Monday, March 31, 2008

The price of free speech

Lockport-Niagara Infringement is holding a rally in support of Tom Christy tomorrow at Lockport’s Daily Grind (on Main Street).

Afterwards, a bunch of us are heading to the legislature meeting to tell them we want Tom Christy back on LCTV.

Won’t you join us?

Check this story on WLVL’s new newsblog ... and please, feel free to comment on it or any other story on the blog.

Thanks ... and hopefully I’ll see you tomorrow night.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Stuck in (air) traffic ...

Looks like my flight home is delayed by about a half a hour ... so that gives me some time to blog.

NYC was awesome ... even if it was a short trip. But I sure as hell did a lot of walking. In fact, both my feet are throbbing and my left knee is killing me.

I hate getting old. Funny thing is I have a bum knee ... but it's the RIGHT knee. Which is fine.

Of course, I always have sore feet following vacation. Cause I walk EVERYWHERE. Ask anyone who's ever gone anywhere with me. I just can't pay to ride the subway or cab if I'm perfectly capable of walking.

As an example, today I walked from The Village (4th St) to the UN (46th St) ... then back to 23rd ... and then up to 34th.

I'll write more later ... or maybe tomorrow. I don't want to overwork my fingers, too. :)

UNblog ...

No, this isn't an unblog ... it's a UN blog ... as in a blog post from the United Nations.

I've been to NYC six or seven times now, but none of my travel companions have ever been interested in going to the UN. This time I'm here alone so I can do what I want ... well almost. My wife said no hookers.

Anyway, this place is very ... cool? That's not the right word. It's very serene ... and causes one to think.

I took lots of pictures, which I'll post when I get back to WNY later tonight.

Now I'm off to get a bite ... then my convention.

Oh, I tried to go to my hat place ... first thing I did, actually, when getting into Manhattan. I wasn't thinking ... cause it was 8 AM ... and of course they weren't open. Duh. Maybe I'll have time later, but I don't think so.

On my way ...

I've always wanted a job that required me to travel ... be a jet setter. It seems important. But as I sit here at the Buffalo Niagara Interational Airport - on my way to a meeting in New York - all I really want to do is sleep.

I am looking forward to my meeting. It's sort of a talk show host convetion. I always meet great people and get treated very well by the hosts.

The "Media Summit" - as the organizers call it - is at 1:30. And I'll be in NYC by 8 a.m. So I'll have about 5 hours to "play" ... but as I'm going solo, no one to play with.

Oh well.

I'm looking forward to breakfast at the Tick Tock Diner. And hoping to find a sweet hat at this little hat shop in the Village.

I'll probably get bored and blog more later.

'til then.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Davis in, Tucker out, Others shaken about ...

With each passing day, the November elections get clearer ... and at the same time more muddy.

Today, Jack Davis announced that he IS a candidate for the US Congress, hoping to capture the seat being vacated by Tom Reynolds, whom has twice defeated Davis.

The same story says Lockport Mayor Mike Tucker has opted against running for the assembly seat currently held by Mike Cole. Elma’s Mike Nolan says he IS running for that spot, however. Apparently, being named Mike is helpful in that district, surely something Jeff Bono (another candidate) didn’t get the memo on.

In the state senate, rumor has it that "Baby" Joe Mesi will announce his candidacy for the 61st district next week.

And in other celebrities-who-think-they’re-politicians news, Channel 4’s Don Postles got out of the congressional (26th) race as quickly as he was put in it. Not sure if Postles ever planned on running at all, but he sure took a while to take his hat out of the ring.

WBEN’s Tom Bauerle said this morning that if Postles were considered a credible candidate, that maybe he (Bauerle) should run.

I think he was kidding.

I hope he was kidding.

Finally, on the 26th, many had thought that with State Sen. George Maziarz opting out of that race, that the Niagara County Republican Party would find another candidate - expected to be county chairman Henry Wojtaszek. According to the Rochester D&C, however, the Niagara County candidate will be Wheatfield Supervisor Tim Demler.

Hmm.

Poloncarz: Let’s have one assessor’s office

Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz suggested yesterday that Erie County consider eliminating the 30 local assessor’s offices in the county’s municipalities and consolidate them into one county-wide office.

I think this is a great idea and the type of elimination of duplication that could save us millions annually.

