April 18, 2008


With the announcement of a plea deal taken by the owner of four area massage parlors, Lisa Tsui, it's going to be very interesting to see what Ms. Tsui has to say about her clientele. The case has already impacted some relatively high profile individuals, and one has to think that there are more to come, since we must assume that part of the plea deal includes turning over any and all client information. I'm thinking there's some very nervous husbands in Niagara County right now.

Congressional candidate Jon Powers has apparently erred by using campaign funds to pay for renting part of his residence, a violation of Federal Election Commission rules. Now, at face value, this is not a very big deal. I'm sure Powers will pay back the money. What's disconcerting is, when asked about the rent payments, Powers’ campaign manager John Gerken said it was done in good faith. Huh? He misappropriated campaign funds and it was done in good faith? Mr. Powers is going to need a little but more effective spin doctor as he moves forward.

Senate candidate Joe Mesi (I think it's time to drop the "Baby" from your name, Joe), got quite an in indoctrination into politics just a few hours after announcing his Senate candidacy. Mesi allegedly whacked some guy around in an N.T. bar, but claims to have simply been heading towards the door when trouble broke out. Apparently Mesi figured that he'd find a more formidable opponent at Dwyer's than he ever faced in the ring.

The most humorous news of the day come courtesy of Niagara County Legislator Dennis Virtuoso. He apparently doesn't like the decision rendered by the Niagara County Board of Ethics in regards to County GOP Chairman Henry Wojtaszek, so he believes that the entire board should resign. Maybe Niagara Falls Building Inspector Virtuoso should spend a little more time inspecting unsafe construction sites in Niagara Falls instead of spewing political rhetoric.

Lastly, it's good to see that the FBI has offered their assistance in the assault investigation of the 12 year-old girl in North Tonawanda, and it's good to see that N.T. is accepting the offer. So many times we see police agencies engaging in "turf wars" and not willing to work together for the greater good. Let's hope this tragic mystery is solved soon.


Anonymous said...

As much as I may disagree with Hobbs, this is truly immature to the fullest degree. I don’t believe this person is affiliated with any party except his own. Hey Anon, what were you doing with the right hand while you were typing?

rob clark said...

Why is it funny that Dennis Virtuoso is asking for the board of ethics to resign? They told him that they would contact him. So they could have him appear before them and explain his complaint. With Wojtaszek present for the meeting.

The county GOP has too much control. They make honest and proud Republicans look bad. Same on them and there power hungry leaders.

On the Powers subject. He screwed up. At least he’s trying to be honest about it. Maybe there isn’t a spin needed. (I hope)

Finally, what kind of sicko assaults a child? As a parent, if it was my daughter, well you can just imagine what I would do if this person is caught.

Anonymous said...

What's funny is the arrogance of Dennis Virtuoso. He is upset because the Board of Ethics did not consult with him about a complaint about a meeting he did not attend where alleged conversations were had that he did not hear. I am sure Virtuosos could have offered a lot of insight, but much to his dismay, the Board of Ethics was able to conduct an investigation without his critical input.

By the way, I would bet that most elected officials in Niagara County can not name a single member of the Board of Ethics, Republican and Democrat alike.

The various other allegations that have been thrown around by this clown in the last year alone would fall under the jurisdiction of the State Attorney General, the US Attorney, the District Attorney and maybe even the Justice Department. Are they all corrupt? Have those damn Republicans infiltrated the State Attorney General's Office, who by the way is a Democrat?

In fact, didn't he ask for an investigation recently by the State AG? I don't remember why, but I have not seen any opinion.

Of course, allegations about a county official using political influence to gain favor with a local rub and tug operation is off limits. Now that's funny.

Pete M said...

The board is an independent board that is outside the authority of the county legislature. From what it sounds like to me, Virtuoso was trying to influence the decision making process of this board, something I would think the state AG would be interested in knowing about.

Larry S said...

Rob, you say that the county GOP makes honest Republicans look bad. With that statement, you insinuate that someone has done something dishonest. Exactly who has done something dishonest? I'm not looking for opinions or innuendo, I would like to know who has done what dishonestly. I look forward to your response.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget how quickly the lemmings at the Niagara Gazette jump as soon as Dennis the Menace opens up his pie hole.

Fawn Leibowitz said...

What's funny is Virtuoso's quote in the paper: “Something crooked is going on in this county, and nobody’s doing anything about it. I’m just sick of it.”

You want to cure the county of its "crookedness", Dennis? First, start with that dump of a city of yours that looks like a war zone. Yeah, good job keeping up with those building code violations. It's the most corrupt city in the country and has been for 50 years, so you can start there.

Second, give back the taxpayers the money they spent on your hair. Everyone knows you have a weave done when legislators were using the elective cosmetic surgery benefit.

Last, if you want to figure out what's crooked in this county, all you need to do is take one look in the mirror. Of course, if there is not one handy, you can use one of the several you keep in your omnipresent hair care products bag.

gop shill said...

Where's the investigation into Dennis the code inspector who allowed a builder without the necessary documentation to operate an unsafe site without insurance and someone died?

Isn't that worth a little looksy? Of course, Prohaska won't go there because he relies on Dennis for half his articles.

sick & tired said...

Hobbes, You know a bit about bar dust ups, don't you? Perhaps you can offer some insight into what a pol can be thinking when he allows himself to get so caught up in a bar encounter that he loses control.

For all you would-be overlords of construction, a local building inspector is charged with enforcement of local codes. As long as the building was being built to code, the NF building dept did its job. And I stress that its a building department. DV only comprises one employee. To attempt to heap blame on DV for the death of a construction worker is contemptuous, and perhaps even defamatory. Hobbes, check with your lawyer as to whether you should be bringing theses subjects upon your public blog. The way the accusations are tossed about here certainly borders on reckless disregard.

Not to mention that workplace safety is under the purview of OSHA and the NYS Department of Labor.

But of course, why let facts get in the way of a good smear job.

Anonymous said...

Who Decides?

The Niagara County Board of Ethics’ five members are appointed by the chairman of the Legislature and confirmed by the full Legislature by majority vote. County rules bar the board from consisting of more than three members of the same political party at any one time. At least one member must be a county officer or employee.

Members of the current county Board of Ethics:

• Roland Johnson

• Bonnie Heschke

• James Spanbauer

• Rev. William Lowery

• Thomas O’Shea

Anonymous said...

To the writer who said Dan Rivera is to blame for the viciousness of county politics: I've been getting venomous mailers from the GOP (always disguised as another organization or "committee") for at least six years. Rivera's been Dem chair for, what? Three years? There's nothing wrong with disagreeing on the issues, but let's not re-write history.

Larry Castellani said...

Moralism, financial corruption, gossip, condescending dismissals and finally to reassure us that goodness still exists in Mayberry confirmation that civic cooperation prevails in downtown NT. …. Yeh, I confess. I enjoyed it all too. But I didn’t inhale.

Anonymous said...

Larry - you are from another planet.

Anonymous said...

It’s a witch hunt! A witch hunt I tell you!

Barbwire Bob

Anonymous said...

A word on both Dennis V. and Larry C. "What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."