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Kearns Defeats Fahey in A-145

Kearns, LoCurto, Rivera

Photo by Flickr user Whitney Arlene

Mickey Kearns? Really? 

The 15% of the electorate who turned out elected a Democrat running as a Republican whose only recognizable platform plank was to do battle with Shelly Silver?  Kearns has said he’ll caucus with the Democrats – so Republican efforts to spin this as a victory will ring particularly hollow. 

The New York State Assembly is a particularly malignant and useless construct. On the one hand, you have majority leader Sheldon Silver, who rules his Democratic caucus with an iron fist. On the other hand, you have a collection of the most useless political castrati – the Assembly Republicans. To call the Assembly a legislature is an insult to the notion of democratic representative lawmaking. To call a member “independent” is synonymous with “impotent”. 

That’s why, when I have in the past advocated for a nonpartisan unicameral legislature, I’ve made it clear that we can’t just abolish the Senate and supplant it with the Assembly. Each redundant body is dysfunctional in its own way. 

Yesterday I posted a perfectly benign reminder that an election was taking place and that people who live in that district should go out and vote. I didn’t endorse or attack either candidate, except to say that Kearns’ run as a “Republican” was, to me, inexplicable. Of course, I had some knuckle-dragging Republican attack me for that, and longtime commenter Starbuck, who is quite reasonable although I disagree with him, pointed out that it was “quite explicable” because of party bosses and giving people a choice and Sheldon Silver and Len Lenihan. 

Yes, I understand that Kearns’ ambition would not be stopped by such trivial matters such as party loyalty or ideological consistency. Such is the nature of politics and politicians – win at all costs, even if you jettison your principles.

(By the way, if Carl Paladino and his insult billboardatorium really want to be rid of Sheldon Silver, perhaps he could help find, fund, and support a challenger to Sheldon Silver down in Manhattan. That might actually work.) 

Chris Fahey isn’t a Higgins puppet despite his ties to Higgins’ office, and so what if he was? Brian Higgins is – and has been – among the best representatives of Buffalo and Western New York throughout his political career. While not perfect, he has done tremendous good especially when it comes to waterfront revitalization. Fahey is a bright guy and he’ll do great things – he’s a well-respected and thoughtful behind-the-scenes policy researcher and formulator – a wonk’s wonk. 

Much was made of Kearns’ ties to Carl Paladino, but that support amounted to a few thousand dollars and a Palinesque Facebook post here and there. 

The winner here isn’t Paladino, it’s Byron Brown, who has rid himself of another troublesome common councilmember. Kearns’ vacancy will be filled by the other councilmembers – and the council is now made up primarily of Brown allies, so Brown has an opportunity to further consolidate his control of the city’s policies. Probably one of those unintended circumstances we often read about.  I suppose this indirectly benefits any Republican running in a countywide race, thanks to the longstanding, well-known but denied agreement between Brown and the GOP that no Republican challenger will come to the plate in November, thus suppressing city turnout.

Funny how similar it is to write about Erie County politics as it is to write about, say, organized crime. 

The coverage of this contest was a ridiculous recitation of who’s ahead, who’s behind in the horserace. Aside from his rejection of Sheldon Silver, what’s Mickey Kearns going to do in Albany? Aside from his ties to Brian Higgins, what would Fahey have done there? Well, Fahey outlined a few plans he has to make the environment better for creating jobs. These guys deserved pointed questions about reform, Albany dysfunction, the Cuomo agenda, abolishing authorities, reduction of state corruption, etc. Instead, we got questions about party labels and who was whose puppet. 

Being a maverick isn’t policy – it’s politics. 

Congratulations to Mickey Kearns. I look forward to the analysis of his almost-inevitable rapprochement with Shelly Silver, or his switch to the Republican Party (one of these is going to have to happen if Kearns is going to accomplish much else besides becoming a master Sudoku player.)

Now, let’s see whom Paladino recruits to run against Higgins himself this November.  

 


  • Good Grief

    Bullshit. No way Kearns has potential to become a master Sodoku player.

  • chester

    I think the usual phrase is “unintended consequences,” not “circumstances.”

    For my money, you’re making too much of the distinction between “Republican” and “Democratic” in this race. Kearns ran as a Republican because that happened to be a party that would give him a ballot line. In the absence of an actual Republican to run Nick L. decided to go for a win with Kearns and Kearns obliged. The voters understood (perhaps) that there was no real meaning to Kearns Republicanism, it was just a means to an end.

