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Rudnick’s Stupid Endorsement

Yesterday, Andrew Rudnick dispatched his charming annual pre-election email listing the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s endorsements. Make what you will of the Partnership’s favorites—Rory Allen over Antoine Thompson, Joe Golombek over Sam Hoyt, Darius Pridgen over Curtis Haynes—but consider Rudnick’s reasoning for dismissing Haynes’s candidacy:

The current Councilman, Curtis Haynes, was appointed by the Council and has been a constant deterrent to economic development progress in the city, especially in regards to Canalside.

Haynes is an economist, for Christ’s sake, a Ph.D. You’d think a chamber of commerce would welcome someone with his expertise into government. But not Rudnick.

What has Haynes done to block progress at Canalside? What has Haynes done to block economic development anywhere in the city?

For that matter, what has Rudnick ever done to promote economic development in this region? He and his organization have protected the status quo in this region for decades, promoting sprawl and corporate welfare on behalf of entrenched interests at the expense of the region’s economic health. Here’s how one recipient of Rudnick’s email summed it up: “If he’d have gotten his way, we’d still be pumping tax dollars into Mark Hamister’s Buffalo Sabres. Moron.”

I think Rudnick doesn’t like Haynes because he’s an economist and a progressive who can debunk the nonsense that the Partnership churns out. Nothing against Darius Pridgen or Bryon McIntrye, but that seems to me a good reason to keep him around, if he’s still interested in the job.

  • Gary

    These blog entries are really, for lack of a better word, stupid. They take credibility away from AV because they’re fluffy. If AV doesn’t like the Partnership, come up with some tangible reasons why. Don’t just write a negative piece every time Andrew Rudnick sneezes. Try to have some substance.

  • How about this:

    “He and his organization have protected the status quo in this region for decades, promoting sprawl and corporate welfare on behalf of entrenched interests at the expense of the region’s economic health. Here’s how one recipient of Rudnick’s email summed it up: ‘If he’d have gotten his way, we’d still be pumping tax dollars into Mark Hamister’s Buffalo Sabres. Moron.’”

    Do you work for the Partnership, Gary?

  • Gary

    Nice, well thought-out response. No I don’t work for the Partnership, but I do work for a company that’s a member.

    You still said nothing. How have Rudnick and the Partnership “protected the status quo”? How have they promoted sprawl? How have they done any of what you said? It’s all rhetoric, and I’ve never read in any attack article done by AV anything to back up your shots at the Partnership. I’ve been involved in some stuff over there, and I actually think they do a pretty good job. Their Buffalo 360 program is a great program. I’ve gone to some other sessions there that I thought had some great information. And from your blog here, let’s face it, Antoine really does have to go. I’m happy that they’re doing something about it. He’s unethical, has no clue what’s going on around him and he’s an embarrassment. I don’t know too much about Haynes or Pridgen or McIntyre, but your entry here does nothing to sway me that the Partnership is in the wrong. Unfortunately, if I do a search of “Partnership” on your web site, every article is the same. You guys hate Andrew Rudnick and the Partnership. We get the point. Are we ever going to find out why beyond your boring rhetoric?

  • Bones

    Right on Geoff!!!

  • AmusedbyStupid

    Didn’t Haynes vote against Canalside’s land transfer? Isn’t HSBC thinking about gettin’ the F out of Buffalo because the Common Council can’t get out of it’s own way? How many jobs did the Buffalo News say we were going to lose?

    I say vote out EVERY member of the Council next year. They all jokes.

    I took Econ classes in college. Those professors are the epitome of “if you can’t, teach”. Business profs too. Haven’t you ever seen Cocktail?

  • Tony


    The Council transferred the land that HSBC might potentially like to use if they decide to stay in the city after leaving their current location. The Council only insisted on delaying the transfer, insisting the City was protected in case the bank is just using the so called expansion as leverage to get better rent from their current tenant. If HSBC does leave it will likely be because they are an international corporation that doesn’t care about the city or its residents. But it can count on Rudnick and co. to shill for them.

  • Confused

    make up your mind AV. You’re mad at the partnership for not improving the region’s economy, and “maintaining the status quo”, but using as supporting evidence the fact that they’ve come out and said they want to dethrone all the incumbents? I’m lost. and please don’t say that the politicians that they are gunning for are the champions of the region.

  • Gary

    Perfect example, Tony – thanks for making my point. Your last sentence – “But it can count on Rudnick and co. to shill for them.” People don’t even know what they’re complaining about. If “shilling” for HSBC is working to keep hundreds of jobs in downtown Buffalo, what’s your beef? Isn’t that what we’re trying to accomplish?

  • Gary

    The more I think about this, the more I also get aggravated about the Hamister’s Sabres comment. Not only is it idiotic, but is that all it takes to get quoted in an official posting by ArtVoice? Just murmur some drivel to Geoff Kelly and get your ranting posted as a point ArtVoice is trying to make? Nobody’s going to accuse AV of being quality journalism, but c’mon – you can do better than this. Hamister’s Sabres? That was a long time ago. Let it go, man.

  • All right, to be perfectly clear: Gary, AmusedbyStupid, and Confused are writing from an IP address ascribed to the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. I’m not sure that they’re the same person, of course, so I’ll address each of their comments separately:

    AmusedbyStupid: Haynes voted to approve the transfer of the Webster Block to Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation in the event that HSBC decides it wants to build a new facility there. That compromise deal was far smarter than transferring the land without conditions to ECHDC (remember that another state agency, NFTA, has been sitting on waterfront property for decades) and is perfectly satisfactory to HSBC, which may or may not want that property anyway. The transfer agreement really serviced Benderson, which made a proposal to HSBC for a property over which it had no control. So how is Haynes standing in the way of economic development by helping out Benderson?

