Saturday, July 9, 2011

How Can You Argue With This Guy?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Collins Trying To Adjust To New World Order

Four years ago Chris Collins enjoyed the role of the newcomer, the outsider. While the democrats battled in the primary, Collins honed his image as the fresh new face, the future, the anti-politician. An overwhelming landslide victory in the general election made Collins look unbeatable. Now, Collins finds himself vulnerable and in the uncomfortable position of being the incumbent, the status quo.

Collins is also frustrated that various disconnected forces are now working against him, even if it is unintentional. The dems have mended fences thanks to the Governor's efforts and even with a weak candidate like Polocarz they can now mount a serious campaign. Many dems have sat out the County Executive race over the past decade, but a revived party can change all that.

The Buffalo News now has Matt Spina taking a more critical look at Collins' campaign efforts and his weakened team. Chris Collins hates critical attention and if the News decides to take sides and pick Poloncarz then Collins can have many a sleepless night.

Spina has been asking around to see if Collins' will run his campaign without Chris Grant playing an active role. The inside word is that Collins hasn't decided what to do with Grant, but he will no longer be the power at the right hand as he has in the past. Grant has become a serious liability and Collins has never been a very loyal boss. Collins can't get rid of  Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy mid-campaign, but Grant is dispensable.

Former County Executive Joel Giambra was on WBEN Sunday and used a line that described Collins' support as a mile wide and inch deep. Giambra has been working behind the scenes against his replacement for some time, but is now doing it openly. There are former Giambra people who still work in the Rath Building attempting to mount support against Collins, but very, very quietly. One word of rebellion and Collins will eradicate the malcontent, which is why Doctor Maelstrom has been laying low.

The local Tea Party is not eager to work with Collins or Langworthy and both have burned bridges with Thompson and Ostrowski due to the Jane Corwin debacle. In the end Collins will get more Tea Party voters than Poloncarz, but not the grass roots organizational support.

Collins has turned loose his lap dog Joe Illuzzi on anyone who has been critical of his reign, but the mainstream media no longer monitor Joe's ramblings. The only thing that separates Illuzzi from the hookers on the street is that he doesn't gargle afterwards.

Yes, the world has taken on a whole new order for Chris Collins as of late and he's none too happy about it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Collins' Skin As Thin As Toilet Paper

All it took was one little old blog written by a few insiders over a two week period to get under Chris Collins' skin. Doc Maelstrom 's writings have caused the creation of a counter blog written by someone in the Collins camp and the guess here is it's Grant Loomis. The blog is written in a very similar style to some of Loomis' memos and e-mails circulating in the Rath Building.

Doc Maelstrom's reflections have also received rebuttals from Joe Illuzzi of The Illuzzi letter. Joe recently claimed his readership has not fallen off as written here last week. Joe's excuses for lower numbers are down right internet double-talk and BS! We have seen the numbers and Joe's web site is the most expensive and least read political site in Buffalo. Joe just doesn't want the elected officials who pay him for protection to know the truth.

Back to our pal Chris and his minions. Collins was noticeably on edge at his fund raiser last week and the buzz was his Chief of Staff Chris Grant was not returning to that position even if Collins was re-elected. Grant is in Collins' dog house big time and may never come out. It's unraveling quickly on the 16th floor and arrows are coming from all directions.

Giambra got his picture in the News for publicly coming out against Collins' pitch to have the ECC expansion go to the burbs.Giambra has always wanted a bigger downtown presence for ECC, but was always shutdown by the College board. Now Joel sees Collins losing ground and has the News giving him front page coverage. Collins knows the worm has definitely turned if the News is using Giambra as a credible source of criticism.

With the bolts starting to loosen a bit on the Collins band wagon wheels expect more dissent from within. Old foes will reconcile to prevent the Dems from regaining the highest office in the County.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Internal Polling has Collins Ahead For Now

Chris Collins can sleep at night, although it may be with one eye open. Recent internal polling finds Collins ahead of Poloncarz, at least according to the Collins insiders. The numbers are not as lopsided as Collins victory over Keane almost four years ago, but secure for the moment.

