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Seneca Anti-Grisanti PR Gone Bad (UPDATED x2)

I realize that the facts are still fluid with respect to the night that State Senator Mark Grisanti and his wife had at the Seneca Niagara Casino this past weekend. I don’t know how intoxicated anyone was, but whoever was the physical aggressor(s) here is in the wrong. 

The Grisantis got out front of the story right away over the weekend, and Seneca loyalists pushed back hard on Monday, accusing Grisanti of “sticking his nose in” where it didn’t belong, and of being intoxicated; neither of which justify being physically pummeled, incidentally. 

I think the incident highlights the primary reason why the Pataki deal to allow the Senecas to annex sovereign exclaves in downtown Buffalo and Niagara Falls was so fundamentally wrongheaded. If we’re to have class III casino gaming in these cities, then it should be legal, tightly regulated, and well taxed. Instead, we’ve permitted a situation where a foreign nation is able to carve out a swath of downtown with dubious police and court jurisdiction when we have alleged crimes and altercations such as this. 

Yesterday, a young Buffalonian named Matt Ricchiazzi inserted himself into the Grisanti matter. Ricchiazzi is a relatively recent Cornell graduate, and has somewhat famously failed to make the ballot in just about every political race he’s run.  He’s had some good ideas for Buffalo under the auspices of his changebuffalo.org, but the perception in the political community is that he wants a fast track to political power without doing much grassroots-type legwork, like becoming a committeeman, for instance. He was, at last check, a supporter of Senator Grisanti, even after the passage of same-sex marriage legislation last year. 

However, Ricchiazzi’s most recent known employment was with Seneca Holdings, LLP, the Seneca Nation’s investment entity. I don’t know whether he is a registered Seneca, but his “religious views” are listed at Facebook as “Haudenosaunne/Ongweo:weh”. 

In the wake of the Grisantis-go-to-the-Casino story, Ricchiazzi took to a Twitter account he seldom (if ever) previously used, and has just as quickly deleted. Because his Twitter account has been deleted, I had to scan through a cached version of the Twitter apps on my phone: 

Ricchiazzi was incensed that the media were reporting that “Seneca businessmen” at the bar had beaten the Grisantis without provokation. He was pushing a story that Grisanti was extremely intoxicated and belligerent, and took to Twitter to argue with Grisanti supporter and Republican political strategist Michael Caputo. 

 

Later in the day, I received an email from Ricchiazzi, as did just about every other current and former journalist and commentator working in Buffalo. Including a few weatherpeople.

 

I emailed him back,

 

WGRZ’s Michael Wooten echoed my request, to which Ricchiazzi responded, 

When I asked him if he was speaking on behalf of the Seneca Nation, he replied that he was not; that he was speaking only as an individual. 

So, why did Ricchiazzi suddenly quiet down and delete his Twitter account? Sources close to the Grisanti camp say that Ricchiazzi has been contacted by the authorities. Over the weekend, Ricchiazzi sent text messages to Senator Grisanti and his chief of staff, Doug Curella. In those text messages, which have been turned over to the police, Ricchiazzi claims that he saw the surveillance and knows that Grisanti and his wife were drunk instigators, that the Senator used a racial slur, and that Ricchiazzi would run a Republican to primary Grisanti on that line, in conjunction with a relentless smear campaign. This would likely set up a 3-way race, as Carl Paladino (a genuine, if flawed, player in Republican politics) has already pledged to support a right-wing primary against Grisanti. 

But Ricchiazzi apparently went one step too far – in one text, he allegedly demanded a $20,000/month job from Grisanti in exchange for his silence and to prevent him from smearing and running a candidate against the Senator. Obviously, Grisanti’s team was tickled by the idea of a kid who couldn’t get on the ballot for the the Buffalo school board throwing fictitious political weight around, but the demand for money was more insidious and likely illegal extortion or blackmail. The Grisanti aide who received the text replied that this demand was completely inappropriate, and Ricchiazzi “withdrew” his “offer”. 

Yet sources close to the Senator also say that Ricchiazzi sent a text message to Grisanti himself on Saturday, expressing shock and dismay at what had happened to him and his wife at the casino. In it, Ricchiazzi told the Senator to sue the casino and the Senecas for the assault, and that Ricchiazzi could act as an advisor against the Senecas on the Senator’s behalf. 

Larceny by extortion is defined in New York’s Penal Law 155.05(2)(e) when a person, “compels or induces another person to deliver … property to himself or to a third person by means of instilling in him a fear that, if the property is not so delivered, the actor or another will: … Accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against him; or (v) Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule; …or (ix) Perform any other act which would not in itself materially benefit the actor but which is calculated to harm another person materially with respect to his health, safety, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation or personal relationships.”

It would appear that Ricchiazzi’s texts threatened to accuse Grisanti of criminal or socially unacceptable behavior if Grisanti didn’t pay Ricchiazzi $20,000/mo. Police are investigating the matter.  The Buffalo News obtained vertical iPhone video of the fight’s aftermath, and it is silent due to profanity, and the News says no one uses a racial epithet. It’s not really conclusive of much.  The Niagara Falls Police are not bringing any criminal charges. But whatever PR headway the Senecas may be making with respect to this incident, Ricchiazzi’s self-insertion in the controversy hasn’t furthered that effort. 

At 8pm Monday night, I emailed Ricchiazzi for a comment, informing him that I was running with this story regarding his text messages to the Senator and his aide, and noting the deletion of his Twitter account. I told him I would be completing my story at 6:30am on Tuesday. Apart from a “Thanks!”, I have not received anything more substantive from Mr. Ricchiazzi.  

UPDATE:  I called Phil Pantano, the spokesperson for Seneca Gaming, who informs me that he’s never heard of Mr. Ricchiazzi, that he’s had no contact with Mr. Ricchiazzi, and that whatever Mr. Ricchiazzi was trying to do was not in any way solicited or sanctioned by the Seneca Gaming Corporation. Mr. Ricchiazzi emailed me after this post went up to say, 

I’d be happy to tell you the story — and a lot of other stories on Grisanti’s office that pale in comparison to this recent incident.  We should meet for coffee sometime and discuss. Let me know when you’re free.
 
Looking forward to speaking with you,

 

UPDATE x2: Mr. Ricchiazzi emails as follows: 

My text message to Mark on Saturday morning was in the context of just having read initial media reports, which suggested that Maria was horrifically beaten. I spent 5 months of my life helping Grisanti get elected, and Maria has treated me so kindly. She is such a nice, gracious, beautiful person. I wanted to make sure Maria was alright, and at that time I encouraged Mark to file a lawsuit.

