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Carl Being Carl

Courtesy Marquil at EmpireWire.com

It was a cool evening; cool in the sense of temperature as much as atmosphere. The sun had just set and the cloudless sky was turning a lovely shade of dark blue, with a disappearing tinge of orange on the horizon. 

I pulled my car into a spot about a block down from the Dinosaur BBQ on Franklin Street to attend the City & State “welcome to Buffalo” party. The New York-based paper had just hired a Buffalo reporter, and it was hosting a celebration. 

As I walked up Franklin, I ran into County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who was rushing to get to a dinner at Bacchus with bigwigs from a local utility company. I saw Buffalo Rising’s Newell Nussbaumer and said hello. As I approached the Dinosaur, I saw Mike Desmond from WBFO speaking with City & State Editor-in-Chief Morgan Pehme and Chris Thompson – Pehme’s new Buffalo hire. 

After a while, a very slim, dapper gentleman from the statewide office of AARP came by to chat with Pehme and Desmond. He mentioned that Erie County had the 9th oldest population in the country. 

Right around that time, I caught a glimpse of a black BMW X5 across Franklin. It stopped to let out City & State President & CEO Tom Allon and G. Stephen Pigeon. Allon is a tall, bespectacled man who looks like he stepped right out of a Brooks Brothers catalogue. I introduced myself to both men. Pigeon shook my hand. Understandably, he wasn’t especially warm and friendly to me, but behaved like a gracious adult. They went inside. 

At this moment, the BMW had made a u-turn and parked, halfway in a spot, in front of the Dinosaur BBQ. Out comes Carl Paladino, and he is smiling and gesturing at me as if I was someone he was happy to see. He came around the car and was being gregarious and friendly with everyone. As we both extended hands to shake in greeting, I hesitated and said, “you don’t like me. I’m Alan Bedenko”.

At this he recoiled and inquired whether I was fucking serious. When I answered in the affirmative, he took a step or two back to tell me that I’m “a real fucking asshole, you know that?”  I replied that yes, indeed, I am, as I grinned from ear to ear.  He went on to berate me as a “disgrace” and a “fucking coward”.  I continued smiling as this old man angrily spat expletives at me on a sidewalk, in front of people, on a cool Buffalo night. He then went inside in disgust, informing the people with whom I was chatting that he would not speak to them while they were talking to an asshole like me. It was surreal. 

I continued speaking with Mr. AARP guy, Pehme and Desmond before going inside to check the event out.  I met Erie County Legislator Joe Lorigo, who is a nice fellow even if his politics are all wrong. I like that he recognizes that the legislature is – and should be – a deliberative legislative body, and the role he plays in it.  I saw his dad, too, but we didn’t get a chance to speak. I spoke with lobbyist Jack O’Donnell and met his lovely wife, Marina. It was O’Donnell’s birthday, evidently, and Pehme led the gathering in a round of “Happy Birthday”.  There was even cake. 

I spoke at some length with Camille Brandon, fresh off a primary loss in her Assembly race. While we were chatting, Paladino passed behind me and said hello to her, but indicated that he would speak to her later when “that asshole” was gone.  She later found me and said Carl had asked her why she was speaking to that “asshole”. He was entering Mean Girls territory. 

I saw Jim Heaney and Dan Telvock of Investigative Post, and Justin Sondel from the Niagara Gazette.  I spoke briefly with @HeyRaChaCha from Twitter, and we talked about all the fascinating people who were there. 

As I spoke with Sondel and Mark Cornell from Poloncarz’s office about hydrofracking and Niagara County journalism, Pehme and Allon took to the stage to thank everyone for coming to the event.  Evidently, Paladino was a sponsor of the event because he, too, took the mic.  He welcomed City & State to Buffalo, adding that it was about time Buffalo got some real journalism up in here. He added that Buffalo media had too many “worms like Alan Bedenko”, expressing surprise and dismay as to how I even got into this event, to which I had been invited. 

