Has Own Hedge-Trimmers for City Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies
largely a ceremonial job these days, some political hacks
are still willing to battle it out to become the next Mayor
of Buffalo. Which is ironic, because before the control board,
when being mayor meant something, no one would run against
After Masiello decided not to run again in 2005, it looked
like Democratic State Senator Byron Brown had the election
in the bag. Then along came Republican Kevin Helfer. Inspired
by a popular movie about a retarded man from the South, “Run,
Helfer, Run” signs began popping up all over the city,
as if he were being drafted, no, dragged, into the election.
The sense of excitement was so great that, according to one
source, Helfer himself began placing the signs on lawns and
vacant lots around Buffalo.
can a clever slogan carry a campaign? And can Helfer beat
an opponent running on an “I'm a nice guy like Masiello”
platform? Perhaps. Brown has received a slew of union endorsements,
alienating the powers that be such as M&T boss and Control
Board Czar Bob Wilmers.
Enter Helfer: a former landscaper, Buffalo Common Council
member, Giambra patronage appointee, and Buffalo Parking Ramp
Reichsfuhrer. As a landscaper he was hardworking. As a council
member he would return calls from constituents. Moroever,
any political hack still willing to smoke and drink in public
in the grand old working class Buffalonian tradition has to
get some props from The Beast.
in his last gig running downtown parking ramps, Helfer continued
the dumb experiment of charging for parking downtown, while
it remains free in the 'burbs. And yet the worst thing about
Helfer is his campaign promise to represent the business community.
Translation: He will kiss Wilmers' ass at every opportunity.
He's also promised to lead interference for new Buffalo School
Superintendent James Williams in his efforts to further the
charter school revolution.
first he has to get elected, and he’s a Republican,
and in Buffalo that hasn’t happened in more than 40
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