After I realized that Mark was using the racist stereotype of “drunk Indians” as an escape goat for his own drunken intoxication, I was upset that Doug would recommend such an inappropriate and racist media strategy. As a friend, I told Doug that the video and audio footage that exists is damning and is a political liability.

Via text message to Doug, I offered to help them walk back their racism as a media consultant, and told them my monthly rate, which is not unreasonable for the industry. Doug misinterpreted me trying to be helpful as a threat, and responded offensively, as if I was trying to demand something from them.

I was offended by his reaction to my offer of help, and even more deeply offended by their use of racism and unfair stereotypes against Native Americans — and I will be saying so publicly to combat this type of bias. Political speech is the most legally protected of all speech.

I did not commit, consider, or attempt to do anything illegal.

I’m puzzled by your characterization of this situation, which I frankly don’t understand. I don’t see how I’m the story, or how I’m central to this situation. I took extensive coursework in indigenous political theory as an undergraduate, and I’m an activist on Native issues. That’s all.

He also adds: 

I’m not affiliated with the Seneca Nation of Indians. I’m Cayuga, bear clan. My usage of the word “us” that you cite, I admit, was too loose.

 


  • Claude

    He,s going to embarrass us like every other elected official from WNY does, and you guys are so far up his ass you will not report fairly on the matter.
    Must be nice to be a art voice favorite.

  • Charles

    Grisanti. His same sex Marriage vote is OK in my book, bravo. Except there seems to be a pattern in the way he conducts himself. A pattern that indicates instability. Let us remember a bit of recent history.

    First, unable to gain traction in the Democratic party Grisanti flips to Republican.
    Next, he campaigns on his promise to his social conservative backers that he opposes same sex marriage, speaking of his own beliefs based on his religious Catholic core faith.

    After his stunningly surprising election victory, putting finger to wind, Grisanti communicates that he might be wavering on his strong personal beliefs on the same sex marriage issue, or at least he might be willing to go against them.

    Begin much wooing, from both sides of the same sex marriage divide, veiled and some not so veiled threats of political retribution from Conservatives, political bribery in the promise of financial backing from Bloomberg and other libs, and who knows what else. (But isn’t this enough?)

    On the eve of the historic vote, Grisanti finally comes down on the just side of the issue, claiming to have converted after much study.

    Next up. Will he or won’t he? That is will Grisanti switch back to being a Democrat? In September 2011 he doesn’t dismiss it out of hand as absurd, he is reported as saying “All options are open.”

    Testing the political winds until the last moment, Grisanti announces in October that he will remain Republican after a Buffalo visit from Republican Boss Skelos. Take the proposed redistricting for what its worth.

    Now, this incident at the casino the other night. The Grisanti’s got out front, big time, spinning the altercation their way. Initially, based on that spin, my impression was that some disgruntled Seneca members pummeled Grisanti and his wife on account of politics and his office. Outrageous most right thinking people thought. How terrible for them.

    However, it now appears that the Grisanti’s left plenty out of their telling of the story. The Senator injected himself into an argument brewing between two people he didn’t know? He tried to pull rank on them (“Don’t you know who I am?)? He was surprised that he was shoved or punched when he did so? Then Mrs. Grisanti threw herself into the melee? She reportedly scratched the face of another woman and she is surprised that she was taken down? Not exactly how the Grisantis first reported it nor how it was portrayed in the MSM across the state and even nationally.

    Now we have this silent movie video posted on this site. Yes it is the aftermath, but the video seems to confirm that Senator Grisanti did NOT want to go away without getting his licks in. From what I see, the situation appears to be deescalating significantly, people are walking away and security is getting things well in hand. Although the video is indeed a poor depiction, it does appear to back up Ross John’s version that Grisanti lunged to attack one of the men involved in the initial altercation (“Mr. White”?) when he was trying to leave the hotel. Again, not exactly how the Grisantis tried to spin the whole mess.

    Now I understand the debt of gratitude that same sex marriage advocates feel toward the Senator. But this guy seems to exhibit some of the the worst traits that a politician can possess. Unprincipled, uncommitted, unstable and willing to sell his vote to the highest bidder. Those progressives who are now planning to support the Senator for re-election based on his past performance should consider all of his conduct, not just the same sex marriage vote. In the immediate future, Grisanti’s votes will be needed on such important issues such as health care, collective bargaining/workers rights, education, ethics, redistricting and other issues that a very important to our future.

    If you are a progressive, even a very grateful gay progressive, my question: Is Grisanti really the person you want to represent those votes?

    • Alan Bedenko

      There’s not a damn thing you can tell from that video except that it’s always safer to stay home and have a bottle of red wine.

  • Tom

    I don’t see AV up anyone’s ass here.

    I see a schmuck trying to smear Mr. Grisanti by making wild accusations without providing evidence to back up his claims. If Mr. Grisanti stepped out of line, and Mr. Ricchiazzi has proof, he should release it.

    Since he won’t, he clearly doesn’t.

  • paul

    What the hell is wrong with this kid. His brief “career” in politics has been absurd. There has to be something literally wrong with him and the way he thinks. What a fucking idiot.

  • Mike Chmiel

    2 to 1 Claude didn’t bother reading any of the article.

    He simply saw “Grisanti” and thought, “That’s the guy who forced me to live in a gay marriage state. I hate him and will take any side against him, no matter how ridiculous.”

  • Aaron Lowinger

    The News reported yesterday that Grisanti would be meeting with the Niagara Falls Police Chief over the incident. I think there’s a serious problem right there.

    Is every alleged victim of a crime in Niagara Falls granted a hearing with the Chief of Police? Of course we all would expect a politician to elicit some form of special treatment here, but that doesn’t mean we should expect Grisanti to be so brazen about demanding it, nor does it make it right.

  • Eric Saldanha

    Shorter Charles: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords getting shot point-blank in the head just reveals a pattern of unstable parking lot choices for rallies and an insistence on getting in the way of high-powered weaponry.

  • Charles

    So Mr. Saldanha, you’re a proponent of the Santorum school of slippery slope argument? That is, tolerance of homosexuality/gay marriage equates to tolerance for bestiality? Well done.

