Richard Kern: Before and After
Richard Kern was once one of the most feared liars in Buffalo, NY.
Today he's entirely irrelevant.
Richard Kern joined the chorus of racists who attacked Parlato in the mid to late 90's. As he did to the others, Parlato dispatched Kern in the way best calculated to promote the public good.
Kern, even in his dementia, admitted the reason for his continued rabid disdain for Parlato on his own website – Kernwatch.com: Parlato caused him to lose his newspaper column.
The story is this:
At the time the two men went to intellectual war, Kern was a featured columnist for the weekly tabloid Buffalo Beat. Many politicians would cowtow to Kern in an attempt to avoid his wrath and divert him from writing about them in a humiliating way. Because of Kern’s willingness to add the spice of scandal into his weekly stories, when he came to Buffalo's City Hall, some politicians would hide, hoping that the old maxim, “out of sight out of mind" might help.
Advertisements in Buffalo Beat touted him as the ‘most dangerous man in Buffalo’.
Kern chose his targets based on personal animus, oftentimes arising out of perceived or imagined slights and kept his subjects in the pages of his column until he found new ones. Sometimes, if Kern was satisfied with the abject groveling of a particular politician, he would spare him, otherwise he would continue to write about a politician or community leader with a dogged perseverance that bordered on the pathological.
All of this was significant to the people being attacked since they would appear in print weekly – oftentimes being linked to adulterous relationships, homosexuality, protistution, necrophilia and a host of other activities which were more than likely untrue.
Editors like him however because by mixing fact with fancy and scandal he had a large readership - who sometimes picked up the publication to see who he was attacking that week. Oftentimes Kern made his charges up or relied wholly on hearsay from enemies of his targets.
Although many people knew Kern was an unscrupulous and dishonest man who never bothered with facts, some of the people he attacked, as public figures, threatened libel suits. But with standards of proof which are higher for public figures and the fact that Kern boasted of his penury, nothing came of any suits, except that Kern would boast and make up filthy stories about the politicians who threatened to sue.
The publications Kern wrote for were not news, but art and social publications, and Kern lent an appearance of social activism – which in reality was true social irresponsibility. But he was riding high, and although he was fired from two weekly publications in WNY for threats of libel, he landed with Buffalo Beat - which was struggling to make a name for itself.
Meanwhile, Parlato had politically decimated chief racist Gregory Olma’s career, and Kern, who was friendly with Olma’s attorney decided to turn his poison pen on Parlato.
That decision ended Kern’s career as a published columnist.
Announcing in his weekly column in Buffalo Beat that he would be writing a major expose on Parlato, Kern found the tables can and must from time to time be turned.
In the week preceding the announced Parlato “expose”, Parlato took several of Kern’s already published articles about other politicians and commuity leaders and de-constructed them, showing the lies, errors and lies by omissions in them. He then showed it to the editor and publisher of Beat. Parlato’s work was convincing; Kern was suspended and, when Parlato offered to show them how to write an honest and fact filled political column, the editor actually asked Parlato to do it. He agreed.
One can well imagine Kern and the other racist’s chagrin, when Kern was ousted and Parlato wrote, in contrast to Kern’s deprecating, mean-spirited and dishonest agenda, a political column in a style meant to affirm what is best in humanity. Having lost the power of the press, Kern became like a toothless tiger, reduced to email and blog ranting which he continues to this very day.
Below is an example of Kern on his web site.
It is of particular interest because in it he admits that Parlato caused him to lose his column at Buffalo Beat which he later said “ruined his life.”
Wild Hogs . . . Blue Dogs . . .Deadbeats, Blockbusters & Body Snatchers
In a city with a struggling economy, dominated by government, Buffalo’s closest thing to a tabloid is Masiello-subsidized www.Illuzziletter.com.
Headed with Masiello’s $3,000 “click me” smiling face with Scripture ad, it is widely read among local politicos, who are apparently unconcerned about the scandalous history of its publisher, Joseph Illuzzi. At age 22, having fallen behind on rent, he & his roommate robbed the M&T Bank on Elmwood & Auburn. After shopping for a blonde wig, beard, & plastic pistol at the costume store on Main Street, get-away driver Illuzzi waited in a girlfriend’s car. The roommate warned the bank manager his family was held hostage in Lackawanna & a rifleman had him in sight from across Elmwood.
