Brian Higgins Is Trying The Impossible Or Is He ?

March of this year Congressman Brian Higgins (D-South Buffalo) advanced a self-drafted plan to reform campaign finance laws pertaining to Congressional elections, titled“Restoring Confidence Through Smarter Campaigns Act,” (HR 1495).

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On its face, the bill would seem to advance sensible spending limits on Congressional contests. Higgins proposed a $250,000 limit for a primary; $250,000 for a general; and $125,000 for a runoff.

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But critics say that the plan is all for show and built around one glaring loophole: There is no spending limit on legal fees.

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“Campaign staffs are full of lawyers. Higgins will still be able to spend tens of millions on reelection. As long as he bills it through a law firm, it’s ok,” explains an attorney close to the Buffalo businessman Eddie Egriu, a major Democratic opposition figure.

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“This legislation is for political cover and pretending that he supports campaign finance reform — all the while taking big money from defense contractors and DC lobbyists,” he said. “It’s the hypocrisy that has become so typical of our politicians.”

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Experts say that the loophole for legal expenses would render the whole plan useless, because ad buys and other spending can be conducted through a law firm acting as an agent of the campaign.

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It’s been rumored that Egriu is considering challenging Higgins in the Democratic Party primary. Last year he was unjustly removed from the ballot by State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Glownia on strained legal reasoning, seemingly for politically nefarious motivations.

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If he does challenge Higgins, Egriu is likely to make campaign finance a major point of political contention. During the 2014 election cycle alone, Higgins has taken $10,000 from Honeywell International, and another $10,000 from Northrop Grumman, two of the nation’s most influential defense contractors.

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The American Council of Engineering Companies, an advocacy group closely aligned with the defense industry, donated $4,000; while the Aerospace Workers’ Union donated $5,000. Higgins raised a total of $851,432 in 2014, of which $324,700 was contributed by PACs and $100,000 from the Democratic Party.

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Higgins has so much support from the defense industry that on May 22, 2014 in Washington, DC, Honeywell International PAC hosted a major fundraising breakfast for Higgins, with tickets at $2,500.

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Higgins sits at a powerful crux of international politics. He simultaneously sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee. Higgins is the Ranking Member of the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee.

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Higgins’ legislation was introduced in March but does not have co-sponsors.

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Egriu is a popular figure with a deep base of support in the city of Buffalo — both in the African American community where his businesses have been successful, and on the Westside where his activism helped scale up the non-profit known as People United for Sustainable Housing, or PUSH.

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He did not return a call for comment.


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The Rat Pack: They Ate Sour Cheese And Stunk the Rest Of Thier Lives

mouse and trap
A private Cheese Party was attended by rats who set up a trap to catch Guy Marlette so he  surely would lose his bid to be on the Erie County Legislature.

A meeting was held by Tom Loughran who wanted to win a fifth term on the Erie County Legislature so his retirement pay would be much higher.  Each rat who attended the Cheese party had much to gain, and like all rats they ate until they died.  The rats had their plan all set.

Joe Lorigo was also running for the Erie County Legislature.  He needed his father Ralph, who was the head of the Conservative party, to give his endorsement to Democrat Tom Loughran.  If Loughran had this line he would surely beat Guy Marlette.  The Conservative line usually would go to the Republican candidate but this time they gave it to the Democratic Candidate Tom Loughran.

The last part of the Rat Pack deal was Jeremy Zelner, the Democratic Chairman of Erie County Democratic Party.  He promised Ralph that he wouldn’t put any candidate against Joe Lorgio.

So one sunny day the rats sat around a table eating their cheese and drinking wine while celebrating their plan.

This time their nasty plan to submarine a very good man worked.   What a sad commentary on “civilized man.”

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David Kowalski
All things GREEN: Energy, Environment, and Economy


  • TUESDAY, December 1, THEATER ACTION: Climate Change Theater Action – Short plays, poems, and songs on the theme of climate change by some of today’s most exciting writers. Directed by Matthew Clinton Sekellick. 7:00pm-8:30pm, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Ave., Buffalo [LINK]
  • WEDNESDAY, December 2, TALK: Transition NYS  to 100% Clean Energy, by Mark Dunlea, 7:00pm, Network of Religious Communities, 1272 Delaware Ave., Buffalo [LINK]
  • THURSDAY, December 3, NETWORKING: Green Drinks at ReUse Action – Networking for the green and sustainable economy. Sponsored by the WNY Apollo Alliance. 5:30 -7:30pm, 980 Northampton St., Buffalo [LINK]


  • December 7, FILM & TALK: ‘The Doctrine of Discovery’ film. Agnes Williams will discuss how the same ideology by which native lands were stolen also contributes to climate change and environmental destruction. Sierra Club Climate and Clean Energy Writers Group. 6:00-7:30 PM, Unitarian Universalist Church (2nd floor), 695 Elmwood at Ferry, Buffalo [LINK]
  • December 8, WNYEA CONGRESS: “Taking Climate Action: The Future of Western New York.” 5:30pm networking, refreshments, Museum exhibits. 6:30pm Panel discussion. Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo. Free and Open to the Public [LINK]
  • December 9, GoBIKE BUFFALO: “Cupcakes and Climate Ride.” 6pm Pot luck dinner, 6:30pm Panel discussion, 7pm-8pm Slow roll ride. Ashker’s Juice Bar, 1002 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo [LINK]

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Sending Our Voices to the U.N. Climate Conference in Paris

Rise up for climate justice

In preparation for the crucial United Nations Climate Conference in Paris, the Rise Up For Climate Justice Campaign of WNY sponsored a public rally in Niagara Square in September calling on our elected officials to act in earnest to curb Climate Change.