  • Matthew Ricchiazzi

    My text message to Mark on Saturday morning was in the context of just having read initial media reports, which suggested that Maria was horrifically beaten. I spent 5 months of my life helping Grisanti get elected, and Maria has treated me so kindly. She is such a nice, gracious, beautiful person. I wanted to make sure Maria was alright, and at that time I encouraged Mark to file a lawsuit.

    After I realized that Mark was using the racist stereotype of “drunk Indians” as an escape goat for his own drunken intoxication, I was upset that Doug would recommend such an inappropriate and racist media strategy. As a friend, I told Doug that the video and audio footage that exists is damning and is a political liability.

    Via text message to Doug, I offered to help them walk back their racism as a media consultant, and told them my monthly rate, which is not unreasonable for the industry. Doug misinterpreted me trying to be helpful as a threat, and responded offensively, as if I was trying to demand something from them.

    I was offended by his reaction to my offer of help, and even more deeply offended by their use of racism and unfair stereotypes against Native Americans — and I will be saying so publicly to combat this type of bias. Political speech is the most legally protected of all speech.

    I did not commit, consider, or attempt to do anything illegal.

    I’m puzzled by your characterization of this situation, which I frankly don’t understand. I don’t see how I’m the story, or how I’m central to this situation. I took extensive coursework in indigenous political theory as an undergraduate, and I’m an activist on Native issues. That’s all.

  • Charles

    Alan. Except that once Senator Grisanti is let up off the ground and released from restraint, he opts to lunge at a passerby. Here’s a version with sound: http://www.capitaltonight.com/2012/02/grisanti-stands-by-his-story-as-video-surfaces/

  • http://www.buffalorising.com/2009/02/state-senate-reform-committee-declares-syracuse-western-new-york.html RaChaCha

    Santorum school of slippery

    LOL

  • Mike Chmiel

    I hope someone tracks down that “escape goat”.

  • http://www.buffalorising.com/2009/02/state-senate-reform-committee-declares-syracuse-western-new-york.html RaChaCha

    @Mike C While the guards were distracted, it slipped out of the casino — reports last had it on Goat Island.

  • Rooky

    Escape goats! LOL. Did Cornell just drop 20 places on the ranking list?

    Matthew — very heartwarming story. Just release all of the texts and emails in question and we can be the judge. Simple.

  • Phil

    There’s something I don’t quite understand. The article says”…Phil Pantano, the spokesperson for Seneca Gaming, who informs me that he’s never heard of Mr. Ricchiazzi, that he’s had no contact with Mr. Ricchiazzi, and that whatever Mr. Ricchiazzi was trying to do was not in any way solicited or sanctioned by the Seneca Gaming Corporation.”

    Mr. Ricchiazzi states in his email:

    “Obviously, the Nation isn’t going to release a video in an official capacity as long as Grisanti can vote against US in Albany.” (Emphasis added)

    If Mr. Ricchiazzi is not representing the Nation in some way (or claiming to), then why the word “us”?

  • Matthew Ricchiazzi

    I’m not affiliated with the Seneca Nation of Indians. I’m Cayuga, bear clan. My usage of the word “us” that you cite, I admit, was too loose.

  • John

    He was clearly trying to represent himself as part of the Seneca Nation. And why did he take his twitter account down overnight? Destroying the evidence?

  • Eric Saldanha

    I’m Billy, escape goat clan. How

  • c

    When bad things happen to any politician, why can’t we all join together to enjoy it ? George Carlin once said that it doesn’t matter who wins an election as long as it makes good TV . This has great entertainment value along with that Valenti restaurant thing . Keep up the good work, Mark . Your wife does need to bulk up a bit before she steps up again .

  • Bbill
  • Lorri

    @Matt — Here is the formula:
    1. Take my shovel
    2. Dig a hole
    3. Jump in
    Lorri

  • Cluade

    Best thing reported in the matter is him screaming, “Do you know who I am!”

    Like it makes a damn bit of difference, as if his short time in politics happens to make him a man of such great import that he should be free to move about the fight unhindered.

    What a total ass!

    Anyone who has to say “don’t you know who I am” might wonder why he has to say that!

  • Mike

    Why isn’t anyone stating the obvious? Its Scinta’s fault !

  • william

    Really Matthew, $20K is the going rate for a press consultant for the state senate? That is fucking laughable.

    Go to campaign filings, campaign managers for CONGRESSIONAL RACES make less than HALF that.

    Guys like David Axelrod get $20K a month, not idiots who can’t get their names on a ballot.

    You are also even more of an idiot to put your name behind blog posts while your messages are under police scrutiny. I mean jesus christ, how fucking stupid are you?

  • Jack

    Matthew: words of advice — shut up and get a lawyer. pronto.

  • http://www.tommunisms.com Tom Dolina

    Matt, when you’re on a sinking FAILboat, better jettison the “escape goats”…

  • Dougy

    This isn’t interesting enough to be a story. So what, the kid talked some smack on Twitter?? Where’s the story?

  • Steve

    Here’s the real thrust of the story:

    But Ricchiazzi apparently went one step too far – in one text, he allegedly demanded a $20,000/month job from Grisanti in exchange for his silence and to prevent him from smearing and running a candidate against the Senator. Obviously, Grisanti’s team was tickled by the idea of a kid who couldn’t get on the ballot for the the Buffalo school board throwing fictitious political weight around, but the demand for money was more insidious and likely illegal extortion or blackmail. The Grisanti aide who received the text replied that this demand was completely inappropriate, and Ricchiazzi “withdrew” his “offer”.

    Larceny by extortion is defined in New York’s Penal Law 155.05(2)(e) when a person, “compels or induces another person to deliver … property to himself or to a third person by means of instilling in him a fear that, if the property is not so delivered, the actor or another will: … Accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against him; or (v) Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule; …or (ix) Perform any other act which would not in itself materially benefit the actor but which is calculated to harm another person materially with respect to his health, safety, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation or personal relationships.”

  • Colin

    I’d just like to point out that this asshole wrote an article on Buffalo Rising celebrating the election of an entitled millionaire pretty boy to the county clerk’s office as an example of a new, more ethical brand of politics.

  • K. Charles

    I know the hospital id band prominently in view on her wrist for all to see during their press conference was meant to illicit sympathy but c’mon, who doesn’t take those things off 2 minutes after you leave the building? “No, wait honey. Leave that on. It will help make the bullcrap story I’m going to spin later more believable.”

  • Dougy

    It’s obvious that the Grisanti’s concocted the whole “drunk Indian” think to illicit sympathy for something they should have been publicly ridiculed for.

