Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact

Next story: Handling Conflicts of Interest, Canadian Style

Over The Timber, Under the Door

Meet the new boss: It seems likely that Republicans will retain control of the New York State Senate, regardless of the outcome of the 46th District race, where Democrat Cecelia Tkaczyk’s election night lead seemed to have been overcome by Republican George Amedore as ballots were counted and recounted, challenged and defended. (At press time, Amedore’s lead was 110 votes, down from 920 earlier this week; paper ballots in Ulster County, at least those which a judge rules valid, will tell the tale.) That’s because the four independent Democrats led by Senator Jeff Klein seem disposed to forming a coalition with Republicans, regardless whether Amedore or Tkaczyk prevails.

That’s good news for most of Western New York’s senators—Mark Grisanti, George Maziarz, Pat Gallivan, Mike Ranzenhofer—who are all Republicans. It’s especially good news for Grisanti, who has enjoyed privileges seldom bestowed on a freshman legislator because he turned a Democratic district Republican in 2010 and again this year, helping to win the Senate for Republicans; if he were reduced to simply another member of a Republican minority, his more conservative GOP colleagues might cease to treat him so kindly.

It’s not-so-great news for Tim Kennedy, the region’s sole Democratic senator. Critics and supporters alike note that Kennedy’s past political history suggest he’d be a natural to join the independent Democratic caucus; while serving on the Erie County Legislature, he defected from the Democratic caucus to help Republicans form a coalition majority friendly to former Erie County Executive Chris Collins. Unfortunately for Kennedy, Klein indicated last week that, while his group certainly has been receiving resumes from Democratic senators who would like to join, he’s not eager to expand its ranks.

Son of Illuzzi: Who bought, the website once operated by the late e-pamphleteer Joe Illuzzi? Someone has purchased the URL, the asking price for which was $3,000, according to AV blogger Alan Bedenko, who spoke with a Massachusetts-based URL resale company that marketed the property after Illuzzi died in September. The new owners posted a graphic (see above) showing a smiling Governor Andrew Cuomo looming over a local politics rogue’s gallery: Erie County GOP chairman Nick Langworthy; Congressman-elect Chris Collins and Congressman Brian Higgins; State Senators George Maziarz, Pat Gallivan, and Mark Grisanti; Erie County Democrats chairman Jeremy Zellner; Steve Pigeon; Erie County Comptroller-elect Stefan Mychajliw; developer Carl Paladino; and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

The only non-local pol, apart from Cuomo, is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. There are no women pictured; Brown is the only African American. In the forground is Mayor Quimby of The Simpsons.

A regular source for this column professes to know the identity of the new operators of the site, infamous within the very small circle of Illuzzi’s self- and/or politics-obsessed readership, but said he was sworn to secrecy. On the site and on Twitter, the new owners says the page will be relaunched soon.

We’ve been served: As we navigated our print deadline this Wednesday, we were served with a subpoena issued by attorney for NRP Holdings, LLC, the Cleveland-based development firm that is suing the City of Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown, Deputy Mayor Steve Casey, and Masten District Councilman Demone Smith, accusing the defendants of spiking an East Side housing project when NRP failed to deliver a consulting contracxt to Reverend Richard A. Stenhouse, an ally of the mayor. According to NRP’s attorneys, Artvoice is one of five media outlets to receive a subpoena. In total, NRP’s attorneys delivered 17 subpoenas this week, including notices to Brown, Casey, Smith, and Stenhouse, as well as to representatives of the federal department of Housing and Urban Development and the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal, each of which played a part in the aborted project.

As originally conceived, the project would have comprised 50 new housing units in the Masten Park and Cold Springs neighborhood, built on city-owned lots. They units would be rent-to-own.

From the news media, NRP’s lawyers are seeking audio and video records of the defendants’ public statements about the dispute, particularly those in which Brown says that he stalled and ultimately canceled the project because he did not like the fact that the city-owned sites designated for the development were scattered throught the East Side, rather than concentrated in one neighborhood.

As NRP’s lawyers noted then, and continue to note, the city, not NRP, chose the sites that would be developed.

blog comments powered by Disqus