Weekly wrap up of rumor and innuendo…

Old dogs still play tricks. Rumor around town is that Joe Ferris, who many refer to as “Frank Max’s right hand man,” called the Grapevine Restaurant (where Erie County Democrats are planning on hosting a fundraiser) to tell the restaurant that the event was canceled. A local democratic party official says that Ferris misrepresented himself as being a staffer with the party. Max and Ferris are both aligned against Party headquarters and local politicos have been calling their behavior the “shits and giggles strategy.” The restaurant says that Ferris called from his home number, which is how they were able to track the call.

Housing authority. Next Tuesday the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority — which has come under a storm of criticism in recent weeks for its improper procurement practices and the incompetence of its Executive Director, Dawn Sanders-Garrett. Residents are pushing for the removal of Sanders-Garrett, whose contract expires next month. Residents want someone hired who has actual property management experience. The meeting is expected to play a pivotal role.

Corporate culture. Some activists are upset that the city’s largest firms have a staggering lack of diversity — especially at management levels. The activists say that the city’s corporate culture excludes minorities and propagates stark racial inequalities in the city. They want major firms like M&T Bank, Delaware North, Rich Products, Uniland Development, and Moog to release their human resources data. They want to know how many Buffalonians and how many minorities apply for positions; how many are given an opportunity to interview; and how many are offered positions. Activists say that they understand the hiring practices to be intuitively racist and they think that a release of the data would statistically prove discrimination against Buffalonians (of all races) and against minority applicants in particular. M&T Bank is exposed to very serious reputational damage, given their history of red-lining, a pending federal investigation, and improprieties related to the Community Reinvestment Act. Eastside community organizers have blamed the bank for financing the region’s sprawl and creating the structural socio-spatial segregation patterns that keep the community in chains.

Draft Dixon. Some grassroots Republican activists are attempting to draft Lynne Dixon for the County Executive’s race. They say that her candidacy would help the party make inroads with Independents and women voters (as Dixon is a registered Independent who caucuses with the Republicans on the County Legislature). Poloncarz is expected to come under severe scrutiny for his handling of “Storm Knife,” which hit the Southtowns hard. They think a familiar face from Hamburg could run up the GOP vote count there.

Carl, the Housekeeper. According to Artvoice’s Peter Reese, staunchly conservative high profile Republican Carl Paladino is paying Democrat Chairman Jeremy Zellner’s salary — along with a ‘whose who’ among New York State special interests. Party headquarters was formerly located in Paladino’s Ellicott Square Building — and Paladino himself was a Democrat prior to his gubernatorial run.

The “scandal free” moniker. A former candidate for County Executive laughs at the Poloncarz camps’ central argument for his reelection: that he is ‘scandal free,’ as if it were an accomplishment.  The former contender for County Executive says that Jacobs easily trumps Poloncarz’s scandal free-ness. So does Lynne Dixon. And neither has an ex-wife who likes to talk.



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