Now, as the start of the Conference nears, the Rise Up For Climate Justice Campaign will sponsor a Community Gathering to collect our voices and make them heard by U.S. negotiators in Paris.

Supporters have signed a Climate Justice Pledge. At the Community Gathering, a scroll bearing the names of the pledge signers will be ceremoniously passed on to UB law students who will travel to Paris and present it to an official at the U.N. Climate Conference.

Please Join Us!

 Food, Music and Ceremony will be provided. 

Families and children are welcome. 

WHEN: Saturday, November 28 at 5:30pm to 8:30pm
WHERE: Temple Beth Zion (auditorium), 805 Delaware Ave., Buffalo [Map]

The Community Gathering is Free and Open to the Public.


Come show your support for our student representatives as they prepare to send our voices to Paris calling for bold action on climate change to ensure a just and livable future.

For more information on this and related events, visit the Re-Energize Buffalo website.

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And the Winner is . . .


Just learned that this was posted on Facebook today ~ Pat Lucey won the Amherst Highway Superintendent position – he was leading by 14 votes.  I think the recount of the recount must be over.

Can’t be too much closer than that.  Congratulations Pat.

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Gangs of New York: Sicilian Mafia Offers Big Apple Protection From ‘Psychopathic’ ISIS

FILE: Gambino crime family associate Franco Lupoi is escorted by FBI agents from their Manhattan offices in New York February 11, 2014 © Brendan McDermid
Gambino crime family associate Franco Lupoi is escorted by FBI agents from their Manhattan offices in New York February 11, 2014 

The son of a New York mob boss has given Islamic State a stark warning, saying if they are planning any attacks in New York, they will have to contend with the Sicilian mafia. The notorious crime syndicate says they want to do their bit to protect locals.

Giovanni Gambino, the son of a key figure in the Gambino mob organization, says the mafia is in a much better position than security bodies, such as the FBI or Homeland Security, to give New Yorkers the protection they need.

“They often act too late, or fail to see a complete picture of what’s happening due to a lack of ‘human intelligence,’” he said in an interview with NBC News, as cited by Reuters, adding that the mafia’s knowledge of individual movements and interaction with locals gives it the upper hand, even compared to the latest surveillance technologies.

Gambino, who is trying to carve out a career as a Hollywood screenwriter, says that, following the horrendous terror attacks in Paris on November 13, protection is more important than ever.

“The world is dangerous today, but people living in New York neighborhoods with Sicilian connections should feel safe,” he said. “We make sure our friends and families are protected from extremists and terrorists, especially the brutal, psychopathic organization that calls itself the Islamic State,”

Gambino Jr, who was brought up in Torretta, a mountainous area overlooking Palermo, the capital of Sicily, says that Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) fear the Sicilian mafia, and this has been one of the main reasons why they have not tried to set up any underground cells in Sicily.

The Italian island has not suffered from any terrorist attacks and Gambino feels that the mafia can offer protection in New York to help curb the rise of the Islamist terror group and help people see the mob in a new light.

“The mafia has a bad reputation, but much of that’s undeserved,” says Gambino, who moved to Brooklyn in 1988. “As with everything in life, there are good, bad and ugly parts – the rise of global terrorism gives the mafia a chance to show its good side.”

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President John F. Kennedy Assassinated In Dallas, November 22,1963

In 1963 in the city of Dallas,Texas America I believe America lost the best US President of the 20th century, John F.Kennedy. He was killed by an assassin.

I believe our country would have been a different place if he wasn’t murdered.  May peace with him.

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Amherst Soft Target For Bank Robbers


Amherst again is a target for a bank robbery.  This time the target was Citizens Bank at 2797 Niagara Falls Blvd.

The robber was an older dark skinned black male. He did show the teller a gun.

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Older People Are Easy Targets For Thieves

Most people have a special hobby which helps  them relax or make a profit. Homer Mardiniak, a 77 year- old man was a serious collector of comic books. Many of his comic were very valuable.

Arlene Combs admitted taking part in a plan to steal $30,000. of Mr.Marcininak’s comics.She has been sentence to 20 years in prison. Mr Homer Mardiniak died of a heart attack a day after the robbery.

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Wegmans Recalls Italian Classics Butternut Squash Ravioli


Wegmans is recalling some of its brand of ravioli because it may contain cashews and almonds that were not listed as ingredients. Nine-ounce packages of Wegmans Italian Classics Butternut Squash Ravioli, with UPC 77890 36434, sold since June 6 should be returned.

The grocery chain, which said there have been no injuries or illnesses reported to date, said it was notified by the manufacturer that the presence of nuts were revealed in product testing.

The chain said it sold about 54,000 units at 88 stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.

Consumers with questions may contact Wegmans consumer affairs department toll free at 1-855-934-3663 Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time.

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