January 19, 2010

Palmer To Challenge DelMonte

Sources are telling Niagara Times that Lewiston Town Councilman Ernie Palmer is moving forward with plans to challenge incumbent Francine DelMonte in the 138th Assembly District race this year. Palmer has put together a "kitchen cabinet" of advisers, is putting together a budget, developing a website and compiling a master list of issues to be utilized against DelMonte. Palmer, who recently submitted his retirement papers from the Niagara Falls Police Department, will be a formidable candidate.

DelMonte, for her part, should be concerned, regardless of who her opposition is. There is a strong anti-incumbency backlash, as evidenced by the results of November's elections, especially towards Democrats in Albany.

At some point, the people of Niagara Falls have to take a look at who has been there through the decade-long decline of the city. While DelMonte has been the city's fixture in Albany, the city's state senators have included Antoine Thompson, Byron Brown, Anthony Nanula and Mark Coppolla. During her tenure, state taxes and fees have increased exponentially, she opposed a school property tax cap, she refused to allow the issue of casino gaming to go to a referendum so the people of this state could decide if they want casino gambling (so we're left fighting for scraps after the Senecas and Albany get their shares), she supported the sweep of $550 million in NYPA profits generated right here in Niagara County to fill the gaping budget hole in Albany that she helped create and she has supported taking millions of dollars out of the state parks in Niagara Falls.

In the towns, she's got even bigger problems. Her diverting of hundreds of thousands in casino revenue away from the towns to Niagara Falls is going to hurt her badly.

Frankly, I hope it does. She has been nothing but Sheldon Silver's beckon call girl in Albany, voting with him 99% of the time.

Not to mention the fact that her anointed one, Nick Melson, was defeated by Vince Sandanato in the Fifth County Legislative District face in November. Melson's entire platform revolved around his connections to Albany as a DelMonte staffer. That race was unequivocally a referendum on DelMonte.

With Palmer in the race, she should be very concerned. He will be strong in the towns and he will be strong in the city. And upon retiring, he will have plenty of time to devote to the rigors of campaigning. Hopefully the people of the 138th will come to their senses and dump do-nothing DelMonte. Of course, I'm sure her boy Richie Kessel will be more than happy to find her a job with the Power Authority, should she need one. Let's hope that she does.


James T. Kirk said...

Hobbes, this is, of course, wonderful news. Mr. Palmer showed a lot of guts and class in his run for Sheriff, and while I was proud to vote for Sheriff Voutour, it was with some regrets.

I have a number of friends in the Northwest corner of our dear county, and had heard rumors that Paula Banks-Dahlke has been meeting Mr. Palmer for "lunch," as it were, and that she was ready to endorse when he announces--kind of a "passing of the torch" thing.

As someone once wrote, "I am with you, (Ernie) 110%" and "fired up, ready to go!"

Sweaterman said...

I agree with Hobbes. Whoever the candidate is, he or she will have to expose Francine's lackof support for the towns of her district. The pillaging of the casino money could hurt many of our summer festivals. Including the Pirate Festival and Celtic Fest in Newfane and The Jazz and Peach Festivals in Lewiston. These festivals are important to these towns. Not only are they important to the Tourism business but an important part of Town pride. These towns are proud of the events they hold and they do not like some Shelly Silver hack sweeping in and taking their money to fill the unfillable hole called Niagara Falls.

I for one hope Ernie Palmer runs. He understands the importance of Towns and Town Pride. Something our Assemblywoman will never understand!