Race has entered the Mayoral campaign already

The Lovely Warren campaign has unfortunately decided to throw race into the dialogue in her attempt to become Rochesters next Mayor.

What I find most unfortunate about this is that she was in full support of Tom Richards less than two years ago when he first ran. And for those of you who have forgotten, he had a black challenger at that time as well in Bill Johnson. It leaves me wondering if she is unwilling or unable to base the dialogue on topics of importance to city residents. Maybe she feels that it will be easier bringing the conversation down to being about black and white? Our community would be better served having Mayoral candidates discussing the actual issues of this city and not focusing on physical appearances of one another.

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D&C showing bias against diverse voices in Unite Rochester Initiative

A few months ago, to my surprise, I received an email from Jane Sutter at the D&C inviting me to join a forum to discuss their coming “Unite Rochester” initiative that was to serve as a catalyst to bring this community together on the topic of race. I was more than happy to offer my opinion as someone who is married to a Thai immigrant, expectant father (at the time) of a multi-racial child and one who is passionate about our community. (My daughter was born on Thuesday April 5th. Mom and baby are doing great)

At the time I offered to bring my wife as I believe her opinion and thoughts would be valuable to the conversation. To my surprise, the forum I had been invited to was to consist of whites only. They had been breaking out small groups of blacks, latinos, asians, and whites to get their thoughts on how to best approach this initiative. My wife and I had a good laugh at the thought of me going to a “whites only” breakfast. At that first meeting I offered the idea of not focusing on race but rather topics of interest to the community which would provide an avenue of people from various backgrounds, races, religions, etc to come together and “unite”. That idea was quickly shot down.

I was asked to return to another breakfast a few weeks ago that consisted of the various groups from before, where the D&C could bring us all up to speed on what was going on with “Unite Rochester”. Among many items brought up that day they were disappointed that more people were not engaging on the topic, especially whites from the suburbs. I again offered my thoughts of focusing on topics of interest and allow for diversity and uniting to happen organically. Many participants, of all colors, in the room agreed but not Karen Magnuson, Jim Lawrence, or Michael Kane.

After the meeting I reached out to Jane Sutter to offer my willingness to be a blogger once again for the D&C for “Unite Rochester”. At first, they seemed to be interested. I was the person they wanted to be involved, right? A white guy from the suburbs, although now a city resident. Plus, in a multi racial/cultural marriage and father to a multi racial/cultural child. Jackpot!…. or not.

I received a call from Jane yesterday essentially saying that there was concern about what I would choose to write about. She also acknowledged a personality conflict between Jim Lawrence and I to which I replied, “When Jim starts accusing you of being a liar and actually takes the time to call you on the phone to complain when you publicly disagree with him, you too would have a personality conflict” (See my previous posts for examples)

Here was the offer from Jane, I could try writing a few blogs and she would review them. I guess if she approved I could then post them. After a good laugh, I pointed out that I can comment on any post, as long as I abide by the D&C terms and conditions, and don’t need her permission to participate in the dialogue.

I find it humorous, disappointing, and expected that this is how “Unite Rochester” is going. The D&C isn’t at all concerned about uniting anyone or anything. They are rebranding the same ideology that they have been pushing for the last few decades. They are looking for blacks and latinos to author blogs that softly point the finger at whites in the suburbs for causing the issues that exist in the city and for guilty whites to author blogs that agree with those viewpoints. They are not interested in diversity unless it is the diversity they agree with.

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More unfortunate bias from Jim Lawrence, D&C Editorial Editor

Below is a link to a recent post by Jim Lawrence, D&C Editorial Editor, showing clear bias towards recent Senate appointee Tim Scott.

http://blogs.democratandchronicle.com/editorial/?p=26645

This is unfortunate, as others in leadership at the D&C are trying to build an environment for healthy discussions on race. How long will the D&C stay in a position of having the personal bias of a few in leadership discredit the objectives of the establishment?

Text of piece:

“Frankly, I should have done a little more reading up on Rep. Tim Scott before this post. I should at least give him the benefit of a doubt.

But instead, I’m going based on my gut feelings about Scott, and what his appointment as the first African American Republican senator from the South since Reconstruction means.

First, let me be clear: This is a major breakthrough.

The problem, however, is that it may be one of those like the appointment of Michael Steele as chairman of the Republican National Committee shortly after President Obama’s election in 2008.

In other words, I’m getting the feeling that here we go again: Republicans, who desperately need to demonstrate to the nation that they’re open to diversity in their camp after the shellacking they took last month, may be up to their same old, tired shell game.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley this week named Scott, who is completing his first term in the House, to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Jim DeMint, who is resigning to head up a conservative think-tank.

Yes, Scott is a conservative, like DeMint. For me that isn’t a problem. After all, I doubt seriously if Scott would have even been considered if he didn’t have solid conservative credentials.