  • Leo

    It’s shameful how the Grisantis act in public. Aren’t these people adults?

  • Totally Not Ricchiazzi

    I agree with Dougy.

  • http://hayescreative.com Kevin Hayes

    Geez, Alan, first NT, now the Falls. Are you sure you’re heading in the right direction? Just kidding . . .

  • http://hayescreative.com Kevin Hayes

    But seriously, I was amused by this comment by Aaron Lowinger: “The News reported yesterday that Grisanti would be meeting with the Niagara Falls Police Chief over the incident. I think there’s a serious problem right there.”

    Aaron, have you ever been to Niagara Falls? Any familiarity with its “culture”? Even in a more normal city, any police chief would meet with a local politician who was involved in a possible criminal act. But Niagara Falls kind of writes the local book on taking care of business, if you know what I mean.

    It’s pretty obvious to me so far that everybody with any influence wants this to go away. It’s embarrassing for everybody involved.

  • http://www.buffalorising.com/2009/02/state-senate-reform-committee-declares-syracuse-western-new-york.html RaChaCha

    Just let the goat go — Seneca Gaming is already adept enough at fleecing…

  • Escape Goat Coast to Coast

    I got awaa-ay and you’ll never find me! BAAH-HAA-HAA-BA!!

    And now thaa-aat I’m out, you better PRAA-AY I don’t find you, Zoraa-ak!! It’ll be a baa-aad day for you when I do!!

  • Ray

    The Niagara County Republican Committee has announced a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the guilty party.

    Unless it’s tax evasion, in which case the reward money will be used to throw a going-away party for the perp.

  • MichaelRCaputo

    I wonder how many anti-Grisanti comments here are posted from the same IP address as RickyAsshat’s?

    As an aside: I’m picking a restaurant for Valentine’s Day dinner tonight. I know one place I won’t go for fear my wife will have her skull cracked: Seneca Niagara Casino.

  • Charles

    @Matt…meet MichaelRCaputo, a real political consultant with a track record: I wonder if it was Mike’s advice that Carl P give a concession speech wielding a baseball bat? And is Mike now advising the Senator to double down on defending his behavior by exclaiming he would do it again? “I went in there and I was making these sweeping motions to move, clear people out,” he said. “If somebody got hit in any circumstance whatsoever, it’s too bad because my wife was on the bottom of that pile. And I would do it again.” http://www.buffalonews.com/city/communities/niagara-falls/article730480.ece See Caputo’s comment that follows.

  • Charles

    Assuming that the Caputo posting here and there is the real Michael Caputo, big time political adviser, perhaps a more interesting question is to ask why, if the reports are true that Paladino has considered backing a Republican opponent against Grisanti, why is one of his most trusted minions now shilling for Grisanti? Has there been a detente between Carl & Mark? Is Caputo now on Paladino’s S-list since the election debacle? Might be a real story here after all.

  • MichaelRCaputo

    Yeah, it’s me and I’m no big time anything. I comment here because I’m an avid reader of Artvoice and I thought reader input is encouraged. I only pay attention to people who post under their real names, mostly because cowards aren’t all that interesting. I expect to be challenged in comment sections; it’s all part of the fun. Flame on!

  • http://www.aboutmichaelcaputo.com MichaelRCaputo

    Oh, and by the way: I am a supporter of Sen. Mark Grisanti, so that will certainly color my commentary. I am not on the Senator’s staff nor am I paid to assist him, but I find his individuality and dedication to his constituents refreshing in an otherwise profoundly dysfunctional State government.

    I also don’t support violent attacks or brutal beatings. So that will color my commentary as well.

  • Sportsroadtrip

    I hear that Ricchiazzi only has one black tooth in his mouth, drove his pick up truck into a restaurant wall on New Year’s Eve, and bounced a $3000 check. Those parsnips. They’ll getcha every time.

  • Kathleen

    @Michael Caputo
    Are you really a Republican? Seems like you are a smart, funny, genuine kind of guy. Doesn’t fit any repub I have ever seen. Nice to see though.

  • http://www.aboutmichaelcaputo.com MichaelRCaputo

    @Kathleen. That’s very nice of you to say. Thank you. Not the kind of reaction I was expecting. ;)

  • Bruce Kogan

    I am in complete agreement with the author of the Art Voice article. The problem is that this occured in the gaming casino which by the terms of the lease is on Seneca reservation property and subject to their jurisdiction like a
    foreign embassy. Otherwise the Niagara Falls PD probably would have arrested
    those two drunk cretins who assaulted Senator Grisanti and his wife who was “not
    representing them” whatever that means.

    As for Matthew Ricchiazzi, is this anyway for a Log Cabin Republican to act?

  • King Kong

    Being a recent college graduate who wants to have a successful political career, who actually is doing dick to work my way up, I really wish that Ricchiazzi would shut the fuck up and crawl into a campaign office and do something. He’s just a mouth, without anything to back it up.

  • King Kong

    I’m also an American Indian, so don’t even try to pull the racist bullshit card on me.

  • Queen Schlong

    Republican Party Punchline, Pariah of the Gay Community, Seneca Nation Bag-Boi
    Rikki-Tikki-Tazzi, that conniving young mangoose, appears to have bitten off more “escape goat” than he can chew?

    This sliming, slithering, Log Cabin simpleton’s cup full o’crap runneth over, and over, and over, and over…

  • Claude

    King kong How do you do dick?
    I don’t think you can reverse that saying.
    For example- I certain do care dick for you, or that guy gives so much dick for the cause it is crazy.

  • Joseph Coppola

    I Blame it all on George W. Bush. Those rascally Republicans!

  • John

    No Log Cabin Repub I know would go any where near this idiot. In fact, we wont walk away, we’ll run away from this incompetent wanna be! Creepy, too!

  • Damian Weber

    Thank God for The ArtVoice, for printing detailed news about local politics. Keep up the good work!

  • Queen Schlong

    “Yeah, it’s me and I’m no big time anything.” Comment by MichaelRCaputo

    true dat!
    btw, i hear this is the way he routinely introduces himself at Assbags Anonymous meetings, aka “AA of the ECGOP”.

  • Sportsroadtrip

    I hear Ricchiazzi had his Harley repossessed, skipped out on child support payments for his two kids, opened utility accounts in others names, and is being extradited to Texas on forgery charges. And he only has one black tooth in his mouth. Parsnips, baby, parsnips!

    Hope the sarcasm is noted here.