    I think it’s always going to be better for voters to have a choice, and since they wouldn’t have had one in Kearns hadn’t run as a Republican I think it’s good that he did. If I were in the 145th I’d have voted for Fahey, but there you go.

    And if anyone tries to claim this as a “Republican win,” they’re delusional.

  • Jesse

    If Fahey’s such a smart guy why was “raising the minimum wage” the only TV commercial he ran? Unintended circumstances [sic] indeed.

  • Ian

    I live in South Buffalo, and figured Kearns had a chance to win a close race on name recognition. I would NEVER have guessed that he’d win 57-43. This is a blow to the so-called “South Buffalo political machine”. Bottom line – they just did a piss-poor job of getting the vote out.

  • Thomas

    This was one of those results where one shakes his head only because the outcome was in hidden in plain sight. Fahey had no name recognition outside of South Buffalo. Kearns was getting a ‘bonus’ of Republican voters and there were as many voters turned off by the lack of loyalty shown to Kearns by the Democratic party as there were turned off by seeing Kearns on the R line.

    I agree with all of the above “unintended consequences,” and wish that Kearns had not run but taking a bit from Chris Rock, “I Understand”

    http://www.hark.com/clips/vjslqyvlkh-i-understand-oj

  • One often finds the answer to the thing hidden within the thing itself.

  • Fat Tony

    If you’re going to criticize Kearns for running as a Republican, you need to criticize Fahey for running on the Conservative line (with a nod to that fact, Alan, that you are indeed rightfully opposed to fusion voting in NYS.)

    I believe the fallout from Conservative Boss Ralph Lorigo screwing Mark Grisanti out of the line based on the gay marriage vote right in the middle of this Assembly campaign when Fahey holds the same position as Grisanti had a significant impact. The district is comprised of conservative Democrats and Lorgio always gives members of the Higgins machine political cover with the endorsement.

    This time, however, the Grisanti episode led put the spotlight on Lorigo’s complete lack of consistency and Fahey got caught in crosshairs. When Fahey made his comments about partial birth abortion, conservatives were outraged that Lorigo would endorse such a candidate and walked away.

    I like Chris and think he would have been a good legislator but it’s great to watch Lorigo finally being called out. Can’t what to see what Lorgio does with Senator Kennedy.

  • Alan Bedenko

    While the idiom is “unintended consequences”, in re-reading what I wrote, I see no reason why circumstance doesn’t work. In fact, I think it works perfectly well – perhaps better. Thank you for pointing it out.

    Also, Fat Tony – you’re right. I detest fusion voting and wish it wasn’t part of the landscape, as it constitutes nothing more than a petri dish within which corruption flourishes. But that would be about the horserace, and I wanted to get a bit beyond that here and talk about the real-life result of what just happened.

    For all his bluster against Shelly Silver, Mark Schroeder’s tenure in the Assembly was unmarked by any significant legislative initiatives or victories. I see no reason to expect Kearns’ tenure to be different in any meaningful way.

  • Confusing the transactional and the ideological has secured residency for many in the political graveyard.

  • diddly

    Having spent a week in WNY recently, I found no reason to believe yours (and others) assessment of Mr. Fahey as “…a bright guy and he’ll do great things – he’s a well-respected and thoughtful behind-the-scenes policy researcher and formulator – a wonk’s wonk.” That never came across anywhere.

    His commercial ran on a loop locally, and did nothing to dissuade the viewer that he was more than an unsmiling ‘puppet’. He looked uncomfortable and therefore perhaps unprepared. (That’s one man’s ill-informed opinion based on a commercial). Lump that with the notion that: name recognition in SoBo + R’s voting for R’s in the burbs, maybe =’s an unsurprising result?

  • Rory Allen

    Hmmm. Alan, where was this argument when Mark Grisanti defeated Antoine Thompson? It is almost identical. Kearns running as a Republican was the only way to offer citizens a choice and you are criticizing the results. If anything this proves your point that this process should be non partisan. Otherwise, we would just let a candidate slip in the back door to incumbency who essentially appointed this spot not through an election but by putting their time in as a staffer.

    • Alan Bedenko

      It’s not identical. Grisanti ran as a Republican (and switched his enrollment since, IINM) in order to become a member of a very slim Republican majority in the Senate. Kearns ran as a Republican while pledging to remain an “independent” Democrat and caucus with the Assembly Democrats.