The concern among Collins' handlers is that the CE will implode like he did in his brief run for Governor. The book on Chris is that he likes a wine or two while out on the campaign trail and that is when he is most vulnerable to off color, often vulgar miscues.

Collins' has also been pulled over more than once by a Erie County Sheriff Deputy while on his way to his home in Clarence having had a bit too much of the grape. Collins' has been able to keep those incidents out of the media, but that should change before November. As we wrote in an earlier posting, Collins gave a job to the son of a Deputy who had pulled him over earlier this year. We will keep the young man's name off the record because it's not his fault Collins' bought his way out of a ticket by giving him a job. Do not expect Poloncarz to be so generous.

It will take a public "I gotcha" from Poloncarz to gain ground on Collins. The CE has wide spread support, but not very deep as one Republican insider put it. A Kathy Hochul could have flipped that support if she had chosen to run for the CE position because of her popularity, but Poloncarz has mediocre positive numbers.

Collins budget announcement yesterday was another one of his typical "run it like a business" moments. Cut over 300 jobs, but only a third are even active and many of them will be re-instated internally or by the Legislature before 2012. Collins also left out the culturals again, choosing to play the same game of chicken with Maria Whyte and supporters. Collins keeps funding to those entities with powerful boards like the Zoo, but not the "hippie" crowd as he privately refers to them.

The Doctor has been a bit selective in writing these blogs the past week because the Collins storm troopers are on the move seeking us out. As long as we can stay one step ahead and watch them from across the food court in the Main Place Mall we should be okay.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Suddenly Chris Grant is Visible

The Buffalo News reported this morning that Chris Collins Chief of Staff Chris Grant does not swipe an ID card when he enters or leaves the Rath Building. Now why does that suddenly become news?

For almost three years Grant's official position with Collins was COS (Chief of Staff for those readers on the 16th floor), but his duties were more like CPO (Chief Political Organizer). Grant's day to day activities were of little interest to local media until the Jane Corwin disaster. Now suddenly Chris Grant can't even sneak out of the Rath Building without it becoming a story. The guess here is the kitchen is suddenly going to get very warm for CG.

While this little blog has gotten some attention on other internet sites it is a small drop in the ocean compared to the readership of the News. Also, with blood now in the water expect to see Ch 2 do more on Collins and staff.

We are somewhat amused at the recent writings regarding the identity of the author of this blog. Alas, Doc Maelstrom cannot reveal our true name for fear of retribution and writing during work hours has already become too difficult. We can say that there is not one single writer of these blogs and our networking is rather broad. With a combined thirty years plus of working in the public sector we feel we have seen enough to know what is acceptable behavior and what is not. We have now decided to expose that we do not agree with.

Regarding whether the good Doctor is a Republican insider or a Democrat trying to create trouble, we'll leave that to the opinion of the readers. There is plenty to go around out there and we will get to it all in good time. It was the mishandling of the Corwin campaign by individuals we find to be lacking in decency and sound morality that prompted the creation of this blog, but our horizons will broaden.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Collins Owns Illuzzi, Not Beach

If you believed Joe Illuzzi you would think his political web site had thousands of readers, not so. Recent numbers show has several hundred readers a day. Those numbers mean Joe Illuzzi substantially over charges for ads placed on the site, but that matters little to the folks who buy them. Purchasing an ad on the Joe Illuzzi's site means he will sing your praises more than not. Pay as much as Chris Collins and then you down right own the guy.

When first elected Illuzzi went after Collins and oddly enough Chris Grant. It really bugged Grant at the time because he was inexperienced at being in the limelight. Illuzzi was critical for about six months and then suddenly Chris Collins began to buy ad space and the Illuzzi web site was his oyster.

Collins was turned on to Illuzzi by Steve Pigeon, who was rumored to be buying out Illuzzi. That never materialized, but Pigeon has used Illuzzi as both a weapon and mouth piece for years. The arrangement means whatever Chris Collins does is now worshiped as if it had been chiseled in stone on Mt Sinai. Opponents of Collins are also ridiculed by Illuzzi, even former pals which means Collins is paying Joe his price.

