listened to the whole show and enjoyed listening to Satish.  It doesn't suprise me in the least bit that the prior administration removed all the files, just a little payback for beating her.. Make his job as tough as possible, just proves the point that these politicans are self serving and will do anything to coverup what they have done.. As far as I am concerned Satish should of had a couple weeks working with the out going supervisor so she could make the transition as easy as possible..

I applauded Satish when he sat down and signed all the paychecks. With  no other way to find out how many people actually work for the town, how much they make and who they are, he did the right thing.  The other thing is pay day.... Payday is the day the checks are dated, not the day before because some of the banks will cash the checks. They should not be cashing the checks dated the next day..

I only hope that the others on the town board do the right thing and work with him and not work to undermine what he was elected to do.

Coppola Gets Dem Nod For Senate

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Buffalo lawmaker Marc Coppola has received the endorsement of the Erie County Democratic Committee in his quest to serve in the state senate in the 60th district.

Coppola was chosen over 6-other candidates, who may still enter the race under other party banners. The seat, which includes Buffalo, Grand Island and Niagara Falls, was vacated by Byron Brown, now the Mayor of Buffalo.
So on the Democrat side we have Coppola, A.Thompson and Gaughn with the WF line..
This district has been gerry mandered for the democrat party with over 100,000 more dems that repubs. The main problem I see is the inability for a Democrat to accomplish anything they promise in the senate. What we need is a Republican to represent us, think about how useless a Republican is in the Assembly, I am sure Jim Hayes is in a constant state of frustration as he attempts to represent the people in his district.

Byron Brown did nothing as a senator, I can't come right out and blame him for his inability to only have a couple streets named. The Republicans control the senate and the district shows it. I have watched as Niagara Falls and the City of Buffalo have gone further down hill while B. Brown represented us. Of course a dem will never admit it, it is the absolute truth. So to listen to Coppolla and  A.Thompson say they are going to do this and that is simply blowing smoke..

Coppola and A.Thompson are the same any way you look at it, they are bookends and represent the status quo and part of the problems we face in this area. Who is pushing for Coppola, no one but Lenihan and Hoyt, Please.  B.Brown endorsing A.Thompson does nothing for me. If I had to pick a Democrat it would be Gaughn. At least he has had the guts to stand up to the party.

Will the voters take this into consideration? Hardly, what we need is a person running that has a track record of working with both sides and elected as a Republican..
Geez, why haven't the Republicans returned my calls and my request for an interview?
Party politics rearing it's ugly head, will they ever learn? Doubtful.

I went on a rant against Albany in my new blog AlbanysInsanity..
Jan 24th
The Albany Budget for 06

This budget will be like the majority of previous NY State budgets have
been, with Democrats threatening that children will starve and that the
elderly will die from lack of affordable drugs or from being reduced to
eating dog food. Republicans will complain that more tax cuts are needed for
big corporations and about the lack of good paying jobs being attracted into
the state, while the teachers unions will scream for more money for our
failing schools. You see, it's all for the children . . .

When all is said and done, however, George Pataki will veto the budget
passed by the assembly and Sheldon Silver will threaten and twist enough
arms to secure votes to override the veto and we will be hit once again with
more and higher taxes, all thanks to the inept, incompetent people elected
to represent us . . .

Until we see the complete restructuring of government in Albany we
may as well send everyone but Silver, Bruno and Pataki home. These three run
Albany, the so called three men in a room. The rest are useless and serve
only to cost us hundreds of millions of dollars for salaries, personnel and
support for them. The assembly members and senators are told how to vote
and they do as they are told because they are cowards who do not know how to
properly represent the people who elected them.

True reform is essential if New York State is to survive. We will not be
served by false claims to reform such as what we saw last year with Bruno,
Silver and Pataki sitting in front of the TV cameras pretending to conduct
budget deliberations when the outcome was for the most part, a foregone

Now is the time for the restructuring of the pension system, workers comp
and Medicaid, three of the biggest parts of the budget. We live in the
highest taxed state in the country, our electric rates are among the
highest**, as are New York's workers compensation rates. Many more such
examples can be cited. New York is rapidly becoming the state to be from,
not to come to. 26,000 more of our fellow citizens left the state for good
last year.