    Did you have Haynes in college? If not, your experience is you own and not applicable here.

    Confused: I’m taking issue with one endorsement only, and really not even the endorsement itself but with the expressed reason for dismissing Haynes as a candidate. Haynes hardly qualifies as an entrenched incumbent. He has been in the seat for less than a year. He comes out of academia. What exactly has he done to earn Rudnick’s dismissal? Here’s a speculative answer: This is about politics, not policy. Haynes does not serve the Partnership or the mayor who (largely) does.

    Gary: “…let it go”? Why should I? It’s illustrative of the sort of cause Rudnick steers the Partnership toward. Rudnick actively tried to keep Tom Golisano out of this market in favor of a local player who needed heavy subsidies to complete the deal. That’s exactly what I mean by protecting the status quo.

    How’d Rudnick comport himself on the Wacker Chemical deal? How’d he do during the Power Project relicensing agreement? Offer me some examples in which the Partnership has facilitated the creation of new jobs or new wealth in the region, as opposed to shifting jobs and wealth around, or facilitating the distribution of public subsidies?

    Seriously, are you guys (if the plural is appropriate) being paid for your time commenting on AV’s blogs?

    That’s it for me; I don’t usually enter the comments section.

  • AmusedbyStupid

    “That’s it for me; I don’t usually enter the comments section.” … unless it’s another chance to bash the Partnership… When did Artvoice become the Buffalo News… YOU MUST IDENTIFY YOURSELF TO COMMENT ON OUR STORIES! YOU CAN’T BE MEAN! I’M GOING TO POUT NOW!

    I work @ the Partnership, no bones about it, and no I’m not also Gary or Confused. The real question is, Geoff, do YOU get paid for your worthless babble in Artvoice?

    If we are being “perfectly clear” let’s see other IP addresses associated with comments on Artvoice… I’ll wait patiently for you to post them. Or will you just unveil the ones you don’t like? While you’re at it, post who “replied” (or did you just make that up?) to the email, since we are being “perfectly clear”.

  • Gary

    So the president of the BUFFALO NIAGARA Partnership advocating on behalf of a BUFFALO NIAGARA business person is a bad thing? It’s my understanding (I’m ignoring your IP Address insinuation because it’s inane) that’s what the organization’s supposed to do.

    Can’t speak to your specific questions – I’m sure given your bias there’s alternate sides to your point of view. I’m not that plugged in. Maybe the person who actually is from the Partnership can shed some light. I just know that I’ve appreciated my experience with the Partnership – which is why I started out the way I did in these posts. Gimme something to work with.

    AmusedbyStupid makes a good point. The “one recipient of Andrew’s e-mail” is the one I was talking about related to Hamister’s Sabres. When I said “Give it up,” you said “Why should I?” Geoff, you’re the “one recipient,” aren’t you?

  • Okay, you all win, one last time, then let’s all go somewhere for a beer:

    Gary: It’s not inane. All three of you — Gary, Confused, AmusedbyStupid — are posting from the exact same IP address, the customer for which is the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, at 665 Main Street. Shall I walk down the street and say hello?

    Yes, it’s a bad thing if the head of the local chamber of commerce actively works against attracting new investment into the region his organization is supposed to serve. That’s what Rudnick did in the case of Golisano, Hamister, and the Sabres. I don’t love Golisano’s politics, but I’d argue that his investment in the Sabres and the community made the pie a little bit bigger here in a way that Hamister’s proposal would not have done. Why did Rudnick oppose making the pie a little bit bigger? Because he was serving Hamister, not the region.

    I’m glad you’ve appreciated your experiences with the Partnership. No, I am not the “one recipient” of that email.

    AmusedbyStupid: Of course I get paid for this. It’s my job. What’s yours? If it’s public relations for the Partnership, fair enough. If you’re supposed to be running some sort of grant program or doing some sort of research, then I think perhaps you’re wasting your employer’s time. His call, of course, not mine.

    We have revealed IP addresses in the past when commenters fail to reveal some pertinent contextual information about themselves — e.g., they work for/are the object of criticism. I’m not giving out your name or email or home phone number. I’m certainly not pouting. I’m just letting readers know where you’re coming from.

    I’m not saying who sent me the email — more than one person forwarded it to me — because those are sources, and I protect those.

  • One last thing: Thanks for all the traffic today, guys. It’s the best thing the Partnership has ever done for this small business.

  • Gary

    Whatever you say, dude – not going to argue IP addresses with you. Next time try to write your initial piece with some substance in it, so you don’t have to make posts on your own writing to defend your points. You guys get so excited about a chance to take a shot at the Partnership, it doesn’t matter what crap you throw up on the site. Put a little extra time into it. And, oh, don’t quote yourself. That’s tacky.

  • OutWithAndy

    Gary et all from the Partnership: you are tools. The WNY populace would prefer you spend your time actually doing something for the good of the region, as opposed to attacking Geoff anonymously in this forum.

    Ask ANYONE, ANYONE in Buffalo and they all have the same response about BNP: “what does it do” and “when will Andy leave?”

    I would like to turn the focus back on you. Tell me, and others, 10 concrete actions taken by BNP that have resulted in economic or job creation in Buffalo. Every business owner with whom I have spoken, that has either tried to set up shop in Buffalo or has managed to set up shop in Buffalo, admits to no assistance from the Partnership. I retract that-they have gotten their insurance from you.

    Finally, Andy is always on the wrong side of political issues, in my book. He is 100% out of touch with any semblance of reality and, if the BNP really wants to try to reclaim a modicum of respect in this city, it would dump him on his ass.

    Way to go Geoff.