    I cant wait until the Ramos from Florida and Debbie from Texas chime in on Ricchiazzi’s dastardly deeds. Now that the Terry and Lori saga is flaming out, perhaps we can beat up on someone who in my experience is actually a pretty decent guy.

  • Queen Schlong

    @Sportsroadtrop: “pretty decent guy” is not how a LOT of us would describe this self loathing F*gg*t who relentlessly sells out himself, the local Gay civil rights movement, and the rest of his larger LGBT community ~ all for his own short sighted, cynical, and self serving personal/political gain.

    i still have the emails in which this misguided miscreant typed these stunners!

    “I don’t know about ya’ll, but I have a crush on Jack Quinn, and I’ll be voting accordingly :-)

    “On a serious note, as long as the gay community is bound to the hip of the Democrat Party WE WILL NEVER, EVER ACHIEVE MARRIAGE EQUALITY. Never. If you think any different, then you’re delusional and stupid. We have ABSOLUTELY NO POLITICAL LEVERAGE AS LONG AS DEMOCRATS THINK THAT GAYS DON’T VOTE REPUBLICAN. They have nothing to fear if they offend, betray, or insult us.

    Further, the Democrats are making too much money off of the gay marriage issue, and they have no monetary interest in giving that up. They recieve donations, volunteers, etc because of this ban, and if we had marriage equality there would be no carrot left to keep the gay community on the Democrat band wagon.

    As long as gays demonize ALL REPUBLICANS as being homophobic and racist, why are they going to go out of their way to be nice to people that propagate hate against them, because that’s what you’re doing. Especially considering that those pro-gay Republicans would incur political vulnerabilities within that their party that the other half of the Democrat Party is sure to exploit, it would make no sense for them to do that.

    When I was running for Mayor, a major reason that I was so hesitantly received by the Republican Party was because I was so openly supportive of gay marriage (which yielded very little support or appreciation, btw). Still, not one single Republican publicly attacked me for being gay. It was Artvoice (at the behest of a Democrat politican — who knows who he is, but whom I won’t embarrass by name) that attacked me for being gay. So, let me tell you a little secret: The Republican Party in Western New York is generally more socially liberal than the Democrats, who are of the socially conservative pro-union crowd.

    Rather than behaving childishly and burning bridges with Tim Kennedy, perhaps the community should focus on building bridges with Jack Quinn (since he’s going to win anyways). Maybe the prospect of gay support would convince him to favor marriage equality. He’s not ideological. He calls himself a moderate on social issues. He’s a nice guy.

    I really wish the gay community wasn’t so brainwashed… we need a more sophisticated approach… but I love you nonetheless…

    With much affection,

    Matt

    matthew.ricchiazzi@changebuffalo.org
    Sent: Thu, Aug 26, 2010 04:35 PM

    …….with “affection” like that, who needs Herpes?

  • Bruce Kogan

    Matthew is a guy with a royal high opinion of himself who was looking for the
    fast track to some kind of success. I thought him flaky, but even I was shocked at this rather bizarre attempt at extortion toward an elected official
    he was singing the praises over and over again.

  • http://www.tommunisms.com Tom Dolina

    State Senator Ruben Diaz of the Bronx wants the Grisanti incident investigated:

    http://blogs.buffalonews.com/politics_now/2012/02/bronx-senator-wants-grisanti-incident-investigated.html

    This is the same douchebag who tried to hold up the mariage equality vote in NYS:

    http://youtu.be/KHMcxsgH6wA

  • Steve

    Diaz should take a look at Rikki-Tikki-Tazzi while he’s at it. Alleged extortion of state senators is serious business.

  • TJ

    It is always sad when a young person with problems contrives themselves into the public arena. This young man does not know enough to have serious opinions.

    He is not and has never been involved in actual politics anymore than a person playing Farmville is a farmer. He has mad some websites, posed for few vanity photos and sent out some ranting emails.

    His actions seem to be leading hi down the familiar path taken by very young messiah politico dreamers who end up with a criminal record because they commit extortion or forge petition signatures.

    There are serious people making serious efforts to make our region succeed. We usually do not agree what success is and how to get there, but we do this work in the real world and not just the aggrandized fantasy of an inexperienced twenty-something with problems.

  • King Kong

    TJ – Now that my feelings on (not liking) Mr. Riccihiazzi are clear, I would ask that people do not demonize _all_ twenty-somethings trying to actively engage in the political arena, there are many of us who do so without being delusional idiots. I understand your frustration with him, but please don’t put us all in the same box.

  • mike in buffalo

    Anyone but Byron for Mayor 2013!

  • http://www.letstalknativepride.blogspot.com John Kane

    The Grisanti’s were not attacked. There was no under lying tensions between Senecas and the State Politals that attended the event. The Grisanti’s drank too much and misjudged their self importance. Both of them initiated physical contact, unfortunately, Maria chose the wrong Seneca face to claw.
    The video shows plenty. It shows that for the last 5 minutes of the conflict Mark Grisanti was the only one who required restraining. It shows that all his hype about his concern for his wife was trumped by his own anger towards a Seneca man who at best poked him in the chest and dismissed his relevance. When the Senator was finally let back to his feet, he never went to his wife; he never comforted her or evaluated her condition after her “beating”. He actually pushed her away when she tried with others to calm him down. This is what the video showed. It also showed him rush the target of his anger, knocking him to the ground and once again being restrained almost to the point of putting him to sleep with an arm around his neck.
    All you haters of Native sovereignty should note that both the State Police and Niagara Falls Police, via the Gaming Compact, have criminal jurisdiction in the Casino. Any failure to charge “attackers” of the good Senator and his lovely lady are on them. It is not a murky jurisdictional question. The surveillance video, which they have complete viewing access to, simply does not support the Grisanti claims.
    Clearly some Senecas were behaving badly at after an event that should never have brought such behavior, but make no mistake about it; the behavior of the Grisanti’s was worse. Even if not judged through the lens of an elected State official, the language and conduct of the Senator was shameful and the actions of his wife were stupid. But far worse than the events of Friday night was the portrayal of the events by the Grisanti’s to any media source that would listen or pass their “story” along. Their characterization of their altercation as an attack and one that came because of race and politics, is the lowest form of deception.

  • King Kong

    John – Then why did the Senecas take a swing at him, unless he initiated the violence, there is simply no excuse, intoxication or not. I am a complete supporter of Native sovereignty as well as being Indian so do not try to play the race card with me. If they are as innocent as they are being made out to be, then release the security tape to the public.