      For Grisanti it was a means to a mutually beneficial end. For Kearns it was simply convenience and little else.

  • Chris Fahey might indeed be a very smart guy, but he never had a real opportunity to introduce himself to voters or to go into deeper policy issues. He would have had that opportunity in a full primary/general election cycle and he would have won, hands down. Instead, he rarely left South Buffalo and blanketed West Seneca and Orchard Park with anti-Mickey Kearns mailers while doing little to establish his own bonafides as a candidate.

    Mickey Kearns is well-liked by voters and well-known as a former candidate for Mayor and has a significant number of South Buffalo committeemen on his side. He’s been a vocal opponent of a very unpopular Byron Brown, an advocate for waterfront development, and he has a public record that people can examine. He might indeed be dopey, but he had a HUGE advantage in a special election as specials are about name recognition and running on a record.

    Running Fahey in this race was pure hubris by Higgins, who propped Fahey up as a Higgins avatar instead of letting him be his own man. Higgins saw an opportunity to consolidate power in the city, insulate himself from challengers, get full control of the South Buffalo committee and help Byron eliminate a troublesome councilman.

    He overplayed his hand and now Mickey will try and find his way to Albany, where he’ll be as inconsequential and useless as Mark Schroeder was.

  • Ward

    Decent analysis, Alan.

    But your call for a nonpartisan legislature would ring a bit more true if it weren’t for a history of reflexive support for anyone with “D” after their name (Eric J. Massa D-29th), and ritualistic mockery of anyone with “R”.

  • Rory Allen

    So giving voters a choice is wrong? You may not like Mickey Kearns, but his choice to do what he did was politically brilliant….and at least confronts a process that was previously a total sham. I surprised to see you stick up for the sham side of politics.

    • Alan Bedenko

      I’m surprised that the Republican bench in WNY is so shallow that they can’t muster up a genuine Republican candidate to mount a reasonable challenge in a district in W Seneca and OP.

      I never said giving voters a “choice is wrong”. I’m just pointing out what the repercussions are – a person is leaving the Common Council open to a Brown appointee, and will be going to an Assembly where his clout will be microscopic if it exists at all. Mickey’s “win”, isn’t.

  • Buffalo Blows

    I think the use of the phrase/word “Really” is about as useful as “like – oh my god!” was in the days of the valley girl craze. Way to dumb it down and next time a pre-teen comes up with a new phrase maybe you could get in a little earlier and use it befoer it turns brown and stinks.

  • Alan Bedenko

    Yes, all I wrote was that opening line.

  • Rory Allen

    Simple, a Republican who promises to act like a Republican in that district won’t win. Republican’s depth of candidates won’t change that. Which is why this race is very similar (albeit not identical) to the Grisanti race. Kearns doesn’t run as a Republican = people of that district don’t have a choice.

    • Alan Bedenko

      As Chris said, the race wasn’t about ideology, but name recognition. Let’s don’t pretend like they’re significantly different, except that Fahey didn’t run a race where he foolishly burned all the bridges before he began crossing them.

  • Buffalo Blows

    It makes me not want to read anything else you wrote after that, get it?

    • Alan Bedenko

      @BuffaloBlows, I’m sorry for your inconvenience.

  • Mike Chmiel

    I am sure we all appreciate the lesson on effective writing techniques provided by someone who calls himself, “BuffaloBlows”.

  • Buffalo Blows

    What Bedenko? Sorry, only got to @Buffalo Blows, did you have some thing else to say?

    And Mike, Really? I mean really? Really…..Mike, really. REALLY! You see how that works, like a child?

  • I hate the comments section…

  • Lancey Howard

    You now have a situation where if any known Democrat primaries Higgins; Byron Brown goes to Congress. A fact that won’t be missed by Steve Casey. Rich Fontana could primary Higgins, lose to Brown and become Mayor of Buffalo!

  • Alan Bedenko

    I think it’s time to ban anonymous and pseudonymous commenters.

    I just deleted one commenter’s off-topic insults, and my responses thereto. I will make this a habit until we implement a different system. It will either be through registration, a service like Disqus, moderation of all comments, or some other system.

    You can disagree all you want, but the days of comments turning into nothing more than insults, are over.

