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e-mail shenanigans fire up Kearns

Folks have been grousing about Mickey Kearns' lackluster, at best, mayoral campaign, but on Monday the South Buffalo councilman took off the gloves about the Brown administration leaning on City Hall employees to work on Byron Brown's re-election campaign.

Reports Bob McCarthy:

In his first real criticism of Brown in his so far quiet campaign, Kearns said the mayor has presided over "one of the most corrupt" administrations in recent memory.

"It's time to sweep the corruption out of City Hall and start with a new administration," he said.

Them's fightin' words.

Kearns wants the state Civil Service Commission and city Ethics Commission to investigate.

Good luck. With all the shenanigans of the past few months -- block grant irregularities, Brian Davis, One Sunset,  now the e-mails -- we've yet to see an Eliot Ness type knocking on doors. Heck, I'd settle for Joe Friday at this point.

Brown, for his part, said he didn't know about the e-mails.

"These employees should not have been instructed to do any campaign volunteering during work hours. That is not how we do business and I do not support that. Campaigning is not in their job description, it is strictly voluntary."

If that's the case, Mr. Mayor, I have two questions:

-- Why was Dana Bobincheck, one of your top aides, copied on the e-mails?

-- Are you going to discipline Bobinchek or Tanya Perrin-Johnson, the commissioner who sent the e-mails, or will she they be held harmless, as has Michelle Barron for her role in the One Sunset restaurant fiasco?

Kearns has a decidedly uphill fight ahead of him, one that he's made steeper by waiting so long to kick his campaign into gear, if, in fact, his press conference Monday on the steps of City Hall represents the launch of a campaign.

Brown has a boatload of money and, as my story yesterday pointed out, has the benefit of drawing on the city work force for campaign workers. And with Steve Pigeon in the mix, Brown can count on Tom Golisano's Responsible New York to kick in money if need be.

In short, Brown enjoys the power of incumbency.

Kearns, meanwhile, is an unknown quantity to a lot of city voters. I can't offer any insights at this juncture, as I've only had a handful of dealings with him.




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