Some letters are harder to write than others. My presentencing letter to Judge Buscaglia follows....
While preparing a Show Cause Order to force Jeremy "Wonder Boy" Zellner to comply with the rules of the Erie County Democratic Committee, a certified letter arrived. A plain envelope with no cover letter. In apparent response to a demand letter served on him at an ECDC endorsement meeting......
After having been served multiple demand letters, and failing to respond to any, in clear violation of ECDC rules, Wonder Boy disgorged the following bizarre document (first six pages of 44 displayed):
That's right; red paper, out of order, crooked pages, duplicates, dotted background, cutoffs, etc. This is Wonder Boy's attempt to comply with the rules, but make the information as unreadable and unusable as possible. Obviously it was much more work to do this than just print out a few pages of paper. How can we describe this behavior? Let's try vicious, petty, mean spirited, depraved, and small minded. How about immature, sophomoric, unwise, imprudent, lacking emotional stability? This from a clown who keeps bleating about party unity and blaming all his shortcomings on a tiny divisive element in the Democratic Party. Once again, Zellner has demonstrated that he is not ready to be county chairman or hold any position of responsibility anywhere. Perhaps a Walmart traineeship would do him good?
Last month, after successfully fending off a challenge to Ralph Hernandez' Buffalo School Board nominating petition, I filed a Freedom of Information Law request to see the Erie County Board of Election's logs of people who had examined such petitions and those who had requested copies. A person named Eric Tolbert (nephew of candidate Bernie Tolbert?) had previously filed Specific Objections to the Hernandez petition, claiming, in exquisite detail, that 1,336 signatures were bad. Ralph's petition contains 98 pages and some sample pages are displayed below......
The complete Hernandez petition contains 1,893 signatures, with 1000 required to qualify for a spot on the ballot. The Tolbert Specific Objections detail, line by line, what is alleged to be defective about the signatures on Ralph's petition.....
If the Board of Elections (Commissioners Ralph Mohr and Dennis Ward) had upheld the Tolbert objections, Ralph would have been out of the race unless a judge put him back in. This is all part of the Kabuki Dance which characterizes New York's election laws, advantaging political machines and those in power while disenfranchising independent outsider challenges. It's the same game that Congressman Higgins is currently playing with challenger Eddie Egriu. Attack the newcomer's petition and keep his campaign off balance as long as possible. If the candidates cannot guarantee they will be on the ballot, they cannot raise money or begin the expensive media portion of their campaign. Well healed and incumbent candidates frequently use these techniques.
In order to propound voluminous specific objections, one obviously needs to have access to the petition being challenged and voter records, both of which are maintained and housed by the Board of Elections. The Board has procedures for examining petitions and voter records, including logging in whoever views petitions and voter records or requests document copies. The logs of those who viewed petitions and voter records from April 1 though April 21 follow:
Dave Pfaff, Amy Friedman and Bill Nowakowski are supporting the Quinn/Pierce effort and they didn't challenge Hernandez. Steve Buccilli is an independent newcomer who didn't challenge anyone. Willie Morris is with Grass Roots, an organization opposed to the Unity Coalition which supports Tolbert. Tim LoVallo and I are the Hernandez legal defense team who refuted the Tolbert objections. So Eric Tolbert proffered his extensive and detailed objections without looking at Ralph's petition or the related voter records?!! Maybe he had a copy of Ralph's petition? No, not according to the log of copies requested....
Pfaff did make a copy of the Hernandez petition and he subsequently used it when I contracted with him as a paralegal to examine the Tolbert objections and help refute them. Ohhh.... By now it should be obvious that it is impossible for anyone to accomplish what Objector Tolbert did without a great deal of access to the Hernandez petition and the necessary voter records in the possession of the Board of Elections. So how did he perform this impossible task? Does he have x-ray vision which allows him to see through walls? How about a drone that allows him to access Board records without their knowledge? Maybe divine or alien superbeing intervention?
Maybe there is a more likely explanation. Perhaps the head of the Unity Coalition and Deputy Democratic Elections Commissioner, Champ Eve, had Board staff formulate the objections on government time, using public resources. Using public resources for private political purposes? Never. That would be wrong! Wonder if District Attorney Sedita is still being overzealous in his prosecution of public officials? Stay tuned for more.
