November 5, 2010

Friday Ruminations

Thompson Effort at Electoral Theft Despicable

News that defeated 60th District Senator Antoine Thompson is planning courtroom shenanigans to invalidate the election that ousted him is disconcerting to anyone who believes in the democratic process.

It’s doubly disconcerting, though, to those of us who know Antoine. We could rehash all the ridiculousness of the past year—Thompson’s efforts to “find jobs” in Jamaica, his personal enrichment from the AEG scandal, his making taxpayers pay for a 102-page campaign mailer/coffee table book, his making taxpayers pay for birthday cards for his constituents

But what really galls us, more than anything, is that even before absentee ballots that most observers expect to break for Grisanti are counted, Thompson trails by 598 votes. That would be a difficult deficit for anyone to overcome with just 2,500 absentee ballots out. But to us, the really galling thing, is knowing that Antoine Thompson can’t count to 598—and still, is intent on paralyzing the state government in a pathetic effort to hang onto a job he was hired from.

Three Cheers for Updegrove

This blog has never been particularly impressed by the Niagara County Community College’s proposed Culinary Arts Institute, and we remain skeptical. Frankly, we worry that the college will be flooding an already-saturated labor market—hospitality and cuisine—with well-trained, but underemployed workers.

All that being said, we acknowledge that the project is likely to move forward, and in light of that, we hope it succeeds at all of its goals.

Despite our misgivings, however, we must applaud the Majority Leader of the County Legislature, Rick Updegrove of Lockport. Local media missed it, but watching the recap of Wednesday night’s meeting on LCTV, we got a chuckle out of Updegrove’s grilling of NCCC President James Klyczek, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, and USA Niagara Development Corp. President Chris Schoepflin. The trio essentially gave away the farm to secure the County Legislature’s blessing to build the institute, with Dyster and Schoepflin vowing that Niagara Falls would take over maintenance of the Rainbow Centre Mall—and its decrepit parking ramp “in perpetuity” and that the city would surrender any and all sales tax revenues raised in the mall, which county taxpayers now essentially own, to county coffers.

Not a bad outing for Updegrove, who, as we’ve noted before, is reputed to be a pretty good lawyer in his day job. And not such a good outing for Dyster, who, as we’ve noted before, is reputed to be Niagara Falls’ mayor in his day job.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

We’ve always admired and respected the governance that Town of Niagara Supervisor Steve Richards has brought that once-dysfunctional town over the past two decades.

But we never knew about his unusual hobby.

For those of you who missed it in the white-hot heat of Election Day, Richards is an amateur ghost-hunter. Rather than delve too far into the story, we just offer it up here for your entertainment.

Don’t cross the streams, Steve.

An Idea We Can Endorse

We read this morning that outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is thinking about staying on—both as a Member of Congress and as leader of her party.

Given our own general preference for Republican-leaning policies, we think this is a fantastic idea.

While we’re at it, may we also suggest that Niagara County Democrats follow Pelosi’s lead and keep Dan Rivera around, too?

Salt in the Wound

We know that we should be offering soothing, conciliatory words to our Democratic brethren after their annihilation at the polls.

And yet, we found this video clip from an old Bob Hope movie far more pertinent:

See you Monday.

1 comment:

Doc Maelstrom said...

Apparently Hobbes is not a lawyer during day hours. The amendments to the resolution passed Wednesday night 16-2 have no legal hold on USA Niagara Development or the City of Niagara Falls. The resolution simply recommitted the 1.5 million to the project the Leg committed two years ago. The two amendments would need to be negotiated in a written agreement between the three parties, regardless of the theatrics the Republican majority put on display Wednesday. There is no way Cerretto can allow this agreement to now fall apart as he represents the district that the Rainbow Centre is located in. Cerretto knows with only 42% of the vote his stay in Albany can be a very short one if the Democrats mount a united front in 2012. Starting out his term by allowing the only downtown development in sight crumple would be a recipe for disaster, no pun intended.

The two Legislators who voted no at least had the guts to put their cards on the table despite their spiteful and painfully partisan ill feelings toward NF. The rest knew that while they did not want Dyster and the Democratic led USA Niagara to look like heroes in bringing the Culinary project to life they would have been cruxified had they voted it down. This was almost politics at its worst in Niagara County. Thank God Republican leadership kept the herd in line because it could have been ugly.

Dyster is no wordsmith, but he had one of his better nights in front of the Leg. Much better than Sandanato, who should worry about finding a job for himself, rather than being on the public dime and reading off questions supplied for him prior to the meeting. Yea, watch the replay of the meeting and you will see him sneaking a peak at his cheat sheet supplied by senior legislators. This is the same a cronie record him with a home video camera in front of the old Wendt Dairy building on Buffalo Avenue last year, actually reading a prepared speech asking that this multi million dollar project be located in the middle of a residential neighborhood in LaSalle!

Guaranteed the final Culinary agreement will have no mention of the city of NF giving its share of the sales tax from the project going to the County.