But what worries me is that Scott is of the Tea Party ilk, and as such, he’s not even open to dealing with people who see the world differently. It’s telling, for instance, that Scott has refused to join the Congressional Black Caucus.

Of course, hooking up with the CBC shouldn’t be a litmus test for black members of Congress, but someone with Scott’s conservative views should at least be at the table for discussions on issues affecting African Americans. In other words, this guy doesn’t sound like someone willing to work across the aisle.

Anyway, I’m going to do some more reading up on Rep. Scott. In the meantime, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that he isn’t someone the South Carolina GOP decided to keep DeMint’s seat warm until a special election is held in two years while trying to reap any benefits from appearing to be, let’s just say, diversity-sensitive.”

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And the first of the ugly stones is cast

Seems to me that if Slaughter is so confident that she is the right person for the job, and she is confident that the polls that show her ahead are true, why is she going negative already?

Slaughter, who I have interviewed during her last race while on the Board of Contributors at the D&C, struck me as out of touch and not understanding of issues facing folks from my generation. (Or most generations for that matter) She is an advocate for huge government and has yet to find a progressive idea that she doesn’t want to double down on.

In her desperation to be politically relevant and to continue that $180k + income coming in she is going to try and use tactics that were less than successful for local Democrats before. Or, maybe, this is the year that Democrats don’t bother touting their own achievements and just try to say “that guy/gal is worse”. Obama certainly isn’t running on his record.

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Another example of why Louise Slaughter is part of the problem in Washington

Reading through the D&C’s contributors write-ups after the Slaughter interview something interesting was revealed. Kellene Paul wrote, in part:

“…On the other hand, if a subject was broached that she felt unprepared to answer like the LDC’s (Local Development Corporations) that her opponent has been accused of misusing, she simply said she needed time to research it so she could give a more informed response. My mother calls that the “no fillers or fluff approach,” which means she does not use ready-made answers to pacify her audience.

In a political sea of venomous vipers, Louise is One Tough Cookie!”

Maggie’s campaign manager rightfully pointed out that Louise apparently does have a stance on LDC’s. He wrote:

“What an embarrassing Louise Slaughter sycophant. Kellene – if you want to fawn over Mrs. Slaughter, that is your business, but at least do your homework.

Your claim is that Mrs. Slaughter “…felt unprepared to answer [questions] like the LDC’s that her opponent has been accused of misusing….she does not use ready-made answers to pacify her audience.”

Let’s take a look at her website posting from June 1st:
“Maggie Brooks has driven Monroe County into $389 million worth of debt,” said Campaign Manager Liam Fitzsimmons. “Rather than tell local taxpayers the truth, Maggie Brooks has expanded the improper use of Local Development Corporations to hide hundreds of millions of dollars worth of additional debt and provide her campaign donors and political allies with jobs. Now, Maggie Brooks wants to bring this abysmal and self-serving record to Washington.”

By your definition, without understanding an issue Mrs. Slaughter made an unabashedly nasty political attack. About as close to a “venomous viper” as I’ve seen in Washington.”

To the Slaughter campaign, Why is Louise tossing around nasty implications if she hasn’t researched the issue? This is what is wrong with Washington.

Link to D&C Article

Link to Slaughter’s post

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Great insights into City Hall’s feelings on diversity

Thank you to Christine Fien for pulling back the curtain a bit on City Hall’s feelings on diversity in City News.

So the Mayor just wants to put a “face of color” on the new hires in the RPD and RFD to fool people in the city into believing that the RPD and RFD are “one of them”?

The Mayor is also quoted as saying
“I’ve got to get people in here who can qualify for these jobs and are prepared for them,” Richards said. “I suppose you could say that if I took some guy off the corner of Conkey and Clifford, he would know more about that neighborhood. But I can’t get him in to be a policeman in today’s environment. You have to have a whole bunch of things to qualify and, quite frankly, we need that, because we’re putting a lot of faith and confidence in these people.”

So what does that mean exactly Mayor Richards? You don’t trust the people who live near Conkey and Clifford? Does it have to do with skin color, upbringing, or just being a part of that neighborhood? I can see why many people in the city have fear and animosity towards City Hall, as Lovely Warren indicated. City Hall openly admits they don’t trust them. Seems like a mutual feeling.

What would be the reaction of a Republican spewed this garbage?

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I am building it

I took a few days to think about how I wanted to explain my feelings about the President’s comments from this past weekend. He essentially told all small business owners that they wouldn’t be able to do what they do had it not been for Government investment and they should give more.

At first I was completely insulted and angry being a small business owner myself. But after thinking about it for a few days I have come to the realization that Obama just doesn’t get it. He has never run a company, never created a company and has never held a private sector job. While he is out trying to paint Romney as the “out of touch with the middle class candidate” he fails to see that he is the one that is out of touch.

