A reader forwarded us a recent statement from Niagara County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Rivera condemning the recent brick-throwing incidents at the offices of Louise Slaughter in Niagara Falls and the Monroe County Democratic Party in Rochester. In the release, Rivera goes on to ask elected Republicans to speak out against the use of violence as a form of political expression.
"I am calling on...elected Republicans from the local to the national level to publicly repudiate the use of intimidation and violence in politics,” Rivera said. "One thing that’s clear is that attempts at physical intimidation have no place in our democratic system. For over 200 years we have built a democratic political system based on the right of everyone to express their views free of fear of physical intimidation from anyone. If there are some who are now violating those principles, certainly I am willing to publicly repudiate them."
Rivera has obviously got an extremely selective memory. It was less than two years ago that the Lewiston Dem Chairwoman tendered her resignation from the Dems county executive committee for what she described as "physical and verbal abuse" from Rivera.
The allegations made such a splash that the New York State Senate Minority Leader at the time, Malcolm Smith, refused to cross a picket line of Rivera protesters outside of a Niagara County Democratic Party fundraiser at The Red Coach Inn in Niagara Falls.
Now, less than two years later, Rivera has the audacity to spew rhetoric about a "political system based on the right of everyone to express their views free of fear of physical intimidation". Obviously that view does not apply to members of his own party who question his failed methods and strategies.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: Rivera has been an unmitigated disaster for the local Democrats and a dream come true for the GOP. After the county legislature appoints a replacement for new county treasurer Kyle Andrews, the Republicans will have an astounding 15-4 majority in the legislature. Nearly every town supervisor is a Republican and two of the county's three mayors are Republican. Never in the history of Niagara County politics has one party seen such dominance. Through it all, the one constant for the local Democrats has been Dan Rivera.
With this latest statement, he has once again shown that his hypocrisy knows no boundaries. Unfortunately, no one from within his own party will dare question Rivera because they fear retaliation from him. That, my friends, is far from the "democracy" one would expect from the Democratic Party.