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 http://www.buffalonews.com/city/politics/article424928.ece.

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.