  • Peter Peter

    Okay John Kane. Since you have jumped in the middle of this and neither of us were there, I will call you out: YOU ARE A LIAR.

    Nobody here hates Native sovereignty. We hate LIARS.

    This isn’t about racism, even though you are trying desperately to save your paymasters by inserting racism to hide their crimes.

    Your so-called “witnesses” have been proven as LIARS as well. Your early spin that Mark was using the N-word was proven to be a LIE tonight on CH2 when they covered the police interview with the security guard who said it was simply not true.

    You may no longer claim Grisanti used the N-word, although you still infer it above. The video now has audio and the only person you hear using profanity is the big fat woman giving orders to the Security like she’s somebody in charge. Of course, that’s your “witness.”

    Here is the fact: Mark Grisanti made a mistake and tried to calm an argument between two men, at least one of whom has been arrested for violent attacks on others, once for beating his girlfriend. BEATING A WOMAN. Mark and his wife were then attacked, her brutally.

    No police report says Maria Grisanti clawed anyone. Neither of the huge women who attacked her had any marks on their face. The Seneca Casino video, however, shows two women attacking her and her skull being cracked against the floor. THAT IS IN THE POLICE REPORT. Are you calling the cop who wrote that a liar?

    The Grisantis are good people; Mark stepped in where he shouldn’t have because he could never have guessed scum like that were at such a nice event. The Senecas who run the Nation and the Casino are good people embarrassed by the stupidity of a few members who were long ago discovered for what they are. The thugs who attacked the Grisantis have long records of violence, hurting people, cheating taxes, shipping cigarettes to forbidden markets, and LYING.

    AND YOU ARE A LIAR. Or will you admit the thugs have police records? No. I’m sure they won’t pay you as much to say that.

    I hope you are getting paid well to get into the middle of this. Because when it is all over, you will have nothing but a tiny brokered radio show with no way to pay for it and nobody listening except a few folks who have nothing better to do. Your credibility will be gone. No, it’s already gone.

    Let me make my point clear if I have not yet: YOU ARE A LIAR.

    You make me sick. There is a very warm place in Hell reserved for you – a purveyor of race politics and the lowest form of deception. LYING.

  • http://www.aboutmichaelcaputo.com MichaelRCaputo

    Hear Hear – what Peter Peter said! Bravo.

    Of course you only want to talk about the last five minutes. The edited cellphone video shows the only part of the incident that is the least bit explainable by the scum who perpetrated those despicable acts.

    We won’t likely ever see the Casino video because your clients have put them into such terrible predicament that they have to choose between staying profitable or doing the right thing. Unfortunately, the pursuit of capitalism doesn’t often lead to the latter. Even though it isn’t right, it may be construed as their fiduciary duty to let the Grisantis suffer the indignity of this whole terrible situation – which your pals caused.

    And shame on you, John Kane. Nobody but you and the attackers – guilty of felonious assault and more – say this is about race. You are indeed a lying piece of garbage and a simple minded man who resorts to playing the race card because you have no other capacity.

    • Alan Bedenko

      I’d like to see the complete, official Seneca Niagara Casino surveillance tape.

      I’m available Thursday or Friday. Mr. Kane, perhaps you can help arrange that.

  • http://www.buffalorising.com/2009/02/state-senate-reform-committee-declares-syracuse-western-new-york.html RaChaCha

    ^^ SORRY! His goat ate it — then escaped.

  • Saul Loehmann

    I’m fascinated at the lengths to which people on both sides of this issue will go to ignore the obvious…that ALL parties behaved badly!

    The authorities need, and the public deserves to see security film of this incident. Any criminal actors should be prosecuted. Until that happens, we will continue to argue about something that can only be guessed at. What would you wager that video of this incident will reveal that EVERYONE involved, including Casino personnel behaved badly, and that THAT is precisely the reason none of us will ever see it?

  • Buffalo blows

    Rah cha your are not funny at all, really man your humor sucks it. And to all of those supporting grasanti, let me say simply I don’t care who started it ended it or got in the middle the guy acted like a loser, screaming that everyone should know who he is, another example of WNY politician acting like he watched far to many episodes of the Sopranos.

    This stuff is embarrassing man! I tell people I am from Detroit these days.

  • http://www.aboutmichaelcaputo.com MichaelRCaputo

    @Buffalo Blows, I guess you aren’t really following this story closely. Certainly, this is unfolding at such a pace that it is hard to keep up. The person who claims to have heard Grisanti say those things has been proven to be lying. The Niagara Falls police said that to WGRZ-TV yesterday.

    If you want to hate on Buffalo, Grisanti is not a reason to do it. I suggest you move to Detroit; I think you’ll learn to appreciate our city again. Fast.

  • Buffalo blows

    Give it rest Caputo, no class is no class, “the story is unfolding so quickly?”, the story is clear – another dumbass WNY politician has a delusional Tony soprano moment and the country gets another taste of buffalo’s best.
    Devil is not in the details here buddy it is more of a big picture thing.

    • Alan Bedenko

      I’m particularly interested that none of the Senecas criticizing Grisanti are equally critical of the role played in this imbroglio by the Seneca “businessmen” who are also implicated. Is there some higher standard of conduct we expect from a Grisanti vs. a pillar of the Seneca business community?

    • Alan Bedenko

      From today’s News article:

      Grisanti said the women involved in the attack hit his wife’s head against the lounge floor.

      If true, that fact alone is completely inexcusable, regardless of whatever Grisanti did or said to “provoke” the others involved.

      Chella said police have made no decision on who was to blame for the violence that erupted after Grisanti tried to break up an argument between two Seneca cigarette merchants, Eric White and Seth Snyder.

      Grisanti said both he and his wife were attacked without provocation after he tried to calm down the two men.

      “One of the men then physically attacked me. My wife, Maria, was then also attacked when I moved to try to protect her,” Grisanti said after the incident.

      An argument between cigarette merchants, for fuck’s sake.

      But Sally Snow, a Seneca businesswoman, said she witnessed almost the entire confrontation, and she alleged that Grisanti and his wife were the aggressors. Snow said she is a good friend of the Whites, but said the friendship did not influence her opinion on what she saw.

      I don’t think Ms. Snow’s assertion regarding influence and bias would withstand even the most gentle cross-examination.

