Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: The Single-Payer Answer to Our Broken Healthcare System
Next story: If You Build It, Will They Come?

Kennedy vs. Grant: What's Good For the Goose...

On Sunday, Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant formally announced that she would again mount a primary challenge to State Senator Tim Kennedy, whom she nearly unseated in 2012.

As we predicted in this column last week, Kennedy’s response to the announcement was to turn Grant’s support from Senator Jeff Klein and his Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC, against her. The four-member IDC maintains a power-sharing arrangement with Senate Republicans, an arrangement that prevents Democrats from controlling the chamber.

Kennedy told the Buffalo News: “Betty Jean Grant has committed to taking the endorsement of the Republican coalition that’s leading the Senate. That flies in the face of the Democratic values that she claims to want to uphold.”

What Kennedy failed to say, and what the News failed to report, is that Kennedy has also flirted with the IDC and enjoyed its largesse. On August 21, 2012, Kennedy’s campaign received $6,500 from Klein and $6,500 from the IDC Initiative, the conference’s campaign committee.

The IDC did not make its power-sharing arrangement with Republicans until December 2012, but an alliance was in the works already when Kennedy took the donations. That summer, Cheektowaga Democrat Jim Rogowski was considering a primary challenge to Kennedy—a circumstance that, with Grant pulling strong support from the district’s African-American voters, would likely have doomed both white candidates. Rogowski met with Klein about the race. Kennedy met with Klein, too, and in the end walked away with his money and his support; Rogowski stayed out of the race.

So, when Kennedy runs down Grant for accepting the endorsement of Klein and the IDC—as he will do frequently as this contest heats up—remember that he has $13,000 in his campaign account that says he’d take that endorsement, too. And remember that he’d have accepted membership in the IDC, if they’d taken him.

For the record, Kennedy also accepted $9,500 from Klein in 2010, but that was before Klein and company broke away from the Democratic caucus and formed the IDC.

blog comments powered by Disqus