I’ll have Mark on Reason on Hometown 1230 WECK at 10:30 a.m.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jim Hayes: I’m out ...

According to the Buffalo News, Assemblyman Jim Hayes now says HE’s not going to run for Tom Reynolds congressional seat.

Is there something we don’t know?

First Maziarz and now Hayes.

Hmm.

Funny cause it wasn't me ...

I was reading this story about a man whose house was ransacked due to a hoax put up on Craig’s List claiming that everything there (including a horse) was free for the taking.

I read stories all the time about stuff on Craig’s List, but I never really perused it until just now - and even now, only a little.

There is a Craig’s List Buffalo and some of the stuff there is quite funny. I was particularly enjoying the "missed connections" cause people say the stupidest stuff.

Can you hear me now?

Hey. Hi. How ya doin? Scott Leffler here.

So I've been doing this whole radio gig for about five years now at WLVL out in beautiful sunny Lockport. Problem is, we're a 1,000 watt station whose signal doesn't reach into the deep depths of Erie County.

I've got all these friends and colleagues in Buffalo and beyond who don't get the opportunity to tune in and hear the moronic things I say ... or the occasional non-moronic thing I might say ... some day.

Well, thanks to the power of a large wallet combined with a large loan, the owner of WLVL recently purchased WECK in Cheektowaga! And more importantly (at least to my ego) he has given me a slot on that station - IN ADDITION to the time I already spend on-air at WLVL.

Now, we're still working some bugs out, but if you tune in, it sounds like a radio show. I give my opinion. Give the phone number out. Beg for calls. Do some idle chit-chat with Frank Miller who does the show after me. Plug my web site. And then head back to Lockport at the end of the hour.

So ... moral of the story ... Cheektowaga and Buffalo have a new talk radio station in WECK (AM 1230). I'm on the air every day at 10 a.m. (a little after on account of the news). And not only can my Erie County friends listen to me now, but I can make new Erie County friends, too! (preferably blondes)

Also worth noting, aside from yours truly, the station actually has a very decent lineup - including Harv Moore, Tom Donahue, Tom Schuh and Brad Riter (weekdays 6-9 p.m.)

Satish and Doug

This morning on the Mighty 1230 WECK, I have a nearly one hour interview with Amherst Supervisor Satish Mohan.

Of course, as any moderately-decent talk show host would, I have some notes jotted and some questions lined up.

But wondered if anyone out there has any questions for him.

Let me know and I’ll see if I can get those questions in ... or just ask yourself. We’ll be on air from 10 to 11 ... and AM 1230 in Buffalo. 783-WECK is the number.

Meanwhile, over at WLVL, Doug Young will be filling in for me. Please call and harass him.

:)

Monday, March 24, 2008

On the 26th ...

Well, the news broke this morning that State Senator George Maziarz will, in deed, NOT run for congress.

Frankly, I’m surprised. Anyone who knows George Maziarz knows that he is an ambitious man. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but I think most people believed that George would - at some point - run for congress.

In fact, many people said the reason he moved to Newfane a year ago or so was so that he’d be in Louise Slaughter’s district so he could run for her seat when she - eventually - retires for congress.

Of course, most people assumed that Louise would be retiring before Tom Reynolds. Those people - self included - were wrong.

So this seat opened up for George to run ... and he announced today that he’s passing on that opportunity.

Very strange.

There are surely several potential reasons for George to pass, including that he feels more comfortable where he’s at, that he fears the competition in running for congress, that he doesn’t want to run for a seat that’s likely going to disappear after the next census, and that reporters dig harder on congressional candidates than they do on state senators.

Despite all those reasons, I’m still surprised.

We’ve heard other potential candidates for the 26th. Jack Davis and Jon Powers on the Democratic side. Jim Hayes and Mike Powers on the GOP side. And some rumors indicate the Jim Kelly may make a run.

The thought of Kelly running for congress is NOT that far fetched. 12 had been a staple by Governor Pataki’s side whenever he was in WNY. And there had even been a rumor about a year ago that Reynolds would actually RESIGN his seat and it would be won by Kelly in a special election.

Jim Kelly was a hell of a quarterback. But I don’t see him as a congressman. And I hope I never have to.

But it’s fun to speculate, huh?

