There are some interesting rumblings coming out of both the Republican and Democratic camps as some of the local races start shaping up. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll take a look at some of those races, including those for county legislature.
One race that seems to be generating much conversation is the contest for the 6th Legislative District, currently held by Danny Sklarski (D-Niagara). Sklarski is being challenged by Town of Niagara Councilman Rob Clark.
What is at the center of the discussion is the apparent unwillingness of Clark to move forward with his campaign, while Dem Chairman Dan Rivera pushes Clark to continue. Clark, it seems, is apprehensive about what may come out during the campaign. As we have alluded to before, Clark was one of several local candidates who received campaign contributions from business interests that turned out to be a front for prostitution ring that forced women into sex slavery.
We've also questioned Clark's response to demands that he either give the money back or make a donation in the same amount to a local cause for women. On this blog, when challenged by a commenter about the donation, Clark stated "No I didn't give it back. Who would I give it to? I haven`t seen the shop owners in almost 2 years. What good would it do if I gave the $100 to the "employees" of the ring. They wouldn`t see it. The Government would probably keep it. I'm willing to bet that they are probably doing better than most of us right now."
Personally, I think that's a garbage answer. "I'm willing to bet that they are probably doing better than most of us right now"? These are women who spoke no English, were forced into sexual slavery and lived in virtual cages when not being forced to perform sex acts. How the hell would you think they're doing better than most of us right now? But, that aside, the answer is still garbage. You could have very easily, very quietly made a donation to a local women's shelter to, if nothing else, clean your conscience.
Anyway, I digress.
Rivera has made a promise of significant resources to Clark, but Clark's heart is not in it. Word is that there is a combination of two things weighing on Clark. Some of the things we already alluded to coming out as well as his lack of faith in Rivera to deliver on his promise of help.
On the latter, we can't say we blame Clark. Rivera has been (in)famous for not delivering for his candidates. We've learned that Rivera's fractured relationship with former congressional candidate Jack Davis is still damaged. Rivera recently approached Davis, who pumped $30k of his own money into the Dem's campaign coffers two years ago, with an offer of reconciliation. Davis wanted nothing to do with it. In fact, Davis still plans to swing those campaign dollars into the GOP's campaign war chest. That will indeed make it difficult for Rivera to keep his promises of resources to potential candidates.
As the petition deadline approaches within the next few weeks, it's going to be very interesting to see if Clark does indeed submit his petitions. Don't be surprised if you see a swichteroo from the Dems in this race. If nothing else, this year should be an interesting one in local politics. Stay tuned, there's much more to come.