  • Had a discussion last night about how great this was for Republicans. Really? (Sorry, couldn’t resist). Saying that this is a victory for Republicans is like saying Massachusetts is going Republican because Scott Brown or that Old NY26 is turning Dem because Kathy Hochul won. They ran against bad campaigns or bad campaigners. I agree on the evaluation of Fahey. He is not as charasmatic as Mick is. Probably a nice guy. Probably pretty smart. All I saw was an awkward young guy in what little I saw of him.

    This isn’t any huge victory for the ECGOP. And seriously, if Langworthy claims it as one, someone out to kick his ass out of the office, since this is his perfectly predictable win against HUGE Corwin and Collins losses.

  • Joseph Coppola

    I like mine sunny-side up with white toast, Canadian bacon, tomato juice & coffee.

  • Brian

    The analysis that name recognition won this election is off the mark. Winning by name recognition implies that the person went to their polling place on election day and voted for the person with the name they recognized. This was a special election – people went to vote knowing who they were going to vote for because it was the only election. Mickey Kearns’s supporters were simply more enthused to go out and vote than Fahey supporters were. Kearns was a liked and trusted comodity and there wasn’t anything Fahey could have done to change that.

    • @Brian
      Name recognition didn’t WIN the election for Mickey? The fact that people knew who he was, what he stood for, owned a public record to be examined and was a vocal opponent of an unpopular administration IS name recognition. Especially when compared to what people knew of Fahey, that he was a young guy who worked for Higgins. Might be semantics on what we think name recognition actually is, but I don’t agree with your definition.

  • Don

    “Chris Fahey isn’t a Higgins puppet despite his ties to Higgins’ office, and so what if he was?”

    The only outcome that has even a slim chance of disrupting the status quo is Kearn’s election. I was struck by the fact that Fahey wasn’t allowed to speak in any of his ads. Higgins, Inc., have voters no reason to disbelieve the assertion that Fahey would be a puppet, and Fahey’s own ad campaign supported the puppet label on a number of levels.

    It’s been asserted here without much evidence that Fahey is a bright guy. If he was running his own campaign, he didn’t demonstrate any talent. Of others were calling the shots, then the label fits.

    Collins picked Corwin, ran a lousy campaign, and lost. Higgins picked Fahey, ran a lousy campaign, and lost. Perhaps the message is that a majority of voters won’t vote for candidates hand-picked by pols attempting to expand their power.

    • Perhaps the message is that a majority of voters won’t vote for candidates hand-picked by pols attempting to expand their power.

      Smartest comment written here in months…

  • starbuck

    Yes, I understand that Kearns’ ambition would not be stopped by such trivial matters such as party loyalty or ideological consistency. Such is the nature of politics and politicians – win at all costs, even if you jettison your principles.

    In the party loyalty domain, how do you compare Kearns to Grisanti who you supported against Thompson?

    Wasn’t Grisanti also a lifelong D who suddenly ran as an R because he thought he couldn’t win in a D primary? He was even less loyal than Kearns to his longtime party, since he organized with the R’s in Albany and usually votes with Skelos.

    Nonpartisan elections would be a huge improvement to reduce the power of parties, but I doubt they’ll ever happen in NY. Partisan lines are probably also the reason Schroeder’s seat was open in the first place if any financial/accounting experienced candidates didn’t run for comptroller because they wouldn’t have had any chance in a D primary, even if they might in a general (but not citywide without D next to their name).

    Special elections are even worse without primaries at all. The timing of when both Schroeder and Hoyt resigned looked very deliberately intended to cause specials and prevent giving voters any possibility of choice in primaries. Maybe their decisions are admired in terms of loyalty to the party org. I wonder if after he saw yesterday’s result Golombek is regretting not trying to run on the R line against Ryan in the special to replace Hoyt. He might have won. Now they’ve moved the district’s lines so he no longer lives in it.

  • Buffalo Blows

    Really Alan, really! Ban comments or make us sign in, really?!?!?!? Really!?!?! Really, really, really, really…………………

    Then you and your three friends can commiserate as no one else will get into the fun of this nonsense. Maybe you can just have a three way party chat line or something like that, for those likeminded individuals, no making fun and check your opposing opinions at the door.

    For all this paper tries to promote the edge lifestyle, alternative view, underwear free living, etc., you guys are so incredibly thin skinned. Especially you Smith, you can’t stand to leave a comment without your response.