Whether its ethical means little to a man who is a convicted felon and once publicly fantasized about Legislator Lynn Marinelli like she was a Maxim hottie. Joe Illuzzi stumbled upon his success by repeating a story he had heard about Sam Hoyt fooling around in Albany. The blog was carried by several statewide media outlets and for about a month the Illuzzi letter was a must read in political circles. Joe was too lazy or creative to keep up the pace and as I wrote at the top, his numbers have dropped off significantly. I won't waste anymore time bashing Joe because its all been done before and his public profile can sink no lower.

So Chris Collins has a writer on the take in Joe Illuzzi, but he no longer is in the good graces of WBEN talk host Sandy Beach. Beach has been poking fun at Collins since Dan Neaverth Jr. was fired months ago. Neaverth worked at the County Emergency center in Cheektowaga, a position mostly funded by the Feds after 911, but Collins cut him loose anyway.

I believe Dan Neaverth Sr. worked with Beach in the 1970's on 1520 radio and Dan Jr. worked with Beach in the 1980's. So while Sandy normally leans right and defends Republicans, I'm told he considers Dan Jr. to be family. So much so that Dan Neavreth Sr. recently went on Beach's show proclaiming himself a candidate for County Executive, running on the ABC line, Anybody But Collins.Expect more of the same as the election gets closer and Beach can be a real prick if he decides to make it personal.

Between the two, its better to be friends with Sandy Beach than Joe Illuzzi and it costs much less.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mallia A Victim Of The Collins "Animal House"

The Mike Mallia episode is over for now. Knowing that Mallia could not remain on vacation forever and with Ch 2 doggedly chasing the story, Mallia was forced to quit the position as Jane Corwin's Chief of Staff. Mallia's stupid and prankish video ambush of Jack Davis caused both personal and political damage to Corwin that she has yet to recover from.

With Corwin returning to Albany wearing the stain of her defeat, Mallia had to leave her office for good or be a constant reminder of how amateurish her campaign had been run by Chris Grant and Nick Langworthy. Mallia has been promised an eventual position within the party once the dust settles, but far from prying media eyes.

Corwin will wear her weak defense of Mallia for many months and will endure the whispers of other Assemblymen and women behind her back. They all know that a Chief of Staff of a sitting Assemblywomen does not quit at 5 o'clock as Corwin claimed. A Chief of Staff must be available at all hours, as the Assemblywoman and other elected state officials are. Not to mention the fact Mallia was obviously working for Corwin and her campaign when the video was recorded otherwise Langworthy would not have immediately posted it on the official Republican Party YouTube website. Corwin should have distanced herself from Mallia and Langworthy the very next morning when it became obvious the video ambush had back-fired.

Chris Collins was not aware of the plan to have Mallia chase Davis down with a video camera. That idea was hatched by his Chief of Staff Chris Grant and endorsed by Langworthy during one of their school boy giggle sessions. Grant, Langworthy, Loomis and others regularly meet like 12 year olds and discuss everything from political maneuvers to the size of staffers boobs and butts. The vulgar nature of their discussions in both spoken and written word has become common knowledge among County employees, men and women. It is a reflection of the actions of boss Chris Collins.

Remember back to Collins ill-fated attempt at a run for Governor and his suggestive comments regarding the need for a lap-dance to the powerful Laura Montante Zaepfel ? That was tame compared to what Collins discusses around his female staffers on the 16th floor. Collins makes predecessor Joel Giambra look like an alter boy when it comes to foul and crude language.

The latest target of crude remarks made by the Collins gang in their gatherings is Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, President & CEO of the CVB. In fact, Dottie's measurements have apparently intrigued Collins and Grant for sometime now.

It is this type of improper and regular behavior that skewed the judgement of Grant and Langworthy when they ordered Mallia to jump Davis. A serious person would have weighed the consequences, but instead they posted an obvious fake assault world wide. Now, that one horrible mistake has made waves that continue to wash over all currently swimming in the Collins cesspool. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Collins Looking Under Every Rock

Chris Collins wants to know who is talking. Chris Collins wants to know who on the inside is sharing information with the outside. Chris Collins wants the talking to stop before he wages battle for re-election and he will do whatever he needs to do to silence the traitors.