We are dead last in job creation and dead last in business growth, yet our
elected officals spend like kids in a penny candy store with a pocket full
of quarters. They don't know when or how to stop because they have the
bottomless pockets of the taxpayers from which to draw and they can give all
the candy they buy to their friends and to all those who treat them right.

Whatever you do this election day, my friends, I suggest a clean sweep in
Albany. Please do not vote for an incumbent as they are all to blame. In
this special election, vote for the underdog, the one whom the big parties
refuse to even interview. They will only get the message if YOU do something
about it. We can no longer afford to work as splintered little reform
groups. If we are going to have any chance of success, we will all have to
speak very loudly, clearly and, with one voice.

Rus Thompson

Days of wining & dining may be numbered

ALBANY - David Grandeau, the hard-charging head of the state Lobbying Commission, could go down as the biggest party pooper in Albany history.

Members of the Legislature have gotten used to living the high life up here, courtesy of well-heeled lobbyists who are only too glad to treat the pols to cocktails, pick up the check at swanky restaurants or slip them free tickets to Yankees games. Local lore has it that some lawmakers have never bought themselves dinner in Albany, even as they pocket $143 per-diems intended to cover their meals and lodging.

But now Grandeau is trying to turn off the fire hose of freebies. He's cracking down through a creative interpretation of the state ethics law, which forbids officials from accepting any gift worth $75 or more if it's intended to influence them.
I like that creative interpertation! That is the way it should be..

The legislative ethics committees - controlled by the majority Republicans in the Senate and majority Democrats in the Assembly - have long read this law to mean $75 per occasion. In other words, a lobbyist could theoretically buy a lawmaker a $74.99 lunch, take him out for $74.99 worth of cocktails, treat him to a $74.99 dinner and give him theater tickets worth $74.99 - all in one day - and never break the law.
Of course this is a Lawyer Politicans interpretation of it, once 4 or 5 times a day..

But the executive branch of state government has always interpreted the law to mean $75 a year from any one source. Agency employees who accept more than a lunch or two from a contractor risk paying fat fines.

Grandeau, who has a well-earned reputation for stirring the pot, recently announced that he intends to apply the more-stringent $75-a-year rule to the lobbyists he regulates. In other words, the party's over.

The full lobbying commission - appointed by Gov. Pataki, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno and the legislative minority leaders - could still overrule Grandeau. But that would be dicey in an election year, especially given that a Washington lobbyist famous for dispensing goodies in Congress just pleaded guilty to corruption charges.

I wouldn't suggest that, this looks like the first step in many that need to come down to remove the corruption and influence in Albany politics.

State Sex Offender Bills In Debate

Even after a unanimous vote, New York State Assembly republicans are still not satisfied with the new plans to keep sex offenders confined indefinitely.

Republicans still say the bill drawn up by Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver, to civilly confine sex offenders is flawed. The bill has strict criteria for confining convicted offenders and doesn't deal with those already in prison.

Lifetime parole instead of confinement is also included in the bill. Right now the measure is in a conference committee to work out the differences between the legislation which was passed yesterday and the senate's version.

Also Governor George Pataki is trying to put a new bill into affect that would create stiffer penalties for those convicted of sex attacks against children. Pataki called for a 25-year minimum and tougher sentencing for all sexual assaults.

The State Assembly has their own proposal out that would give life sentences for the most serious sex crimes if they involved a weapon, multiple victims, or a person with a previous conviction for a felony sex crime.

Pataki thinks the Assembly's plan is too weak and now both sides will work to find common ground.

What point is Silver trying to make here? Is he the almighty? Is he the only one with an opinion,  power has clearly gotten to his head, or is he trying to cover up something?

O'Loughlin Running For County Executive

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - An Amherst town councilmember is making his message clear: he's running for Erie County Executive.

Bill O'Loughlin tells Newsradio 930 WBEN the job is becoming tougher and tougher, and he says "it's becoming more and more intriguing to me." O'Loughlin says he'll seek the Republican endorsement in the race, but he'll run a bipartisan campaign.

O'Loughlin says he's willing to sell pharmaceutical companies on Erie County to manufacture their products here. He's also aiming to restore the trust of the county's residents.

O'Loughlin says his fundraising has been preliminary, with just one fundraiser. He's going to have other and says he plans on backing some of his campaign with his own money.

