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Democratic Democracy

by on May 14, 2013

Byron Brown doesn’t like competition, as seen by what can only be seen as efforts to have as few retailers as possible vie for customers in the city where he’s mayor. Buffalonians aren’t supposed to discover the ability to take one’s business elsewhere, as limiting choices to take it or leave it is to the ruling party’s advantage.

But the erstwhile Johnny Law signed up for intramural competition before the varsity season begins. How dare he! Another Democrat has some nerve helping turn an election into a marketplace of ideas. It will be good for everyone who is not presently the mayor. Brown only offers one thought, namely that winning again would be good for him:

A Mayoral candidate has stepped up to the plate, giving Byron Brown some competition from his own party this Fall.

Former FBI Special Agent in charge, Bernard Tolbert announced his candidacy for Mayor of the City of Buffalo on Saturday.

He said, “I see a Buffalo that is appealing. It’s an appealing place to live, work and raise a family. I see a Buffalo that builds upon its assets, rather than looking for silver bullet projects.”

But who’s to say taking the Metro Rail past the Central Terminal to Bass Pro or the medical campus won’t turn Buffalo into an urban utopia? The city needs to create the circumstances that permit people to thrive, not assume thriving will be caused by a wand wave. The challenger additionally thinks having good things would be good:

Tolbert told a crowd of about 150 supporters his priorities include improving schools, job growth and neighborhood development — both economically, and in terms of safety. “We must make our streets a safe place where seniors and all others are not fearful of leaving their homes,” he said.

Regarding the improvement of schools, Tolbert said, “It is heart wrenching for me now, to see the school system that helped me become who I am, failing our children. We must see every child in this city as if he or she were our own, and fight for real results.”

In reply, the mayor hopes people read his words instead of looking around:

In a statement, Brown says he’s “proud” of his administration’s accomplishments and “great progress.”

Another hopeful who’s greatest strength is not being either the present mayor or a member of his party thinks the other side isn’t doing anything worthwhile no matter who he faces in the general:

Republican challenger, Sergio Rodriguez, agrees the people of Buffalo want change, and said he’s the man to deliver it.

Mayoral candidate Rodriguez said, “We’re focused on the issues that matter most to people. I don’t see much of a sharp contrast between the other two candidates, as opposed to my candidacy. So I think we bring something very different to the table.”

There certainly hasn’t been much difference between mayors who’ve all held the same affiliation. But Tolbert might be a less worse option than perversely rewarding Brown again with another four years out of the private sector. At the least, he could offer a law and order background to a city that could use some of both.

For now, Buffalo is both poor and dangerous, which is odd, as one might think thieves would have run out of things to steal by now. He needs to ditch the heart of gold and be the tough mayor who’s always yelling at detectives:

A true humanitarian, Tolbert says he never arrested someone without feeling bad about it.

Well, at least he arrested people, although he should feel bad about the victims. Voters may enjoy the real alternative of considering Rodriguez, as trying a mayor with an (R) after his name would be fun just for the novelty of it. At the worst, Tolbert will make the woeful incumbent sweat doubly. It’d be the most productive thing Brown has done since gaining office.

One Comment
  1. Buffalo, you need another Glover Cleveland.

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