Of all the elected officials, journalists, and dignitaries who filled that room, only one name was mentioned – mine, spat out by Buffalo’s favorite son – a walking, talking insult billboardatorium

Oh, how delightful this all was. I don’t think you’ve really arrived in Buffalo until you’ve been viciously cursed out by Carl Paladino.

What have I done to this man, except tell the truth about him? His sordid racist emails? His failed candidacy? The horrible things that come from his mouth? This guy is the personification of dishing it out but not being able to take it. (Mr. Tea Party is hanging out with Steve Pigeon, now?) What have I done, except be one of the few not in thrall of his money or perceived power? He hides behind his money, hurling misogyny, homophobia, and invective from emails and billboards, but I’m the coward?  I mean, I never circulated anal horse pornography, but that’s just not my thing. 

What’s with the hate and anger? Here he is, a millionaire in his $70,000 truck, being feted and paid attention to by all sorts of VIPs from not just the region, but throughout the state, but he’s got to take especial time to attempt – and fail – to insult me from the stage at the Dinosaur BBQ at someone else’s event. How great is that

Almost everyone said it was “just Carl being Carl”. It was, indeed.  That is, of course, the problem, but he’s attained folk hero status and can get away with just about anything, and the list of “cowards” who are willing to call him on it is regrettably short these days. There’s a fine line between being a straight talker and the state of being “Carl”. 

As for me, it was one of the proudest nights of my life; a story to remember. I make it a point to never knowingly do business with Carl Paladino, and I didn’t touch a drop of liquid or morsel of food that he underwrote at the event. 

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you. – Matthew 5:44. 


Campaign Finance Irregularity Wednesday

Cheers to Steve Pigeon and Kristy Mazurek, who have managed to crowbar their names back into the news. They have either found or manufactured a crisis, accusing Board of Election workers of destroying NYSUT apparatchik Mike Deely’s petitions for county committee.

Is it true? Who knows, but the accusation has been trumpeted, and it’s now Dennis Ward’s and Jeremy Zellner’s problem to unfuck. From Caputo’s PoliticsNY.net

Mike Deely, regional staff director of the New York State United Teachers Union. He’s one of the largest donors to the ECDC over the years and a longtime member of the party’s executive board. Deely recently joined PMB forces, upset with the direction headquarters has taken in the last year.

In the meantime, West Seneca has (naturally) been the epicenter of Pigeon’s and local Conservative Party head Ralph Lorigo.  Steve Casey’s departure from City Hall to become the CEO of the monstrous Scott Congel-led Seneca Mall project underscores the political nature of that project. 

Floridian billionaire Tom Golisano is talking about joining with Congel for the location of the Seneca Mall, near the I-90 and Ridge Road. That land deal has been on simmer since late 2013, at least. 

Pyramid Management Group out of Syracuse have been sniffing around the Seneca Mall since at least last summer.  Look at this August 2013 article from the West Seneca Bee regarding the approval of $50k for town SEQR review of the Seneca Mall site. 

Though not much other detail was offered at Monday night’s Town Board meeting, the board unanimously approved a feasibility study to be performed regarding the proposed development of the former Seneca Mall site at a cost not to exceed $30,000…

…[Town Councilman Eugene P.] Hart said he had just learned of this resolution the day of the vote. Henry said it all came together “pretty quick.” He said the town was required to have the grant application submitted by Aug. 12, hence the need for immediate action.

“It seems very cryptic when you read it,” said Hart. “People will wonder what’s going on.”

[Supervisor Sheila] Meegan said she realized that, but they can’t “spill the beans.”

Hart also told the public that it is the intent of the board to rezone the former Seneca Mall site from industrial to commercial, as per the owner’s request. He said he could not offer much information but did say the proposed development would be a “game-changer” for the town.

Councilman John M. Rusinski said a delicate balance must be struck between the needs of the taxpayers and the needs of the developer. Both he and Hart said the feasibility study is being done in order to protect the interests of the taxpayers.

“Economic development is important to the town,” Rusinski said. “This project is a good thing.”