Insisting he did not have the demanded $60,000, the manager fetched $6,000 from a teller. Shaking hands, the roommate (who had recently graduated Sweet Home HS as class president) departed, only to encounter the mailman on his rounds. Recognizing the roommate, beard & wig not withstanding, the mailman called the police. Arriving at Illuzzi’s apartment an hour later, they found most of the money. They had to go to the Landlord to recover the just-paid rent.
Being the liberal 70’s, Judge Curtin gave Illuzzi a mere 5 years probation. But running up $11,000 in bad debts in a new scam, Illuzzi served 1 _ years in Federal Prison. Later he served more time for stock fraud. A dozen years ago he went into bankruptcy for $210,000, leaving scores of unpaid victims. Giving his own early twist to “Doing the Strip” he bilked a trail of Elmwood Ave. store owners, including nearly $3,000 of clothes from Mike Attardo’s Get Dressed.
He currently again has almost $100,000 in bad debt filed with the County Clerk, including $2,100 for unpaid Buffalo News ads for www.Illuzziletter.com . But having ‘found the Lord’, Illuzzi begins daily columns on political topics with Scripture. He pushes conservative “pro-life” theology. No matter that he has never supported a child he fathered out-of-wedlock at 45. His now 7 yr. old daughter’s mother committed suicide at Mother’s Day 15 months ago as he is on $25,0000 bail for his $50,000 in unpaid child support. Being prosecuted by ADA Kelly Omel, he returns to Cheektowaga Judge Kmiotek’s court on Aug. 31. His attorney is David Jay (hopefully on retainer; he stiffed Paul Cambria in his bankruptcy).
Blue Dogs & Charlatans United . . . Illuzzi has no visible income, apparently now being funded by multi-millionaire Realtor Frank Parlato Jr. Parlato’s slogan on www.manliness.org is “Be even wicked, if you must, on a grand scale” having made about $10 million clear profit over a dozen years selling 1,000 HUD-FHA scam houses. Writing for now-defunct Buffalo Beat, (now Blue Dog Press) this writer threatened to re-expose Parlato’s devastating impact on scores of poor neighborhoods, showing that 10 of 11 buyers on 2 blocks of Roebling Ave. lost houses in foreclosure as values plummeted. Parlato threatened lawsuits if there were “errors”. Beat editor Jeff Miers (& near-bankrupt publisher Mark Mausner) killed the story & gave him ‘my’ City Hall Watch column. Parlato was later forced out by outraged activists condemning Buffalo’s worst-ever block busting Realtor writing for an “alternative paper”, but Parlato still has heavy input at BDP thru his apologist / former employee DOCTOR Michael Niman, who arrived at BDP with Parlato’s coup. City Comptroller Nanula had loaned his friend Mausner $100,000 to save Buffalo Beat, as Nanula’s public relations staffer, Tony Farina (who illegally lives in N. Tonawanda) became a Blue Dog writer, again until activists protested shabby ethics.
Illuzzi & Parlato have linked with another lifelong charlatan, Realtor Charlie Flynn who has become highly controversial Erie County Chair of the Independence Party. Parlato is Tonawanda party chair. In recent court decisions there are TWO Independence Party Chairs & two sets of endorsed candidates, including judges. That is troubling because Flynn was convicted of Criminal Tampering in 1994 for impersonating his boss Milton Kader when fired as Realtor. He called Niagara Mohawk asking office power to be shut off. Ordered for psychological counseling, he paid the court surcharge five years later, after being hired (& fired) as county hearing officer & city Residency Officer #2 (of 4 in 4 yrs).
Flynn’s history of chicanery did not deter Drmacich’s filing a 9 pg. “complaint” including “stalking by bicycle” of Flynn’s 5 young children. Actually, I exposed his following Parlato’s lead in selling a FHA-Scam house as Realtor & BMHA Commissioner, while refusing to enforce residency (until he was fired, with my help). New Assist. DA Joe Kilbridge (who has $50,000 of bad debts & is losing his 1195 Elmwood house in foreclosure), is charging me with being a “public enemy” using the 1923 Benjamin Gitlow case. No matter that Gitlow is a hero of ACLU & all Free Speech advocates.. Meanwhile an anonymous e-mail address justicelawsuit@AOL.com (sounding very much like numerous Flynn schemes, ie sending ambulances, pizzas, police, etc. to opponents homes) . . .solicites “rumors” of my alleged child molesting. . a serious (but totally unsubstan-tiated) charge against a professional social worker who spent 30 years working with troubled children & families.
