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Adamczyk Attacks

The politicos are restless.

Summer must be winding down: The politicians are beginning to maul one another with nonsensical accusations.

The first piece of spurious attack literature to be distributed in Allentown and the West Village—formerly part of the Ellicott District, now, as a result of reapportionment, part of the Fillmore District—comes from Larry Adamczyk. Adamczyk, a long-time Dennis Gorski apparatchik and former commissioner of the Erie County Board of Elections, was tossed off the ballot almost two weeks ago because he had not lived in the district long enough, then was reinstated late last week by a judge who ruled that the residency requirement did not obtain because it is a reapportionment year.

Wasting no time, Adamczyk’s campaign sent out a flyer in Allentown this weekend that offered these critiques of his opponent, Council President Dave Franczyk: He is responsible for the expansion of the Fillmore District to include Allentown and the West Village; he has been in office 25 years; the Fillmore District is ridden with crime, graffiti, and vacant houses; he is running on the Republican as well as the Democratic line; and he is fomenting a “plan to make Allentown look like the rest of his Fillmore District.”

Franczyk can answer for himself on his longevity and the economic and social forces that have been so cruel to the East Side district in which he lives. But we’ll parse some of Adamczyk’s claims:

• It was Ellicott District Councilman Darius Pridgen, not Franczyk, who argued for the bulk of Allentown to be added to the Fillmore District. Fillmore dropped in population and so needed to expand into neighborhoods with more bodies. South Buffalo was largely off-limits: Councilman Mickey Kearns did not want to give up any territory. So the only direction in which Fillmore could extend was westward toward downtown and Allentown. Pridgen, apparently uncomfortable with its politics and personalities, asked Franczyk to take Allentown from Ellicott.

But Adamczyk’s candidacy is sponsored by Mayor Byron Brown, Pridgen’s ally, so you can bet Adamczyk will not criticize Pridgen’s role in the redistricting. As if it’s big deal anyway. One can argue that the redistricting process should not be shackled to historical neighborhood identities and political considerations. But even if it were not, disparate neighborhoods would be linked together in councilmanic districts.

• I won’t defend politicians seeking cross-endorsements, but it’s absurd to try to link Franczyk to Erie County Executive Chris Collins because he’s courted and received the Republican line on the ballot. Will Adamczyk similarly criticize the four incumbent city court judges, all supported by his ally, Mayor Byron Brown, who are also running on the Republican line? Will he accuse those incumbents—Sue Eagan, Robert Russell, Dave Manz, and Joseph Fiorella—of keeping company with Collins? Of course not, because the medium in which political attacks are engendered is hypocrisy.

• As for Franczyk’s purported plan to make Allentown look like the rest of his Fillmore District? I follow the Common Council pretty closely, and I’m not aware of any plan. Are there drawings somewhere? Does Adamczyk have some schematics he’s unearthed whereby Allen Street will become the new Broadway?

Of course he hasn’t, because no one expects to turn Allentown into the East Side. You couldn’t if you tried. Adamczyk is trying to play Allentown residents for rubes.

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