While our friends at Buffalo Bean speculate that Gov. David Paterson may help the GOP usher in a comeback in New York state, it seems that another prominent supporter of the Democrats may be re-considering his alliance with the party.
Although it received little play locally, except for a piece from Buffalo News columnist Tom Precious, the impact of the meeting Tueday between Tom Golisano and four Republican members of the State Senate cannot be underestimated. It was Golisano who dumped more than $4 million of his money into the Democrat's efforts to win back the Senate majority, which they did, due in no small part to the financing Golisano provided them.
Golisano apparently reached out to Senator George Maziarz to arrange the meeting. Maziarz attended, along with Republican Sens. Joseph Griffo, James Seward and Andrew Lanza. It's no surprise that Golisano would reach out Maziarz, as the two have worked together recently, including banding together in an attempt to get the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission to open up its books.
On a side note, we've learned that Golisano was in Albany on Monday for the specific purpose of meeting with the staff of Paterson on the Bridge Commission. That issue is about to take a whole new turn, but we'll have more on that next week.
If Golisano is indeed re-thinking his alliance to the Dems, Golisano pulling his money out of the Dems coffers and re-directing it to the GOP could have a major impact on the outcome for the race for control of the state senate in 2010.
This scenario combined with Paterson's plummeting approval ratings, which are the lowest of any governor in decades, bodes well for a reclaiming of the state senate by the GOP. That being said, I'm going to reiterate that I am hopeful of this based not so much on parties, but on the ongoing upstate/downstate disconnect that we've touched on so many times.
Factor in Rudy Giuliani on the ticket next year, and it might just be the comeback the GOP is looking for.