Podcasts are up from today ... on REASON, I discussed me being an idiot ... and on DIALOG, I talked state issues - including the issue of the 26th. Plus Bob Confer and I talked about an assanine plan to allow the state to seize "underutilized" properties. A must listen.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Busy (but painful) day ...

Of course, I’ve been pretty busy in general this week ... and since WECK launched for that matter. But there was really a lot going on today.

Over at WECK I had a nice interview with State Senator Antoine Thompson who talked with me about the new governor, the open congressional seat (with the retirement of Tom Reynolds) and impending open State Senate seat belonging to George Maziarz, who is widely assumed to be running for Reynolds’ seat.

Sen. Thompson’s reaction to a couple questions was rather amusing ... specifically when I asked if he was licking his chops at the opportunity for the Democrats to pick up Maziarz seat.

Secondly, I talked with Rus Thompson. Rus is a community activist, former candidate for the Erie County Legislature, and blogger. Rus and I discussed Governor Paterson’s sexual affairs, Reynolds seat, and WNYMedia.net, the group he blogs for. (read his blog here)

Then it was off to Lockport, where I talked with Tim Marren, managing editor of the Union-Sun & Journal. Tim’s always a fun interview and marveled at my abililty to be in two places at once.

Both shows were podcast - REASON at scottleffler.com and DIALOG at wlvl.com.

The pain stems from my sleeping wrong, I think. My neck and shoulder are excruciating. I’ve tried standing under a hot shower, pain pills, icy hot, and massaging it. Nothing helps. *sigh*

I’m home now, counting down to the Sabres game, which I’m praying is a win for the good guys.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

News notes and nuisances ...

First, the nuisances ... well, just one, really. The drive back and forth to Lockport has been okay ... but doing Dialog from the Leffler-mobile has not been the best solution to the problem.

The problem, of course, being that I do two talk shows in cities that are 30 minutes apart ... with just 15 minutes between them. So I’ve been doing the first 15 minutes of Dialog from the cell phone ... and the audio has been - let’s be honest, here - shoddy.

The solution? Beginning Monday we’ll return to guest hosts on WLVL until we get the equipment up and running that will - in essence - allow me to be at WECK ... from WLVL.

Now for news and notes. Had fun today talking with Aubrey Zich, one of the top 1,000 hometown hotties in American according to Maxim. I hope you’ll vote for her to help get her into the top 10. Click here to vote ...

And Robert Freeman is always great to talk to. He’s a fount of knowledge and he’s a great resource for anyone with questions about their rights. Here’s the Committee on Open Government’s website.

Back at WLVL we learned that the Town of Royalton will be offering up a resolution in support of Tom Christy. I have since heard that while Royalton is the first town to do so, they won’t be the last. I’ll keep you abreast.

And on both shows, I rejoiced in the fact that Tom Reynolds is retiring from Congress.

Tomorrow’s plans include State Sen. Antoine Thompson and Grand Island activist Russ Thompson (no relation) on WECK ... and US&J Editor Tim Marren back in Lockport at WLVL.

It’s been a busy week and I’m looking forward to the weekend. Oh, and to Monday for Dingus Day!

Next weeks guests include Albany insider Bob Confer, Amherst Supervisor Satish Mohan, Lockport Mayor Mike Tucker, and Geoff Kelly of ArtVoice. And we’ll see what else comes up.

Thanks to those of you who have put up with the audio issues and phone issues this week. I’ll find a way to reward you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Guns ...

I believe that the Second Amendment to the US Constitution entitles you to own a gun. Shotgun. Rifle. Handgun. AK47. Whatever. To some, this would make me a gun nut. So be it.

Today the Supreme Court heard a case seeking to overturn a decades old ban on handguns in Washinton DC and it appears that most of the justices - according to this story - agree with me ... at least in part.

Tomorrow morning on Reason, I’ll be talking with Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America about the issue.

I’m also working to book an interview with a representative from the Buffalo Police Department regarding their take on it.

Should make for good talk radio.

And of course, I’ll take calls ... but you gotta listen first.

Reason on WECK AM 1230 at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Thoughts for the day ...

First, let me thank my many guests for the day, Assemblyman Mike Cole on Reason (WECK) and Bob Confer, Tom Christy and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster on Dialog (WLVL).