I used to like Bill when he had his radio show on WBEN and filled in every once in a while. I was excited when he won in Amherst.. But after watching some of the town board meetings on TV I have lost it... I would rather see Barry Weinstein.

Former Mayor Griffin Wants to See Sharing of Sales Tax Revenue

"Show us the money!" That's the message from Jimmy Griffin to Erie County lawmakers.

The former Buffalo Mayor appeared before the legislature's finance committee and said Buffalo deserves to share in Erie County's extra sales tax revenue.

Griffin said, "It's ours. It should be ours, because we all pay it."

Now that the fight has begun every Tom, Dick and Harry wants a chunk of the money. Every politican will come out of the woodwork saying we need the money, give it to us. Instead of doing the proper thing and cut costs, size, taxes and waste... I say NO, don't even approve it now. Give the lousy penny back to the sheeple.

Golisano set to run

Ex-Independent eyes GOP line, may spend 125M to win gov
Upstate billionaire Tom Golisano is poised to jump into the governor's race as a Republican - and could spend $125 million of his own money, GOP insiders told the Daily News yesterday.

Golisano, owner of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team and the founder of payroll processing company Paychex Inc., has already begun to put together a campaign team, the Republican operatives said.

Up to now, the two leading Republican candidates in the race have been former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Assembly GOP Leader John Faso of Columbia County.

Faso said Golisano will have his work cut out for him because he's attacked the GOP when he ran three times previously on the Independence Party line.

If Western New York needs anyone we need Golisano. We have no one in a leadership position in Albany.  Tokaz and Volker are just token puppets for the real leaders, Bruno and Silver. We need  someone that will have the power to properly represent us here. Golisano can be that man, he is from Rochester and owner of the Sabres. He know this area and hopefully won't forget we are here.

Deal doubles state's contribution to heating assistance program

The state's legislative leaders said they've agreed to double the state's contribution to the Home Energy Assistance Program for low-income New Yorkers.

The deal, announced Sunday, will boost from $50 million to $100 million the state's contribution for HEAP. The federal government is contributing $263 million for the program, but Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno said it is becoming clear that more money is needed.

"With half of winter remaining and energy costs through the roof, paying the heating bill is still a very serious problem for thousands of senior citizens and low-income New Yorkers," Bruno said.  Bruno and his counterpart in the Assembly, Speaker Sheldon Silver, announced the $50 million commitment jointly.

So the  plan is to keep the people of NY broke and dependent on the heroes in Albany to pay for everything we need.... No Thanks, just give me the ability to earn a decent living. Lower the taxes, insurance rates, workers comp, utility rates so I can hire people once again.

Jan 22nd

The 2005 'spike' list
WND editors, readers expose year's underreported stories

TWU money for pols
Union gave millions to helpful leaders

Nothing will change with Albany politics until we are able to stop this nonsense... If they were going to do the right thing, they would have fired all the striking workers.  They won't do the right thing because they are bought and paid for...

Transit union President Roger Toussaint shelled out millions of dollars to pass laws, lobby pols, elect candidates and win over New Yorkers - but it wasn't enough to sell his own members.

Long before his illegal strike and the stunning rejection of his contract on Friday, Toussaint quietly launched one of labor's most aggressive spending sprees. Last month, for example, the Rev. Jesse Jackson applauded striking bus and subway workers for following in the footsteps of Rosa Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

What he didn't say: Transit union bosses have steered $12,000 to the Citizenship Education Fund, a Chicago-based advocacy group Jackson runs.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky decried illegal tactics in the walkout that hobbled the city - not just by strikers, but by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. What the Westchester Democrat didn't mention: He's collected more than $32,600 over the past five years in campaign contributions from Transport Workers Union Local 100.

The Daily News reviewed 1,525 donations, lobbying bills, media buys, gifts to nonprofits and other expenditures of the Local 100 Political Contributions Committee. Totaling $3.7 million since 2001

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) raked in $2,500 for his 75th birthday
The Drum Major Institute, a think tank linked to defeated Democratic mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer, saw a $10,500 payday.

Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (R-Rensselaer) pulled down $71,500 for his state Senate Republican Campaign Committee, while the left-leaning Working Families Party and the state Democratic Committee grabbed $99,110 and $116,000, respectively.
At least nine of 18 Republican leaders of the state Senate have received TWU campaign checks.

