Glenn Gramigna: Gossip Girl
by Buck Quigley - posted 4:28 pm, August 31, 2012
• Last week, someone mailed this letter, in this envelope, purporting to come from outgoing Erie County Democratic Party chairman Len Lenihan, to party town and zone chairs. In the letter, which Lenihan denied authoring as soon as its existence was reported on this newspaper’s website, the writer lists Lenihan’s accomplishments over 10 years of leadership.
The faux Lenihan then offers to stay on as chairman:
If our County Committee can’t make a united decision in the near future I would be willing to stay on as your chairman.
Together we can rebuild Unity and make Erie County one of the best places to raise a family. If you choose to allow me another term (in order for unity) then my first goal will be to make sure that Kathy Hochul is reelected to Congress. We need a United team we don’t have time to fight each other for Chairman.
Lenihan has announced his retirement twice in the last year: last summer, under pressure of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s political machine, who wanted to bring peace and unity to the region; and again just recently. Web reporter Glenn Gramigna, the Democratic milquetoast version of conservative e-pamphleteer Joe Illuzzi, quickly claimed to have established the source of the fraudulent letter:
The mystery of who was behind the Lenihan Letter Hoax has been solved. The scheme was concocted by a prominent anti-Lenihan activist who is the only reported recipient of the letter.
Presumably he means attorney Peter Reese, who brought the letter to the newspaper’s attention. But Reese didn’t write the letter and post it to himself. So who did? And why? And who’s whispering this nonsense in Gramigna’s ear? To his credit, Gramigna won’t reveal his source.
Thursday, Gramigna followed up on his website with the following:
Not to continue beating an expired pony, but the Lenihan Hoax Letter turns out to be a pretty transparent phoney which was cut and pasted from a genuine letter sent out by the current Erie County Dems Chairman, with additional content added by someone whose last name rhymes with “Fleece” or “Cease.” If you look closely you can actually see the places where it was cut and pasted, but apparently some folks didn’t look as closely as they should have.
Now some of those individuals who were taken in by it all seem to be mad at me when actually, they should be angry at Mr. “Fleece” since he’s the one who fooled them.
Since Gramigna insists on resurrecting this dead horse, I’ll hop on and ride a bit.
I called Gramigna, and told him Reese denies concocting the hoax letter which he received. Here’s what Gramigna said: “OK, well, that’s fine. I have no problem with him denying it. That’s fine with me. But I can tell you, this conclusion is not just my idea. It’s widely held within the local democratic party. So, um, if he didn’t do it, he’s got a lot of people to convince, because a lot of people think that he did it. Not necessarily me, but a lot of people think that he did. But anyway, you know, I don’t really want to discuss this at all. Beyond that, I don’t really want to have daily discussions with you on the subject. It’s not really worth even talking about. It’s basically yesterday’s news. It’s pretty much over.”
I told him it was, until he put today’s post up. I reminded him that he never spoke to Reese about the letter, and still hasn’t.
“I stand by my story but beyond that I do not wish to have any further discussions with you about the subject. So I’m going to ask you to have a good day. Bye now,” with which, he hung up.
Reese has been an outspoken critic of democratic chairman Lenihan. What motive would he have to send himself a hoax letter, which he then scanned and forwarded to the media?
According to Reese: “I’m not that bright. I was fooled completely by it, and my only excuse is I was running to a meeting when I got it, and didn’t have time to examine it thoroughly. I was looking forward to having coffee on Leonard, so that I could tell him what I really thought of him. At a town and zone chairman meeting in July, he stated that everyone likes him. I wanted to disabuse him of that notion.”
As for Gramigna, Reese has this to say: “I don’t even think I’ve said “hello” to him in 2012. I haven’t spoken to him about the letter. I still have the original, in it’s envelope, in my possession. He has never seen it since it was delivered to me. His reckless disregard for the truth is manifest.”
On the other hand, Lenihan supports Gramigna’s website. And how does Gramigna know the hoax letter “was cut and pasted from a genuine letter sent out by the current Erie County Dems Chairman, with additional content added”?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Here you go, some easy listening to take us into the Labor Day weekend, my conversations with Glenn Gramigna…
As he says, he doesn’t mind me quoting him because it only increases his readership. He told me to get the name of his website right.
But really Glenn, as a fellow journalist who has time to check facts like that?