We have previously referenced the fact that the Niagara County Legislature Minority Caucus had reached the bowels of hypocrisy in their lawsuit from 2004 against the Majority Caucus for inviting Democrats to caucus with the Republicans. The Minority Caucus also sued the County of Niagara.
As you may recall, the Majority Caucus consists of eight Republican, five Democrats and one Conservative. The Minority Caucus sought to prevent the Democrats from meeting with the Republicans. So much for promoting the spirit of cooperation.
What we found so hypocritical about the lawsuit was the fact that while admonishing the Majority Caucus for allowing Dems into their caucus, the Democrats themselves were out there recruiting Republicans to run with the Democrats support, and ultimately if victorious, to caucus with the Dems.
In 2004, the Dems backed Republican Keith McNall to run against incumbent Republican Glenn Aronow. While the strategy nearly paid off for the Dems, Aronow claimed victory. Aronow eventually resigned and recommended McNall to fill his seat, which he did, but that's an issue for another time.
Upon the State Supreme Court ruling that the multi-party caucus was in fact legal, in addition to the fact that the Dems were themselves using the Republican strategy of recruiting candidates from other parties, many figured that the Dems would drop the issue. They were wrong.
The Minority Caucus went on to appeal the decision of the Supreme Court to the Appellate Division. While appealing, the Dems have gone on to endorse at least five Republicans, including Charles Dahlquist, Merrill Bender, Wright Ellis, Randy Wayner and John Sweeney for various offices this year.
So if Bender and Dahlquist win, are you going to stick by the ethical standard that you yourself have set? Will they, as Republicans, be allowed in the Minority Caucus, or was this lawsuit more about politics than policy?
Worse yet, the Dems are represented by Attorney, former Democratic Chairman, and former county Human Resources Director Charles Naughton. Yes, the same political hack who was fired from the county in 2004 is back to seek vengeance.
Even more disconcerting are the potential rules of ethics violations. As an attorney, would it not be an ethical violation to sue someone for a certain action, then turn around and commit the exact same action yourself?
Lastly, the fact that the taxpayers of Niagara County have paid for these lawsuits is downright offensive. We challenge the Minority Caucus, Dennis Virtuoso, Harry Apolito, Kyle Andrews, Sean O'Connor and Renae Kimble, to not only stop this political charade, but to reimburse the people of this county the thousands of taxpayer dollars spent over this highly political spectacle.