And at least 12 of the 19 Democratic leaders in the state Assembly cashed in.
Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin, who heads the Central Labor Council,
The Queens Democrat took in $5,800 for his campaigns and $16,090 for the labor coalition.
On the union's behalf, he shelled out $62,560 for radio spots and $32,760 for print ads

A key architect of TWU strategy is Mirram Group, the lobbying powerhouse run by Roberto Ramirez Mirram has banked $335,000 for lobbying, political consulting, media work and expenses since 2003

State Sen. and Deputy Minority Leader Eric Schneiderman (D-Manhattan), while working pro bono as a lawyer for the Straphangers Campaign, an advocacy group, has filed joint lawsuits with the union that accuse the MTA of financial misdeeds. The Local 100 PAC rewarded him with $24,750 in campaign contributions over five years.
Helping the bill's passage: union checks to most of the Legislature - including $6,600 to Friends of Silver, $40,000 to his Assembly Campaign Committee and $5,500 to the Reelect Sen. Bruno Committee.

City Councilman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) was angry. On Day 2 of the strike, he blasted the MTA as a "plantation."  Recieved $4,000 for his campaigns. Ever since 1996, the TWU has fought against conductorless, one-person train operations.

Used mostly on short, off-peak routes, the MTA started to run them on the L line last week and wants to modernize and cut costs by introducing more. The union fears job cuts and safety risks.
The state Assembly has a bill pending that would bar the MTA from operating trains without at least one conductor onboard, and all seven sponsors have received campaign contributions.

The tally so far - about $29,000 - includes $5,650 to Assemblymen Nick Perry and $3,500 to lead sponsor Peter Abbate, both Brooklyn Democrats.
"I'm a strong advocate for union interests," Perry said. "But it's utterly unbelievable to think that one would link that support to a contribution."

I would never think that Mr. Perry, I am convinced of it.. Now it is up to you to prove me wrong!

Power Snag Sinks Jobs Deal

Inability to reach agreement on cheap power for a new factory in Niagara Falls appears to have scuttled a deal with a German manufacturing firm. "Was that the problem?" we ask Andrew Rudnick.

"That's the reason we did not make the short list," he says. Rudnick, President of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, says the deal with Wacker Chemical of Munich could have brought 1000 jobs to Niagara Falls.

Governor George Pataki-R, in Lancaster to unveil a new tax benefit for senior citizens, told us, "I'm going to urge the Power Authority to see if there's anything else they can do."

The company wanted a huge allocation of cheap hydro power--70 megawatts, enough to light up most of Amherst. The Power Authority said it didn't have it, and a spokesman told us, "We made a commitment for 37 megawatts," half of what Wacker asked for, "which was all we had available. We agreed we would do all we could to provide additional power in the future."

"Is that true?" we ask Rudnick.

"Yes, that is true," he says. But he adds that the Power Authority did not have the power or the authority to make the additional commitment beyond the 37 megawatts."That had to come from Albany, and that's what was needed in a formal letter."

Albany, where Assembly Speaker, Democrat Sheldon Silver presides. In Buffalo on Friday, he said, "The truth is, the buck stops at only one place, and that's at the Executive's door."

The Executive, meaning the Republican Governor. "I don't believe in ever stopping the fight," Pataki told us.

But some say it's too late for this project, although there's always tomorrow. Rudnick blames both the Legislature and the Governor for not putting in place a power allocation system that can respond in an instant to opportunity. Otherwise, he says, what happened this time could happen again.

The blame game, they are all to blame. See if they really were working for the people of this state instead of themselves we would have this project coming here. Instead another company runs elsewhere and we are again left out in the cold paying the highest electric rates in the country, second only to Hawaii, that just makes me sick..

2 On Your Side Goes One On One With Joel Giambra

Mychajliw: "Should Chuck Swanick serve on the Board of Directors at E.C.M.C.?"

Giambra: "Absolutely. Obviously Chuck has a very great depth and wealth of experience when it comes to County government and the hospital. And Chuck has been a great supporter of the hospital for many years. There is not conflict of interest. He's a private citizen now. Working on the railroad. And can provide valuable insight and direction for the hospital in the coming years. And I'm very excited about him becoming a member of the Board there."

Mychajliw: "Did politics play a role at all in the appointment?"

