Tis the season for fundraisers and we were at Byron Brown’s last night at the Hyatt. Seeing County Executive Chris Collins there with side kick Chris Grant reminds me of the saying “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.
Erie County Democratic Chairman Len Lenihan is not on either Brown’s or Collins’s Christmas card list and as a result the pair have been supportive of each other on several issues. Deputy Mayor Steve Casey and Collins Chief of Staff Chris Grant meet on a regular basis and work well together behind the scenes.
Few would have predicted this two years ago when Brown and Casey worked hard for Jim Keane in the County Executive’s race against Collins, but that was then and this is now. The pair may part ways on the upcoming County Comptroller’s race as Collins is gunning for Mark Poloncarz, but neither side will take it personally.
That said, Brown and Casey are still not happy with the City Parks arrangement Collins forced down their throats. As written here earlier, Brown had little choice than accept Collins heavy handed agreement because not to do so would have meant closed facilities this summer. We expect Steve Casey to work out a more equitable agreement going forward.
One point of amusement at last night’s fund raiser was watching blogger Joe Illuzzi drool over Laura Zaepfel of Uniland. Laura is very involved in the political scene and very easy on the eyes.
Joe Illuzzi is very well wired into certain political circles with his “pay me to write about you” web site and often has articles of interest. However, he took Lynn Marinelli’s outgoing personality for something else a few years ago and thought she was interested in him. When his advances were rebuffed he used his web site to beat up on her on a regular basis. Illuzzi’s written comments about Lynn went beyond the norm and she addressed it with him. “Someone” convinced Joe that he needed to keep his remarks professional and he has been a good boy since.
Today Illuzzi mentioned his meeting with Zaepfel last night and claimed he was just trying to convince her to run for office. Our advice to Laura is to just run the next time she sees Joe coming!
There is a new political web site out there covering Niagara County called http://niagarafallspolitics.com/. The site was created to counter the Niagara Reporter publication and the hard hitting Mike Hudson. Hudson has made a cottage industry out of hammering Niagara County elected officials, especially whoever the reigning Mayor happens to be.
Hudson used to write for the Niagara Gazette, but was fired. Since becoming the voice of the Niagara Reporter Hudson’s claim to fame is breaking the Vince Anello FBI probe story. Hudson rarely ventures into Erie County with his barbs because the paper is only distributed for free in Niagara County.
The http://niagarafallspolitics.com/ site claims to be in response to Hudson’s attacks, but at first glance it doesn’t appear to be equipped to challenge the Reporter’s influence. Still, it will be interesting to see who surfaces as the power behind the new site.
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