    Its opinions and jokes read by about a dozen people at any given time, lighten up.

  • Alan Bedenko

    Really?

  • Buffalo Blows

    Did you mean, “Really.”

  • David Staba

    Yeah, the level of discourse would really fall if deep thinkers like ‘Buffalo Blows’ weren’t allowed to share his or her insights anonymously. Incidentally, your obsession with Alan’s word choice is easily the dullest thing I’ve seen since the guy who kept telling us how rich he is and/or wants to be a few weeks back. To his credit, he at least signed his name.

  • Buffalo Blows

    “Allen, can I suggest that you start a blog of your own? Then you can indulge your rather curious obsession with the president without limit, and I can choose not to be bored shitless by you.

    Comment by David Staba — March 1, 2012 @ 3:47 pm”

    So, is this your every response, bored, prolific hipster, SUNY guy response thing to anyone you don’t want to post here? Maybe Smith will share the secret number with you and you three or four of you can agree upon everything together and be happy.

  • Jillian

    I find it comical that people don’t acknowlegde that Mickey took on the establishment and won . He did it for a second time. Remember the first race for the Common Council ? The establishment’s handpicked candidate was young and inexperienced. Mickey beat him. The district does not want a few insiders dictating our future. Why worry about Chris ? He’s returning to his $88,000.00
    position I bet. In this area’s economy, he’s a winner.

  • David Staba

    “So, is this your every response, bored, prolific hipster, SUNY guy response thing to anyone you don’t want to post here?”

    When critiquing posts or other comments, particularly when it comes to use of language, it would be a good idea to make sure that yours follow basic rules of grammar.

    To answer what I think is your question: No, just the boring ones.

    Also, I’m all for everyone posting, if they like. I just wish they would have something remotely original or interesting to say, and not repeat themselves again and again and again in hopes that someone will finally find them convincing or funny.

    And what, precisely, is a ‘prolific hipster?’ I can not stress this enough — you should really know what words mean before you use them.

  • Don

    Chris Smith said this (in the comments section he hates):

    “Chris Fahey might indeed be a very smart guy, but he never had a real opportunity to introduce himself to voters or to go into deeper policy issues. He would have had that opportunity in a full primary/general election cycle and he would have won, hands down.”

    Really? So Fahey wasn’t hand-picked and handled by the pol he’s been working for? Learns might indeed seem dopey to you or others, but he beat the party machine- again. What does that make Fahey?

    I don’t know what to make of a candidate who is not allowed to speak on his own commercials. With a full primary/general election cycle, you think Fahey would have gone “deeper” into policy issues? There was the voice-over bobbing head ad, a misleading pay-raise slam to up Kearns negatives, and Brian Higgins talking about Fahey in generalities (with the pay-raise shot therein). The usual robocalls, negative leaflets, and all the other tools at the Party’s disposal. And Fahey got trounced.

    Kearns has a working-class way of talking that sets some’s teeth on edge. But let’s not pretend that poor Fahey is some talented guy that was the victim of a short election cycle. Fahey had every advantage and he was beaten 57-43 percent of the people who cared enough to vote. So I suppose the 7,106 people who voted for Kearns are dopey, too.

    Really?

    • Don, I respond to comments that specifically and respectfully address something I wrote like the comment from Brian. I don’t respond to blind, anonymous insults, which are all too common on this website.

      In a full election primary/general election cycle, Fahey would have had the opportunity to attend dozens of community events, candidate forums, given speeches, and had more time to introduce himself to voters. He could have banged more doors, kissed more babies, and established himself as an individual candidate. In a short special election, he didn’t have that kind of time. No one knew who he was, the campaign did a piss-poor job of defining him, and he was running against a candidate who is already well-known and recognized throughout the district.

      Specials usually result in very short, negative campaigns between well-known adversaries with public records and reputations. In this special, we had a candidate with a record and one who didn’t. And the one who didn’t, failed to establish his own bona fides for the job. Kearns won because people knew what they would get and Fahey was the unknown.

      Kearns has a dopey manner, yes. I’ve interviewed him multiple times and I’ve never been impressed with his grasp of policy. In fact, I’ve walked away from each interview wondering how he ever got elected in the first place. However, he’s a likeable and friendly sort with whom who you’d like to knock back a few beers. That goes a long way in local elections, especially in South Buffalo where familiarity and likeability trump policy knowledge.

