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Grisanti Protested at Campaign Events, Local Media Ignores It

Two weeks ago, on June 27, State Senator Mark Grisanti brought two heavy-hitting colleagues to town: Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein, head of the Independent Democratic Caucus, which shares power with Skelos’s Republicans. Klein and Skelos joined Grisanti at the Buffalo Naval and Military Park to talk about new legislation intended to benefit military veterans. In other words, it was a campaign event, an occasion for Grisanti to show that Albany’s power brokers are in his corner. He needs them, because he’s a Republican in a heavily Democratic district, and Democrats are already lining up to take another shot at him in 2014. (Marc Panepinto, we’re looking at you.) And, as happened last year, he is likely to have a Republican primary opponent, too, as he was formerly a Democrat and continues to vote like one most of the time.

Grisanti, Skelos, and Klein were greeted at the Naval Park by anti-gun control demonstrators angry with Grisanti for voting in favor of the NY SAFE Act, the legislation Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed through the state legislature after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Not surprising, really: Campaign events are prime opportunities for activists to air their grievances.

So are political fundraisers. After having their program hijacked by gun-rights folks at the Naval Park, Grisanti, Klein, and and Skelos headed to the Buffalo Chop House for a $250-a-head fundraiser for Grisanti’s campaign war chest. In the restaurant’s parking lot, they were met by campaign finance reform advocates, who are angry at Grisanti for voting (and spending taxpayer money to send out mailers) against public financing of campaigns.

Here’s the remarkable thing about both protests: Only YNN reported that they even happened. (Apologies: This reporter has been out of town for two weeks.) Unless you read about it on the blog written by YNN’s Elizabeth Benjamin, or were present, you’d have never known they occurred.

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