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These are Our People
Welcome, Chris Collins, to Artvoice’s Best of Buffalo. As any of your fellow public servants can tell the new Erie County executive, a high-profile elective office around here guarantees you a spot on both the “Best Politician” and “Worst Politician” list, as determind by our readers poll. Just ask Assemblyman Sam Hoyt or Congressman Brian Higgins. Just ask Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown—who, strangley, also placed in our “Best Comedian” category.
Welcome also to South District Councilmember Mickey Kearns, whose (still, as of press time) unannounced but understood candidacy for the mayor’s office this fall has lifted him out of obscuroty and landed him on the list of best politicians and potential mayors. Curiously, Kearns did not make the “Worst Politicians” list. What to make of that?
Collins and Kearns notwithstanding, the names don’t change much around here. Eric Starchild is celebrated for his eccentricity; Kevin Gaughan, Harvey Garrett, and Aaron Bartley for their civic-mindedness; Don Paul for his weather reports. Where’s scandal-plagued Ellicott District Councilmember Brian Davis on the “Worst Politician” list? Let’s get current, folks.
And why, when asked to name “Buffalo’s Weirdest Resident,” do our readers alight on folks like Starchild, the Allen Street Bubble Man, and the Lady in White? Aren’t there public figures—Deputy Mayor Steve Casey comes to mind, as does failed Statler Towers developer Bashar Issa—whose weirdness is just as deep without being obvious, and far more disturbing for its seemingly normal countenance?
We don’t know the answer. This poll belongs to you, our readers. We just hand out the accolades and the booby prizes, which will be announced at our great big shindig on Monday, May 4, at the Town Ballroom. It’s free, it’s fun, and there’s lots to eat.
One last note: Kudos to bloggers Alan Bedenko (BuffaloPundit) and Chris Smith (BuffaloGeek), both of WNYMedia.net, for waging a an actual, albeit tongue-in-cheek war for votes in the “Best Blogger” category. Readers win when bloggers compete. Chris, you nearly broke into the top five. Yow.
Best Activist GroupBuffalo ReUse
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper
Women in Black
Coalition for Economic Justice
Best Individual ActivistKevin Gaughan
Michael I. Niman
Best Local BloggerNewell Nussbaumer
Best Local Print JournalistDonn Esmonde
Michael I. Niman
Best Radio PersonalityShredd & Ragan
Best TV PersonalityJodi Johnston
Mary Alice Demler
Buffalo’s Weirdest ResidentThe Lady in White
The Allen Street Bubble Man
Elmwood’s Screaming Jean
The Allentown Shoe Licker
Best Drag KingBud Wyzer
Best Drag QueenF’ya Valentino
Best Local PoliticianByron Brown
Worst Local PoliticianChris Collins
All of them
Buffalo’s Next MayorBrian Higgins
Best of Buffalo 2009 NominationsMysteries of Buffalo • The Way We Eat • The Way We Drink
Where We Shop • Our Kind of Music • These are Our People
Our Culture, Great and Small • This is Our Town
And the Winners Are...
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