Giambra: "Absolutely. I get to appoint people to boards and I choose people who are the best suited. And if you look at caliber of people I've put on ECC's board, ECMC's board, they're top shelf, high caliber appointments, and Chuck falls into that category."
Chucks great depth and knowledge of county government in the last few years came down to ordering people around at the legislature and protecting his buddies jobs... I can only wonder if this will be a paid position and how much power he will have in creating more jobs..

Erie County Legislature Facing Yet Another Financial Dilemma

Erie County lawmakers are dealing with another financial dilemma: How do you close the gap if you're forced to share more sales tax with local governments and school districts? News 4's Mylous Hairston reports from Thursday's meeting of the Erie County legislature.

Erie County lawmakers are looking for ways to save the county tens of millions of dollars.

Democratic legislator George Holt said, "If we're looking at 30 million dollars cut in our budget in '07, maybe we need to take that 30 million or more out of the Department of Social Services."
Thank God he is no longer the chairman but this is just a typical quote from Holt.. Instantly threaten the department of social services.. Ok let's go there, how many jobs in that department can we cut George. Dept of social services is one of the biggest patronage pits in county government. So yes Mr. Holt let's start there and eliminate those jobs first then we can move into other departments.

Control board: Buffalo's fiscal woes far from over

The fiscal crisis that led to a control board in upstate's largest city is far from over, the board said in a report Friday.

Despite significant work-force and spending reductions since the state installed the oversight panel in July 2003, Buffalo is on track to ring up $150 million in budget deficits in the next four years, the report said.

Board members blamed health-care and pension costs that continue to rise as the city's property tax base falls, and the city's inability to change employee contracts protected by state law.

The municipal work force has been reduced by 20 percent over the last four years, yet overall personnel costs are higher because of the employee benefit obligations.

"Reforms are desperately needed if Buffalo is to avoid the never-ending cycle of escalating costs," the report said, calling for changes in state law.
Truth be known, the city spends more for the retired workers than for the current workforce.
Pension reform needs to be this states highest priority along with Medicaid and healthcre.

Naples named new state motor vehicles commissioner

Former Erie County Comptroller Nancy Naples has been named commissioner of the state Department of Motor Vehicles, Gov. George Pataki's office said Friday.

Naples, of Hamburg, will serve as acting commissioner pending approval of her nomination by the state Senate. She'll be paid $120,800 a year in the new post.
Nice cushy job.... isn't that special.

Spitzer Eases His Position On Tax Plan

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is seeking to distance himself from comments he made questioning the legality of Governor Pataki's proposal to give private school tuition tax credits to poor parents with children in struggling school districts.

After saying on Wednesday that the proposed tax credits would face "serious constitutional issues" if they were used to support parochial schools, Mr. Spitzer yesterday said that he was receptive to the governor's plan and that he did not intend to give the impression that it would have legal problems

What a quick change in position.. People all over this state are crying for charter schools and are desperately looking for better schools than the taxpayer funded schools that are failing our children.. We need to educate our kids not just teach them how to pass the next test.

Senator Clinton accepts money from supporters of Iranian Mullahs

Yonkers, NY – Senator Clinton has accused President Bush of downplaying the threat from Iran while accepting money from supporters of the Iranian regime.

Wealthy businessmen Hassan Nemazee and Faraj Aalaei are associated with the American Iranian Council, a pro-regime anti-sanctions group. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Namazee has contributed $4,000 to Clinton's reelection while Aalaei has given $1,000.

The press describes their lobby this way "the American-Iranian Council [AIC], a pro-regime lobbying group trying to get Congress and the Bush administration to lift the trade embargo on Iran." (Insight, 3/25/04)

Hillary Clinton is also raising money from Gati Kashani, another figure linked with the Mullahs.

On its website, the Iranian American PAC noted, "On Friday June 3rd, Iranian American friends of the Hillary Clinton Senate re-election campaign hosted a fundraising event in honor of Senator Clinton. The event took place at the home of Gita and Behzad Kashani in Los Altos Hills, California."

The PAC favors looser Visa rule for Iranians coming to the United States. The FBI opposes liberalized visas for the terrorist state. But in full pander mode, the PAC reported Clinton attacked United States Visa policy. "Senator Clinton went on to address the audience on topics specifically relevant to the Iranian American community. She discussed immigration and acknowledged the difficulties Iranian nationals have in obtaining visas to visit family members residing in America. 'Our visa policy is not only unfair but it's not good for America.'"

