Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend

Oct 5 - Oct 19, 2005
Issue #85

  ..Buffalo's Best Fiend
Bursting the Bennett Bubble
Count me out on this one
Allan Uthman

Post-Katrina, Pre-kaboom?
The Nukes are Loose
Russ Wellen

Tenet & the Bare Necessities
Touch the CIA Director
A Monkey
Fristing America
In Search of the Senator's Rolex
Ian Murphy
Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Gasoline
Kit Smith
Bush Declares War on Hurricanes
"It's time to fight back"
Luke Allein
Ask a Janjaweed Militiaman
Genocidal social advice
How to Wipe Your Ass With Buffalo Current
New paper finds its niche

Visitor's Gude to  Buffalo--Cheektowaga
Tom Maccio

Buffalo in Briefs
Wide Right
Bills Football
Ronnie Roscoe
Kino Korner: Movies
Michael Gildea
Page 3
Separated at Birth?
[sic] - Letters
 Cover Page

Idiot Box
Perry Bible Fellowship
Bob the Angry Flower

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Last Issue: (84)

Vote or… Don't

Wondering 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.

Byron 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.

So 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.

Judy 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 this year.

What 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.

The 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.”

While 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.

So 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 math.

Whoever you do vote for—if you vote—vote for them because you think they should win, not because you think they will.

More Briefs:
2. Folding on the River
3. Permanent Hooky, Beer Blast Busted

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