  • Don

    (and, thanks for the compliment, Chris Smith, which I just saw…I worked really hard on my comments so David Staba wouldn’t spank me. Really.)

  • David Staba

    Good work, Don.

  • Buffalo Blows

    Dave, yet you keep the replies coming. I can smell you love of hand crafted beers and the Avett Brothers from here.

  • paul

    chris smith, its a special election, with turnout that low, people dont just show up to the polls to vote for obama and fill out the ballot accordingly. these are the only guys on the ballot, people are going to vote specifically on that race, your name recognition argument doesn’t hold water, because the voter already walked in the door BECAUSE of either kearns or fahey. no down ballot races yesterday

  • starbuck

    This looks mistaken:

    Grisanti ran as a Republican … in order to become a member of a very slim Republican majority in the Senate.

    R’s were a 29-32 minority in the state senate at the time of the 2010 elections and weren’t declared to have gained the majority until late December of that year. So if Grisanti had won as a D after primarying Thompson and winning, then D’s would have held the senate majority 31-31 (with Lt Gov. Duffy the tiebreaker).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_state_elections,_2010#State_Senate

    Republicans, who were a 29–32 minority prior to the election, made a net gain of two seats in the election to claim a 32–30 majority headed into the January 2011 legislative session. One Republican Senate incumbent, Senator Frank Padavan of Queens, was defeated on November 2, while four Democratic incumbents (Sens. Brian Foley, Antoine Thompson, Darrel Aubertine, and Craig Johnson) were likewise defeated in the general election. …
    Control of the state senate was not confirmed until Johnson, who sought a full hand recount of his race, exhausted his final appeal on December 20, 2010.

    So it was the same, right? Grisanti ran as an R even though Rs were the senate minority at the time he was running, but he didn’t think he could win in a D primary against Thompson.

    Or is there some other difference not mentioned yet?

  • starbuck

    Actually, it isn’t even the same thing because didn’t lifelong Democrat Mr. Grisanti skipped an opportunity to run in a Sept 2010 primary as a D? For Kearns this time, it was a special so there wasn’t a primary to skip. Then the icing on the cake is Grisanti ended up tipping control of the senate away from his lifelong party to his new party of convenience. What Kearns did this time didn’t harm D power in the legislature at all.

    I can’t even guess how anybody might try to interpret this as Grisanti being less disloyal to the D party than what Kearns did.

    It’s funny that this little argument makes it sound like I’m a fan of Kearns. Far from it! It’s too bad he and Fahey couldn’t both lose.

  • David Staba

    “Dave, yet you keep the replies coming. I can smell you love of hand crafted beers and the Avett Brothers from here.

    Comment by Buffalo Blows — March 21, 2012 @ 7:27 pm”

    Didn’t know who that was until googling (congratulations on spelling their name correctly!) — a band, it appears, not nearly manly enough for the tastes of ‘Buffalo Blows.’ And I generally drink Budweiser. Preferably as far as possible from the bar’s resident bore.

    But, by all means, please keep basing your world-view on stereotypes. Seems to be working for you.

    As for the race, I would have been surprised if Kearns didn’t win. He’s won two council races in South Buffalo, home to the city’s most cohesive and energetic political base, and had pretty strong support there when he ran for mayor. West Seneca is as connected to South Buffalo as any suburb is to any city neighborhood and his history with Brown couldn’t have hurt him there, or in Orchard Park, for that matter.

    Higgins has won plenty of elections, but hardly generates the sort of cult of personality that would guarantee his hand-picked rookie candidate a win in a contested race.

    Unfortunately, the horse race and fundraising are the meat of just about every political story at every level (see politico.com). If Fahey had a message and couldn’t get it across to voters in a fairly compressed district, that’s the fault of him and his campaign.

    Based on this display of political acumen, Higgins should be relieved Hochul didn’t decide to run in his district.

  • Buffalo Blows

    dave you just can’t help yourself

    As far as this thread making any sense read the post, last para above this, this Smith guy in one paragraph states he was impressed by Kearns grasp of the policy then at the end of that same paragraph states that it is Kearns friendliness that trumps policy knowledge. So, which is it?
    Second point you just called South Buffalo folks stupid, you did, and they can only vote a friendly face and issues are second. It’s friggen obnoxious how you think you can look into issues but the South Buffalo crowd just wants to “knock back a beer”, what a dick.

