June 5, 2007

Dan Rivera's Hypocrisy

As I read the press release announcing the slate of candidates being put forth by the Niagara County Democratic Party, I cannot believe the level of hypocrisy that Niagara County Democratic Chairman Dan Rivera has reached.

Let’s review for a moment. In February of this year, Rivera forced Lewiston resident Elaine Pienta out of the race for 12th District Niagara County Legislator because of her financial woes. Apparently Pienta filed personal bankruptcy in 2005, and Rivera felt that the bankruptcy may be a political liability for Pienta.

So what does Rivera do? He goes out and recruits not one, but two candidates for Niagara County Legislature seats, both with a bankruptcy on their record. Personally, I do believe that management of one’s personal finances is important when evaluating which candidate I will support. If you can’t effectively manage your own assets, how can I trust you to manage mine?

However, the bigger issue here is not the individual’s finances. The issue is the inconsistency in Rivera’s message. Pienta is out of the picture because of her BK. But it’s okay to endorse Merrill Bender and Charles Dahlquist? Why is that, Dan? Could there be a bigger issue here? Could it be that Pienta refused to submit to your heavy-handed methods?

According to the Buffalo News, at the time Pienta went public with a complaint that Rivera had treated her unfairly, Rivera told The Buffalo News, “As Democratic chairman I will vet anyone who expresses an interest in public office with the same rigor I apply to our political opponents. I will not endorse a candidate who, for whatever reason, cannot meet what I hope and expect are the exacting standards of the voters of this county.”

Apparently, the standards you set for your candidates are quite different than the standards the voters of this county expect.

In addition to the hypocrisy shown by Rivera in evaluating the financial backgrounds of candidates, Rivera also has a short memory when it comes to party affiliation.

I remember not too long ago when Rivera sought to solicit and support “pure Democrats” in response to certain Democrats choosing to caucus with the Republicans. In fact, I recall a time recently when members of the Majority Caucus were actually sued by the Niagara County Democratic Chairman over the fact that Dems actually sat with Republicans. Do you know who paid for the defense of this lawsuit? The taxpayers paid for it.

Imagine the absurdity of the Democratic Party suing members of their own party for putting their party affiliations aside and working together for the betterment of the community, and the taxpayers footing the bill.

Now, Rivera has chosen two candidates, ironically the same two candidates that have a history of financial woes, who are registered Republicans to run against incumbent Republicans, with the intention of caucusing with the Democrats. For the record, I don’t have a problem with the strategy; the Republicans have been doing it successfully for some time. The problem, or the hypocrisy, is the fact that the Demos have taken every opportunity to criticize members of their own party who have chosen to work together with the Republicans, and even went as far as to file a lawsuit against them.

If Rivera believes that the people of this county lack the intelligence to see through his hypocrisy, he is very much mistaken.


Mr. Pink said...

Very interesting comments. I'm just curious about the facts behind much of this. There's a difference between a candidate filing for bankruptcy 20 years ago because of medical bills versus a candidate who filed bankruptcy two years ago because of credit card debt.

I wonder if voters are smart enough to differentiate?

Sweaterman said...

It has been my understanding through reading the numerous "Slanted" newspaper articles that the Chairman of the Democrats is basing his whole startegy on finding good, hardworking candidates with integrity. This of course implies that the Republicans do not have integrity.

What a joke!

It makes you wonder if Rivera sees himself in some of the candidates he recruits. You better be squeaky clean when throwing bombs at the other side.

I would like everyone to read the following article and you then tell me what integrity is!


Sweaterman said...

In case the link doesn't work here is the story from my last post.

Published: September 28, 2006 10:57 pm

Niagara County Democratic Committee chairman loses day job

Democratic chairman loses day job, re-elected to committee post

By Jill Terreri
Niagara Gazette

Niagara County Democratic Committee Chairman Dan Rivera has been fired from his job as an insurance investigator with Liberty Mutual, and it could have something to do with his political activities.

Rivera, who was re-elected to his political post unanimously by the committee on Wednesday, found himself the target of a charge in August by a rival political campaign that he had used his resources as an investigator for political gain.

Rivera would not say whether those charges led to his dismissal.

“My separation from my employer was a difference of opinion over certain policies,” he said.

