I had the feeling this was going to be one of those issues that would slowly boil and then get really hot. I'm referrng to Dem Boss Dan Rivera's run-in with Lewiston Dem Chairwoman Diane Roberts that led to her resignation from the county party's leadership. A leading women's rights advocate has now gotten involved and this doesn't bode well for Rivera. See below:
Picket seeks resignation of party leader
Democrat targets fundraiser today
By Thomas J. Prohaska - NEWS NIAGARA-->
NIAGARA FALLS — A Lewiston Democrat announced plans Tuesday to picket the Niagara County party’s fundraiser today to demand the resignation of Daniel Rivera as party chairman.
Kathryn Lake Mazierski, former president of the New York State chapter of the National Organization for Women, said she wants party officials to speak out against Rivera for grabbing the nose of Diane M. Roberts, Lewiston Democratic chairwoman, at a fundraising event in April at the Niagara Club.
Roberts resigned as vice chairwoman of the county Democratic Party after the incident, but said as she did so that she still supported Rivera because of his performance as chairman.
Rivera went on the offensive, saying: “[Mazierski] has alleged I inappropriately treated someone who says she still supports me. This regrettable incident has become fodder for people who don’t have her best interest at heart. If they want a public apology, I apologize to Diane Roberts, the [Democratic] committee and my own family for what they’ve endured.”
Rivera blamed the picketing plan on Gary D. Parenti, his intra-party enemy who, in the 2006 primary for the party’s Assembly nomination, lost to the incumbent, Assemblywoman Francine Del- Monte of Lewiston. Mazierski had worked on Parenti’s campaign. “I’m not going to resign,” Rivera insisted. “That would only help the person she is shilling for, which is Parenti.”
Parenti and Roberts did not return calls seeking comment on the planned demonstration, but Mazierski said she wants other Democrats to call out Rivera for his “loathsome treatment of women that makes him unfit to lead our party.” She also said she’s “not going to let other female leaders off the hook for their silence.” That, she said, means Del- Monte. “I think as the ranking Democrat in Niagara County, and one who has supported women’s issues and sponsored legislation to help the cause of women, she should be stepping up to the plate and making sure Dan Rivera can’t get away with this,” Mazierski said. “I said plenty of times this was a personal dispute between Diane and the chairman,” Del- Monte responded. “Diane has made it abundantly clear that she still supports the chairman. She hasn’t asked me or anyone else to assist her.”
Rivera charged that Parenti had entered into an “unholy alliance” with State Sen. George
D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, to oust him as the Democrats’ county chairman. “I fully endorse Mr. Rivera for Democratic chairman,” Maziarz said. “I hope he continues on for a long time, because the Republican Party has fared very well under Mr. Rivera’s Democratic Party leadership.”
During the 2006 campaign, Parenti accused Rivera of using his job as an insurance investigator to obtain information about Parenti’s drunken-driving record. Parenti sued for libel, and last year, Liberty Mutual, for which Rivera worked, paid Parenti an undisclosed amount to settle out of court. Rivera lost his job, but neither he nor the company ever has publicly said that was connected to the Parenti incident.
Mazierski called that a diversion attempt, saying: “That’s a way to deflect what the real issue is, which is Dan Rivera’s treatment of women. I don’t think it’s too much to ask her to do the right thing.”
Despite the Roberts incident, Mazierski, DelMonte and other Democrats said Tuesday they know of no effort to unseat Rivera, whose term as chairman will expire in September.
Today’s fundraiser is scheduled for 5:30 p. m. in the Red Coach Inn, 2 Buffalo Ave.