who to vote for in the mayoral race? Who are we kidding—the
only thing you’re probably wondering about the mayoral race
is if it’s over yet and you can go back to complaining about
whoever wins. But just in case, here’s our take.
Brown is a successful politician—he collects endorsements
like old ladies collect coupons. But most endorsements in
WNY are really just bets, and all they mean is that Brown
is favored to win. He’s likely to win because he has raised
a lot of money, and because he has a special talent for
speaking without saying anything, a prerequisite for making
it big in politics. But it’s unlikely that much will change
under a Brown administration, except for the names of some
of the players involved. Even those who back Brown acknowledge
that he is a connected man, a favor-trader, basically all
of the things that have brought Buffalo to its knees.
Brown is a pretty lame option. But Kevin Helfer is a Republican.
His pro-charter school educational plan is sure to please
Bob Wilmers, so he is probably a lock for the Buffalo News’
endorsement. There’s no question that Helfer is banking
on the “reformer” image, tagging Brown as “more of the same.”
But Republican “reform” translates into “much, much worse.”
Helfer is the preferred choice of rich people looking to
cut services further and avoid taxes, angry voters looking
to “punish” the Democratic hierarchy, and inveterate racists.
Unfortunately, he has a real shot at winning.
Einach is clearly the best choice among the 3rd
party candidates, whom the Buffalo News find largely unmentionable.
There’s a catch-22 in effect for third party candidates:
the press won’t cover them because they can’t win, but they
can’t win because the press won’t cover them. What if we
heard as much about Einach’s biography and platform as we
did the major party candidates? Our guess is she could
win, in a city desperate for someone—anyone—with a shred
of integrity. It’s sad, with all the talk of needing new
ideas and real leadership, that the very people offering
such things are considered automatically irrelevant by Buffalo’s
mainstream news sources. Of course, the Green Party could
perhaps have done more to capitalize on voter discontent
does it take to get covered by the News and the local TV
networks? Just ask Charlie Flynn, who managed to wrest away
the Independence Party nomination from the Orsini/Illuzzi
cabal, who were backing Brown. Flynn released a statement
last week in which he fessed up to being “involved in a
brawl in a restaurant on Seneca which resulted in an assault
conviction” in 1982, and in making “a prank phone call to
the electric company in an attempt to have a rival realtor's
power cut off after a commission dispute” in 1993.
statement adds that “Mr. Flynn's past history as a Hooligan
[sic] and prankster should be known to all voters and those
considering to support him.”
calling himself a hooligan might not seem the wisest move
for a mayoral hopeful, it got Flynn coverage in the Buffalo
News and on TV. Many scratched their heads and wondered
what Flynn was thinking volunteering such information, but
Flynn’s motivation was simple: the News had been calling
for days asking about his criminal past. That’s the
kind of third party story the News likes.
what hope is there for Einach and Flynn? Televised debates,
perhaps? There’s going to at least one, on October 20th.
Brown thinks all candidates on the ballot—including Flynn
and Einach—should debate, but Helfer wants to limit the
debate to the two “major” candidates. Perhaps having too
many honkies on the stage throws off Helfer’s electoral
you do vote for—if you vote—vote for them because you think
they should win, not because you think they will.
2. Folding on the River
3. Permanent Hooky, Beer Blast Busted