As regular readers of Niagara Times have likely noticed, we've periodically extended the closing date of the poll question to the left. The reason we've done so is because former State Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte hasn't landed any of the listed positions, or anything else for that matter. While we'd like to thank the 110 folks who did vote in it, we're likely to take the poll down within the next day or two since it is likely that DelMonte has her sights set on a comeback.
Multiple sources have told us that DelMonte is hellbent on regaining her old seat. She is mighty bitter about her loss at the hands of John Ceretto, and she's been spotted at a multitude of events doing the handshake/kissing babies thing. She's also using any and every platform at her disposal to bad mouth the likable Ceretto.
It's clear why DelMonte hasn't taken any of the likely employment possibilities her buddy Shelly Silver could have lined up for her on the public tit - she knows it'd be a public relations disaster that would be used against her in next year's campaign. And God knows she has absolutely no qualifications whatsoever to work in the private sector, since she worked on the public's dime for 30 years, her entire adult life. She wouldn't know a balance sheet from a dryer sheet.
Frankly, it's a good strategy if DelMonte is going to attempt a comeback. Next year will be a presidential election year, theoretically increasing voter turnout over last year. In addition, district lines will likely be redrawn to aid DelMonte by Silver, the man she voted for to lead the Assembly each and every time during her tenure. One good turn deserves another, right Francine - "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" type of thing?
DelMonte's problem is that she thinks the public has a short memory - they don't. They're not going to forget about DelMonte's destruction of every single document or the wiping out of all computer data in her office when her term was up, despite the fact that Ceretto personally reached out to her to ensure a smooth transition for his current and her former constituents.
They're also not going to forget about her undying devotion to Silver. Or her support for the $550 million sweep of NYPA funds by the state. Or her screwing of Renae Kimble when Kimble's name was brought forth by Carl McCall for a seat on the NYPA Board of Trustees. Or her failure to bring any private capital investment to Niagara Falls, capping her 30 years of failure (remember, she served as an Assembly staffer for 20 years in the office of Assemblyman Joe Pillitiere, a man who never endorsed her Assembly candidacies, prior to her 10 years wasted in the Assembly).
They're not going to forget what an absolute witch she was during and after last year's race, when she brought campaign nastiness to a new level. They won't forget that she screwed her own party by staying in the Assembly race after losing the Primary to John Accardo, ensuring a Democratic split of the vote and guaranteeing a Ceretto win. In staying in the race after the loss, DelMonte showed that she had no interest in keeping the seat in the hands of the Democrats, only that she is a wicked, selfish person.
Voters across the county won't forget that DelMonte stole their share of the casino revenue and diverted all of it to Niagara Falls, only to see the city use it to fund a series of free concerts - concerts that hurt businesses like the Rapids Theatre. They won't forget her allocating public dollars to the Niagara Tourism and Convention, only to see the NTCC abuse the public's trust by spending their money on such lavish and tourism-generating expenses as massages.
They won't forget that DelMonte has used the Power Authority as her personal employment agency, sending as many of her cronies as possible to Lewiston as a reward for her support of NYPA boss Richie Kessel's twisted priorities. They won't forget that DelMonte voted against a much stricter version of the state's civil confinement legislation, a measure that was passed by the State Senate, instead opting for Gladys Carrion-esque legislation and policies that allow societies biggest scumbags, child molesters, to walk the streets among us.
Voters won't forget that time and time again DelMonte supported the giving of more and more generous benefits to Medicaid recipients, creating the country's most lavish and expensive Medicaid program - a program that costs county taxpayers just about the same amount as the county's entire tax levy.
Obviously we can go on and one, but the point's been made. If DelMonte thinks that two years out of office is going to make all of these issues go away, she is delusional. Frankly, I'd love to see her jump into the race - it will certainly give us plenty of blog fodder. But in terms of wiping the slate clean, she will have a difficult time putting her political sins of the past behind her.