Is there anyone who thinks that Robert Duffy’s coronation as head of the Rochester Business Alliance resulted from a fair and unbiased assessment of candidates?
This has been a slam-dunk insider deal since last year. But back then, rumors leaked out and, just by coincidence, as she told us at the time, RBA CEO and Joe Morelle flunky Sandy Parker announced that she’d hang on for another year.
Then, yesterday, Parker admits that she was lying. She did it as part of a preordained plan to bring in Duffy. No doubt wondering when to announce things officially, the RBA siezed the moment, making the announcement while the Buffalo snow storm commands the headlines.
What process did the RBA Board use to select its new leader?
Who were the members of the Selection Committee?
Who appointed the Selection Committee?
Did any of these people run or own businesses that received largesse of any kind from the “Enterprise Panels,” or whatever that sham was called, to which Gov. Cuomo rusticated his Lieutenant to get him out of the way and let him spin his wheels?
We all know better than to expect the house organ of the local Democrats' Morelle faction to ask these questions.
So is there anyone out there in local media willing to ask them and pursue the answers?
Rachel Barnhart, whose B.S. detector is one of the best around, has raised relevant concerns. Will her inquiries migrate from Twitter and her blog to the much larger audience of the airwaves, for a televised investigative report?
How about you, Brett Davidsen? Sean Carroll? Berkeley Breen? Anybody? Why not start calling members of the RBA Board to ask some questions? They're all listed on the Alliance's website. Seems like there’s a story here, people.
A story about an inside deal that leaked out about a year ago. All participants then fell back and regrouped, until the coast was clear, in the cause of appointing Duffy to lead Rochester’s principal professional business organization.
Bob Duffy has never run a private business. Apart from possible high school and college jobs, he’s never so much as held a job in the private sector. As Mayor he raised taxes on businesses and residents.
Where was Duffy as Lieutenant Governor, when Buffalo got $1 billion from the State and Rochester got bupkis?
We’ve had some minor issues before with Brian Samson, long-time Executive Director of the RBA's Unshackle Upstate project. Yet he genuinely advocated for business and he’d seem to be a likely successor for the top spot. Together with Parker, he was one of the two most prominent faces of the RBA. But the fix was in. Now we understand why he left RBA earlier this year. They never gave him a fair shot.
The whole farce is a black eye for the Rochester Business Alliance. It’s now run by a politician. Is it anything more than a de-facto arm of the faction of the Monroe Democratic Party that resents and opposes Mayor Warren?
If it’s not, let the RBA prove it. Let them appoint a Republican as Chairman of the Board. Not some politically clueless country-club type who happens to be a Republican, but someone with a political pedigree, like Duffy. Jack Doyle is tanned, rested and ready.
Will people who call themselves journalists and news editors pursue the questions around the Duffy coronation? We'll see.
Meanwhile, we can all wait to find out what high-level position Mollie Clifford gets from the new head of the RBA.