The Confer letter is the epitome of hypocrisy. The original was printed in it's entirety, with no editing, to allow readers to draw their own conclusions. Now, I'd like to expand on those two documents. Among the statements in Confer's "guest editorial" (how someone gets to be a "guest editor" is beyond me. Maybe the ability to string a few words together into a sentence classifies someone as a "guest editor"), Confer says, "As we’ve so painfully discovered over the past few months, industrial development agencies do much more harm than good".
Well Bob, how much harm was done to "us" when your company applied for and received a $2.2 million IDA package? I cannot even fathom the fact that this guy has the nerve to utter a single negative word about IDAs.
Confer says "As was made so readily apparent here, IDAs tend to abuse their power to offer tax cuts". Well Bob, why is it that you weren't complaining about the IDA abuse of power when that power was lining YOUR pocket to the tune of $2.2 million?
He later says "When all is said and done, it’s these unfortunate taxpayers who then have to shoulder an unwelcome and unfair burden when properties come off the tax rolls because the IDAs allow it". Hmmmmmmmm.
Bob, if you do not believe that the taxpayers should not have shoulder the load for these incentive packages, feel free to take that $2.2 million, divide it up by the number of households in Niagara County and send each and every one of us a check. Otherwise, it would appear that you are being, how should I say it - a hypocrite.
Now the best part: Confer wrote this "guest editorial" (I'm sorry, I just can't stop laughing), just tearing IDA's apart, on January 22, 2007.
Amazingly, he sent the other letter to the IDA on July 19th, 2005 praising the hell out of the IDA and the work they did for him and his company. Among his quotes, Confer says, "The tax abatement and PILOT package that you have given Confer Plastics is very important to our expansion". Wow, that certainly doesn't sound like the same guy who wrote a "guest editorial" blasting IDAs.
Confer goes on to say "we value everything your organization does to market and improve the county". Keep in mind, in his "guest editorial", he said "this truth is best exemplified locally by the AES giveaway, which in the whole scheme of things represents only the tip of the dirty IDA iceberg". Well Bob, I just took a look beneath the tip of that dirty IDA iceberg, and I saw you and your company lurking under the water.