John Spencer, the former Yonkers Mayor and Vietnam combat veteran who will challenge Senator Clinton in November, made the following statement. "Senator Clinton voted against the very munitions necessary to avoid a nuclear confrontation with Iran while at the same time accepting money from supporters of the Iranian Mullahs. Senator Clinton lacks the credibility to keep New York safe and she should return this tainted money."

Mayor John Spencer, 59, served as Mayor of the City of Yonkers from 1996 until 2004. Yonkers is the fourth largest city in New York and saw great prosperity, redevelopment and environmental cleanup under the leadership of Mayor Spencer. To learn more please visit

Coming out strong against her, this guy isn't wasting any time..

I was told by a town offical that I was given wrong information, I don't think I was. My sources are good. If I'm wrong I will be the first to admit it, I have made contact with these people and they will come forth and their identity will not be revealed. If you have an issue with the town please email me and we will go forward with all who have issues.

One thing that I can not tolerate is abuse of power, and using your power as a paid public offical to threaten and harass residents and tax payers.  The zoning department is at it once again here on Grand Island. I have always had an issue with their selective enforcement, using the office of zoning enforcement and the building inspector as hitmen. I have gone to battle time and time again with the town and their hitmen, defended people I didn't even know just because I saw abuse of power and as political retribution they have come after me.

The zoning enforcement officer here on the island is a Realtor with a brokers license, talk about a conflict of interest.. This is why it is a conflict of interest. Seems the zoning officer is harassing a property owner, for what I don't know yet, but I will soon. Apparently this property owner was approached by the zoning officer and was told, list your house with me and I'll stop harassing you.......... AHEM! Excuse me?  I think it is time for termination and possibly court action for abuse of power and threatening a Property owner. There is other things I am working on with this same zoning enforcement officer, they will all come out very soon.

As more proof of abuse and over zealous departments, Island Pools left Grand Island for greener pastures in Buffalo of all places and reopened their business. Another business leaves the island because of harassment and intimidation. This article was just on the front page of the Grand Island Dispatch.

I have left the Grand Island politicans alone for years to persue and go after waste, fraud and abuse in the county and state. Yet nothing has changed here, nothing. I am sure there will be more to come as the days pass or the issue goes away..

Transit Strike Lessons

In letting transit workers return to work and TWU leaders return to the negotiating table as if nothing had happened, Pataki also lost on a much grander scale. New York’s unions now know that they can defy the public and win. What municipal union will give an inch now on the key issues of guaranteed pensions and early retirement, even for new employees?

Despite the TWU’s token concession to the MTA on health care, the union, the authority, and Pataki have therefore further cemented New York’s completely unsustainable levels of pay and benefits for municipal workers. Transit workers today can retire at 55 at half pay after 25 years and get annual cost-of-living adjustments on pension payments for the rest of their lives. Most other state and local workers enjoy similar arrangements. Cops and firefighters can retire even earlier, at 50.

Such benefits, needless to say, far outstrip those of today’s private-sector workers, who typically pay 10 to 20 percent of their health-care premiums, retire in their sixties, and increasingly participate in defined-contribution pension plans, such as 401(k)s, to which their employers sometimes contribute, but only while they are working. Their employers have no obligation after they retire.

These obese public-sector benefits have strained government budgets throughout the state to the breaking point. The MTA, whose spending on pensions has tripled in three years, faces a staggering $1.75 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. New York City has seen its pension and benefits costs soar nearly 70 percent since 2002, to nearly $9 billion. These costs now account for about one-fourth of city-funded spending. The increase soaked up all of the added revenues the city collected by raising property taxes in 2003.

Nothing was gained or learned except the public service unions will be more emboldened to strike again, after all they were not fired as they should have been. In fact they were rewarded. They can still retire at 55 with full pensions with c-o-l  adjustments...

In the 2005 legislative session, for instance, lawmakers passed 46 bills making state worker pensions and benefits plusher. This makes me sick! Do you think we need pension reform?

Voters looking for real action should pay attention to what the candidates for governor say on two key issues. On pension reform, the MTA was strategically correct in wanting to reduce new employee pensions, but it doesn’t actually need union permission to change pension benefits for future workers—all it needs is a change in state law, since the state legislature governs pension benefits for all New York public-sector employees.

