August 7, 2007

Strange Bedfellows Indeed

While the local media have brushed up against the new alliance beteween Ed Shoemaker, the Lockport Attorney and a GOP powerhorse "way back in the day", and County Dem Boss Dan Rivera, I don't think they have covered how deep this relationship goes. The reason for this unholy alliance is their distaste for GOP Boss Henry Wojtaszek.

Let's take a look at some of the interesting races in Niagara County:

1) Somerset: Town Supervisor Rich Meyers won on a reform platform last year by attacking the legal billings of Ed Shoemaker, who is town attorney. Shoemaker has made hundreds of thousands of dollars off this small rural town, and yet won't release copies of his billings. Meyers beat Shoemaker's candidate, John Sweeney, in the GOP primary last year. The town board was still controlled by Ed. Now, this year there is a brouhahah between the pro and anti Shoemaker forces in the GOP primary for all town offices including a Meyers/Sweeney rematch. The new wrinkle? The pro-Shoemaker forces are also the ENDORSED DEMOCRAT candidates in the election.

2) Lockport: Majority Leader Rick Updegrove is facing a GOP primary from Charles Dahlquist. According to Shoemaker, he hooked Dahlquist up with county Democratic Chairman Daniel Rivera because he knew the Democrats needed someone to take on Updegrove. Dalquist is Shoemaker's mechanic. Dalquist will also be the Dem candidate.

3) Cambria: Wright Ellis, the long-time GOP Supervisor, is now on the outs with Republicans who have backed former GOP Legislator Shirly Urtel. The reason for the split according to the Gazette: "Ellis, who is chairman of the Niagara County Sewer District, may be at odds with his party in a matter pitting towns against the county. The sewer district last year approved a payment to attorney Robert Roberson, but legislators in the GOP-controlled body denied the claim." Wojtaszek claimed Roberson already had been paid by the district and was attempting to charge twice for the same work.

“I don’t think (Ellis) handled the sewer district well,” Wojtaszek said Tuesday. “He’s cost the Town of Cambria money for letting Roberson double charge them.” BUT THE MISSING FACT IN THIS STORY? ROBERSON IS SHOEMAKER'S LAW PARTNER!!!

So, while Wright will face Shirley in the GOP Primary, Wright will also be the Dem candidate in the Fall election.

4) Newfane: Merrill Bender, a self-proclaimed taxpayer watchdog who has his own tax/bankruptcy problems and is best known for making inaccurate statements at Legislative meetings, was recruited by Shoemaker to run a GOP primary for Legislature against John Syracuse. And you know the punchline....Bender is also the Dem candidate in November.

So there you have it. One can't blame Rivera for looking for alliances to win races, after all Wojtaszek and the GOP perfected this game of cross-over endorsements.

But getting in bed with Shoemaker? Politics does make strange bedfellows, indeed.


Big Daddy said...

Rivera better talk to the Shellberry sisters about what it's like to deal with Fast Eddie Shoemaker. This guy is all about featerhing his own nest and is brilliant at using public dollars to do it.

I must say it's a shame to see good people like Wright Ellis get caught up in stuff with this but when you lay down dogs, you're gonna get fleas.

Enjoy retirement, Wright. I'm sure Fast Eddie will buy you breakfast once in a while as a thank you for your dedication to his cause.

Larry S said...

The hypocrisy of the county Dems is astounding. Isn't this the same party that filed a lawsuit against the majority caucus 2 years ago to STOP this cross over of parties?

Scott Leffler said...

I hate our current election laws, but Larry S, can you really blame Democrats for playing the game by the rules the GOP made? That seems more hypocritical to me than what Rivera and his boys are doing.

I do find Wojtaszek's handling of the Cambria issue interesting. While saying that they're going to go with Murgia in Niagara Falls cause he has the experience, they're going to try to dump Ellis cause he's friends with someone they don't like?

It's really a shame the small gene pool we've got in Niagara County. When it comes down to it, no one can do anything without the approval of Henry and George.

Two people deciding things for 220,000 of us.

Anonymous said...


I disagree on Cambria. It's not a God-given right to party support and if Wright chose to align with someone like Shoemaker then there are consequences.

I always respected him until I read today's post. People like Shoemaker who grossly exploit the system for personal wealth are 100 times worse than anything a party boss of either party would ever do.

cg466 said...

Where is this shoemaker I need a couple of souls replaced.

Anonymous said...

strange bedfellows indeed! wake up people....shoemaker and roberson are slick bandits who have ripped off Niagara County to the tune of millions of $$$$$ for years and years - now they are being aided by another sewer rat - rivera.

Lets try to create a list of their all-time best heists - please add to it as you see fit as we should keep a rolling log. Any accountants out there - please start the tally...

1. slick eddie shoemaker robbed NT and Lockport of millions of dollars in annual property tax revenues by ramming a deal for his buddy on the IDA lewis staley while representing power plant owner Fortistar. The Shoe works for Fortistart. Fortistar does not pay one cent in property taxes for their power plant near Delphi or in NT. Zero taxes for two HUGE power plants - are you freakin kidding me.

2. Shoemaker gifts to the town boards he represents with continuous streams of gifts including his posh condo in FLA - who knew this was wrong?

3. the shellberry sisters heist.

4. the election games he played with former supervisor herbert downs and town power broker becky connolly in Somerset

5. Shoemaker grand hesit of more than $1,000,000 in legal fees from town reisdents in the last few years

6. shoemaker sinks lower and partners with rivera and bender - bender now has the team to bail him out of paying his creditors and small mom and pop suppliers he ripped off. even though he got booted by his employer danny riv can asist with all his large insurance claims...does anyone recall the fires in somerset?

7. HSBC - this will prove a bigger payday for the Shoe than AES. let's keep an eye on this one! going to need something a little bigger than the MG to carry this heist.

Sail Away said...
This comment has been removed by the author.