October 11, 2007

"Moral Compass"

“I really think those guys need a moral compass". That was the quote attributed to Niagara County Legislature candidate Richard Marasco back in September in the Niagara Gazette. Marasco was apparently responding to why he wants to represent the 1st Legislative District.

But this evening Niagara Times has been told that Marasco, barely a month after running a Republican primary against incumbent Jason Murgia, has switched his party affiliation to Democrat.

Technically, the change in affiliation will not impact this election. But the question at hand is why would Marasco change at all, after his previous proclamation of being a "real Republican"? What about the supposed hundreds of Republican doors that he has knocked on, presenting himself as a Republican? Where is the "moral compass" of deceiving the voters barely a month after 150 of them pulled the lever for you?

Let me guess, you just decided to change affiliation today. When you were knocking on all of those doors presenting yourself as a Republican, you had no intention of switching parties.

Unfortunately, this is just part of a bigger problem. As long as New York State allows this cross-endorsing of candidates, we will have to deal with this type of shenanigans. Although it may be legally acceptable, it's morally wrong.


Larry Castellani said...

Marasco’s switching of parties is not really any different than many staunch members of opposing parties often agreeing on issues that should separate them. This happens all the time at all levels of government. Moralizing about such individuals avoids the real question of the moral bankruptcy and corruption of the party system itself. The fact is that regardless of such endless bickering about the usual issues, the parties have much more in common than they disagree about. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, two sides of the coin of the power elite in America, namely Republicans and Democrats, have yet no real opposition in democratic politics because the real disenfranchised and narcotized opposition, i.e., the vast unaffiliated majority of seemingly indifferent yet deeply disaffected, angry Americans have not yet awakened to and owned their political task, namely to reclaim the autonomy and responsibility of democratic culture and community. So God knows how long the traditional politicians and their pundits will masquerade as morally superior to each other. The only real end to the moral charades will be when the third force in America coalesces as a self-conscious player on both the local and national scene. As it stands in America now, we’ll only “shed blood” for democracy in other countries but we won’t even shed a few extra dollars for civic education in the schools for democracy in our own country. Morasco’s moral failure, if it is that, is still merely a symptom of that ethical travesty which is our diseased psuedo-democratic American politic scene.

Niagara Prognosticator said...

In my book, I see the the Marasco switch as at least somewhat honorable, in that he announced his intentions before the election. When people pull his lever, they will know who and what they are getting.

Larry hit the nail on the head as far as the idea of attributing morals to any of the local intra and inter party shenanigans that Maziarz's Niagara County Machine has wrought.

It all about down and dirty power politics. That is, the lust for and acquisistion of power for the sake of power as opposed to any type of philosophy or moral stance.

The Niagara County REPs started with the wooing of Legislator Bob Villiani and then Bill Ross from the DEM party and recently perfected by reversing the process by getting folks such as Jason Murgia (former IND) and Rebecca Cuddahee (former REP) to actually re-register as Democrats for the sole purpose of being able to run on the DEM line.

Having tasted success, George's boy Henry has vigorously recruited actual registered DEMs to join the REP party apparatus. In no particular order, Vacanti, McNulty, Sklarski and Cerretto each accepted whatever "deal with the Devil" was offered.

Now while Sail Away seems outraged by the Marasco switch, he seems to have missed the fact that John Cerretto switched his affiliation to REP after campaigning and winning as a DEM. At the time, Cerretto also proclaimed his DEM fealty. But give him credit, al least this time he's running as a REP. Not a great risk though, as Lewiston has historically elected REP legislators.

And watch the fun continue as after the election switches come to light and more realignment intrigue occurs. I hear rumors, but nothing yet confirmed, about potential post-election resignations and majority caucus appointments (recall the D'Anna to Murgia episode).

But also watch to see if the REPs move to consolidate even more power by attempting to co-opt the WFP as it has the IND party.