I know Mike has had his own personal difficulties in Albany and even his own scandal, but I appreciated hearing his thoughts on the transition from Governor Spitzer to our new Governor, David Paterson. Sounded to me like Assemblyman Cole was very optimistic about the future with our new governor and even thinks we might get an on-time budget. That means alot to me, coming from a level-headed guy like him.

No. That wasn’t really Eliot Spitzer’s voice mail. And no, that wasn’t really Hillary Clinton. I shouldn’t have to say that. It seemed obvious. But some people might have wondered. If you were one of those people, you REALLY need to listen to Reason. :)

Meanwhile, over on WLVL, I got to host my own show for the first time in nearly a week ... and although the audio quality was to-be-desired and the phone dropped out at one point, I’m glad I was back on the air in Lockport ... cause we really needed to talk about some stuff.

If’n you missed it, here’s the Cliff-notes.

I talked with former host of Legislative Journal, Tom Christy about the phone calls, emails, and general support he’s gotten since being pulled off the air. And we discussed the weekend’s news stories about the issue.

Friday, the Lockport Journal and Niagara Gazette ran a piece explaining that Tom was dropped and that the LCTV board felt it necessary ... but also that they didn’t have anything to do with it. (can you say double speak).

Saturday, there was a great piece in the Buffalo News about LCTV’s double speak ... and the reporter for the News caught them in an outright lie. In essense, representatives from LCTV told the News that several people - but not politicians - had complained about the show. But the news found that LCTV had written to the state saying several politicians had complained about the show ... and they wanted to know if they could edit content.

Well, the state said they "may" edit content ... which the legal genius behind LCTV, Gerry Hogan, decided meant "must" edit content. I explained that my daughters (age 7 and 10) know the difference between "may" and "must" and if your lawyer doesn’t ... well, just something for you to think about.

Anyway, then the Lockport Journal and Niagara Gazette had great columns about the issue yesterday ... and the Niagara Falls Reporter blasted the GOP today.

It takes a lot to get all the local media on one page, but the LCTV board has done it. And I’m thinking they’ll likely regret it.

So after talking with Tom today, I talked with Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, show was pretty upset about the whole thing and said he would use his "bully pulpit" to see if he could do something and may even see if the council wants to draft a resolution in support of Legislative Journal.

Meanwhile, Niagara County Legislator Dennis Virtuoso is drafting a resolution demanding that LCTV put Legislative Journal back on air post haste.

And that leads to todays call to action.

I’m planning on going to the Niagara County Legislature meeting tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the county courthouse in support of Legislative Journal and Legislator Virtuoso’s resolution. To an extent, I started this whole thing, and I’m certainly not bailing on Tom now.

Please, in the name of all that is decent, whether you’re a Niagara County resident ... or an Erie County resident ... if you watched Legislative Journal ... or if you just appreciate free speech ... show your support for being able to hold politicians accountable by going to tomorrow’s legislature meeting.

You don’t have to say anything. I don’t plan to. Just to be there in numbers to show them that we care - and we’re not the "vocal minority" as they claim - will be enough.

I’m very lucky to have been given the voice that I have been given ... and to have two talk shows in WNY to share my point of view. But Tom gave YOU a voice ... and if you want it restored, we must act now.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Couple quick notes ...

Next week should be a little more normal for WLVL listeners - as I think I’ve got it set up for me to be on air at WLVL at 11 a.m. just like normal.

On Dialog (WLVL 1340 at 11:11 a.m.), Tim Marren will be my guest on Friday. Other than that, it’ll be a free flow of information ... and I’ll finally get a chance to chime in on this LCTV fiasco in which Tom Christy was essentially dismissed becuase the "powers that be" didn’t like being questioned.

On Reason (WECK 1230 at 10:05 a.m.), I have Mike Cole scheduled as a guest for Monday at 10:10 ... and Antoine Thompson scheduled for Friday at 10:10. Other than that? We’ll just have to see.

To anyone looking forward to hearing from Mayor Byron Brown this morning on Reason, my apologies. His press person had told me it was unlikely, but I was hopeful nonetheless. I’m sure we’ll get him on soon.

My weekend plans include an Easter egg hunt, Kelly’s Country Store, Stoogefest, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and spending quality time with the fam.