In late August, Kathryn Mazierski, who works as Assembly candidate Gary Parenti’s campaign manager, sent a complaint to New York State Insurance Commissioner Howard Mills stating her belief that Rivera had used his resources to dig up damaging information on her candidate.

She was referring to a letter slamming Parenti that Rivera wrote to the Tonawanda News.

Democratic sources said Thursday that the things Rivera referred to in the letter, including a drunken driving charge from nine years ago, were discovered by the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee through Lexis-Nexis, a subscription-based search engine, and were passed on to Rivera.

At the time Parenti was running against the Democrats’ endorsed candidate, Francine DelMonte, in a primary.

Rivera denies using company resources for political gain.

“My separation had to do with company matters, not external matters as people are alleging,” he said. “This is nothing more than GOP trash. They will stop at nothing to try to derail me.”

Rumors of Rivera’s dismissal, which occurred Friday, were swirling on Wednesday before he was re-elected to his post by the Democratic Committee. Rivera did not inform the committee of his employment situation before the vote was taken.

North Tonawanda Republican Committee Chairman Bill Paton said Republicans were not the ones to start the rumors.

“The Republican Party would not waste its time on Dan Rivera,” Paton said. “We have better things to do. What purpose would that serve? If Dan Rivera put himself in that position, then he has to live with it.”

Rivera’s fellow Democrat, North Tonawanda Common Councilman Kevin Brick, wasn’t so sure.

“It’s no secret that the Republicans have it in for Dan Rivera and they’re going to do everything in their power to discredit and ruin him,” Brick said.

For her part, Mazierski said Thursday she is sure she did the right thing by sending the letter. She never received a response from the state insurance department, which is geared toward handing consumer complaints.

Rivera is the fourth person to hold the chairman’s post in three years, but he is proving to be more aggressive than his predecessors. He took the job in April, and this campaign season, especially the Niagara County treasurer’s race, could be his first major test.

“I’m looking forward to filling up my time with working on this year’s elections and putting all my energy into that,” he said.

GreyGoose said...

The comments against the Democratic Chairman are very interesting. I don't know Mr. Rivera, have never met him but he does seem to talk sides out of both sides of his mouth.If I wanted to run for public office I'm not so sure that I could trust him, he just doesnt sound credible to me. I would have trouble trusting him on anything.

hcdem said...

My scare value is high. My arena is controversy. My tough front is my biggest asset. Roy M. Cohn

Anonymous said...

What is this the George Maziarz boys club run by Henry Wojtasek?

Look at these names. Sail Away, Mr. Pink, Sweaterman, and Grey goose. Characters from a Gay pride parade? Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Blog and all names made on the same day??

Sail Away your own position is full of Hypocrisy in just one article.

Repuublicans that your team actually supports have Bankruptcies. Some Medical, some credit, some because other businesses went bankrupt on them causing a cascade of failure.

Bankruptcy is sometimes unavoidable When other people and businesses don't pay you.

Did you know that a person can contract to build a house; make partial draw payments and then not pay any of the remaining contractors or subcontractors and still move in?

All Contractors can do is file annual liens against the property and can not get their bills paid.

Only when the Homeowner sells the property can the contractors hope to get paid. That kind of loss in the $100,000 range cascades through small businesses and subcontractors not getting paid.

Credit cards may allow for the Contractor's local suppliers to get paid but when the Home owner does not pay his final bill, there is no way for the Contractor to pay off the credit cards. Though he may try for a few years and makes all the payments on time. It finally gets too much and Bankruptcy is the only choice.

Let's get back to campaign issues not this BS.

Sail Away said...

My post is not full of hypocrisy, and I will try to explain why so you can understand it.

Dan Rivera said Elaine Pienta would not make a good Legislature candidate because of her bankruptcy. He then goes out and recruits two candidates who each have a bankruptcy.

I have never heard nor seen Henry Wojtaszek say that a BK disqualifies a candidate from running for office.

Therefore, running a Republican candidate with a BK would in fact not be hypocritical, because it was never said in the first place.

Rivera set a standard, then went against it. Kind of like what you've accused the IDA of doing.

You obviously are quite comfortable talking out of both sides of your mouth.