While most are today celebrating Earth Day, we at Insider Corner instead are celebrating the birthday of a great American. A man who uttered the words we at Insider Corner live by, “you can’t handle the truth!” Yes, we are speaking of the great Jack Nicholson, born on this day in 1937.
Jack’s birthday begs the question, who is most like this thespian with the sly smile on our political scene, who tells it like it is and lets the chips fall where they may?
Twenty years ago the answer would have been Jimmy Griffin. The late former Mayor and south Buffalo icon was famous for saying things like “buy a six pack and go home and watch TV” during the blizzard of 77’. Griffin also used his fists as well as his mouth and had several near brawls with political enemies, including a tussle with the formidable Jim Pitts.
Chris Collins often tells people what they don’t want to hear, but his style is to do it from afar, not in your face. Former County Exec Joel Giambra had a similar bad boy image, but not the style. Current County Legislator Bob Reynolds shares the same “I may not know what I’m doing, but it will all work out in the end” attitude that Nicholson has had in films like “Cuckoo’s Nest”. Then there is Deputy Mayor Steve Casey, who may be the closest to having Nicholson’s “in your face” personality, but alas not his charm.
Tough to find someone who could really hold a candle to our hero, a man who can act like a total ass and yet still be so endearing. Perhaps we would be better off looking for comparisons to lesser stars among our elected.
Lynn Marinelli could be considered “Madonna” like with the blond tresses. Dan Kozub could play a poor man’s Jackie Gleason for two obvious reasons and driving a bus being one of them. Could Betty Jean Grant play Whoppie Goldberg or John Mills be taken for Carroll O’Connor? Anyone who has watched Tom Loughran in session knows he could easily play Jerry Lewis in the "Nutty Professor". Finally, Byron Brown might resemble a movie star without his glasses, but with them on he unfortunately bares a close resemblance to Urkel.
If you have others who share a resemblance of some kind to a pop culture icon e-mail it to Insider Corner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To more serious matters, News columnist Donn Esmonde is promoting Legislator Maria Whyte’s regional planning board idea. Esmonde is taking on Chris Collins who says he will veto the plan and we at Insider Corner have to agree with Collins on this one. The last thing we need is another “Board”. Western New York is already paralyzed by the number of boards and committees that controls every move we make.
One of these days we will write about the Erie County Financial Stability Authority which proves having a board dictate policy doesn’t work. Donn Esmonde normally knows better than to promote more government. In fact, in today’s column he ironically praises Kevin Gaughan for pushing consolidation on one hand while pushing for Whyte’s regional board on the other.
Maria Whyte is a genuinely nice person who usually means well, but her frustration with the Legislature’s dead lock with Collins has her reaching for yet another tool to go around him. This time Insider Corner has to agree with our Chief Politician, oops sorry, we mean Chief Executive in shooting down the idea for a regional planning board.
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