September 19, 2007

Primary Day Reflections

While many of the races went as expected, there were several surprises. Today we'd like to focus on your thoughts and perspectives on the Primary Elections and what yesterday's results may mean for the General Election and beyond.

We'd like to say congratulations to all of the winners and to those who were not successful, congratulations on your involvement and your willingness to put your name on the ballot. In today's turbulent political environment, that is certainly not an easy task.


Larry S said...

Congratulations to Richelle Pasceri and Amanda Alexander in the City of Lockport.

They are both two well-spoken women who will do well on the Council.

And although Green & Stachera had the GOP endorsement, it's obvious that they the endorsement on paper only.

Frank DeGeorge said...

Just as I thought. Pretty much a status quo day which sets up some interesting races in November.

It's obvious to me the GOP will easily maintain a significant majority in the Legislature. It's also clear that the GOP "outsiders" in the towns are as strong as ever.

It's also obvious the being the endorsed Democrat candidate is meaningless and almost a liability.

So to all those who lament party bosses, clearly the electorate does what it wants.

Scott Leffler said...

Yesterday was a win for the people ... all around. The party bosses were told that the peeps don't care.

In Niagara Falls, Mickey Rimmen's word was meaningless ... just as Henry Wojtaszek's was meaningless in Royalton, Somerset and Cambria.

The Dems will pick up two seats in the legislature this year - maybe as many as four. That's good for everyone. A more even split will keep everyone in check.

Steve M said...

I think the biggest question mark of this election season, at least locally, is the handling of Bob LaBarbera by Dan Rivera.

We all know that Rivera pulled the Democratic endorsement and all campaign funding from LaBarbera when he was charged with DWI.

LaBarbera then went on to mount a very strong challenge to Danny Sklarski, losing by 20 votes. So the big question is did Rivera make the right move by cutting off LaBarbera?

Personally I think Rivera screwed up big time. He overreacted to the situation and most likely single-handedly cost LaBarbera the election, and the opportunity to gain another seat in the Legislature.

If LaBarbera had retained the endorsement, and the extremely necessary dollars to run a campaign, there is not doubt that Sklarski goes down.

So Rivera's short term thinking doomed his own party. That seat was definitely in play, and he unilaterally gave the Reps that seat.

It was a horrible decision on Rivera's part and indicative of his inablity to lead the party.

Turk 182 said...

I don't see the Dems picking up seats or maybe one at the most and am curious to hear where people think the victories will come from.

Cafarella was non-endorsed and won't caucus with anyone.

Murgia will win as the D,C,I candidate in the general.

McNulty/McDonald will be a nail biter as she is R,C,I and this is the seat where Davignon beat Carney twice by one vote.

If Syracuse and Updegrove were going to lose, it would have been the primary and they were fine.

Farnham can't be beat if he holds the minors.

Apolito has a race as does O'Connor which means some defense for Rivera.

Show me where the Team Rivera makes any big gains?

Steve M said...

I've also heard that Harry Apolito has unsuccessfully tried to get the I&C away from Nemi and Nemi HAS taken the WF line from Apolito. That gives Nemi the R, I, C & WF lines vs. Harry's D.

Harry may be heading to Florida a couple of years earlier than planned.

Scott Leffler said...

Dems pick up two to four. Apolito wins as does O'Connor (I don't even know his opponent). McDonald beats McNulty. And Cafarella caucuses with the Dems. McNall could be in trouble in Lockport. And Updegrove is not out of the woods yet. Syracuse looks safe.

nostradamus said...

Someone told me Virtuoso has already conceded that Cafarella is aligning with the Majority.

Updegrove is cleary out of the woods and will win that by 10 points.

McNulty and McDonald will go to the paper ballots.

Apolito won by 8 votes last time against a lesser opponent; he's finished.

O'Connor gets hammered over absenteeism but probably hangs on.

Look for an unexpectedly close race in Burmaster. The Dems will think Clyde is safe and not put in any money and be kicking themselves on election day over the lost opportunity when Clyde sneaks it out.

Instead, Rivera will waste money thinking he has a shot at Farnham, not recongizing Republican enrollment is skyrocketing in subdivisions in Pendleton.

GOP throws money at Virtuoso just to keep him busy; Dems head fake on Ceretto to get the GOP to spend cash there.

The top of the GOP ticket led by DA Violante and Clerk Jagow running opposed propels Judge Batt to a huge victory.

Dyster rolls with numbers never seen before.

Voters in NT remember why they hate Dave Burgio and refuse to elect him to the Council.

GOP still can't figure out the towns as Jim Reister wins easily for Supervisor in Pendleton.

Fred Newlin gets the race of his life. It's a toss up with Ron Winkley.

Anonymous said...

No real "surprises' in yesterday's elections.

Cafarella has publicly pledged to the voters to caucus with the Dems. We'll see if he's a man of his word.

Batt will beat DiPasquale handily in the GE, but he'll have to spend a few dollars to retain his seat. He cannot be too happy about that.

Based on the results, it seems that some Reps are more upset than most Dems about the whole cross-over movement. Dems endorse Mugia in 1st but Reps reject him? What's the deal with that?

The lack of races for County Clerk, DA and county court judge will hurt more than help the GOP. These popular individuals will not actively campaign and will not motivate sporadic GOP voters to leave their homes on Nov 6. No coattails.

McDonald's victory in NT is huge for Rivera. It proves that he is capable of winning those races that he really wants to win. And rivera has proven that he can win in NT, if in no other place. At least until November 6th, anyway.

