Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend

June 15-29, 2005

Issue #77

  .........................Buffalo's Best Fiend

Free to Agree
Sensenbrenner's Sensibilities

by Allan Uthman

Gettin' Rucky in Pyongyang
Kim Jong Il gets his fleak on
by Matt Taibbi
Dean Was Right
Hey Howard, Keep Up the Good Jerk
by William Pitt

Throat Job
Newsweek Still Gagging on Unnamed Sources

by Matt Taibbi


8-Step Summer Makeover
by Dan Devine


Goth Kid's Summer Survival Guide
It's not fun for everyone

Hallmarks of Summer
What makes Buffalo summers so darn special?


The Sports Blotter
The Week in Sports Crime

Sports Desk
Sporting News

Lake Erie Surfin'
People Really Do This

Cover Page
Buffalo in Briefs
Page 3
Blind Date Scenario
Kino Korner - Movies
[sic] - Your Letters
The BEAST Blog


ISSUE#77PDF FILE (right-click & "save target")


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Landscaper Has Own Hedge-Trimmers for City Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies

Although 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 Tony Masiello.

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.

But 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.

Still, 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.

But first he has to get elected, and he’s a Republican, and in Buffalo that hasn’t happened in more than 40 years.

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