If you’re reading this, know that I love you ... each in your own way. :)

Reason show notes 3/14/08 (gas prices)

I’ve been told before that for every hour of on-air time, a talk show host should spend two hours on show prep.

Fortunately for me, the show prep for Dialog has basically been the news I would have otherwise read and conversations I would have otherwise had throughout the course of the day anyway ... in other words, I didn’t have to sit down and do much research, really.

Well, with Reason now on the air at the new Hometown 1230 WECK, I’m not quite as in my element ... so, dislike it as I may, I actually have to do some work. :(

This morning I’m talking about gas prices and how they effect us. I’ve spent the last couple hours compiling data ... and thought I’d put the links here on my blog so you can "see my work."

Gas prices throughout New York State

Gas prices around Buffalo

Nation-wide gas statistics

Commuting stats from the 2003 Census

Gas taxes by state

So this morning while you’re looking over your pay stub and realizing that about half your paycheck is going straight into your gas tank, why not listen to Reason on AM 1230 WECK ... and if you’re really pissed, give me a call at 783-WECK between 10 and 11 a.m.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Greater Niagara News posts LCTV story ...

Mark Scheer wrote a story on the LCTV fiasco.

Of course, the people at LCTV say it’s all made up ... but read the story closely, they disagree with everything they say.

Check it out ...

http://www.lockportjournal.com/local/local_story_073202855.html

Random thoughts of the day (WECK, WLVL, and LCTV)

This morning’s show was relatively glitch free. In fact, the only err I can think of is the fact that I don’t know how to "park" phone calls - that is put someone on hold while I’m talking to someone else. I’ll get that figured out soon enough.

Of course, Eliot Spitzer remained the topic. And the whole saga is likely to remain on the forefront of my show notes. My thoughts today focused on what I (and you) think Spitzer’s punishment should be. Also, whether having David Paterson as governor is good for WNY or bad.

Tomorrow I am hoping to have Mayor Byron Brown talk with me about what he thinks the shift in power will mean for Buffalo. He MAY be on around 10:30 a.m. - assuming his scheduling works out - for about 10 minutes. Of course, it could all fall through.

Monday, though, I’m more certain that Assemblyman Mike Cole will be on from 10:15 til about 10:25 to discuss the transition of power and what it means for him, his colleagues in the Assembly, and the citizens of the Empire State.

I was still unable to record the show today. And I’m not sure when I WILL be able to record it. But today there were CD players ... which weren’t there before. And the production room had a sound board (which it hadn’t before) and turn tables. Of course, I’m not interested in turn tables, but we’ll have a Polka show on Sundays ... and the Polka guy wants turn tables. So, basically, we’re moving forward.

Meanwhile, in Lockport, Tom Christy filled in for me ... and it turned out to be the perfect day for him to do so. Tom, who’s in my top 8 here on MySpace, was recently informed by an LCTV staffer that Legislature Journal, the show he’s hosted for 10 years, has been cancelled.

Doug Young, news director for WLVL, interviewed Tom about it this morning. The knowledge really revved listeners up as Tom was inundated with pissed off callers wanting to know what they could do. County Legislator Dennis Virtuoso even called in to tell Tom that he’d introduce a bill at the legislature on Tuesday demanding that LCTV restore the show.

We’ll see what happens with all that, but know this: I stand behind Tom and will be there to help him in any way possible.

The fact that Tom has been cut off from LCTV just goes to show how important it is that Lockport has WLVL ... and now that Buffalo has WECK. Free speech isn’t nearly as free-flowing as it should be in our country ... and particularly in WNY. So my having the outlets at WLVL and WECK ... and just as importantly, the trust of Dick Greene, is even more important today than it was yesterday.

And know this ... I appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given.

Signs we should have seen ...

A listener emailed me these clues that we missed about Eliot Spitzer ...


spitzerblingfull[1] 2008_03_spitzprettywoman[1]


2008_03_yugoboy[1] 2008_3_client9[1]


By the way, they found Kristen’s MySpace page. Not a joke. It’s the real deal ... I’ll be using one of her songs as bumper music today ...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Smoking gun posts photos of "Kristen"

Thanks to the Smoking Gun, you can now judge for yourself whether it was worth it.

The link below features 8 photos of Eliot Spitzer’s downfall. The photos ARE work appropriate.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0312084kristen1.html

Reason show notes from Wednesday ...

