Word reaches us this morning that Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster’s dog-and-pony show at City Hall Wednesday night didn’t quite pan out. Back in the ‘60s, some hippie asked “What if they held a war and no one came?” Well, the apropos question to ask in Dyster’s case would be, “What if a failed politician held a photo op and no one came?”
OK, in fairness, that’s not really true. Niagara County Democratic Party lapdog Mark Scheer rushed down, reporter’s notebook in hand, hoping to write a story pleasing to his political masters, so he and a Gazette photographer were in attendance at least. But, by the account he published this morning, even Scheer had a hard time keeping a straight face, admitting “The mayor’s night in didn’t exactly pack them in at City Hall. But Mayor Paul Dyster said residents will get more chances to join him for private conversations in the future.”
What Scheer doesn’t write, but a source inside City Hall tells us, is that Dyster actually had to order City Manager Donna Owens to work the phones to bring warm bodies in as part of a last-ditch effort to save the photo op.
Of course, Owens’ dialing was a partial success, as she managed to bring in some “fresh” faces, like “local historian” Paul Gromosiak, a Democratic Party hack. And no, we’re not being mean by describing Gromosiak as a Democratic Party hack. The media have done as much themselves, referring to him in print as “Paul Gromosiak, a Falls historian and a Dyster supporter.”
Not that Gromosiak was the only Democratic Party faithful dragged out to save Dyster from drowning: “Cayuga Drive resident” Vicki Johnstone-Graf was also in attendance, urging Dyster to try to turn Niagara Falls into Dollywood North. No, really. Of course, the Gazette really shortchanged a woman as accomplished as Ms. Johnstone-Graf. They failed to mention that she’s a top official with what is probably the largest labor union in the city.
Dyster’s failed photo op is very telling. Now, no one in their right mind believes city residents are content, considering this happened the same day someone sprayed a city house with bullets like something out of Beirut. So, the only reasonable conclusion is that people now realize that, with Dyster, all they’re going to get is a bunch of empty promises, airy rhetoric, and another two years of watching their city disintegrate around them.
Who wants to come out just to be a prop for another Dyster photo op?
EDITOR’S NOTE: I know some regular readers of this blog might have expected me to comment on the allegations swirling around Governor David Paterson this morning. The truth is, I’m not entirely sure what to think yet, except the obvious: coming so recently after the State Senate booted out girlfriend slasher Hiram Monserrate, strong allegations that Paterson and the New York State Police intervened to cover up violent domestic abuse by a top aide can’t be a good thing, either for Paterson, politically, or for New York State. We’ll be following this story closely, and will offer more commentary in coming days, but we want to watch for the dust to settle. But again, this doesn’t bode well for Paterson’s survival. Or that of yet another political hack State Police superintendent.