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Insiders Corner



Insiders Corner

Sam Hoyt Survives Despite Powerful Detractors
By The Insider
Apr 21, 2009, 10:48
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We at Insider Corner have eyes and ears in various offices and branches of local government and as such come across an eclectic collection of information on the political scene. As we filter through our stream of information the one elected official who stands out as being the most unique and controversial may be the honorable Sam Hoyt.

Sam Hoyt has withstood one of the most embarrassing public outings in the history of Buffalo politics and has systematically alienated both sides of the aisle with his platforms and yet still remains as an entrenched local Assemblyman.

Few politicians could or would have endured the public bashing Hoyt received last year for his sexual liaisons. Yet, somehow Hoytís loyal following over looked his lustful ways and re-elected him by a comfortable margin. Perhaps it is because the torrent of anti Hoyt ads created by Tom Golisanoís Responsible New York actually made Sam a sympathetic figure in his district. Or perhaps it is because the voters are much more concerned about someone who cheats on their taxes than their wife?

Right now, Sam Hoyt has very powerful enemies, including Mayor Byron Brown, Tom Golisano and Steve Pigeon. Truth be told, Sam doesnít have many friends in the local state senate delegation either after voting no on the budget a few weeks ago. Yes, Hoyt was joined by his fellow WNY Assembly democrats in voting no, but they havenít rubbed it in Antoine Thompsonís or Bill Stachowskiís face like Hoyt has.

Hoyt also has become the focal point of another political blogging web site which is very well funded by Steve Pigeon and willing to write anything and everything about Samís past. The level of the attacks on Hoyt from that site go well beyond anything printed or reported anywhere else and do get traction across the state.

So, with so many against Sam how does he survive? Len Lenihan believes it is because Sam knows itís the voters in his district who count and has managed to keep their loyalty despite his long enemies list. Former republican chairman Bob Davis believes it is because Samís northern Erie County and Buffalo district is much more tolerant of Samís liberal thinking than say south Buffalo.

After news of his extramarital affairs with former and current interns was made public in 2008, Hoyt was banned from the Assemblyís college internship programs. However, if you go to his web site, www.samhoyt.com/, you will see internships are still available. It appears to be Samís way of giving his collective group of detractors a huge ďfingerĒ.

Sam Hoyt certainly has a whoís who list of enemies, but he also has some persuasive friends. That list includes the Buffalo News, who endorsed Hoyt last fall despite the scandal, and at times radio talk show host Sandy Beach and WBEN. Beach has been critical of Hoyt, but still sings his praises when Hoyt takes the popular view on issues.

Word is that Sam Hoyt will need all of the allies he can gather to weather the next storm Golisano unleashes on him in 2010. It has become very personal between Golisano, Pigeon and Hoyt and we are told the money spent will dwarf last yearís race against him.

E-mail Insider Corner at insiderpage@speakupwny.com.

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