I would like to suggest a different take on this for him. Government is not able to do what it does without the job creators. Where does he think all of the tax revenues come from that allows Government to spend? The economy isn’t creating enough jobs to even keep up with the normal population increases and new folks entering the job market, let alone re-employ all of those who have lost jobs over the past four years and now and he is talking about asking more from the folks that he demonizes.

Who is really out of touch with the middle class?

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If you don’t know, the answer is no

On Tuesday of this week I received a request to connect on Linkedin with someone I had not previously met. Now, This does happen from time to time as people are looking to network with more and more people. More often with people like myself in the “Sales World”.

This time I was a bit surprised to see that it was former Assemblyman David Koon. I don’t know David and have never met him. I accepted the request and wrote a quick note asking why he reached out. This is typically my response to those who I haven’t met prior to connecting on Linkedin. 

His response was “Just asking people if I should run for my old Assembly seat? What do you think?”

As a former candidate I knew more than anything that I was going to run, no matter what anyone else had to say about it (other than my wife). Especially someone I had never met from an opposing party that doesn’t live in my district.  

David, If you don’t know then the answer is probably no. But you don’t have to take it from me, I live in Morelle’s district.

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D&C Editor is guilty of violating their own terms and conditions

Looks like another Editor at the D&C is taking a stroll down Hypocrisy Lane.

As we have seen that both comments and posts have been disappearing lately from the D&C’s website, I have included screen shots at the bottom of this blog of both the bloggers profile and the text of the article in discussion.

Now the expected, if not cliche, question to ask would be “What if a white Republican were to criticize the grammar being used by a black member of the opposing party?” Especially a sitting member of Congress. I will let you all handle that in the comments yourselves.

What I would like to address is how I, along with others, were accused by both Karen Magnuson and Jim Lawrence yesterday of attacking Jim personally by bringing up the fact that his name is found in public records as to having tax issues with NYS. I am still waiting to hear from either of them how we are attacking Jim but they aren’t attacking the folks they reported on in their story. Something tells me I have a long wait ahead of me.

Now on to the hypocrisy! Kevin Frisch is listed on the D&C’s website as the “Digital Opinion Editor” since December 2011. He titled his article “Out of the mouths of Boobs”.
Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t calling someone a name a “personal attack” and with that against the D&C’s terms and conditions? Why no calls from Jim or Karen to have Kevin’s post removed? He goes on to say “He’s a congressional representative. Allegedly.” FYI Kevin, There is no allegedly here. He was elected and will continue to be a congressional representative until he either leaves office or is voted out.

Kevin questions whether the comments made by Rep West are deserving of a response due to the improper grammar but was willing to offer one himself. So the answer according to you Kevin is yes.

Link to the article: http://blogs.democratandchronicle.com/editorial/?p=22691

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Is the D&C silencing comments to protect their own?

Today the D&C posted a story discussing people in Monroe County that owe NYS back taxes titled “Top tax delinquents include local names”

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20120425/BUSINESS/304200061?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150687647466402_21369688_10150688752341402

One alert reader commented that if the reporter wanted to interview another local tax scofflaw they didn’t need to do much more than walk down the hall. As the alert reader pointed out, Jim Lawrence is listed as having a judgement against him in the amount of $1530.58 with the plaintiff listed as “Commissioner of Taxation and Finance” filed on 11/18/2011. This is all public information that can be found at the following address:
https://gov.propertyinfo.com/NY-Monroe/

Once this was brought to light the comments pertaining to Jm Lawrence were removed from the D&C’s website. As many of you know I have had issues with the D&C removing individual comments and the ability to comment on certain stories even when people are not breaking their terms and conditions. I then posted a comment of my own which can be seen below. My comment was “So Jim Lawrence was called out for being a tax scofflaw in the comments and they have been removed. Either open up the dialogue or close it. This is garbage D&C”

Within moments I received a direct message from Jim Lawrence via Facebook which can also be seen below. From Jim: “You continue to amaze me. First, my tax obligation has long been satisfied and the state’s system simply hasn’t gotten around to updating. (I have a letter attesting to that from the state) What disturbs me most is that you would participate in this kind of character assault on me and my family. I resent it!”

My response was simple “If you are clear then state so on the comments and don’t delete the other ones. I said nothing other than you were called out and the comments disappeared. That makes you look more guilty than correcting the record.” I have received no response to that as of this post.

As can also be seen below, Karen Magnuson accuses the comments pointing out that Jim is listed in the same list of people that they are reporting on as being a personal attack. Karen, where is the attack? If you have listed people that NYS has indicated as owing money and Jim is found on the same list, then either we are not attacking him or you are attacking the other folks that you have reported on. Which is it?

This garbage with the D&C begging for the sunlight to shine in while demanding that the door be shut when the light finds skeletons that they wish not be found is disgusting.
Is there no responsibility with being “Journalists” any longer?
Lastly Jim, I hope we don’t hear any more rhetoric about people not paying their fair share.

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