Funny or not so funny how Spitzer did nothing during the strike. We need to put pressure on all of the candidates for governor and all of the state legislators to act swiftly and change this corruption pension system Now!
Gambling with the law

Federal law says that Indians rule on Indian land, which has huge implications for Seneca casino patrons. For example:

It's much harder to win compensation if you are injured at a Seneca casino than it would be if you were injured elsewhere in New York State. The same would be true for anyone unfortunate enough to face sexual harassment or discrimination charges.

The smoking ban that applies at New York State bars and restaurants doesn't apply at the Senecas' casinos meaning a Buffalo gambling hall could remake Buffalo's social scene.

Casino shops are exempt from sales tax, and Seneca hotels don't have to charge sales and room tax, which add 12 percent to the bill at other local hotels.

Craig had this story and I commented over at his place and wanted to bring it here too.
The key thing to me is the smoking ban that has destroyed the Bar, Tavern and Restaurants in this area. One would think that it was done intentionally to kill businesses and drive smokers to the casinos..  The days of stopping in a neighborhood Bar, playing a game or two of pool or just catching a game or the nightly news is gone.

When I was campaigning for legislature I visited the bars and restaurants in the 10th district, all but one are against the ban, some teter on the verge of closing but many have closed the doors altogether like Jimmy Macs and many corner establishments. These hard working people invested their life savings and many, many hours into building their businesses just to have the government tell them that NO SMOKING is allowed anylonger and you must comply, The government has spoken.. Of course this does not apply to casino's so more people will leave their favorite down town places where the smoking section is out in the cold winter air and go to the casino to play, drink and smoke away from the cold winter air or the hot humid air in the summer.

Once again we will watch more doors close for the love of money in Albany.


January 17, 2006 --  MY granddaughters live three miles from where their great, great, great, great grandfather landed in New York 175 years ago, but the state Legislature wants us to leave. And to take our business and 162 jobs with us.

Wants us to leave? Well, it sure makes it expensive to stay: By leaving, I'd save on or totally eliminate city and state income taxes, sales taxes, occupancy tax, payroll taxes, gross revenue tax, hotel occupancy tax, gasoline tax, tobacco tax, property tax, school tax, rent, construction costs and more.

In fact, my company would save so much money, it would take less than two years for the savings to cover the relocation costs for the company and for every one of our employees, plus a solid five-figure incentive bonus to each of them. After that, it's pure profit.

And each of our associates would see comparable savings, as well as substantially improving their standard of living with larger homes, more land, better schools and more savings in the bank — all on the same salary they earn today.

China is not the clear and present danger to jobs; it's New York politicians.

Well said!!!!!!!  Bravo!

Hope for New York?

FOR the first time in more than a decade, New Yorkers are about to witness a big fight in Albany over tax cuts. It's great news for taxpayers.

There's no disputing that taxes in the Empire State are too high — in fact, the highest in the country. Census Bureau figures show our combined state and local taxes are 48 percent above average, on a per-capita basis.

Gov. Pataki proposes to do something about that. The budget he introduces today will include a tax-cut package bigger than any since he prevailed on the Legislature to cut income taxes by nearly $4 billion in 1995.

Already, the opposition in Albany — well funded via taxpayer support for health care and education — is preparing to fight back. Expect a multimillion-dollar TV ad blitz, warning New Yorkers that the governor's plan would starve vital programs.

But ideas matter, even in Albany. The spending groups — and their supporters in the Legislature — will make various arguments that simply don't match the facts. For instance:

We can't afford to cut taxes. This is backwards thinking.
Tax cuts mean slashing services for the needy. Not so.
Any tax cuts should only be for "working families," not "the rich." This is code for preserving heavy income and estate taxes that have driven tens of thousands of New Yorkers to Florida, South Carolina and other low-tax states.
Tax cuts in Albany mean tax hikes in New York City and other localities. Not necessarily. Done right, spending restraint at the state level can help control spending — and thus taxes — at the local level
Tax cuts will mean more debt, shifting costs to future generations. True, Albany borrows too much — but it's done so even when tax revenues were rising. The best way to avoid too much borrowing is to avoid too much spending.

