For years we've stated that the Upstate/Downstate disconnect is not so much about political parties per se, but more about the vast difference in priorities of those who represent the regions. If anything, the recent happenings in Albany have reinforced that position.
With the Democrats now in control of the State Senate, there is an even greater push to direct resources that were previously shared by the entire state to the New York City area.
Member items, usually referred to as "pork", are mostly headed downstate. Even this Buffalo News story acknowledges "when Republicans controlled the State Senate, they spread the pork barrel wealth around upstate each year — table scraps when compared with the overall size of the budget, yet still enough to bring grateful smiles from recipients and voters. Those days are gone".
The greatest asset that the Niagara region can offer, our inexpensive hydroelectric power, is being diverted downstate. The profits generated at the Lewiston facility are being used to fill Albany's budget gap.
Unfortunately, WNY has extremely weak representation in the Senate Democratic conference. Bill Stachowski and Antoine Thompson have stood by and said nothing while WNY has repeatedly been raped at the hands of those in his conference that they are so beholden to, that they have been completely emasculated.
The Buffalo News, in this editorial, states that "this region’s only chance for a meaningful voice lies in the still-close 32-30 split in the Senate, which means any senator willing to break ranks can wield some influence. Neither of Western New York’s Democrats have shown much willingness to break ranks on significant issues. In fact, the senior Democrat— Sen. William T. Stachowski, D-LakeView— has become political road kill twice since November’s elections, without a whimper". Dead on accurate. And this coming from one of the most left-leaning newspapers in the country.
The story also states "fighting for upstate has never been easy in a state Legislature dominated by New York City. Fighting for Western New York will be even harder now, with what could prove the weakest Senate delegation in memory." Yes, they're talking about you, Stachowski and Thompson.
The below video shows State Senator George Maziarz doing something that Stachowski and Thompson are just too weak to ever do - stand up for WNY. Take a lesson, boys.