      “The senator put himself into the middle of an argument between two Seneca men, which had nothing to do with him,” Snow said. “From everything I saw, the only aggressive people were Grisanti and his wife … and Grisanti was the only person who had to be restrained by security guards.”

      I think Ms. Snow unwittingly confirms the Grisantis’ account. I’d wager that the two Seneca belligerents turned to Grisanti and asked him who the fuck was he and who the fuck did he think he is and that he should mind his own fucking business, and that this then quickly escalated into fisticuffs, resulting in Mrs. Grisanti’s head being bashed against the floor.

      And people are defending this?

  • http://www.aboutmichaelcaputo.com MichaelRCaputo

    Also, this from today’s Buffalo News:

    “But White [the man who attacked Grisanti] has a history with the law. He was sentenced to up to a year in prison in 2007 after pleading guilty to felony unlawful imprisonment after he beat up a former girlfriend, according to News archives.”

    This story is unfolding in Sen. Grisanti’s direction as the facts come out and the liars are exposed. I think the self-styled “radio show hosts” and other profoundly biased sources out there defending the violent thugs are in the midst of learning a valuable lesson.

  • http://www.aboutmichaelcaputo.com MichaelRCaputo

    @Buffalo Blows (I cringe to type this)

    I get what you are saying and I guess we’ll have to disagree. I know the Grisanti’s personally and what you say of him is patently untrue. But if you know him, too, or if you have personal experience seeing him act as you describe, maybe I’m the one who is wrong.

    But I am willing to bet you don’t have that experience. Instead – and forgive the finger point – you slur an Italian American for acting like a Mafia boss.

    So maybe there is some racism here, just not toward the Senecas. And THAT, my friend, is the big picture.

  • Buffalo Blows

    Save the political correctness, and I am not sensative to Italian, Irish, British, etc. That’s a joke. If you don’t get the Soprano’s reference what can I tell you.

    Finally, if he’s your buddy than everything you write here is no of no value.

    The guy acted like an assclown, and that is that.

  • Charles

    Even if giving the Grisantis the benefit of the doubt that someone threw the first blows their way, it seems that all involved should have been charged with Disorderly Conduct, at the least.

    The video of the last five minutes clearly depicts an out of control Senator with a mentality of, “while I may not have started it, I’m sure gonna finish it.”

    Grisanti is culpable because, under the law, once he and his wife are out of harms way, he has a duty to retreat. Not only did he fail to retreat, he re-engaged violently, knocking a person over (perhaps injuring his knee) and hitting a woman in the face at the same time.

    But what bothers me the most about Mr. Grisanti is his steadfast refusal to admit he took it too far.

    And that should not be acceptable behavior for any of our representatives.

    And notwithstanding the disputes over the fine points of who said what when and the credibility of any or all of the participants, Mr. Kane is absolutely correct that the initial media coverage was blatantly unfair and biased toward the Grisantis.

    Personally, I believe it is more journalistic laziness than racial bias, or bias toward a well known public figure and his attractive wife than any anti-Native sentiment.

    But in a country where racial bias remains rampant in many ways, shapes and forms, a member of a racial minority can hardly be blamed for reading racial bias into the whole incident. That is the risk that lazy journalists risk when a story such as this is not properly vetted.

  • Queen Schlong

    “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world….”

    If memory serves me, it was a smoke and mirror back room deal between Native Americans and Republican George Pataki that saddled us with these wretched one arm bandit factories…a rather poetic and fitting irony to see this booby prize fight is what it’s all come down to in the end? Well, that, and all those millions of dollars in worn out sidewalks Michael Caputo’s baseball bat wielding boyfriend has been ranting about?

    It takes considerable effort to restrain a raging elephant… at the risk of sounding redundant, maybe I’ll try voting for a jackass in the next election?

  • http://www.aboutmichaelcaputo.com MichaelRCaputo

    @ Buffalo —

    So, according to you, the only people qualified to comment here are the folks who have no familiarity with any of the participants, who freely use anti-Italian slurs, and hate Buffalo? Okay, I get your logic. Now we know where you stand and your level of credibility.

    @Charles: You make some sense here; I agree with much of what you said. But while the initial coverage may have been pro-Grisanti, subsequent coverage was anti-Grisanti. I think the media definitely treated both with skepticism.

    As for racism driving anything: that is a complete and total FAIL. A State Senator stuck his nose where it didn’t belong, he was attacked by a felon once imprisoned for violently attacking a woman, then his wife had her skull cracked by a female cage fighter who was once arrested for crushing the face of another woman. Grisanti was restrained by security who, at the same time, had not yet stopped the ongoing attack on his wife.

    After that, Grisanti was enraged and acted irrationally. I don’t know about you, but if my wife had her skull cracked by a violent freak, nobody involved would have walked out of there. And I would never apologize.

    Meanwhile, the attackers toss out the N-word and “do you know who I am” like they own the place and can act however they want without fear of prosecution. (By the way: they do and they will.)

    Then you look at the background:

    ATTACKERS: Arrest records, prison records, violent pasts, general disdain for the law and lawmakers. Proven use of racist language; lies to the media.

    GRISANTIS: 30 years volunteering in their community, long record of public service, active in their church, never been arrested. No record of racism; forthright with the media.

    One more point: I know the Grisantis were not drunk. I believe the attackers were sober also. Just because this happened in a venue where alcohol is served doesn’t mean anyone was inebriated. Key: the police report makes absolutely no mention of any person being under the influence of alcohol. Not. One. Word.

    That is my view. Yes, I’m biased: I am a Grisanti supporter, I oppose violent attacks and skull cracking of any kind, and I abhor the kind of racism displayed by the attackers.

    I really don’t have anymore to add here. I’m out (if I can stand it).

  • http://www.buffalorising.com/2009/02/state-senate-reform-committee-declares-syracuse-western-new-york.html RaChaCha

    I got told my humor “sucks” by a guy named “blows”!! Which I fully admit is way funnier unintentionally than anything I said intentionally.

  • Cobra

    Has Rikki Tikki Spazzy been charged with extortion yet? Are mongooses even fit to stand trial?

  • ArtVoice Editorial Staff need to go take Journalistic Integrity Classes and pass it.

