Insider Corner promises that today’s column is NOT about County Executive Chris Collins. As stated earlier, Collins could fill this space every day, but we will attempt to give Byron Brown equal time, at least for today.
Buffalo’s Mayor has managed to stay off the front page recently and has enjoyed a relatively quiet 2009. That may change however as word on the street says that disgruntled fire and police unions look to endorse a suitable challenger to Mr. Brown.
Firefighters in particular are upset with Brown and feel they have been unfairly targeted for overtime abuse. The rank and file has been very vocal behind closed doors and that should spill over to the streets come summer.
Byron Brown is a very likable guy, but pliable as silly putty. He lets his handlers, like Steve Casey, do the heavy lifting while he is driven around town cutting ribbons and making speeches.
Ironically, while Ch 2 continues to chase down state officials being driven in state cars, Brown has had a police detail accompany him everywhere since he took office.
Victor Getz became the poster boy for well paid public drivers during the Giambra meltdown and to avoid the same charge Chris Collins still uses his own vehicle. Byron Brown on the other hand has maintained the use of city vehicles and plain clothed police officers to do city business.
We at Insider Corner feel the whole “driver” issue is very much a red herring and better theatre than substance for the media. Still, Brown and Press Secretary Peter Cutler have managed to keep it from being a distraction, at least up to now. You can count on a political challenger making it an issue in the future.
We received an e-mail the other day regarding our column on local reporters that jogged our memory. It was from a reader who said they would never listen to WBEN’s Tom Bauerle again following a particular program that was done by Bauerle on the Joan Diver murder in September of 2006.
Days following Diver’s disappearance, Bauerle did a three hour program implicating husband Steve Diver in the disappearance. Using nothing but circumstantial evidence, Bauerle whipped listeners into a frenzy and had them ready to convict the distraught husband. History now tells us that Altemio Sanchez was responsible for the tragic murder of Joan Diver and Bauerle’s program did nothing but add to the devastating grief felt by the entire Diver family.
Moving on, we received an e-mail yesterday asking that we participate in the Speakup message boards and debate what is written here. We have read the Speakup message boards for years and enjoy the debate on issues regarding politics. Still, we write this column to give an opinion on what we hear and what we know. There is no need to take on those who have an opposing opinion or may represent the very people we discuss. By simply writing your rebuttal you offer a dissenting view and that’s fine with us.
E-mail insider Corner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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