A little bit about me ... The following is my show notes from my inaugural edition of Reason on Hometown 1230, WECK.

I believe that the Constitution of the United States is not just a document&183; It’s not just a good idea. It’s the law and should be followed to the letter. It’s not something that some powdered wig guys came up with while tokin’ out. And it’s not outdated.

I believe that the Bill of Rights may be the most important sentences ever written on parchment, paper, or anything else for that matter. I believe that each and every one is universally relevant. The right to free speech, religion and assembly. The right for individuals to own guns. The right to keep your home yours – and not be forced to turn it into military housing. The right to privacy in that home ... or car ... or whereever you may be ... the right to not incriminate yourself – also known as the right to remain silent ... something I’ll be waiving regularly here. The right to quick justice. The right to be judged by your peers. The prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and punitive bail. The statement of fact that the Constitution is designed to give rights ... not deny them. And that each state in the union has power. And states – and their people come first.


I also believe – unfortunately – that the Constitution and subsequent amendments – including the all-important Bill of Rights – are treated as though it’s just something that some powdered wig guys came up with while tokin’ out. We hear all to regularly, especially from the executive branch of the government – no matter who’s in charge ... but especially lately ... that these documents ... the foundation of our Republic ... are outdated and misunderstood. We hear that they meant free speech ... but not REALLY free speech. We hear that they meant bear arms ... but only muskets or pointy sticks. We hear that the war on terrorism ... or the war on drugs ... or the war on crime ... or the war on red-headed talk show hosts ... takes precidence over privacy. That our founding fathers didn’t have these problems, so they couldn’t understand. And we hear that power and freedom flows from the federal government downward ... and that the states should consider themselves lucky to be a part of the whole. And that as citizens if we don’t like it we should get out. I hear almost daily right wing whack jobs on radio and television admonish anyone who would dissent. But I believe that dissent truly is the highest form of patriotism. And having enough pride in your country to want to fix the wrongs makes you a true patriot.


I believe that the vast majority of politicians start their political career with good intentions. Cleaning up government. Cutting taxes. Increasing services. Making sure their constituents get what they pay for. Holding the line. Holding themselves and others accountable. I also believe that somewhere along the line, the vast majority of politicians get drunk with power and those good intentions slowly – or sometimes quickly – fade. I believe it’s the system that corrupts them. A freshman legislator, congressman, city councilor, whatever. They come in bright eyed and hoping to change the world. And they’ve got a plan. They want a new park, for example, so that underpriveledged people in their district will have a clean place to play ... or relax ... or whathaveyou. And a senior legislator pulls them aside and says, "hey that park idea you got is a good plan. But I don’t think you’ll have the votes for it. I can help you get those votes. All you have to do in exchange is vote for my bill that increases pollution levels ... or gives tax breaks to oil companies ... or legalizes animal abuse ... or whatever." They trade votes and the downward spiral is on. In order to really fix things, we’d have to clean house. All of em. Every legislator. Every congressman. Now, there are some good politicians. Those who have stuck to their ideals. But how do you know which is which? We all seem to think that our representative is good. It’s the other’s that are bums. And other people think their representative’s are good ... it’s our that’s a bum. That’s why we can’t be selective. Or as Thomas Jefferson put it - "Every generation needs a new revolution."


I believe that all politics is local. And every vote of the US Congress will affect us right here in Buffalo. That’s why I plan to talk about those votes and highlight what I think is good and bad. I’ll have representatives on this show from Congress. From the state Senate. The Assembly. The Erie County Legislature. The Buffalo Common Council. The mayor’s office. Heck, I might have a dog catcher once in a while ... cause I believe the blue collar man – the work a day stiff – is the real hero. Without them, the world might just stop spinning. In fact, I have an open invitation to elected officials ... and the phone lines are always open for comment ... from everyone. Oh, but there is one person you’re not likely to hear on my show. You may hear him on WECK, but not with me. Congressman Tom Reynolds.