The Town Board Minutes of October 17, 2013 reflect that Supervisor Meegan made a motion, seconded by Rusinski, to authorize Meegan “to execute an agreement with Camoin Associates to conduct an economic and fiscal analysis for the Seneca Mall site.” 

On the question, Councilman Rusinski stated he agrees with the study but expressed concern about the verbage. He referred to a previously passed resolution which states the dollar amount is not to exceed $30,000, yet an attachment in the agreement shows a fixed fee of $25,000.

Town Engineer Richard Henry responded this was his mistake. The fixed fee language will be removed and the agreement will be amended to read “not to exceed.”
 
Councilman Hart stated he has numerous concerns and commented if this project were to go forward it will be considered huge and impact all of Western New York, yet they do not have a lot of information about the developer. He did not feel they had enough information to go forward at this time and questioned spending $25,000 when there are so many unanswered questions such as infrastructure and sewage.
 
Mr. Henry responded he has spoken with Camoin and they are aware they have to have more information from the developer in order to go forward. Upon approval, Camoin will present the developer with a list of questions. Mr. Henry stated the purpose of the study is to assess the fiscal impacts to get the answers so they can go forward.
 
Councilman Hart suggested the developer provide the town with $25,000 and the town will spend it on their behalf and do the study.
 
Town Attorney Shawn Martin responded the developer should not pay for a study that the town is requesting.
 
Supervisor Meegan stated they will be finding out what the potential is for the town’s investment and whether or not the investment will have a return for taxpayers. She commented that the town has an opportunity to do something and they cannot continue to let the site sit there as it has for so many years. The developer is asking for assistance to pursue a Seneca Place project of 3 million square feet of mixed use buildings, community center, retail, residential, office, hotels, parking, etc. Supervisor Meegan stated this project will not go forward at risk to the Town of West Seneca taxpayers.
 
Councilman Rusinski stated that West Seneca is screaming for economic development and the town has made the mistake of being too idle in the past.  The analysis will provide insight as to whether this type of development has economic potential for West Seneca. He did not feel any board member would put taxpayers at risk.
 
Councilman Hart stated there doesn’t seem to be any involvement by the IDA’s or the development corporation of New York State and he feels there should be more substance with regard to the developer’s marketing and business plan. Councilman Hart questioned how soon information will be provided to the board members and if the recommendations and numbers will be made public at that time.
 
Mr. Henry responded they have a total of 60 days; 30 days to gather the information and another 30 days to compile the information and report back to the town.
 
Mr. Martin stated if the report has an exception with regard to acquiring property or contract negotiations involving costs, information will not be made public.  He will have to see the report before he can make a determination as to whether or not the information provided will be made public at that time.
 
Councilman Hart stated he is ready to discuss the entire project with the public so they are fully aware of what the proposal is. He would like to see the Seneca Mall property developed and is willing to look for his own developer and take the property by eminent domain to acquire a reasonable project.
The motion carried unanimously. Lorigo’s involvement, at minimum, has to do with the fact that his office is located at the Seneca Mall parcel. Why did this come up last summer? Because of what I called the AwfulPAC; the now-defunct “WNY Progressive Caucus” was the Steve Pigeon / Frank Max / Kristy Mazurek effort to disrupt the Democratic Party and defeat certain of its county-level candidates.
 
AwfulPAC benefited from a huge cash injection from nominal Democrat and pro-life-oh-wait-pro-choice Tim Kennedy. But at the time, a singular donation of $25,000 from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3 was quite puzzling, and no one reported on it. 
 
 
No one understood why it was made, and it’s glaringly odd because a $25,000 donation would have practically emptied the union’s account. The image above is taken from Mazurek’s AwfulPAC 11-day pre-primary filing. By contrast, this is what the Bricklayer’s union’s disclosure shows on its 11-day pre-primary filing: 
 
 
We’re meant to believe that a union with only $28,000 on hand is emptying its account to fund the AwfulPAC? Indeed, a scan of this union local’s intake and outflow shows modest amounts – a few thousand coming in, a few hundred going out. It reports $5,000 to current Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren in its 11-day pre-General. It gave Sean Ryan $500 bucks. Its July 2013 report shows a little over $1,000 to Tim Kennedy, but at no time did the BAC Local 3 report $25,000 to the “WNY Progressive Caucus”, and such an outflow appears on no disclosure report whatsoever
 
So, what’s going on? 
 
