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Issue #61

Features:

Voting Guide of FEAR

Top 10 Reasons to be TERRIFIED This Halloween - Al Uthman

Onward Christian Assholes: Some Folks Just Can't Wait for the Apocalypse - Matt Taibbi

A Talk With Sam Hoyt - Eric Gauchat

Give 'em Enough Pink Ribbon to Hang Themselves: Breast Cancer? Chemical Firm Supplies Cause & Cure - Kit Smith


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Over 60 Million Killed in Huge Fucking Flu Epidemic - Josh Righter



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




Entertainment:

Movies:

Kino Korner

Music:

Album Reviews: Interpol, Mos Def

Beastivities

Sports:

Wide Right: Going Double-Negative - Ronnie Roscoe



Comix:

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob The Angry Flower - Stephen Notley






















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Issue #60

Features:

Mayoral Survivor Contest: The BEAST Wants You to Run for Mayor!

Truth is Overrated: Why Does My TV Think Bush Won the Debate? - Al Uthman

Political Snickering: M&M/Mars' Campaign of Terror - Matt Taibbi

Big Brother Knows Best: Blockbuster Rents Bogus Fahrenheit 9/11 DVDs - Paco Alameda

Scary Little Man: Bush's Belligerence -William Rivers Pitt

Kneeling Before George: President Bush is a Serious Stud - Merry Dunce, the Beast's "Fresh Voice"

American Indian Museum Opens in DC, Promptly Stolen by American History Museum -Jake Novak

Reading the Blitz: Election Hacks Score Touchdown in Overtime Frenzy - Matt Taibbi

Freedumb: Zell Miller Echoes Militaristic Fallacy - Mark Golden




Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Notes from the Big House

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten

Brush with Greatness: I met Gretzky - Seamus Gallivan

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




Entertainment:

Movies:

Kino Korner

Music:

Album Reviews: Tom Waits, De La Soul

Events:

Misfits Roadie's Haunted House -Ken Barnes

Sports:

High Quality Losers: Numbers Game Pays little for Bills -Ronnie Roscoe



Comix:

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob The Angry Flower - Stephen Notley




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2004 The Beast

Sam Hoyt caught my attention during the Democratic primary for the 144th NY Assembly District. During that race, Hoyt, a 12-year incumbent in the post, faced Joe Golombek, a Buffalo City Councilman. The race was very close, with Golombek launching an intense campaign backed by a number of people, including County Executive Joel Giambra. Hoyt managed to take the nomination, almost assuredly locking a victory in the Democrat-heavy 144th.

Sam's the son of Bill Hoyt, a career assemblyman, and is descended from a line that goes back very far in Buffalo. Hoyt Lake and Street are notable examples of his family's influence. Hoyt was previously employed on Senator Dennis Moynihan's staff.

After reading about the heated race and the interesting backers behind Golombek, I thought, "Hey, maybe these crooks want to make sure Hoyt can't screw up the scams they run in Buffalo. Could Hoyt possibly stand a chance to screw these crooks and help straighten out the region?" Impossible, right? To think that a public official might help improve our city. Well, for our last issue before the big election, I sat down with Sam, and decided to ask him exactly why he was singled out by Giambra, and if he might be worth a reelection, even perhaps a mayoral run next year.

Sam's offices, located on Delaware near Chippewa, were inauspicious enough, with a lone secretary operating the headquarters on a dismal Wednesday morning. There certainly wasn't the kind of activity you'd expect only a few weeks prior to election. After 12 years, Sam seemed pretty comfortable with his chances.

The 144th district is pretty much the entire city west of Main, including Riverside, Blackrock, parts of downtown, and the West Side including Delaware and Elmwood. Oh, and "Huge" Island, too. This district represents a wide and varied region, especially in two areas: money and race. Sam says he loves it, that it's the most diverse district in the state. He also says that he tries to represent the underrepresented people that need him most, focusing on the Latino population in Buffalo. Could be he genuinely likes fighting for the little guy, or his white ass has to do a lot of fishing for the minority vote in the area. Either way, if a politician gets votes because he represents his constituency or vice versa, the result is the same.

The answer wasn't quite clear to me during the interview, but he has stood out on minority issues in the past, including gay marriage. Plus he likes to talk to Hispanic college students. He has been endorsed by several gay and lesbian sources this year, which might point to something.