    You are all the same, this second tier SUNY educated want to be intellectuals. Take the time to read your own posts and you will see how truly lacking in any real depth you go into a matter, it is all opinion. Get it, opinion.

    The real issue here is that you all share the same opinion.

  • Bbill
  • Ray

    Going back to a line in the original piece, before all the Really? insults:

    The winner here isn’t Paladino, it’s Byron Brown, who has rid himself of another troublesome common councilmember.

    (Can you get rid of that autoembed-the-link bit, btw? It’s cheap and I always cite to you when I steal your stuff.)

    Here’s a scenario where Urkel may not be the winner despite thinking he was:

    Kearns, who has never polled well outside his own ward due to issues with either cred or name recognition, now has a chance to increase both from afar. He uses that extra exposure either to enter a mayoral primary in 2013 or, more realistically, to go to his GOP handlers and ask them to run him as the GOP candidate in the 2013 general election.

    Wonder what that would do to the Republicans’ not-so-secret plan to hold down the city turnout by not opposing Hizzoner.

  • Don

    I don’t agree with the way “Buffalo Blows” states it (or the SUNY stuff, whatever it means) but I agree with the general point: Chris Smith’s opinion of the people of South Buffalo is easy to decode.

    And I return to the same points I made earlier. Kearns has a South Buffalo working-class accent. Whatever else you might want to say about him, he is honest and independent. He’s never scripted in conversation, and actually engages with people. True, he’s no policy wonk.

    I’m just not comfortable with the assertion that a general election would have gone a different way. The coded implication is that Soith Buffalo will elect someone they’d like to drink with, and, given enough time, Fahey could have been packaged as likable and familiar. Given the way the Assembly works, honesty and independence trump policy knowledge as a practical matter, given the reality that Fahey could be expected to follow the dictates of the Democratic Party (so what good would his policy knowledge -the existence of which is not known- have done anyone?). The voters had a choice: rubber-stamp Brian Higgins promotion of a staffer- the product of multiple moves of political insider chess having nothing to do with “policy knowledge”, or vote for the guy that took on the power structure.

    You might think the people of South Buffalo are incapable of such nuanced or multi-level thinking. I think you’re wrong.

    • Yes, I’ve got a nasty message buried in my comments that you need to decode…South Buffalo voters are driven by ethnography, blue collar values, and likeability. Shocking conclusion I drew there. Seriously, do you live in Buffalo? Because I grew up in South Buffalo and have worked campaigns there for nearly 20 years.

      Your assertion that a Higgins acolyte would not buck the Albany system is specious. Schroeder – a Higgins loyalist – made himself completely useless during his Assembly term after challenging Silver early and often. I would not describe Higgins as a Silver ally, either. You might remember that Higgins supported an anti-Silver leadership coup led by Assemblyman Mike Bragman back when Brian was still in Albany.

  • Don

    I grew up in South Buffalo, too. What part of South Buffalo did you grow up in, and where did you go to high school? What does the phrase “blue collar values” mean when you use it?

    Yes, the failed Bragman coup…I also remember who bailed out on Bragman. (I could not view Higgins or Hoyt the same way after that incident.)

    My assertion was that Fahey would not buck Higgins and the local Democratic Party, not that he would or wouldn’t buck Silver – he would if he was told to do so. My assertion is that he’s not his own man, and that this was the judgement voters made in electing Kearns.

  • Buffalo Blows

    You don’t need to crap on everyone Chris Smith, they vote who they think will do the best job for them just like people in Amherst and East Aurora.

  • Those of you who commented suggesting a primary against Higgins: Bob McCarthy was on @WNED today, and said there isn’t “a whisper” of that. Well, OK then.

    Because one cannot see a thing which does not exist, your comments will slowly vanish.

  • Bruce Kogan

    Two things struck me about this race. Having met Chris Fahey I was impressed by
    his grasp of issues and his commitment to public service. He will be heard from
    again.

    But secondly I cannot believe the lack of criticism for Nick Langworthy. As
    Mickey moves to become friendly with the guy he lambasted throughout the campaign, just what did Langworthy win in this whole game? If I was a Republican party stalwart I’d be good and upset with him. I wonder what the
    phone call from Ed Cox the State GOP Chairman to Langworthy must have been like.
    And how do both of them explain that to Brian Kolb the Republican Assembly Minority Leader?