(Supposed) rift at grassroots has "battling" members vying for various races
From exclusive sources
By Frank Parlato Jr.
07 January, 2006
In politics, not everything is as it appears:
As published first in PoliticsNY.net, Common Council Majority Leader Marc Coppola is the front runner for the Democratic Party endorsement for Byron Brown's vacant State Senate seat from county chairman, Len Lenihan.
However, because of a deal made between de-facto Grassroots leader, Maurice Garner, and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter - -Antoine Thompson was, allegedly, “pushed very hard" by both Brown and Garner to be Lenihan's choice.
This deal for Garner (and Brown's quiet) support of Thompson was made supposedly to keep Thompson from running against Slaughter, and Slaughter, it is said, upheld her end of the bargain by a very princely $$ package to a certain not- for- profit dear to the hearts of some in or near city hall.
Of course, Mayor Brown is behind (and above) the scenes: early on, he, allegedly, made a deal to support Marc Coppolla, (in return for Coppola's quixotic entry as an early, white- knight candidate for Buffalo Mayor.) Later, Brown shifted to cohort Brian Davis. Now, privately, sources say, Brown is pushing Thompson- while telling Davis and other's he's neutral.
Although some opine that this support for Thompson is an attempt to feign an attempt to fulfill past deals—other’s say that Mayor Brown was genuinely working Lenihan to support Thompson for senate. Either way, most believe that Brown will be pleased to see Lenihan reject Thompson, and see Thompson move against Slaughter.
An allegedly "angry" Thompson has, according to sources, said, privately, he will either get the party endorsement for the Senate seat, or else he plans to “defy” Grassroots leaders, and run for Congress against Slaughter.
This, allegedly, will "displease" Garner.
If, however, Thompson jumps into the Senate race, it means two "big-name" Grassroots members will oppose each other in a primary, and this will certainly displease Brian Davis, who feels he has been promised this seat by Grassroots leaders, as well as seriously put into doubt who the next state senator will be.
As it stands now, there appears to be a rift between Thompson and Davis, and between Davis and Garner, with Brown adopting a position of neutrality.
However, if Thompson stays out of the Senate race, because Lenihan would not endorse him, and Davis is the only black candidate against five whites --Marc Coppola, Al Coppola, Eddie Egrui, Kevin Gaughan, and possibly Rich Fontana, Davis will have a distinct advantage in a district which is 40% black.
Ultimately, for Grassroots, the best scenario may be for Thompson to run for Congress (where he may take the black vote as well as the pro- Buffalo - anti Rochester vote), and Davis for State Senate. Grassroots leaders Garner and Brown can say they tried to keep Thompson directed toward Albany, but he bolted for D.C. They can feign anger initially, and then support him vigorously.
Grassroots, by this time next year, may have not only the Buffalo Mayor, but the State Senate and US Congress, and then can replace the two graduating councilmen (Thompson and Davis) with new upcoming Grassroots members.
County Democratic Chairman Len Lenihan, according to published reports, says there has been no decision on the endorsement for the senate, but, our sources say, he will stick with Marc Coppola to keep his coalition in city hall strong, expecting, however, that Davis (absent Thompson in the race) will win.
And everyone will make nice with the winners at the end of the day.
Copyright © Frank Parlato Jr.