Corrupt DA’s & Body Snatchers
Unlike the tabloid culture, Buffalo’s elite forbids exposure of foibles of top dogs . . of any color. Steve Keller’s exploits at Swingin' Richards in Atlanta on a Polish Community Center credit card were exposed largely because he was an affiliate of controversial Greg Olma, unpopular with many city power brokers. Interestingly, his use of stolen paint by agency staff on his house, which he is losing in foreclosure, was not revealed. (His new job is driving a cart at the airport)
An incredible story likely to be suppressed, is the corpse snatching of Rev. Bennett W. Smith’s body, during the prolonged funeral orgy, by his controversial (22 years younger) wife Marilyn Smith. Demanding tight control over his body, reportedly she threatened to burn it if not given a new key to the church, where ceremonies were held. Then she demanded funeral directors remove the body from the casket into a body bag to surreptitiously transport it to her 292 Red Oak Drive Williamsville home for ‘sleep-overs’ two separate nights.
This writer was prosecuted 3 Xs by DA Frank Clark & his Quality of Life Crimes prosecutor Mike Drmacich for exposing Marilyn’s non-residency as City Treasurer in April 1995. Rev. Smith committed repeated perjury in clerical collar, as Marilyn played soap opera (& race card, alleging I jumped from bushes near the West Ferry 1 BR apartment above the dumpster where she pretended to live, calling her ‘black bitch’). She fled the courtroom in tears. Judge Manz dismissed the charges, but labeled me “paparazzi” (Princess Diana had just died) although I never saw her outside City Hall. Later the Smiths moved to a new pretend city residence at Fairfax House, while actually separated, as Marilyn dated the Mayor’s brother. Later reconciling, BW apparently fell on ice at Fairfax while meeting there. He filed a $1 million lawsuit. And Marilyn added a $1/2 million more for “loss of consortium”. The lawsuit disappeared upon exposure by this writer. Meanwhile the Smiths quietly “moved back” to Red Oak, where they lived since 1986. And where her dead husband recently ‘visited’.
Drmacich subsequently joked that during my three prosecutions, Rev. Smith was honored with a painting of his home (Red Oak), which quickly disappeared. I was also incarcerated for 35 days (reduced to 21 for “good behavior”) by Judge Broderick for “failure to evict” a tenant from 354 Sweet Ave, the 40th house to be demolished on a devastated block. Trouble is . . . the sentence was meted out TWO Hrs after I warned Masiello I was contemplating a “Citizen’s Arrest” of the Treasurer if he did not enforce residency. The house was demolished 6 mo. later. While in jail Buffalo News’ front page announced Smith’s firing for discovery of $12 million of uncashed checks under her desk. It was her second ‘failure to deposit’.
Power Corrupts . . .Tragically, Buffalo is so starved for heroes, the so-called leadership is not held responsible for abuse of power. This writer is being prosecuted the 11th time for exposing city hall corruption by a District Attorney willing to help politicians crush dissent by any means necessary. (Clark . . & Drmacich . . .helped Cop-on-leave-councilman Robert Quintana prosecute me 7 times). Whether caused by Frank Clark’s legendary problems with alcohol . . or simple political corruption . . most Buffalonians are willing to wink and look the other way.
And since this writer is one of very few “tabloid’ (investigative? Muck raking?) writers (activists?) the message is clear. Don’t dare criticize politicians or YOU WILL PAY . .. ELEVEN TIMES . . . & COUNTING.
In Buffalo you won’t read about . . . BLOCKBUSTERS BEATING BLUE DOGS . . .
Or INVASIONS OF THE BODY SNATCHERS . . . from Williamsville
Our leaders . . having suspended the First Amendment . . . won’t permit it.
Richard Kern, MSW, Aug. 27, 2001(corrected 8/29)