All in all, this cynical political game being played now by both sides does nothing to advance the well-being of our citizens. For on a day when we should be discussing the impact and import of the Mt. View closing, political junkies are focused on this inside baseball.

No wonder politicians are held in such low esteem by the people who put them in office.

Larry S said...

In the Buffalo News:"Specifically, Marasco said he opposes the tax break granted to AES Corp., the county’s largest property taxpayer, by the Industrial Development Agency board".

Straight out of the Dems handbook. Marasco set this up months ago, while running as a Rep, and sleeping with Rivera.

Deception at its worst.

Anonymous said...

Larry S, don't let any of the facts get in the way of your partisan distain for Rivera.

If this was set up months ago, Marasco would have been authorized on the Democratic line.

And last time I looked, there is are a significant number of Republicans throughout Niagara County who opposed the AES corporate welfare.

So then it stands to reason, does it not, that based on the, *issues,* one who stands in opposition to the issues espoused by the ruling majority caucus would seek a coalition with others of like mind?

Just because you might be a cynical partisan, doesn't mean that concerned citizens such as Marasco are too. Some people do have minds of their own.

Larry S said...

If Marasco had a mind of his own, he wouldn't be taking his talking points straight out of the Niagara County Democratic Party Handbook.

Anonymous said...

"Niagara County Democratic Party Handbook"?

Really Larry S? Are you serious?

Does such a publication exist?

Where can I get a copy? Or perhaps you can post it somewhere so that we can all get a look.

That's the best laugh I've had in awhile.

You really cut me up!

Niagara County Democratic Party Handbook. That's a good one.

Larry S said...

Actually, the publication doesn't actually exist, but, every single Democratic legislature candidate says the EXACT SAME THING. AES, blah, blah, blah. Merrill Bender got his ass kicked, and he was the poster child for AES. No one cares about this issue, when Rivera gets that through his head, maybe he'll win a race or two.

By the way, glad I made you laugh. Just knowing that I brought a little sunshine into your life makes my day complete. ;o)

Scott Leffler said...


Isn't it possible that those who are affiliated with the Democratic Party are actually opposed to corporate welfare? And that others might be as well?

Frankly, I think you give Rivera far too much credit for thinking he could mastermind something like this. For the record, I like the guy personally, but I've never called him bright.

Larock said...


Thanks for your help. rivera,virtuoso,bender and yourself have really enabled us to live large at Barker Schools. We spend more than the Nichlos School (greater than $18,000 per student) in Buffalo and almost double the spend of the Niagara County schools. And we know we are producing plenty of brain surgeons. do not believe what you hear about greedy sloppy pigs

Scott Leffler said...

It's stupid ass nonsensical posts like "LaRock's" that turn me off about this blog. Forgive me for having a different opinion than you and expressing it in an intelligent - but not belligerent - manner. Apparently that's too much for you.

I haven't posted on this thing in a week because I was sick of being targeted by political hacks pretending to be real people. If you want to debate me, "LaRock" have the balls to call into my show. Or come on as a guest.

I'm sorry to see that genuine political discourse will always turn into mud slinging by cowards who are neither brave nor bright.

Sail Away - Thank you for your effots, but I'm out. I have better things to do than to read - or reply to - the rantings of state employees who pretend to be anything other than part of the problem.

Much love to all. Keep up the good fight.

Mr. Pink said...

Scott, hopefully you'll see through a few nonsensical posts and continue the dialog. I've been absent myself recently due to workload, but I am dismayed at some of the nonsense. I guess that it can't be avoided.

On the issue...who cares any more about party affilitation. I have often thought that local campaigns, like village races, should be non-partisan. Knowing that that will never happen, I'm all for this intra-party raiding because eventually it will make party labels meaningless and that's better for everyone.

Remember, George Washington warned us about the factionalization caused by political parties.

mike said...

pink, christy, confer, or whatever you are:

go kiss your own asses on the economic engine that is the "niagara winetrail". Please do not waste the bytes on this page