I was more than a little disappointed by the story in the Buffalo News about Jason Cafarella, the Niagara Falls legislator and one-time renegade Democrat.
The truth is, I’ve always had a soft spot for Cafarella. He bucked his own party establishment a bit to get where he is, and for a while he showed some degree of independence from the hyper-partisan Dennis Virtuoso in the Legislature. Actually, I always thought he was kind of a straight shooter. Lately, though, he’s been voting the party line far more than bucking it, and, quite frankly, has been acting a lot like, well, like a Niagara Falls politician.
And I don’t mean that as a compliment.
So, when it broke that the Pine Avenue Business Association had allowed its members’ health insurance policies to lapse, despite taking payments from the members for insurance they thought they were getting, my first thought was, “Slimeballs.” But when I found out that Cafarella was the attorney for these guys and offering up lawyerly platitudes, I was more than disheartened.
See, when Jason Cafarella says things like “the Association had been making payments to Independent Health, but ‘did fall behind’” and the best explanation he can offer for his client’s bad behavior is “I feel very bad for all the people who were negatively impacted, and I do agree it’s taken too long to resolve this issue,” and tells the press he advised the Association’s board not to comment, I wonder what became of that straight shooter.
Look, I get that lawyers have to protect the interests of their clients. But it’s the PINE AVENUE Business Association. And that means that these were businesses not only right in the heart of Niagara Falls, but businesses right in the heart of Cafarella’s own district. And it sure looks like they got gypped.
Jason Cafarella needs to choose between his constituents and his client.