March 18, 2008


Politics at all levels can get quite unseemly. Take the mess in Lew-Port School District in which former board member Ed Lilly has filed a libel and slander suit against former president David Schaubert, former member Louis Palmeri and current member Michael Gentile. But really, if every elected official or public figure sued someone because he/she didn't like something that someone else said him, we'd need even more lawyers.

It's funny that the opposition is once again lining up for fight against a landlord licensing/registry program for the City of Lockport. You need a license to drive, to fish, to sell alcohol, to be a contractor. Hell, you need a license to own a dog. The city's housing stock has taken some serious hits over the years. Not that we generally advocate more governmental regulation in our lives, but this is a good thing that the Mayor and Council must have the courage to move forward on. One also has to wonder what the landlords who oppose the program are so afraid of.

We like David Paterson and wish him the best with the huge challenges that lie ahead for him, including getting a ratified budget by April 1. But the day after delivering one of the most passionate and entertaining speeches we've seen in awhile from any elected official, much of the media coverage if focused on Paterson and his wife's admission of extramarital affairs in their marriage. We hope this is not an omen of things to come in the next nearly three years.

We at Niagara Times receive a fair amount of "tips" via email, and encourage readers to continue to send them. Some are legitimate and some send us on a wild goose chase, like the one last week telling us about a local official who had allegedly been arrested the night before. After a fair amount of digging, we found no basis for further inquiries.

It's great to see Lockport native John Murphy, himself the pedigree of a great political family, back on the air in Western New York. Watching sports during the 6 o'clock news just wasn't the same without his smiling face. Welcome back, John.

From what we've seen, there may be a show of support for Legislative Journal and Tom Christy at tonight's County Leg meeting. What will be interesting to see, however, is if the support is for Christy or for the show. Many of the message boards and comments here on Niagara Times have centered on how his removal is a violation of free speech. So we're assuming that the supporters want continued access to local officials in some form, regardless of who the host is.

We're a little curious as to why no one has called out Niagara Falls MMC CEO Joe Ruffalo after he was accused by facility employees of admitting to them that their 12-bed unit was not scheduled for closure because too many clients lacked insurance, but rather because closing it represented “the best way to get media attention.” This after putting on a dog & pony show accusing the county of being responsible for his fiscal mismanagement.

Lastly, Barack Obama has a problem. The following is Obama's preacher and has been for the past 20 years. In case you haven't seen in, here it is.


Frank DeGeorge said...

People like Ed Lily are the reason that other people don't step forward to serve in our community. I mean, the County Leg and Town Councils are somewhat political in nature by the way the elections are run. But school boards?

You should have your head examined if you run for school board in this day and age.

Turk 182 said...

Two of your points really caught my attention. I agree with the landlord licensing piece. Older cities must take steps to secure their housing stock before it's too late.

And the Ruffalo stuff fascinates me. I read somewhere that he earns just about as much as the CEO of ECMC despite how much bigger ECMC is. When is the board at memorial going to step in.

Larry S said...

Is this the same Ed Lilly who was a weatherman on channel 2 for so many years? Or am I just really confused?

Fawn Leibowitz said...

Ruffalo is a slight-of-hand artist who has repeatedly been able to pull that proverbial rabbit out of a hat. Sooner or later, and I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet, he's going to reach into that hat and pull out nothing but air. Then, just maybe, the Board of NFMMC will see this guy for what he really is.

clemenza said...


That's Barry Lilis, I think.

As for today's post, with everyone in Albany literally screwing everyone else, it's no wonder the budget is always late.

Truth Detector said...

On this whole Tom Christy thing, I think what is most insulting is some of the accusations being thrown at a person like John Benoit, the chairman of LCTV. Anyone who knows John knows that he has selflessly given of his time to numerous volunteer activities. He is not political, he is a true member of the global community.

It's insulting that a jackass like Dennis...who has yet to be held accountable as a city inspector for the death at the scab worksite at that hotel on the going to take shots at someone of honor and integrity like Mr. Benoit.

Rhonda J Mangus said...

