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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v10n26 (06/30/2011) » Section: Week in Review

A Pro-Casino Presidency?

When he was a state senator in Illinois, Barack Obama was skeptical to the point of downright hostility toward casinos. His opposition was still in evidence in the earliest stages of his presidential candidacy.

Tell It To The Judge

I arrived 10 minutes late to Monday morning’s public hearing called by Erie County Executive Chris Collins on the redistricting and downsizing plan passed by Democrats on the Erie County Legislature. Five minutes later, it was over. Only three people offered testimony: two town officials and a representative of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters. All three opposed the Democratic plan; the League of Women Voters objected to the process as a whole. Collins asked if there was anyone present who wanted to speak in favor of the plan; hearing no volunteers, he said he’d make his decision whether to approve or to veto the plan “in a day or two.” He signed his veto the same day.

Meantime, At City Hall...

The Buffalo Common Council’s redistricting has proceeded more smoothly than the Eie County Legislature’s, though it, too, has produced some comic results: Ellicott District Councilman Darius Pridgen could hit a baseball from the yard of his waterfront home in the Ellicott District over an outcropping of the Fillmore District and have it fielded on the bike path that runs along a slender peninsula of Ellicott; if the fielder came up short, the ball might roll back into Fillmore. Likewise, a Fillmore District resident standing on the corner of Arlington and North, with the right wind, could toss a frisbee over the Ellicott District and into Niagara.

The Peace Process

Erie County Legislator Maria Whyte received the nomination of Erie County Clerk, and her fellow legislator, Tom Mazur, stood down. So the Pax Democratica takes a step forward. But Cheektowaga’s Frank Max still wants to be chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party, even if it means a floor fight against his friend John Crangle, whom the peacemakers have anointed. Party operatives across the county are looking for signs of betrayal and double-dealing in who is carrying (or not carrying) petitions for whom.

Scorecard: The Week's Winners and Losers

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