Kerry Saunders is an African-American Democratic Party political operative who was recently cited in a Buffalo News article on "big-name backers" in the Buffalo School Board race. Although the BNews article refers to Saunders as "a staff member for State Sen. Tim Kennedy," the Senator's office claims he is not on staff, but part of his election campaign team. Mr. Saunders is registered to vote at 252 Shumway Street in Buffalo's Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood where he is a Democratic County Committee Member for election district Fillmore 20 and its 438 registered Democrats. Saunders fills out his schedule as an employee of the Dennis Ward/Champ Eve team at the Erie County Board of Elections, where he works at the Tri-Main warehouse. In his spare time, Kerry is employed as a volunteer and paid employee of various and sundry political campaigns. In the past, he has been observed simultaneously participating in the campaigns of several competing candidates in the same election, thus earning himself a reputation as a campaign spy or "rat in the woodpile." As Senator Kennedy is currently engaged in a battle for survival with County Legislator Betty Jean Grant who is tightly aligned with the Ward/Eve/Zellner axis of the party, Saunder's employment by Kennedy has to make you wonder who he may be spying on.
A review of public records of campaign contributions and expenditures reveals that Mr. Saunders operates out of two separate addresses: the somewhat rundown 252 Shumway Street and 82 Garden Court in a stylish Amherst neighborhood. See the attached New York State Board of Elections reports which present contributions made and payments received by Saunders:
Saunders was an uninvited attendee at the Progressive Democrats of Western New York annual breakfast in Cheektowaga last Saturday morning, dressed to the nines in a dark business suit. Ever curious about the lifestyles of local big-hitting political movers and shakers, WNY Cam visited Saunders at his Amherst address.......
Erie County Board of Elections records show that Saunders is registered at 252 Shumway Street in Buffalo and has been since 2000 .....
However, Saunders is not in title to 252 Shumway, Cleatis Saunders is......
But there is no Cleatis Saunders registered to vote in Erie County. However, Ernest and Betina Watson are registered to vote at 252 Shumway. Stephanie A. Torres is the owner of record of 82 Garden Court, Amherst, where she is registered to vote as a Republican.
Why should we care about this stuff? First, it is election fraud not to live where you claim when you register to vote and you sign an affidavit stating, "The information above is true. I understand that if it is not true I can be convicted and fined up to $5000 and/or jailed for up to four years." In addition, one can only serve as a Democratic Committeeman in the Assembly District where one is registered. 252 Shumway is in a different Assembly District than 82 Garden Court. If Saunders lives in Amherst, he cannot be a Committeeman in Buffalo. Perhaps more importantly, false registration and party committee participation deprives the people of the affected area of necessary representation.
When we were there, the water line at an abandoned house one door away from 252 Shumway was leaking and flooding the street. I called the problem in to 911. My wife and I are Committee Members in Buffalo Delaware 21, WHERE WE LIVE. We call in water leaks, streetlight outages, pick up dead animals in the streets, and otherwise try to make sure that government services are being properly provided to our neighborhood. We participate in our home owners association, plant trees, and take responsibility for our community. Fillmore 20 is a poor neighborhood with many problems. It needs a committeeman, not someone who lives in the fancy suburbs for his own selfish purposes.
County Legislator Peter Savage had a fundraiser tonight at the K of C on Kenmore Avenue. A bit expensive at $100 a head, but very pleasant and well attended. The usual array of elected and party officials, friends and family, and favor seekers was in attendance. This is the life of the insider, the powerful and their attendants and hangers-on. Excellent chow, beverages and a chance to schmooze with one's peers and superiors in a relaxed venue. An ideal time to network, posture and jockey for advantage.
When the party had to come to a close, Peter looked at the groaning board of food remaining and said, "There are people starving in the world; we can't let this go to waste." Ever the opportunist, I suggested taking the treats to Paradise House. "Great idea," declared the newly minted Third District representative as he helped to pack up boxes and trays of catered food. The WNY Vibe quickly loaded and delivered this offering to Mills Street.
Life has not been kind to the ladies of Paradise House and they are not accustomed to unilateral random acts of kindness from others. Their faces lit up when they saw the unexpected feast that magically appeared. I remember when Democrats cared more about the commonweal and the welfare of people than their own personal advantage. Peter Savage is a Democrat.