BUFFALO During the first week of August, a local self styled political analyst used anti-gay commentary to describe a openly gay former Erie County official.
Dozens of local elected officials have paid advertisements on the website "politicswny.com". Some candidates have paid Mr. Illuzzi up to five thousand dollars to have their advertisements appear on the web site and companion printed magazine that is occasionally published and distributed locally.
The site is a running commentary on local politic as seen by the owner of the site, Mr. Joseph Illuzzi. Mr. Illuzzi is a self styled political commentator and often his writings are rumors and opinion.
On August 4, Mr. Illuzzi attacked former Erie County Election Commissioner Laurence Adamczyk. In his attack Mr. Illuzzi referenced the openly gay Adamczyk's sexual orientation.
Illuzzi seemingly chose to attack Adamczyk as a target because he believed that Adamczyk was the leader of a conspiracy that caused blogger Alan Bedenko who blogs as part of the wnymedia.net group to post a fact based analysis of the politicswny.com web traffic.
The analysis used the politicswny.com June 2007 & July 2007 web statistics to come to the conclusion that the majority of that sites visitors comes from government owned computers and servers and is has far less visitors than Mr. Illuzzi publicly acknowledges.
While never refuting the veracity of the analysis, Mr. Illuzzi began to insult and make personal attacks regarding the personal lives of more than a few elected officials and private citizens that he appears to believe are conspiring to do him harm.
Mr. Illuzzi, who identifies himself as a conservative Christian wrote
"Update: The unfortunate story carried by the blogs Thursday, my subsequent response, which led to an agreement just to work with each other & move on, i.e, "detente", was instigated by friends of Leg candidate Lynn Marinelli et al. I will have more on Marinelli's race Saturday. She gives new meaning to the term "dirty tricks", very dirty tricks.
I'll mention a name so these folks know when the other shoe drops they know exactly who is kicking them in their rear ends, (ouch in this case) former BOE Commissioner Larry Adamczak. ....
Everytime it comes up people snicker because Mr Adamczyk, who is a gay guy (guy might be incorrect) person is Marinelli's live in pol consultant Rich Horner's best friend! You figure that one out!"
Outcome contacted the political candidates that advertise on the web site and asked them for comment. Only three have responded.
New York State Assemblymember Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo, stated: "I obviously do not condone such language and I will encourage the web site publisher from further use of such inappropriate language. If he does not I will remove my advertising."
Outcome asked Bryan James Whitley, Executive Director of the Western New York Pride Center to look at the web site and he told us:
"It would be irresponsible for his advertisers and community partners not to demand action against such a blatantly homophobic remark on his website. We have come to an era in U.S. politics where 'if you can't beat 'em, demean 'em' and everyone looses when rational and sound political argument is reduced to hurling insults at your opponents."
Don Van Avery, the spokesperson for the County Executive campaign of James Keane told Outcome "Jim Keane has been vilified and parodied and attacked and personally treated as negatively as anyone by Illuzzi. Frankly, the events and columns of the past few days have been far and away over the top. I was attacked for my association with Jim in a way that was fact less and baseless. The comments about Larry Adamczyk and Rich Horner and Lynn Marinelli are, likewise, beneath the dignity of a free press. We condemn his attacks, as we have been repulsed by his drawings of Jim as a Ku Klux Klanner."
Mr. Van Avery told Outcome that the Keane campaign has not had any advertising placed on the wnypolitics.com website since the start of 2007 and that they intend to ask that wnypolitics.com remove the ad and make clear the Keane campaigns repugnance at the attacks made.
Outcome contacted the following political candidates and elected officials for comment. Only Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, Assemblymember Sam Hoyt and County Executive Candidate James Keane have responded. All three repudiated the use of such attacks and have promised to monitor the situation.
List of elected officials and candidates that have paid advertising on politicswny.com
Web Only Postscript
Mr Illuzzi added the following comments on his web site after the newspaper was sent to our printer.
Keane used the terms "misogynist and homophobic." Believe me it wasn't hatred of woman that got me in this tail spin with Marinelli just the opposite. But she opted to do a slice & dice on my emotions to further her career aspirations.
Homophobic? If by that you mean I have a problem with a man having sex with a man & a woman with a woman or both, or transsexuals, all of which represented by Keane, the Stoneballs no walls (Rush moment), the answer is yes I do.
If you are suggesting I am homophobic because I believe it is an assault on family & traditional values to legalize these kinds of anomalies, Ah Yeah! You are right again.