We will all behearing the commercials against the tax cuts and how they are bad and will hurt the poor people, the children and the elderly.. We need to cut spending, taxes and stop borrowing like the excessive grabs from the "Authorities" that answer to no one.

Political unrest turns into Reform

Front page Tonawanda News
Grand Island Record and Amherst Record..
When Susan Osberg went to the polls Nov. 8, the Town of Tonawanda resident fully intended to cast her ballot for write-in Erie County Legislature candidate Rus Thompson.
Upon asking Election Day poll workers how to write in a candidate, she was told none of them knew the process.
Then, Osberg said, the workers asked who she wanted to write in. Not thinking anything of the question, she replied: “Rus Thompson.”
“They said I couldn’t do that,” Osberg said.
Devastated, she eventually gave up and relegated her vote to one of the candidates on the ballot.

Upcoming events:
We ThePeople/Primary Challenge Forum: Problems vs Solutions
When: Saturday, January 21, 2006 - 12 noon to 4:00 PM
Where: Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Ave. Delmar, NY

Announcing: First Annual Liberty Ball
February 11th, 8-12pm,
Leonard VFW Post, 2450 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga
Featuring the Jony James Blues Band
Tickets--$15/$25 couple--
566-7720 or
The party of the winter!

Forum on the County Charter
Wednesday, February 15th at 7-8:30pm.
333 Dick Road, Depew, New York 14043
Phone 716 684-8850, Fax 716 684-8853
Details here

Mohan Looks To Overhaul Town Government
Amherst, NY (WBEN) - Amherst Supervisor Satish Mohan is apparently trying to make good on his campaign promises to reign-in town finances.

Mohan wants to trim spending, and is looking to cut overtime by 50-percent.   He is also looking to impose a hiring freeze, and favors term limits for elected and appointed town employees.

Mohan tells NewsRadio 930 WBEN he will once again hand-sign all town paychecks this week as he continues his mission to weed-out irregularities.  The last time Mohan undertook such an effort, he found out about a policy that allowed a retiring police official to cash-out sick time to the tune of $100,000, and he discovered paychecks begin made to a town worker who was supended almost a year ago

Erie County moves into second spot for highest state sales taxes

BUFFALO, N.Y. Starting today, Erie County has the second-highest sales tax among the state's 62 counties. A new half a percentage point sales tax increase bumps the rate to 8-point-75 percent. Erie County passes New York City as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.

The total includes the state sales tax of 4 percent.
Only Oneida County has a higher combined sales tax rate of 9-point-5 percent.

The Buffalo News reports that consumers who think they can save a few dollars by crossing into Niagara County and buying big-ticket items at the 8 percent sales tax there may be surprised to find that anything shipped across county lines to their home addresses are taxed at the rate of the resident's county.

State tax department spokesman Michael Bucci says it works the other way, too _ that if, for example, he travels from Albany to buy a car in Erie County, that he'll pay Albany's lower sales tax rate.
Something else not to be known for... And so much for everyone paying the extra salestax.
We have to pay Erie County rates all over the state.. remember to claim it all in your taxes.

New tax would fund anti-smoking effort

ALBANY - Smokers would pay an extra $1 per pack as the state sharply expands efforts to lure New Yorkers away from cigarettes, including pumping $15 million into research efforts at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
The tax and anti-smoking initiative will be proposed next week in Gov. George E. Pataki's 2006 state budget.The new tax - $2.50 per pack - would, if approved by the Legislature, be the nation's highest. For the state's 2.7 million smokers, it could raise the cost of some packs of cigarettes to nearly $7. The tax hike would apply only outside New York City, where the tax rate is already at $3 per pack.

"We believe, strongly, that raising the cigarette tax diminishes smoking, especially among young people," said John Cape, the governor's budget director, who confirmed Friday the tax increase will be a part of the governor's budget proposal set to be released Tuesday.

The tax would bring in $308 million this year.
"This really isn't a tax," he said. "It's a rebate for health."

What a crock of dog dodo... Have they used any of the tobacco settlement money on health care to cover the increase costs that smokers drive up?  This will cause more and more people to go to the reservations and the state will lose more money. Rebate on health? Please the best rebate on our health would be to lower the cost of doing anything in this state, that would lower our stress levels, bring down our blood pressure. Just another revenue source for the state that will backfire and the reservations will be even busier than they are now.