I believe that Tom Reynolds epitomizes what is wrong with America ... and nothing of what is RIGHT with America. You may recall a few years ago, Vice President Dick Cheney came into Buffalo for a fundraiser. And the cash strapped city of Buffalo had to cough up some $100,000 in overtime for police protection in order for the GOP to hold this fundraiser. In the days that followed, I had Tom Reynolds on my OTHER Talk show – Dialog on our brother station, AM 1340, WLVL. I had the audacity to ask him why the taxpayers of Buffalo should pony up a hundred grand for a RNC fund raiser. Reynolds isn’t used to being asked real questions ... and he didn’t like mine. And he hasn’t talked to me since. In fact, he’s publicly bad mouthed me. Well ... if you’re defined by your enemies, I must be a hell of a guy.


I believe that Eliot Spitzer could have been something great. He had the capacity. He had the brains. He had the charisma. And he had a mandate from voters. And in his first year if office, he learned that Albany is not Wall Street. And he used his bully pulpit as a bully ... and the rot in the capital ate him up and chewed him out. And this week, he’s learning that you can’t spend $80,000 on hookers and get away with it. Not even Eliot Spitzer is above the law. And he apparently isn’t as smart as we thought he is.


I expect a chorus of people calling for resignation ... if not beheading ... but I’m really interested in the people who want Eliot Spitzer ... the emperor who TRULY wears no clothes ... to stick around. What do you think he can do? Why do you want him to stay in office? Why aren’t you ashamed of him.


Oh, one last thing ... Feel free to disagree with me. On any issue. Any day. Don’t be afraid that you’ll get lambasted and hung up on like you see happen elsewhere. Dissent is encouraged. The name of the show, of course, is Reason ... and I’m a pretty reasonable guy. And I’m not too proud or too bullheaded to change my opinion on something when someone makes a good argument for me to do so.

Reason 1 went smoothly ... mostly ...

So the first day on WECK went mostly well. A few glitches and the expected lack of phone calls for the first day, but otherwise, solid.

For those who missed it, I explained a little bit about who I am, what I stand for, and what to expect (and not expect) on Reason.

Frank Miller, who will be hosting Ask the Pro at WECK joined me for a few minutes and was pretty engaging. I could get used to having someone to bounce things off of, but I will usually fly mostly solo.

And, of course, I talked about Eliot Spitzer’s zipper. I did mention a website showing photos of the Emperor’s Club call girls. The link is below.

http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-emperorsclub,0,635909.photogallery

Unfortunately, I was unable to record the show - and therefore won’t be able to podcast it.

For the rest of the week, I’ll be doing the show from the WECK studios on Genessee Street in Cheektowaga and will have guest hosts for Dialog. Paula Venee filled in today. Tom Christy will be on tomorrow. And Doug Young will host on Friday. Thanks to the three of them for helping me out.

Some more WECK details:

Tom Donahue and Harv Moore do the morning show from 6 - 9.

Harv hosts Tradio from 9 - 10.

I’m on from 10 - 11.

Ask the Pro with Frank Miller from 11 - 12.

Channel 2 News at noon ... at noon.

Local news block from 12:30 - 1 p.m.

Dennis Miller from 1 to 4.

Bill O’Reilly from 4-6.

And Brad Riter doing sports from 6 - 9.

Fox Sports takes us from 9 -1.

Jim Bohannan from 1 - 4.

Then more Fox Sports.

We’ll feature Fox News at the top of each hour and when news breaks. Today, for example, WECK carried Spitzer’s announcement live with commentary from Fox News.

All in All a great lineup and I’m honored to be part of it.

I hope we get more phone calls tomorrow. Feel free to call in during Reason from 10 to 11 at 783-WECK.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's on!

Looks like all the legal wrangling has happened. The technical stuff is coming together. And commercials have been sold.

Tomorrow morning, WECK AM 1230 will be the new Hometown 1230 WECK featuring local talk, news, sports, and a lineup that should make us a sure thing for one of your radio's pre-sets.

I'll be signing on from the Cheek-ta-Vegas studios at about 10:10 a.m. following our national and local news break ... and talking about whatever random thoughts flow through my pea-sized brain.

Plans for "day one" include me explaining who I am and what I stand for. My beliefs and what listeners can expect.

As this is a "soft" launch, we've not really blitzed the media on the fact that we'll be there - live and taking phone calls. I went out to the studios today to ensure that they function ... and they do. Be sure to listen ... and feel free to call in and say hi. The studio line is (716) 783-9(W)3(E)2(C)5(K).

We envision WECK to be very similar to WLVL in his "homey-ness." We will work to be as local as possible with some state and national flair thrown in.