That's the gist of the conversation on the 16th floor of the Rath building after Jane Corwin's defeat. Collins is not happy with a lot of things but he is he especially not happy that internal conversations are being exposed in local blogs like this one. Collins can't figure out how Doc Maelstrom and others know so much about the actions of Chris Grant, Nick Langworthy and Bob Davis. Chris Collins senses that someone inside the Rath knows too much or already works for him. Collins is getting so paranoid that he has already told Chris Grant, Grant Loomis and others that he wants county computer activity quietly monitored.

Just two months ago Chris Collins was the over whelming favorite to win re-election depending on his competition. The only opponent he thought could give him a run was Kathy Hochul and he was right. Hochul would have been a serious threat to Collins and pulled an even bigger upset defeating Corwin. Collins was neither surprised nor disappointed when Poloncarz announced he was taking a run for the CE position, but now he's not quite so sure.

Collins can see the planets starting to lineup against him, alliances forming where none existed before, all because Hochul's team showed a way to victory. That and the fact someone is talking on the inside.

Chris Collins has good reason to wonder what's up. Collins has created plenty of enemies over his term and none more than in the Rath Building. His iron fist has come down on those he opposes but also on some who had supported him. For that reason it's tough for Collins to look everyone in the eye he passes in the halls. However, now Collins must look for that face wearing the smile, wondering if its owner is friend or foe. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Both Parties Regrouping After Hochul Win

The local Republican Party is getting bashed by national leadership today. Even Rush Limbaugh is taking shots at the poor effort put forth by the locals against Hochul and Davis. Chris Collins was never a favorite of State party leadership and even less so today.

People close to Bob Davis tell us that the higher ups are looking for him to get back in the game. Davis is said to be considering it and it makes perfect sense because Langworthy has failed miserably. Nick was taking all of the pats on the back after Paladino upset Lazio, but has looked like a rookie in his efforts against Cuomo and now Hochul. Langworthy reports to Chris Grant and Chris Collins, in that order, but we are told a serious pow wow is scheduled for this week that may change that lineup.

On the Democratic side Len Lenihan couldn't be happier today. His candidate pulled off an upset that has brought hours of nation attention on TV and buckets of ink written about the win, especially in Manhatten. Lenihan also did it without much help from Higgins and Brown, the two leading elected democratic power brokers.

Come the fall Brown, Higgins and his toadie Tim Kennedy will have to decide how public they will be in the County Executive race. Brown has had a close working relationship with Collins, despite his cuts to inner city programs. Can Brown afford to alienate his own party and inner city leaders by being less than supportive of Poloncarz?

Obviously Hochul's new found status will boost Poloncarz, but it's doubtful Brian Higgins will want to weigh-in. Higgins may have to square off against Hochul himself if the 26th District is eliminated and right now she looks like the popular choice. So, how active is Higgins against Collins when it means he has to stand next to enemy Len Lenihan?   

Higgins already pissed off many party loyalists last fall when he talked Tim Kennedy into running in a primary against party veteran Bill Stachowski. Kennedy's win actually hurt Buffalo in that his lack of seniority cost the area clout. Stachowski was no ball of fire, but he had 30 plus years of service in Albany and an address book of friends and contacts that Kennedy may never acquire.

Back to Chris Collins, the man who steps on his johnson every time he strays from Erie County politics. Collins has found out several times now that his mantra "run government as a business"doesn't stand up to a two-way dialogue. Hochul would have exposed Collins on that point if she had run against him in the County. Collins put friends Jane and Phil Corwin through the ringer on this one and Phil will never let him forget it.

Collins screw-up means even more party support for Maziarz and the NT native may finally get firm footing in Buffalo. George and close friend Henry Wojtaszek have been trying to be on the inside of Buffalo Republican politics for a couple years and now may be their chance.

Another winner in the big picture is Assemblyman Sam Hoyt who has always been on the Lenihan team and now has a new popular ally in Hochul. Sam was beaming from ear to ear last night. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Corwin Not The Only Loser & Hochul Not Only Winner

Count Joel Giambra among the winners Tuesday night, Chris Collins, Carl Calabrese and Scott Brown among the losers in the 26th Congressional race.