 
 
As Pigeon and Mazurek hyperventilate over allegations of supposed petition-destruction – something that despite years and years of open and obvious, internecine Democratic warfare has never happened before – let’s not let them off the hook for their own, more glaring and apparent sloppy campaign finance irregularities. 
 
New York State Democrats’ inability to get out of their own damn way is neither novel nor unique. Witness the spectacle just this week,  as a liberal gubernatorial challenger, Zephyr Teachout, is holding anti-Cuomo press conferences with right-wing Putin lookalike winner Rob Astorino. Hell no.
 
You want to make a point about the shutting down of the Moreland Commission? Do it. You want to call out the governor with his Republican challenger standing next to you? You just lost me. 
 
Here in Erie County, Nick Langworthy has the easiest  job in the world. He doesn’t need to do a thing when he has an endless parade of job-hungry nominal Democrats around to repeatedly sabotage whatever the county committee tries to do. 

The 2014 Kennedy/Mazurek Slate

From everything I can gather, there’s never been a time in recorded history when Erie County Democrats were united and working together as a matter of routine. It happens from time to time when convenient (i.e., when there’s something (or nothing) in it for everyone), but every election cycle or two there’s a party establishment that is battling on two fronts; Republicans on one side, and the sabotage wing of the nominal Democratic party on the other. 

You know the drill – “Concerned Parents” bludgeoning Sam Hoyt within an inch of his political life with the double-edged sword of infidelity and interns, engineering a coup in the state Senate to depose Democratic leadership there with a small collection of criminals, and a copycat coup in the Erie County Legislature to prop up the person who has quickly emerged as the most transactional, least interesting local politician – Tim Kennedy. 

Kennedy and Betty Jean Grant never really got along well, but the whole thing fell apart when Kennedy and Barbara Miller-Williams sold the Democratic legislature majority out to then-County Executive Chris Collins in a Pigeon-engineered coup in 2010. That positioned Kennedy to challenge incumbent Bill Stachowski and hop over to the appropriately useless State Senate. Grant mounted a grassroots, barebones challenge against Kennedy as payback two years later, and lost by only 139 votes

This year sets up a rematch of the Kennedy-Grant battle. During the last political cycle, the political action committee that Pedro Espada’s patronage hire, Steve Pigeon, set up last year with toxic personality Kristy Mazurek, found itself the subject of a bipartisan Erie County Board of Elections campaign finance violation probe. Subpoenas revealed undeclared expenses and sloppy accounting. It was called “Progressive Caucus of WNY” and its sole purpose was to sabotage the Erie County Democratic Committee and its candidates during the last cycle. I called it “AwfulPAC“. At one point in late October, it was late on its filings and $19,000 in the red. (It’s since updated its filings, which the Board of Elections has basically said are a masterpiece of fiction.) But losing most of its primaries wasn’t enough, AwfulPAC’s Republicans-in-Democratic-clothes went so far as to defame the Democratic candidate on the eve of the election

Pigeon supposedly funded AwfulPAC to the tune of $120,000 of money that came from God knows where. Senator Tim Kennedy gave an additional $80,000 – and he got revenge on Betty Jean Grant when AwfulPAC candidate Barbara Miller-Williams unseated Tim Hogues in the September primary. 