Clemenza/Larry: Ed Lily and Barry Lillis, formerly Channel 2 News Weatherman, are not the same individuals. Mr. Lillis, I believe, is now a minister who has done a tremendous amount of selfless outreach where needed.

Anonymous said...

Barry Lilis is the guy who also started that whole Kids Escaping Drugs. He is true community leader...unlike Ed Lily who is a jackass.

Anonymous said...

Think Spitzer is saying to himself that if he just put Kristin on the payroll in some unknown state agency he'd still be governor?

pirate's code said...

If Obama is held accountable for the statements of his minister, then certainly HRC must be held accountable for the statements and actions of her former campaign manager and, more recently, Geraldine Ferraro. Not to mention anything ever said on this campaign trail by her husband.

The entire race/gender issue in this campaign has become surreal and almost laughable. For once it appeared we might have campaigns based on substance, but apparently this race too will slide into the gutter like so many before it.

Do the Dems not realize that this does nothing but help McCain?

Barney said...

I think it time for Tom Christy to go... He is two negative and only speak from the left. I like the new host idea - are you interested in the job?

Anonymous said...

Is who interested in the job?

Larry Castellani said...

So according to Truth Detector, Benoit is a Saint and to the NFR he is a Repub hack, well known at that. Is the “truth” missing here in our detection??? Is this the range of judgement we have to choose from? One Repub Legislator accused me last night of not having the facts and therefore just spouting rhetoric during my 3 minute oration at the NC Leg meeting which supporters of Christy turned out at. Well we don’t know the facts of Tom Christy’s firing and the cancellation of his show. Well, some know but they are not saying. Nevertheless the circumstances of the matter are clear. The motives are deducible. The “facts” that I was accused of not having are plain enough, written between the lines which anyone with eyes to see can see and anyone with ears to hear may hear. The “Tom Christy” issue will not go away because LCTV and the Leg Repubs have successfully politicized in the most egregious way what had been democracy at its best being practiced at Leg Journal, all but for the thin-skinned, Conservatives/Republicans who apparently have much to be thin-skinned about. When these majority leaders admit that they are leading us nowhere, then the real “politics” can begin and the real democracy can move forward.
Yes it’s Tom Christy’s show, because he was the one who asked the tough questions of the “vocal minority,” that aren’t being asked. And, by the way, that vocal minority, the so-called 3 minute crowd really is representative of the majority. That’s the majority of people who the powermongerers in NC continue to strive to marginalize and eventually extinguish. Then this anti-democracy, anti-American New Class of autocrats believes it can have its way. The small case of Tom Christy is now a big case.

rob clark said...

I was at the meeting lastnight to. (Larry it was very nice to meet you.) I unfortunetly did not speak. I had a Town Board meeting first. But I did manage to attend after the caucus meeting. It was all one big joke. The GOP Majority for the most part, tried to make the Dems look bad by sponsoring their own resolution on supporting Legislative Journal. But with out Christy.

I for one commend Dennis Virtuoso for sticking to his beliefs and not changing his resolution. What he said was the truth. Everyone in the room knew it, but was affraid to say it. Good for him.

At the end of the day whats really important here is that we are talking about the "FREEDOM OF SPEECH". And how it was taken away . Plain and simple. I can`t state it as well as Larry can.( I don`t think any of us can.)_ But thats what it was .

Larry Castellani said...

Yes, for sure, it is all about freedom of speech. Yet Christy was the one who enabled it to happen on LJ. Without him chances are it will be more banal banter with some connected talking head preaching to the choir rather than pushing the inquiry deeper with respect to the maladies of the county. Chances are some insipid apologist for the status quo will bore us all to tears until more and more people finally give up on politics ever being meaningful and productive in NC. I'm convinced it's just what the anti-democracy elitists want.

rob clark said...

The new guest will probably have picture perfect hair. Talk very low key. He or she will end up sounding like a sniveling yes man. Kinda like every kiss ass movie/tv character. Or better yet just like smithers from the Simpsons. With the Niagara County GOP his Mr. Burns.