As to why Hoyt would have you vote for him, he presents his record, which he says should speak for itself. Again, it's not that clear cut. The issue concerning New York's delinquent budget has been tossed about in several campaigns against incumbent candidates; they haven't gotten the damn thing finished on time in 20 years. Most people who miss legal deadlines have something nasty happen to them. On the topic of budget, Sam says, "I would rather pass a budget that is better for my constituents than a budget that is passed on time."

I would also like to revise this article a thousand times or more, but a deadline is a deadline in the real world. On the other hand, everyone swears the same rhetoric of change-that they will turn it around-and we've got to choose someone, right?

The Brennan Center at New York University School of Law did a study this year claiming New York's state government to be the most tightly controlled and dysfunctional in the nation. This includes disclosure policies, which is how we read the records, and is a poorly lacking aspect of our state's bureaucracy. Hoyt claims that he and 22 members of the Assembly majority are sponsoring a bill to enact the reforms recommended by the Center.

So, the burning question on my mind since before I even scheduled this interview is, of course, about the primary election. He expressed his understanding that the people of New York are indeed very pissed off at Albany. And rightly so, by Hoyt's own admission. "My opponents in that race, who include Byron Brown, Joel Giambra, Steve Pigeon, and Joe Golombek…decided to use the anger with Albany at me."

Obviously, they didn't succeed. Even the Republicans, including Joel Giambra, won't back their party-mate David Penna, because they know he can't win. Hoyt was obviously pretty ticked at these guys. It all comes down to business in the end, though.

Hoyt is a representative, and so the conversation shifted from politics and onto the blight we call a city. Not that I don't love the place-I mean, you really have to love the place in order to live here. Hoyt played the optimist, though. As for economic decline in general, Hoyt seems to think that repairing our schools is a genuine fix for our financial troubles. His plan for the city involves rebuilding our public schools system, so as to lure some suburban runaways back into our glorious and bereft-of-property value town, despite taxes on the rise. An idealistic plan, but a plan nonetheless, and one that couldn't really do us any harm, like mortgaging ECMC and firing all our cops. But the school system needs more than a cavity filled-it needs something more than just some more money. Even so, our Control Board and city officials have locked our schools into a 4-year period of creeping death with their recent budgets.

Speaking of the Control Board, I asked Sam about that, too. He was there when they made that thing, so why the hell did they put the criminal leaders on the panel, and task them to save the ship they're currently sinking? Apparently, Hoyt insisted they be involved, because the Control Board only has fiscal enforcements. They're not making the budget, only mandating that certain goals be met. Even if they weren't on the board, nothing would be different. The same budget would be sent to the Board, the same faceless businessmen would decide the fate of our youth and our citizens' safety, and off they go again for another round on the carousel.

The casinos? Hoyt is adamantly opposed. Sharp and to the point, his simple answer was, "Nothing good comes from casino gambling, and it's a quick fix to a larger problem." It was a point not worth beleaguering.

Smoking ban? Same thing. Steadfast, Hoyt denied that any business could be run out of business because of the smoking ban. Jimmy Mac's owner Rick Naylon is closing down for just such a reason, and Hoyt attributes this to his inability to adapt. Hoyt claims that NY is following in a growing trend and that there are entire nations, such as Ireland, that do not allow smoking inside any place of work or public place.

Hoyt brought up Buffalo's "public image" repeatedly, saying that if Buffalo were able to change it's image, we would find ourselves enticing the Bill Gates' of tomorrow to come to our "cool, hip city." The Peace Bridge project could be used to this end as well, promoting Buffalo as a world-class city with a nice big signature bridge. I'm still skeptical as to how much a bridge would influence travelers the world over. To this end, I asked him about the waterfront, the Inner Harbor, a large piece of land that the NFTA holds all the rights to, and is currently sitting dormant and useless. Cities like Pittsburgh and Baltimore have shown that waterfront renewal initiatives have promoted nightlife, business, economic growth, a general increase in culture and, guess what, image.

Sam pawned off the waterfront on Brian Higgins, his party mate, running for US Congress against Nancy Naples. Sam says that Higgins has plans for it and we should expect to see Buffalo "well on its way to beginning to develop its waterfront in 5 years."

Bullshit. 5 years? And I doubt Higgins has a plan for the waterfront that he'll execute from Washington. A low point in the interview, the only party stump, and I suppose mandatory, but still a copout of an answer.