Giambra has been waging a behind the scene battle against Chris Collins since Collins unceremoniously dumped most of Giambra’s loyals in the Erie County work force over his first year in office. When both Giambra and Gorski first occupied the Rath Building they found work for most of their predecessor's support staff. Collins made promises to Giambra that he would not put middle management people in the unemployment line and Joel went out of his way to make the transition a smooth one. Giambra also contributed cash to the Collins campaign coffers.

Collins only showed Giambra disrespect and disregard since taking over as County Executive. So now Giambra is working with Niagara County powerbroker George Maziarz in loosening Collins grip on the reins of the Republican Party in WNY.Giambra pulled off the Grisanti upset over Thompson in the NY Senate and is earning his stripes as an influential lobbyist with Park Strategies.

Giambra was on both WBEN and WIVB Tuesday night rubbing Collins nose in the Corwin defeat. Giambra also called the Hochul victory almost 30 minutes before any news or political outlet. Giambra properly stated that Hochul would have won even without Jack Davis in the race. The entire 9% won by Davis could not have been assumed to have fallen in the Corwin coffers and overcome the 6% margin of victory.

That was not the argument made by former Giambra Deputy County Executive Carl Calabrese on WGRZ at 11:12 P.M. Calabrese, who does plenty of lobby and consultant work for the Collins team, predictably blamed the defeat on Davis being in the race. Carl chose not to be critical of the Collins team and Corwin's ineffective brain trust. No surprise Calabrese and Giambra would be on opposite sides of this campaign.

Ch 2's Scott Brown was also not in a cheerful mood conducting the post election analysis with Calabrise and partner Tony Masiello. Brown has been seeking another political press position and has been particularly supportive of Chris Collins. Brown worked for the Democrats in the 90's, including Dennis Gorski and has been looking to get out of the shaky local TV business. Brown and Collins media maven Grant Loomis have been particularly chummy and there was speculation Brown was seeking a position with Corwin in Washington.
Of course the biggest loser on Tuesday night was Chris Collins himself. The Democrats feel rejuvinated with the Hochul win and feel they have a real shot at knocking Collins out of the CE seat. Poloncarz is no Hochul and has the charisma of an undertaker, but the race will be about Collins not Poloncarz.

There will be a restructuring of the Republican power structure with Corwin losing a race that couldn't be lost. Langworthy is publically embarrased as Chairman, but as stated here before, Chris Grant, Corwin's campaign chief and Collins Chief of Staff, has dropped several rungs on the party ladder. Former Republican boss Bob Davis will be much more active behind the scenes and there will be more seats at the table now for Maziarz and his growing influence on the State level.

Kathy Hochul proved once again that substance carries more weight than status. Jane Corwin is a very nice woman, but a very poor leader. Chris Collins should get on his knees and thank God that Hochul chose the race for congress rather than the race for Erie County Executive. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Phil Corwin Is Pissed!

Phil Corwin, husband of Assemblywoman Jane Corwin who is running for the 26th congressional seat, is pissed! The whole Jack Davis video YouTube snafu has Phil seething. Should Corwin lose Tuesday he claims he will have something to say about it, but then again, he is not without guilt himself.

Corwin's Chief of Staff Mike Mallia's weak attempt of a video ambush of Davis on the night of May 11th occurred without Corwin having any knowledge of the plan. The scheme was hatched by Chris Collin's COS Chris Grant and endorsed by Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy. The video was then put on YouTube and hit the late news, but Corwin had gone to bed early due to the noon debate on Ch 2 the next day. Phil Corwin saw the video clip but failed to tell his wife in the morning, fearing it would distract her. Corwin was clueless when she was approached by reporters in the Ch 2 parking lot after the debate because not one staff member had bothered to tell her what had transpired.

The fact that Corwin went to bed early to get enough sleep for a noon debate is not an endorsement for her ability to deal with the rigors of politics, but the handling of the whole mess demonstrates just how much she has become manipulated by the Collin's team. Jane Corwin is a nice woman who looks good on TV and in person, but she is a political neophyte who has found herself in a dog fight with seasoned veteran Kathy Hochul and considering the lopsided Republican enrollment advantage is getting her butt beat.