In the end, it cost about $267,000 (that are accounted-for) for Steve Pigeon and his known associates to kneecap the county Democratic committee and destroy Tim Hogues and Betty Jean Grant.  This is all they can do, since they have failed and refused to successfully challenge the committee chairmanship repeatedly over the last decade. They’re now gearing up not only to do battle against Grant, who is well-liked and not even close to lying down for these punks, but also to back a likely Mazurek effort to take the Assembly seat most recently kept warm by creepy toilet video director Dennis Gabryszak. AwfulPAC failed to account for $35,000 in TV spending, and spent another $112k directly on behalf of failed Sheriff candidate Dick Dobson, despite not properly being set up as an independent Dobson committee

Meanwhile, Kennedy flips and flops on abortion – he was pro-life when convenient, and is now pro-choice because that has suddenly become convenient – 

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo’s joke of an election law review – the Moreland Commission – has done absolutely nothing about any of this.  It hasn’t addressed election law shenanigans or improper reporting, raising, and spending of money, and has completely avoided the issue of toxic and corrupt minor “parties” and their use of electoral fusion to obtain unearned political clout and patronage. 

As Kennedy and Mazurek run, watch how the money flows in and out of their campaigns, (to the extent the disclosures resemble reality), and that’s how you’ll know what this is all really about. Hint: good government and constituent service aren’t on the list.


Wes Moore c/o Kristy Mazurek?

Michael Caputo’s PoliticsNY.net published some embarrassing 10 year-old information about Democratic LD-8 candidate Wynnie Fisher on Friday. Fisher apparently doesn’t get along with her neighbors, who figured they’d dime her out to her former Democratic primary opponent, Wes Moore. Typical small-town neighbor feud. Fisher’s neighbors sent a letter to Fisher’s Democratic primary opponent, Wes Moore. 

Now, if you wanted to send a letter to Wes Moore, what address would you use? 

Wes Moore’s campaign committee was based (inexplicably enough) in LD-6 – Clarence. 

8940 Main Street is a nondescript office building at Shimerville Road. Essex Homes and some other offices are located there. But when first constituted, Moore’s campaign treasurer listed a Buffalo address: 

Evidently, Nanula’s company is now located in Clarence. In any event, there is nothing to show that Moore’s campaign can be contacted anywhere but Clarence or Buffalo. A Google search doesn’t give up much information. Moore never had a campaign website – only a Facebook page, since closed. 

The WNY Progressive Caucus (which I have dubbed “AwfulPAC”) is now under investigation for campaign irregularities; possible illegalities. Among the myriad accusations that have been lodged is that members of the WNY Progressive Caucus PAC have been “coordinating” with campaign committees, which is against the law. Specifically, it is believed  that Kristy Mazurek of the suspended “2 Sides” WGRZ weekly political program, had simultaneously held positions of some authority within the Rick Zydel and Wes Moore campaigns. Due to some rift between Erie County Democratic chairman Jeremy Zellner, she was going to run legislative candidates to oppose the committee’s own. Only Barbara Miller-Williams was successful. Barely. 

Mazurek co-hosts 2 Sides with PoliticsNY.net publisher Caputo. She also ran media relations for the Shenk for Comptroller campaign, whose internal campaign materials mysteriously appeared on Caputo’s site some weeks ago – months after they ceased to be in any way relevant to anything. 

The primary that kicked Wes Moore out of the race for LD-8 took place the second Tuesday in September. Mazurek’s AwfulPAC was created on August 22nd. By September 7th, she claimed to the Buffalo News that any suggestion that she was coordinating with the Moore campaign was “laughable”

“That’s laughable,” said Mazurek, who denied any official role in any campaigns since the PAC was formed last month.

Mazurek said she volunteers at various campaigns but is involved in no coordination between them and the PAC.

“I can show up as a volunteer or for lit drops or fundraisers,” she said. “But I have been hands off because I know the rules and regulations.

“And I don’t understand these continuing, vicious attacks on Steve Pigeon,” she added. “I’ve never heard such a bunch of crybabies before.”

So, from Mazurek’s own mouth, she hadn’t been “hands-on” with the Moore campaign since August 22nd.  