Sam said he was into drug law reform, medical marijuana policies, and tearing down the Rockefeller laws. Maybe "tearing down" is a bit spirited, but he does seem to have activist tendencies. He mentioned that leading the effort to save Children's hospital and protecting Allegheny State Park from logging were his proudest accomplishments as an activist. Sounds like a Green Party member in the closet.

On the subject of becoming Mayor, Sam was prepared. He said he was flattered so may people have tossed his name around, but he's not announcing anything yet. Still, he had a few ideas as to what it would take to be a good mayor, including tough decision-making, the will and strength to fire people, and the wisdom to surround oneself with intelligent counsel.

He also vowed that were he Mayor, the cronyism and patronage would stop. I've got it on tape. Big words, coming from someone who's obviously used to the game and how it's played. It makes him the only candidate to vote for, if it's not all bullshit. And even after an hour of straight dope with Mr. Hoyt, I can't really tell. But that alone puts him head and shoulders above Masiello.

He seems to present a light, however dimmed by years of politics, but one that might be worth a chance. I haven't the will to endorse someone who's been in Albany for over a decade; there's something unconscionable about it. But in this turbulent election season, this candidate stood out to me, albeit for the slings and arrows of his opponents.

Sam Hoyt says to have faith in government; that something may yet change. Well, I don't believe in faith. But maybe Mayor Hoyt could bring us a glimmer of hope.



 

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MAYORAL SURVIVOR: A BEAST CONTEST

ATTENTION BEAST READERS! The BEAST needs you to be the next Mayor of our dear city. That's right! We want you, a lowly loyal BEAST reader, to be the next Mayor of the city of Buffalo. WE ARE TOTALLY SERIOUS! We are launching a search for 16 contestants willing to run for the position of Mayor in 2005...


The BEAST's Voting Guide of FEAR

We're looking forward to this election like we'd look forward to a hemorrhoidectomy. That's because George Bush is probably going to win. He's either going to win outright and Kerry will humbly concede, or he's going to rig or steal it in a squeaker, resulting in Kerry and the Democrats putting up a meek fight before humbly conceding. The electorate, at least those that were so passionate about anybody-but-Bush, will cry, whine a lot, accept it, lick their wounds and crawl back into their cubicles of prefabricated contentment, preferring to get an early start on their Christmas shopping.


Top 10 Reasons to be TERRIFIED This Halloween

Al Uthman

1. The Supreme Court. Not only could this body again determine the outcome of this election by a widely scorned 5-4 vote based on indefensible logic, but if Bush stays in power he'll get the chance to ensure a religious right majority for decades-say goodbye to Roe v Wade. Chief Justice Rehnquist is about to go down, and if Kerry wins, that means a chance to tip the scales in favor of reason.


Onward Christian Assholes Matt Taibbi

Nothing brings out the inner Mazes and Monsters fanatic in the fundamentalist Christian like a war. Times of peace and prosperity are, for the deep believer, relative fallow periods, where all the drama of existence is confined to shouting matches at P.T.A. meetings and pseudonymous requests for sexual advice in whispered late-night phone calls to Dr. Laura.


A Word From Our Sponsors

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Buffalo in Briefs

Fiscal Diarrhea - Frankly, we're speechless. What haven't we already said about Erie County's fiscal meltdown under Don Joel Giambra? The Tobacco Settlement money's long gone (except for the debt we owe on the loans against the payoff), ECMC's been sold and mortgaged for over a $100 million, and the county still faces a $130 million deficit. Didn't this guy just get re-elected? What the hell are you people thinking?


A Talk With Sam Hoyt

Eric Gauchat

Sam Hoyt caught my attention during the Democratic primary for the 144th NY Assembly District. During that race, Hoyt, a 12-year incumbent in the post, faced Joe Golombek, a Buffalo City Councilman. The race was very close, with Golombek launching an intense campaign backed by a number of people, including County Executive Joel Giambra. Hoyt managed to take the nomination, almost assuredly locking a victory in the Democrat-heavy 144th.


Give 'em Enough Pink Ribbon to Hang Themselves

Kit Smith

Breast Cancer Awareness Month was launched in 1985 by Zeneca Pharmaceuticals. Zeneca is the company that manufactures the widely prescribed breast cancer drug Nolvadex (generic name tamoxifen), and operates a chain of cancer care centers. No conflict of interest there! All TV, radio, and print media regarding Breast Cancer Awareness Month are paid for and must be approved by Zeneca. But wait; there's more.


Scary Election Funpage!

Fun Games and Facts About the Upcoming Election.

 

 






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