Following the spectacular and unabashed fall of G. Steven Pigeon, the former Erie County Democratic Party Chairman and the longtime leader of an opposition faction of Democrats, two figures have emerged as the region’s chief power brokers. Pigeon was the region’s leading political consultant with a large portfolio of corporate clients, providing services ranging from government relations to campaign management.
Pigeon’s recent absence from the political scene has left a void. In the past, Pigeon has claimed to have “two or three dozen clients at any given time,” but now he and his associates have been badly tarnished by public corruption allegations.
As those clients scramble for new representation, they have largely been flocking to two figures who have emerged from the political shambles more prominently than anyone else — effectively becoming Pigeon’s successors in the body politic.
The first is Katrinna Martin-Bordeaux, the founder of Buffalo’s chapter of Black Lives Matter and chairperson of Young Black Democrats of Western New York. In recent years Martin-Bordeaux has mobilized the East Side with an energy and a fervor unlike anything seen in decades.
Her ability to assert the voting block’s political clout has earned the East Side newfound political influence within local and state power structures.
The second is James Ostrowski, the prominent trial attorney and constitutional law expert. Ostrowski is a former Koch brothers associate, and is widely credited in political circles for architecting the genesis of the Tea Party movement.
He is an extensively published author with a slew of practical political experience accumulated since the days that his father was elected to the State Supreme Court. Although he is known for his extensive pro-bono legal work — having funded several court cases challenging the constitutionality of the NYSAFE Act out of his own pocket — you would be lucky to secure Ostrowski as a political consultant for $800 an hour, and twice that for trial work.