Clean up of Hoyt Lake endangered by politics


This year’s primaries will take place Tuesday, September 13, 2016.  In the Race for State Senate there are 5 possible choices for the residents of the Town of Tonawanda, Kenmore, the City of Tonawanda and Grand Island in the north, and Hamburg, Orchard Park, Evans and Brant in the south.  In the Republican Primary there are 2 terrific choices, Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs, who established the Bison Children’s Scholarship Fund, and former Town of Tonawanda Prosecutor Kevin Stocker who won the 2014 Republican Primary by overwhelming numbers against an incumbent. The winner will then face-off against James DePasquale on the Green line in November, along with the winner of the Democratic Primary, where it is presently voter beware.

In the Democratic Primary, former State Senator Al Coppola is known for his opposition to dumping carcinogenic laced water into the Niagara River just south of Grand Island.  Coppola also helped stop Tonawanda Coke from releasing carcinogenic fumes into the air supply. Along with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Coppola opposed the crematorium on Sheridan Drive because the ashes were landing on neighborhood cars and rooftops. It’s hard to imagine having to dust off your windshield before leaving for work like the folks in Tonawanda did.

Coppola’s opponent is Amber Small who heads a non-profit 501c3 in the Parkside Avenue area of Buffalo (near the Buffalo Zoo). Small is being investigated for violations of the Federal Hatch Act. I’m not a lawyer, however the law is very simple. An employee of a non-profit organization must not engage in political activity or face a fine of 2 years salary and the non-profit may not be able to ask for a grant for the following 2 years. Small’s political campaign treasurer is Margaret Shea. The 501c3 non-profit’s treasurer also happens to be Margaret Shea. Democrat Small is attempting to stop environmentalist James DePasquale from running on the Green line in the 60th State Senate District. The person who made a claim against DePasquale, is Amanda Huber, a resident of the 59th District, not the 60th. And to no one’s surprise, Amanda Huber also works for Amber Small. Amanda Huber was paid $750.00 by Small on August 15, 2016.

Small hired attorney Frank Housh, the defender of the Toys R Us killer, to stop DePasquale’s plans of cleaning Hoyt Lake. Small paid Housh $1,000.00 on August 9, 2016.  Many now suspect the attack on DePasquale may have more to do with the City than the State.

Amber Small previously worked directly for City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. Just before announcing her candidacy she met with Maurice Garner, a leader in the East Side’s Grass Roots organization. According to NYS’s LEC (legislative ethics committee) reports, Small has received donations and assistance from some of Byron Brown’s and Steve Pigeon’s closest associates.

Western New York hasn’t witnessed anything similar to this since the days of former Senator Antoine Thompson and Thompson was far more independent than Small.  According to the Buffalo News, Small was to have a fundraiser in New York City last Thursday, September 8th. This outraged the “Buffalo for Bernie Sanders” people. They hate it when a politician sells their vote anywhere in the United States. The “Buffalo for Bernie Sanders” leadership petitioned for Al Coppola and continues to campaign for him.

Next Week: The NYS Supreme Court Hearings – The Fourth Bite of the Apple…

John Duke served as Consumer Affairs Liaison (2007-2009) and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs (2011 – 2012) for the New York State Senate 60th District.

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Frank Parlato


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  • For gosh sakes, John, please stop trying to sell publicly available information as click bait “smoking gun” politics. It’s obvious “environmentalist” DePasquale is nothing more than a GOP stooge. Speaking as a decade long Green Party member, he SHOULDN’T be allowed to sign up and run on my party’s line simply bc it’s politically convenient for some Republicans that he do so. Come on. Get your head out of your tush.

