It may rank in the "ultimate inside baseball" category, but Politics Now is for people who care about such things as the inner workings of the Erie County Democratic Committee.
So it's interesting to note that the selection process to replace Mark C. Poloncarz as county comptroller continues to rankle some Democrats. Gregory B. Olma, chairman of Zone 9 and a member of the Executive Committee, remains irked that Chairman Len Lenihan has relied totally on a special search committee to find a new comptroller. Olma says the party's central governing body, absent a meeting of the entire 2,000-member-plus committee, is the Executive Committee.
"It should have had some role," Olma said Friday, "especially since this is supposed to be the pick of the party. It's a shame."
The party, after interviews conducted by a special panel headed by retired accountant John F. Malloy, has recommended Boston Town Clerk David Shenk for the post. He must run in a special election in November, and for a full, four-year term in 2013.
But Betty Jean Grant, chairwoman of the County Legislature, which will pick a Democrat to fill the post, has said she will not be bound by the party recommendation. She said the Legislature will also interview three other candidates: Richard C. Pawarski, former deputy Buffalo comptroller; George F. Hasiotis, a businessman and former Erie County Water Authority commissioner; and Daniel J. Ward, former Amherst supervisor and 2003 candidate for county executive.
Hasiotis, meanwhile, says he will remain in the picture. He said he will soon announce his candidacy and begin raising money even if he fails to win the interim appointment. He is making more and more noise about mounting a primary challenge for the county comptroller post.
--Robert J. McCarthy