We've got some surprises for listeners ... and as much as I'd like to tell you here what they are, you'll just have to tune in and listen.

And we're hoping that in the not-too-distant future, we'll have some equally exciting announcements for WLVL.

Wish me luck ... I might need it.

Spitzer and his wife ...

spitzer

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Surely you jest ...

To those who listened to my show (all four of you), you must have thought that I was either being sarcastic with my point today ... or was simply on some illicit narcotics.

To those of you who DIDN'T hear Dialog today on WLVL AM 1340, here's a cliff's notes version:

1) The Niagara County Legislature was caught giving an obviously unqualified person - who happens to be a political "friend" of the legislature's Republican majority - the position of County Auditor ... and the Democrats in the legislature said it violated legislature rules and just plain stunk of political patronage.

2) The Democrats in the legislature also complained that a well-connected law firm was given a $175,000 contract despite the fact that the request for proposal procedure was not followed. This law firm includes the chairman of the Niagara County GOP as a partner.

3) I went on record as not caring.

4) Caller after caller denounced issues 1 & 2 ... and several were equally offended by issue 3.

It's not that I think the GOP was right. It's not that I think it's okay to break the rules. It's not that I think that just because a political party has enough votes to run roughshod over everything that they should. It's just that I don't care.

This legislature - most of whom were recently re-elected in November - has done all this stuff before. And worse. They've raised taxes. Created plum positions for political hacks. Removed qualified people from positions and boards in order to make room for their cronies. And of course, they approved the $90,000,000 (that's 90 MILLION) tax break for a coal burning power plant. And they were still re-elected in November.

Maybe I've just grown used to their style of dealings. Maybe it's that I expect the worst from them. But in the grand scheme of things: I don't care who the auditor is ... as long as he does the job. And I don't care what law firm gets a contract to represent the county refuse district ... as long as it wins.

Now, if the auditor screws up ... or cooks the books ... then I care. And if the law firm screws up and loses the case ... then I care.

And when the legislature does something so egregious that I'm forced to care ... I assure you I will. And when the Republicans fall flat on their faces, I'll be there with a microphone.

But if the worst thing this group of GOP shills does is appoint a friend to a job ... or favor their party chairman's law firm over another ... we'll be pretty damn lucky.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Polar Thoughts ...

First, thanks to everyone who donated to the cause. I met - and exceeded - my goal for the year ...

The Olcott Lions Club Swim for Sight 2008 was a blast. I went with friends. I ran into a bunch there, and I made new ones, too.

I probably had a bit too much to drink, but that's the reason I took a bus from Lockport to Olcott and back ... so I wouldn't have to worry about driving.

For photos of this great event, click here.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Natural born ...

I had seen a comment on a blog the other day about John McCain "not meeting the Constitutional requirements" for being president. As I was confused, I went to snopes.com and searched 'John McCain.' I found several articles there on him, but none mentioned whether he met the legal thresholds to be president.

There really aren't many requirements. You've got to be 35 or older and a natural born citizen of the United States.

Well, I knew McCain was older than 35. And I had never heard he wasn't born in the US, so ...

But apparently, he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, as his father was in the military there.

This - for some - raises the question of whether he's a "natural born" citizen. I don't doubt the founding fathers' intent, but I'm sure eggheads and legal eagles will wrestle with this for a while.

Interestingly, Barack Obama is backing a bill to remove all doubt about McCain's status (and those like him).

The other day, it was McCain sticking up for Obama ... and now vice versa. How quaint.

But let's step into the twilight zone for just a minute. Since we can't say for certain what the intent was of the founding fathers on "natural born," what about someone born of C-Section?

And we're not that far off from cloning. Now that needs SERIOUS consideration, wouldn't you say?

Or - it could be a good thing. We could clone previous presidents and re-elect them to office. Imagine Washington's campaign in 2012. Good stuff.

Or we could have a presidential battle royal. We could have some sort of presidential idol ... of the 42 men who have been president, we could clone the one we decided was best ... and elect him to an 8 year term. Then after 8 years, reclone them and re-elect them (or their new version) to another 8 year term.

The only danger in this is that a lot of people are still under the impression that Ronald Reagan was our best president ever. Even worse, some people would actually vote for GWB.

And that's just not natural.