Friday, August 08, 2008

Powers pounces ...

I didn't even get a chance to post the Davis apology story before the Powers campaign had sent out a press release on the topic. It's below in its entirety (with some commentary after)

WILLIAMSVILLE, NY – The Powers for Congress campaign today commented on the admitted bribes of their primary race opponent Jack Davis.

Campaign Manger, John Gerken, released the following statement:

"It is sad what so many years running for office appears to have done to Jack Davis. Jack Davis is trying to explain away his own acts of corruption and he hasn't even gotten to Washington yet. This is just more, unfortunate proof that sending Jack Davis to Congress won't do anything to change Washington."

Davis today announced he was severing his relationships with the "consultants" in question.

The Davis Campaign has recently come under criticism for bribing Independence Party Officials causing the resignation of Monroe County Chairman Rafael Colon.

Last week, Rafael Colon, the Monroe County Independence Party chairman, stepped down amidst accusations that his wife was paid $5,000 by the Davis campaign. Davis Campaign Manager, Luke Vaughn, said that the payments were meant to "build relationships" and admitted that Davis would continue to pay party officials in an attempt to influence them. These payments were made during the month of May when Davis was actively campaigning for the Independence Party's endorsement and much coveted position on the November ballot.

The interim Monroe County Independence Party Chairman Walter Schiemann told the Buffalo News that he was not going to let the Independence Party fall into the hands of a man like Jack Davis and that this payment was a blatant payoff. "It's definitely a bribe – absolutely." said Schiemann.

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Interestingly, the Powers camp has positioned this as though Davis had admitted to bribery. Of course, Davis hasn't (and I'm sure won't) done any such thing. From what I've seen he has simply admitted that it didn't "look" good. (The appearance of impropriety) Whether it was or wasn't, only Jack knows. But it sure did look like it.

Davis apologizes for payments

A story on the Buffalo News website this afternoon features congressional candidate Jack Davis apologizing for $10,000 in payments to the wives of the chairmen of the Erie and Monroe County Independence Party.

"I am severing my relationships with the consultants in question and apologize for my part in the spectacle," he is quoted as saying the the News piece.

The story also states that the payments have been an issue since July 18th, when the Buffalo News first reported them ...

Of course, that's not taking into account the fact that it was an issue before that ... because the Buffalo News was scooped by local blogger Buffalo Pundit.

The News' refusal to believe that they're not the only media outlet in WNY is really frustrating at times.

Seneca's respond to tax vote

Says Nation will fight to enforce its sovereign rights to commerce

August 8, 2008 – President Maurice A. John Sr. today issued the following statement:
“The Seneca Nation has one of the largest private sector economies of any Native American tribe in North America. The Seneca Nation economy has been put in this position many times in our recent history. We will pursue all legal remedies to enforce our federal treaty rights to sovereignty. We will always act to protect the Seneca people’s rights because our treaties are the supreme law of the land, and this bill violates our right to free commerce.”

“Further, legislation that would adversely impact the Western New York economy by damaging a $200 million Seneca retailing sector, while violating treaties between the United States and the Nation, is certainly veto worthy.”

“The state Legislature should not try to help close its budget gap by denying the right of purchase to the Seneca Nation and its licensed retailers or by jeopardizing the jobs and livelihoods of more than 1,000 Seneca and non-Seneca families involved in our retail economy.”

“We understand the demands on state legislators seeking re-election this year, but we would note that the strong majority of Western New York voters and consumers elsewhere as well have long supported the Nation’s right to commerce and right to sell tax-immune products, while they enjoy their own freedom to shop where they choose.”
About The Seneca Nation of Indians

The Seneca Nation of Indians, one of the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, continues to live on its three aboriginal areas in Western New York, south of Buffalo, as well as sovereign territories in Niagara Falls and Buffalo where the Nation operates resorts. The Senecas’ long history includes passing on constitutional and governmental traditions used by founders of the United States like Benjamin Franklin. Formerly a warrior nation, it traditionally controlled trade and protected the Western territories, earning the title “Keeper of the Western Door.” The Nation’s five sovereign territories are comprised of 31,095 acres along the Allegany River and the Southern Tier Expressway, known as the Allegany Territory; 22,011 acres along Cattaraugus Creek near Lake Erie known as the Cattaraugus Territory; one square mile in Cuba, called the Oil Spring Territory; 30 acres in Niagara Falls, and 9 acres in Buffalo. The Allegany Territory contains the City of Salamanca within its boundaries. Tens of thousands of acres of land in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania were taken from the Nation when the federal government built the Kinzua Dam and forcibly evicted Senecas from their land in the early 1960s.

The Nation today operates a $2 billion economy that employs more than 6,500 people, native and not. It operates and manages a variety of retail, Class 2 gaming and casino and hotel operations on its territories. The Nation’s three branches of government – executive, legislative and judicial – operate a faithkeepers school, expanded sports programs for young people, improved health and wellness centers and plans to construct a treatment center for alcohol and drug addictions. The Nation recently expanded greatly its capital building and social services operations, with new projects including improvements to roads, sewers, water treatment plants, water-supply facilities and low-income and elderly housing.

The Nation operates a “good-neighbor” policy under which it seeks to expand its relations with groups, governments, charities, private and public corporations that wish to interact collaboratively with the Nation. In 2006, the Nation spent more than $100 million with vendors, suppliers and businesses across Western New York. In addition to hundreds of union construction jobs created in the last five years, the Nation has paid New York State and local municipalities more than $175 million in shared gaming operating revenues.

State legislature convenes ... taxes Indians

According to the Buffalo News, the state legislature held a session today for the sole purpose of taxing cigarettes sold on Indian reservations in New York.
"The only thing worse than taxes are taxes that are unevenly collected," said Sen. Michael Nozzolio, a central New York Republican and sponsor of the bill.
Allow me to offer my own quote: "The only thing worse than New York State taxing you to death is New York State taxing purchases made in other countries," said Scott Leffler, talk show host and opponent of complete government control.

Now Governor Paterson is in a position to sign the bill, angering New York's Native American population ... or veto it, angering the convenience story lobby and legislators who seem to not understand the term "sovereign land."

Reason show notes 080808

Today was Crazy 8's Day ... and you could tell.

I started on a somewhat serious note, talking about the "standoff" between police and the Buffalo News ... and the fact that the news won. I also discussed Jim Heaney's blog in which me mentioned that they could go even further ...

I mentioned a cool website where you can find out what incredibly lame Olympic sports are on what stations at what time. Here's the link. Just put in your zip code and then pick your provider. It's actually quite cool if you want to follow a specific sport ... like soccer, for instance.

Lots of animal news today. From chickens on the 190 (click the link to watch the video) ... to a cougar in the Town of Niagara ... to dog-eating hawks in Canada.

The next topic: Naked or dead? Beginning next year, if you fly via the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, you may have to go into a phone booth aparatus that'll make you look naked to the screeners. Rather take the bus? Hopefully you won't be beheaded like some guy in Canada. Or you could just stay home.

PETA, which apparently doesn't stand for "People Eating Tasty Animals," has compared the beheading to chicken slaughter houses. How tacky.

And finally, I discussed White Supremacists for Obama. They think that if Obama wins, they'll get more recruits. There's a special place in hell for these twits.

So. Um. Yeah. A crazy day ...

Today's Front Page


Unfortunately, only the Buffalo News is available today. The GNN papers did not update their front pages on their respective websites.