    Let me get this straight. ArtVoice says it is irrelevant if a Senator sticks his nose into another bar fight, but it is not alright for some political hack to insert himself into the post bar fight interlocutor? A double standard. ArtVoice has a problem with Indian Casinos jurisdictional issues, yet has no problem with a Senator using his influence to obscure the facts of an incident where he played a central role? A double standard. ArtVoice knowingly muddied the water by insinuating that Matt R. is the same as the Seneca Nation of Indians, then retracted when Matt R. commmented and provided them the facts, instead of doing their homework and reporting the facts initially. A double standard. Come on ArtVoice editorial staff, this makes your rag completely untrustworthy, full of tripe, unethical, and beyond factually uncreditable. If your point is to undermine the ownership of Casinos by Indians, then you must do it in ways that do not undermine the publics’ ability to trust what you write.

  • Sean C.

    You do know the context in which Art Voice and Alan’s entires are written, no? This wasn’t an editorial piece for the New York Times or the Washington Post.

  • Sean C.

    No offense to Alan or Art Voice.

  • Saul Loehmann

    Dear @ ArtVoice Editorial Staff need to go take Journalistic Integrity Classes and pass it. —

    Unless the escape goat ate your adverbs and indefinite articles, I believe you meant to say “as an” interlocutor? Please allow me to point out a few of your other obvious mistakes – errors more of faulty logic than grammar:

    “Let me get this straight. ArtVoice says it is irrelevant if a Senator sticks his nose into another bar fight, but it is not alright for some political hack to insert himself into the post bar fight interlocutor? A double standard.”

    ~ Aside from using a five dollar word in a ten cent sentence, your only relevant observation is that Mr. Ricchiazzi is a “political hack”. I don’t recall reading anywhere that ArtVoice endorsed the Senator’s behavior, so where is the “integrity” in opening with an erroneous and inaccurate allegation that you have wholly fabricated? Mr. Ricchiazzi did not just ‘insert’ himself into a discussion…he misrepresented himself, lied, and potentially engaged in extortion! If he is innocent of this accusations, why has he deleted so many of his public comments?

    “ArtVoice has a problem with Indian Casinos jurisdictional issues, yet has no problem with a Senator using his influence to obscure the facts of an incident where he played a central role? A double standard.”

    ~ Fascinating. Why does this occur to you to be an either/or situation? They are not at all mutually exclusive! Seneca Nation sovereignty in relation to the arbitrary land grant that made casino’s possible, and all that that implies is a known commodity, and a very well documented and ongoingly contentious public issue. There has yet to be any conclusive proof of anyone’s behavior at the Casino on this night in question. It’s not a double standard, it’s two completely different things…apples and oranges – peace pipes and poker chips.

    “ArtVoice knowingly muddied the water by insinuating that Matt R. is the same as the Seneca Nation of Indians, then retracted when Matt R. commented and provided them the facts, instead of doing their homework and reporting the facts initially. A double standard. ”

    ~WRONG! It was “Matt R.” who implied his association and “sameness” with the Seneca Nation. It was not ArtVoice’s mistake, it was by his own admission in fact that Mr. Ricchiazzi overstated his association, by referring to himself, in relation to the Nation as “us” – a fact he a has admitted and apologized for.

    [“I’m not affiliated with the Seneca Nation of Indians. I’m Cayuga, bear clan. My usage of the word “us” that you cite, I admit, was too loose.” – M. Richiazzi]

    As for the larger story is concerned, the only entity continuing to obfuscate or muddy waters is THE SENACA NATION and CASINO NIAGARA, by not releasing the complete security surveillance videos, which is the only way anyone can definitively discuss this incident.

    “Come on ArtVoice editorial staff, this makes your rag completely untrustworthy, full of tripe, unethical, and beyond factually uncreditable. If your point is to undermine the ownership of Casinos by Indians, then you must do it in ways that do not undermine the publics’ ability to trust what you write.”

    ~Again, it seems to me the point of this article was to fairly discredit Matthew Ricchiazzi- and they did this in a way that used his own words and actions. Those words and actions have been evidenced, and do not seem to be in dispute here? I’d say all concerned did a pretty good job bringing us a story no one else reported about regarding an unfortunate, perennially overreaching young man full of tripe, who behaved unethically, and who once again has played fast and loose with facts, and his own credibility. The Grisanti’s, for better or worse, have pretty much stuck by their original story. Mr. Ricchiazzi on the other hand has back peddled, retracted his misleading and sloppy verbiage, and DELETED his own Twitter and Facebook accounts.

    Double Standard, or duplicitous douche?

  • Buffalo blows

    Oh
    Cha cha you cad keep us smiling with your snarky wit, fuck you stupid!

  • http://www.buffalorising.com/2009/02/state-senate-reform-committee-declares-syracuse-western-new-york.html RaChaCha

    @Buffalo blows — Izzat you, Matt??

  • Ricchiazzi

    Michael Caputo has casually known the Grisanti’s for 15 months and is acting like a character witness. What? You met them three or four times and you are so far up their asses…you know how they act when they get drunk? Get a life…you washed up political hack.

  • Mongoose

    “Get a life…you washed up political hack.” Comment by Ricchiazzi

    Takes one to know one?

  • Sonny and Cher O’Kee

    An old Cherokee told his grandson:

    “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, & ego.
    The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, & truth”

    The boy thought about it, and asked “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”

    The old man quietly replied, “the one you feed.”

  • Bruce Kogan

    I first met Matthew Ricchiazzi when he was making an abortive run for mayor in
    2009 and was halfway through the petition period when I was the one who discovered that he had changed his enrollment to Republican too late to be eligible to run for that nomination. That effort was dropped and it seemed to
    set a pattern for his life.

    To me he seemed to be a smart young man, but lacking a certain inner stability.
    He was always looking for some kind of fast track to political success. It seems clear now that this is being fought out over the pages of Art Voice’s
    comment page that he was in some kind of battle for influence in the Grisanti
    camp with Michael Caputo and lost. So he’s decided to submarine the career of
    the man whom he was singing the praises of for years and was waiting an opportunity.

    Two years ago I was a supporter of Antoine Thompson and was bemoaning the fact
    that he took a State Senate seat that he couldn’t and shouldn’t have lost and managed to lose. Lord how Ricchiazzi was crowing over that one. I thought
    to myself there’s going to be no living with Matthew now. And now we find him
    pulling this crap.

    I’ve said before I thought Matthew was flaky, but capable of extortion, I’m still having trouble turning that one over in my mind.

  • RaChaCha

    Hey Buffalo Blows! New research shows goats can develop accents:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/16/goat-accents-picked-up-by-some-young-animals_n_1281338.html

    I bet the escape goat used this trick to get away — like faked a llama accent & got the guard to let him out, or something.

    Think?