But, if there had been no coordination – everything “hands-off” – between Mazurek‘s AwfulPAC and the Wes Moore campaign starting on August 22nd, why did the disgruntled neighbors send their “we hate Wynnie Fisher” materials to Mazurek’s house on October 19th

Compare that with this: 

Why is Wes Moore getting mail at non-coordinating “volunteer” Kristy Mazurek’s house? Why did the information then become fodder for a concerted Republican attack just 10 days later? Is Mazurek just a Republican stooge, now


AwfulPAC abandons Dobson

AwfulPAC made $112,000 in direct payments to vendors on behalf of the Dobson for Sheriff campaign. Under the law, it was entitled (a) only to make contributions to the Dobson campaign, not make payments on its behalf; and (b) spend only up to $14,392. AwfulPAC hasn’t filed its 10 day pre-General election disclosure, but its last report showed only a $100 check to its spokesman for taking the heat up in the Falls after AwfulPAC libeled Mark Hamister

If AwfulPAC was so intent on electing Dick Dobson Sheriff of Erie County, why hasn’t it spent $100,000+ on the general election? As it turns out, Dobson is an excellent candidate and would make a great Sheriff. He is articulate and thoughtful, and could use the help.

One can only conclude that AwfulPAC was never about electing Dick Dobson Sheriff – it was just about Dobson winning the Democratic primary in September. Now, AwfulPAC’s silence is effectively an endorsement for Tim Howard, since Dunn and Dobson are splitting the non-Howard vote. Not one ad, not one expenditure, not one contribution. 

Dobson’s own disclosure shows that Democrats came out in force for him after he won the primary, helping him raise over $10,000 in just one reporting period, $13,000 in another. Mazurek and Pigeon aren’t named. Pigeon’s Landen Associates contributed a whopping $200

In the first post-primary report, “Democratic Action” donated $9,000. That’s fine – that’s what a PAC is legally empowered to do. That’s great, except Democratic Action hasn’t filed a single disclosure this cycle, its last being a “no activity” report in July 2013. Its last reported fund balance? $2,400. If you’re going to BS people, at least do so credibly. 

In any event, $9,200 is a far cry from $112,000 in TV time. Why did Pigeon’s money and support flow in prior to October, but not since? 

 


AwfulPAC is Awful (UPDATED)

Remember the WNY Progressive Caucus? The Steve Pigeon/Kristy Mazurek production that was caught existing way before it intended

It’s $19,000 in the red, paid someone $100 on top of that, and is late filing its 11-day pre-General election disclosure

So, good government and whatnot. 

UPDATE: 

The Erie County Board of Elections voted unanimously today to refer a complaint lodged by attorney Mark Sacha against the WNY Progressive Caucus and Democratic Action to the County Attorney to seek a court order requiring the PACs to provide complete and accurate disclosure reports of all incoming and outgoing money. Furthermore, the BOE voted to launch an investigation into allegations that the PACs have been operating in violation of the law. 

Specifically, a PAC exists to raise money for candidates, and to donate money to those candidates’ campaigns. It does not exist to spend money on behalf of campaigns – that is what a committee does – authorized or not – and it is required to file a CF-3 sworn statement indicating the identity of the candidates the committee is backing. 

All this comes amidst evidence unearthed by Jerome Schad, an attorney for County Legislators Betty Jean Grant and Tim Hogues, showing that the WNY Progressive Caucus has actually spent $35,000 more on TV ads than it has disclosed to the Board of Elections. 

Campaign Finance Complaint & Evidence Against WNY Progressive Caucus


Campaign Disclosure: 10 Day Post Primary

If you were a candidate for election involved in a primary earlier this month, your campaign finance disclosure should include a 32 day pre-primary report, an 11 day pre-primary report, and a 10 day post-primary report. For instance, here is Lynn Dearmyer’s list of reports: 

Rick Zydel: 

But the victor of that three-way battle, Pat Burke, is late. As of this morning, his pre-primary reports have shown up. 

They weren’t there yesterday – the pre-primary report was 6 weeks late, and the 11 day was a month late. That’s either the negligence of a crap treasurer or something intentional. I asked him on Twitter:

The last question wasn’t answered. 

