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Hey, Buffalo News—Count the Candidates!

Filed under: Erie County, Local Politics

Today, the Buffalo News released its endorsements for Erie County Legislature in the seven races in which there are major contests. They lead off with the Buffalo-based District 1, in which the News endorses the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate, political newcomer Tim Hogues:

Timothy Hogues is a political newcomer who was tapped by Democratic Party officials for the post currently held by Legislature Chairwoman Barbara Miller-Williams, also a Democrat. Party leaders didn’t like Miller-Williams’ close association with Erie County Executive Chris Collins, a Republican, so they denied her the party’s blessing. She is running on the Community First line.

That’s not the reason we oppose her candidacy, though. We like independence in legislators. But Miller-Williams, acting in her capacity as chairwoman, insulted and all but ran off Robert Gioia, president of the John R. Oishei Foundation, who had arrived with an offer of $400,000 to help the smaller culturals that Collins was defunding. That was inexcusable conduct, even if, as Miller-Williams says, she was goaded.

Hogues is certainly not a perfect candidate. He should be better informed on some issues and will have a lot of work to do to become familiar with them. But he is a credible candidate. He is passionate about the county’s needs and has held a number of supervisory positions in the private sector. He is an ordained deacon at Elim Christian Fellowship, where he leads a Boys to Men Mentoring group. Against a stronger incumbent, Hogues might not gain our endorsement. In this case, though, he is the preferable candidate.

All this seems fair and square, except for one thing: There is a third candidate in the race, BMHA resident commissioner Joe Mascia, a Democrat running on the Conservative Party line. He’s not even mentioned here. I don’t imagine that the News would have endorsed Mascia, but no mention at all? Mascia tells me he contacted the News on more than one occasion asking if he should submit a letter or schedule an interview to be considered for the paper’s endorsement but received no response to his inquiries.

It seems improbable that the News editorial board did not even realize there was a  third candidate or simply forgot to mention his candidacy. (If that’s the case, it’s embarrassing.) More likely, his name was intentionally omitted. Why?

  • odd ball

    It’s weird how you guy sgo after the Buffalo News, like a little kid pissed at his brother.

  • chester

    Very like when, a day before the special election for Hoyt’s seat, the News printed the statement that the winner would be named Sean, even though there were actually three candidates and only two were named Sean.

  • Jonathan Wellinton-Fidrych III

    This Hogues fellow seems to be just what the doctor ordered. Lacking both experience and knowledge, he will be putty in our hands. Robert Gioia and I will invite him over to the Club.

  • @ Mr.Fidrych,lll. May I come along,too? I will make sure that Mr. Hogues gets the support he needs before he gains the experience you mentioned. As for knowledge, I believe Mr. Tim Hogues has enough of that for the two of us and then some more!

  • Jonathan Wellinton-Fidrych III

    Legislator Grant:

    Delighted to have you! Robert and I will bring the usual envelopes filled with cash. I’ll have my people call your people to set it up. BTW, should we include young Mr. Eve?

  • @ Jonathan Wellington-Fidrych lll. “I don’t know nothing about some stinking envelope!” Seriously, is that sort of thing real? I have been in politics since 1999 and no one has told me about that cash-filled envelope. What am I, a lousy politician. Also, I have had no ‘people’ since June of this year. Since I do all my typing and such, I must be the people I am looking for. As for the sort-of- young, Mr. Eve;you make that call yourself. I believe the young Mr. Hogues is going to do quite well on November 8th. Sometimes, in this life, good people are rewarded for their goodness.

  • Jonathan Wellinton-Fidrych III

    Legislator Grant:

    Dear lady, we really must chat. Cash filled envelopes are the life blood of the local politico-business engine. Honest and accountable government which serves the people went out with unions, public education and democracy. Perhaps Robert and I can give a workshop to the whole County Legislature. I certainly hope that you “good” people get your reward in heaven. WE 1% intend to take more than our share (and yours) while we’re still here.