Corwin is also coming under fire for not cutting loose Malia and separating herself from such a frat house stunt. The issue there is that Malia was just following orders and would probably go public on Chris Grant with all of the sordid details if he were to be fired.

However, let's get back Phil Corwin. Phil and Jane are good pals with Chris Collins and they have benefited from that relationship, that is until now. Phil is running around letting anyone who will listen know that Chris Collins boys have botched what should have been an easy win. Chris Collins is none too happy about how Phil and Jane Corwin are handling the ups and downs of the campaign as well.

You see, Collins doesn't have many people he can call a true friend, plenty of business associates, but not real friends. Yet, Collins is willing to lose one if buddy Phil gets too loud come Wednesday. After all, he has lost plenty on the golf course fudging strokes.

Yes, it looks like Phil Corwin is going to get chatty if wife Jane tastes defeat due to the shenanigans of the "rat pack" Chris Collins has assembled to run the campaign. Like Collins's pal Carl Paladino says, Phil Corwin is mad as hell and he doesn't want to take it anymore!   

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chris Grant Will Be Wearing The Corwin Defeat

Four years ago Chris Collins was the dark horse, the new face in the mix of a hotly contested race for Erie County Executive. Collins stood back while Jim Keane and Paul Clark bloodied themselves in the Democratic primary and then emerged victorious on the mantra of “run Erie County as a business”. However, since Collins became County Executive he has become the most political figure in that seat in decades.
Chris Collins is the number one Republican in Erie County and now controls the Republican Party. His main operative is his chief of staff Chris Grant, who claimed he took a leave of absence from his position in the County to run Jane Corwin’s campaign.

Chris Grant is the architect of the now ill-fated video ambush of Jack Davis. Grant has allowed Corwin’s chief of staff Michael Mallia and Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy to take the heat for the incident, but it was one in a long line of Grant’s “dirty tricks”. Another is the foolish commercial that was panned in Tuesday’s Buffalo News

Grant was an eager, baby-faced kid during Collins run for County Executive. However, since he was named Chief of Staff in 2008 he has become a mean spirited political operative peering down from the 16th floor of the Rath Building. Grant is certainly no dope, but like Collins, a string of early party victories has gone to his head. Should Corwin lose the race for what should have been a slam dunk win for a Republican in that congressional district then Grant will wear the defeat and he will no longer be the main player in Collins re-election bid.

A Corwin defeat will be extremely embarrassing to the Republican Party at a local, state and national level. No one thought the seat once held by the powerful Tom Reynolds and then squandered away by cell-phone photo eye candy Chris Lee could be held by a Democrat.

It has become obvious that the video Grant asked Mallia to take of Jack Davis and then placed on the Republican Party YouTube page has become a giant gaff. Worse yet, Corwin looks inexperienced and out of the loop in her weak attempts at defending it. Then the fact Langworthy has been caught lying about the video length and second camera has weakened his office as well. 

Word is former Republican Party boss Bob Davis is seething over the mismanagement of the race by Grant although he has been publically critical of the tactic without mentioning Grant by name. Davis has met with other Republican power brokers to see what can be down about Grant and Langworthy without positioning Collins in a tough spot.

Collins has been the 800 lb. gorilla and not easy to work with for members of the party. His alliance with Palladino during the Governor's race helped him locally, but now Carl is toxic and has become somewhat of a worn penny. Plus Carl stiffing staffers on their expected salaries after his defeat has not made him a party favorite.

Chris Collins is currently keeping the door shut on a slew of personal mishaps, but that will be tough to do in a race against Poloncarz. For example; a few months back Collins was pulled over late one night in Clarence after a few too many wines. The Sheriff Deputy let him go and then two weeks later the son of the Deputy was surprisingly hired in the County Highway department. Poloncarz and others know of the hire and the circumstances surrounding it and look for it to emerge in a big way during the fall election. 

Collins, Grant and others in his administration have also been caught exchanging e-mails of a sexual nature about female staffers. They have managed to keep those private, but again Poloncarz has friends in the Rath Building who have gained access to those e-mails and they will be revealed at a later date.

Hubris is always the enemy of the victorious and Grant and Collins have it by the bucket full. It will prove to be their downfall like Giambra and Gorski before them.