  • Chuck: Can you help me file a complaint with the FEC over the Buffalo for Bernie Sanders failure to report $750 in contributions? I know you believe in obeying the law. Do you think your hero Mark Sacha will join in?
    I. Filing a Complaint
    Any person may file a complaint if he or she believes a violation of the Federal Election Campaign Laws or Commission regulations has occurred or is about to occur. The complaint must be made in writing and sent to the Office of General Counsel, Federal Election Commission, 999 E Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20463. The original must be submitted along with three copies, if possible. Facsimile or e-mail transmissions are not acceptable. A complaint must comply with certain requirements. It must:
    • Provide the full name and address of the person filing the complaint (called the complainant); and
    • Be signed, sworn to and notarized. This means that the notary public’s certificate must say “…signed and sworn to before me…,” or words that connote the complaint was affirmed by the complainant, (such as “under penalty of perjury”).
    Furthermore, in order for a complaint to be considered complete and proper, it should:
    • Clearly recite the facts that show specific violations under the Commission’s jurisdiction (citations to the law and regulations are not necessary);
    • Clearly identify each person, committee or group that is alleged to have committed a violation (called the respondent);
    • Include any documentation supporting the allegations, if available; and
    • Differentiate between statements based on the complainant’s (the person who files the complaint) personal knowledge and those based on information and belief. Statements not based on personal knowledge should identify the source of the information.

  • Your Link:

    Visit my web site!
    Phone: (540) 776 – 3343
    Fax: (540) 774 – 8917

    Glad to see you admit you are all frauds. I’ve got to contact Senator Bernie Sanders in the morning and let him know you are making a fool of him.

  • You are no longer legally connected to Senator Sanders and you should cease and desist fraudulently implying that you are.

  • That is how we are referred to in the article Pete. We are only Buffalo for Bernie Sanders as long as Facebook thwarts our name change requests.

  • RyanAdams: No one cares what your anonymous cowardly ass thinks, because you don’t exist unless you a Republican who lives in Amherst. Now tell us who you really are, Bobby Graber maybe?

  • The thing that rubs me the wrong way about this is that the arguments are so weak.

    “Did you know she talked to someone once? (Psst. They’re part of her mob!)” “This person was paid by her once for something. (Paid… TO DO HER EVIL BIDDING? I’m not going to actually say that, but, IT’S POSSIBLE.)” “Her lawyer once did lawyerly things for other people than her, and not all of those people were upright citizens. Can you imagine? A lawyer having other clients?” My favorite part was “And to no one’s surprise…” What does surprise have to do with anything?

  • Monica: Are you a real person? Why don’t you have a picture or logo? If you are a real person, welcome to the discussion. It is so refreshing to see Democratic Party spokespeople who can actually operate in daylight without bursting into flames.

  • Who is we? Can you document that you are authorized to act in the name of Senator Sanders? Have you filed required paperwork with the New York State Board of Elections?

  • One individual petitioned for Coppola who is associated with Buffalo for Bernie. We have not taken a stand in this race and haven’t actively campaigned yet for any candidate. Duke came to his own conclusion…

  • These accusations on Amber Small are unequivocally false. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this attack ad is libelous and disparaging to not only Amber but to the PCA and the wonderful work they do for our community. For the last 4 1/2 years I have been the president of the board of directors of the PCA and can absolutely say that there have never been any resources used by the PCA for political purposes. The PCA is one of the oldest and most vibrant community associations in Western New York and stands on a proud 53 year history of serving the residents of Parkside. The creators of the ad and who wrote this article should be ashamed of themselves and should be held accountable for this disparagement. Shame on you for trying to drag our community and our neighbors through the mud with your dirty politics. This is exactly what is wrong with Albany and why we need people like Amber Small.

  • I think Hatch Act violations and the IRS prohibition on political activity by 501(c)(3) corporations are two different things. Hatch Act violations would depend on what part of Ms. Small’s salary is being paid by the federal government. The IRS will not allow any substantial amount of political activity to be undertaken by what is supposed to be a charitable, educational or scientific entity.

    Given the political necessities of running a community association, it is surprising that Amber has not taken a leave of absence from her day job to run for the Senate. She is a perennial candidate, having run for the County Legislature in 2014 and seeking to be nominated for Delaware District Councilman last year. In 2014, she stated she would be a part time legislator. That would have shorted both the citizens and the PCA.