Looking at the newly appearing disclosures, in the 32-day, Burke reports $625 in unitemized proceeds from a mid-July fundraiser, which cost about $100 for pizza and beverages. Burke’s campaign bought him $113 pair of shoes for walking door to door, and $213 for “campaign attire” at JC Penney’s – those are new ones on me. He ended the period with $2660 on hand. 

Burke raised another $823 in unitemized contributions at an August fundraiser, and got $50 from Mark Schroeder’s campaign fund, and $250 from Savarino. Robert Sroda donated $1,000 in mid-August.  He pulled in about $3,000 in that period, and spent $3551 on direct mail with Zenger Group, which does tons of work for all sorts of candidates

But we don’t have the 10 day post-primary report, which will show everything that Burke spent in the days leading up to the election. There’s nothing controversial in Burke’s disclosures – no one’s going to make a stink about the suit and shoes, funny as it might be – but the lateness is troubling. 

Turning to this year’s breakaway nominal Democrat shit-stirring, the WNY Progressive PAC finished this year’s primary election cycle with -$18,000. Negative eighteen thousand. 

Steve Pigeon donated a little over $6,000 for stamps and Robocalls – (remember the pro-Fruscione, anti-Hamister mailers in the Falls had stamps on them?) Tim Kennedy ally and cancer peddlers AJ Wholesale gave another $10,000.  Tim Kennedy’s own Senate account ponied up another $40,000 – that makes a total of $125,000 from various open and closed Tim Kennedy campaign accounts.

On the expenditure side, $25,000 was paid to “Landon LLC”, which sounds a lot like Pigeon’s own Landen Associates.  Robocalls were done for $600 by “Van” in “Summerville [sic] MA”. Gia Marketing was paid, as was a Michael Darby, who was paid about $20,000 for a month’s worth of “consulting”. 

Pigeon himself “loaned” the committee another $70,000, leaving total liabilities of $90,000. Forget for a fact that these are the people who brought us the good government activism of Pedro Espada, here’s how they ended up the cycle: 

 

They have Dick Dobson and Barbara Miller-Williams to show for it. One could credibly fund at least 20 successful county legislative races for that kind of money. 

 

 


Cuomo to Pigeon: Stay out of My Way in Niagara Falls

Last weekend, Governor Cuomo attended the Bills game at the Ralph – the first home game under the new 10 year lease agreement. It was an open event, and lots of people came to see the governor, maybe get a picture, some grub, you know – hobnob. 

One of the hobnobbers who came up to Governor Cuomo was notorious political shit-stirrer Steve Pigeon. 

The Pigeon/Max/Mazurek “Mark Hamister is a con man” lit debacle in support of Sam Fruscione had just hit the news, and the copious volume of resultant stirred shit was actively hitting the fan by about September 6th – the Friday before that Bills game. It got so bad that Hamister had a press conference scheduled for that Friday to announce that the deal was dead, but an 11th-hour intervention by Governor Cuomo gave the hotel project a temporary reprieve. Whatever Cuomo said to the city council, Fruscione was claiming now to be in favor of the Hamister hotel – that he was just “asking questions”. 

Fruscione is one of a very special troika of city councilmembers in Niagara Falls who simply detest Mayor Paul Dyster. For example, in March of this year, they famously rejected a proposal that Niagara Falls join a binational, interstate consortium of Great Lakes cities with money donated by a Buffalo-based philanthropic foundation. Fruscione explained that the city is on a river, not on a Great Lake, ignoring the fact that the river connects two of them. 

So, on Sunday, Steve Pigeon – the man who set up and funded the PAC that sent out the “Hamister is a con man” mailer – went up to Governor Cuomo. I have heard from four sources who overheard the exchange that Pigeon approached Cuomo and apologized – I’m really sorry – to the governor for that mailer up in Niagara Falls. Cuomo shook Pigeon’s hand and shot daggers out of his eyes at Pigeon, and calmly but forcefully told him, “I just want that hotel built – stay out of my way.” 

A correspondent snapped the exact moment this happened. 

pigeon begs for forgiveness

 




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