We've made it clear on the pages of Niagara Times that we believe New York State Assemblywoman Francine Del Monte is quite useless in representing the 138th Assembly District. Most of the district, which includes Niagara Falls, Porter, Wilson, Newfane, Hartland, Lewiston, Cambria, Wheatfield and the Town of Niagara, has been largely ignored by Del Monte during her nearly eight years in office. Her focus has been solely Niagara Falls, and the results of her efforts to beautify that city speak for themselves.
The biography on her Assembly home page touts the fact that she authored legislation to create the Niagara Wine Trail - in 2001. If you need to go back seven years to cite legislation you "authored", you've been pretty ineffective. Of course, the same biography states that the Seneca Niagara Casino "will soon be connected to a new 26 story hotel". Way to stay up to date, Francine.
Apparently we're not alone in our perception of Del Monte. Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano has given the legal maximum of $3,800 to the Assembly campaign of Paula Banks Dahlke, Del Monte's opponent in this Fall's race. Golisano pledged $5 million of his own money to fund candidates who agree with his agenda of lower taxes, less state spending and government reform. Considering Del Monte's close ties to Manhattanite Shelly Silver, leader of the Assembly Majority, as well as the rest of the NYC puppeteers that guide her around, we're not surprised by Golisano's contribution.
Del Monte is a formidable candidate, handily disposing of Dan Bazzani two years ago. If nothing else, let's hope that this is a wake-up call for Del Monte that people are watching and she needs to stop catering to the interests of NYC.
Niagara Falls is a world-class destination. Do something with it. You're a Democrat, Niagara Falls has a Dem Mayor, a Dem State Senator and we have a Dem Governor. No more excuses, Francine, step up or get out.
But don't forget about Hartland in the process; Tom Golisano won't and neither will we.