The Dyster win in Niagara Falls will reverberate throughout the Dem County Committee. Look for there to be a significant number of contested committee slots next election cycle as the Dyster folks attempt to consolidate for the future. It will be interesting to see if Rimmen can break from his good old boys net to work with a new regime. But there are other questions as to whether or not he wants to be further bothered with the thankless job. Rumor has it that he considerd stepping down for personal reasons the last time around. And not just Rimmen, lets see if Rivera can expand his vision beyond NT to keep the top job.

The LaBarbara thing. It may have not been the short-term political thing to do, but pulling LaBarbara's endorsement was the right thing to do for all Niagara Dems.

Can you imagine the Rep attack ads in each contested leg race across the county if each Dem candidate had to embrace LaBarbara as a running mate? Not a pretty sight.

Plus it was the right thing to do from a social responsibility standpoint. Doesn't Rivera get some points for that?

The Dems are disappointed that the renegade Rep factions in the AES towns didn't fare better, but these were just bonus races where "viable Dem candidate" is a contradiction of terms. No great loss to Rivera. But raised visibility across the county of Rep problems like AES and "bossism" is heard in other parts of the county where there may be real chances for Dems to win.

Frank DeGeorge said...


You have some interesting insights, but I think you're wrong on AES. If anything, the elections proves it's a non-issue outside of Somerset. And if you look at the Somerset results, all the races between the two factions were within 20 to 40 votes. Rivera will seal his party's fate if he thinks this issue matters.

You are absolutely right about Rivera and N.T. but the real proof will be in November. If McNulty does well with Dem women, she wins, especially with all the minor party lines.

If last night proved anything, it's that all politics is still local. Outsiders get rebuked and party labels don't mean a thing.

Anonymous said...

Mr. degeorge,

To most people, say AES. Meaningless.

Tell them enough times that the IDA raised their taxes by 3% to give a tax break to a billion plus dollar corporation and the Majority Caucus went along?

Now that may well sell well beyond the borders of Somerset.

Voters understand their taxes being raised for no good reason.

The only question is, can Rivera and co. package the issue in such a way to make it sell? Take a page out of the Karl Rove handbook perhaps and repeat, repeat and repeat until accepted as "the" truth?

Just the Reps constantly trying to rationalize this end around the courts should add some percentage points to the Dems' side of the voter ledger. And f the voters actually internalize the point, another point or two to the Dems.

Voters dislike corporate welfare almost as much as they dislike people welfare.

Frank DeGeorge said...

Good points, very good points. It's not AES, it's the tax implications. The key is then can the Majority develop a zero budget in the heart of the campaign to take the issue away?

We know that Greg "I love to raise taxes" Lewis will propose a double digit tax increase. This will cause bad press.

As I'm writing this, I'm starting to realize the Dem strategy and it's pretty good. Anon, you're analysis may be right on.

Niagara Prognosticator said...

No longer anonymous, I was so self-impressed by my election predictions that I chose a suitable handle. geezz... perhaps i'll even start my own blog??


Anyway, on the question of taxes, there is certainly plenty of taxpayer "medicaid penny" (ROTFLMAO) surplus sitting in Broderick's accounts.

So the Majority's answer is to overtax the taxpayers for years to build a surplus so as to hold to a zero property tax increase for political purposes in an election year?

Brilliant. And it probably will work.

Just ask Ed Rutkowski and Joel Giambra who both used this gimmick. (until it finally caught up to them.)

Clemenza said...


Giambra pissed it all away, but Gorski is clearly the one who overtaxed to build up reserve accounts. Gotta check your facts now that you're no longer anonymous :)

Niagara Prognosticator said...


You are correct. I could have been a bit clearer.

Gorski's problem that he sat on that cash and didn't cut taxes in election years ala' Rutkowski and Giambra.

Giambra defeated Gorski by promising the tax cuts that Gorski never gave and then he pissed it all away with too much too fast property tax cuts subsidized by tobacco revenues and a refinancing gimmick with ECMC. But it took 6 or 7 years for this smoke and mirror budgeting to catch up with him.

Rutkowski was much more subtle with off year tax increases and election year cuts. 1 step forward, 3 steps back.

Cracker Jack said...

The voters in the First and Second Wards sent a clear message. It is time for new blood and new ideas. If the others like Lombardi and Schrader had opponents, they could have been toast this year as well. They better welcome the new comers and not drive them away like they did Tom G. This is a big wake up call for City Hall.

Frank said...

I think Clyde Burmaster hit the nail on the head today in the paper about AES.The real reason taxes might go up after this "county vs county agency" legal fight is because the lawsuit was frivilous and the legislature one again threw hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars down the toilet. I agree with Clyde - enough is enough.

Clearly, Bender lost 4 to 1 in Newfane (border AES plant town) with AES being his sole issue. I guess the pilot issue really only was an issue in Barker and to Leffler's 5 listeners.

Of course there was the crazy "keep Mt. View open" issue to get money from the unions for his campaign. Actually a pretty smart strategy for Bender.

And if you ask me - the Republican's made out just fine on Primary night.There was an extremely low turnout which is always a problem. No one cares!! If the Dems get one seat on the Leg it will be luck. Can't wait till election day.

Lockport Sue said...

Anyone out there know how Nemi did on on Primary night. I really like the guy and want to help out on his campaign.

Sail Away said...

Sources have told us that Nemi won the Conservative, Independence & Working Families primaries. It appears he will go into the General Election with the R, I, C & WF lines. Apolito will have only the D line.

cg466 said...

If LaBarbera had retained the endorsement, and the extremely necessary dollars to run a campaign, there is not doubt that Sklarski goes down.

I come back from a trip and find out that twenty public sector employees sold out the people of this district. I just want to say to you 20 incompetent fools. The soup bowl is round.The public sector is the enemy.