“This body is the closest level of government to the people, and they have a responsibility to take action,” said Peter Reese, noted attorney, election law expert, and political operative. “We know that poor people tend to be most victimized by pollution; environmental justice may be a slogan, but it’s not a reality. If we had a competent government that cared, then we would be figuring out how to move cross boarder freight on electric trains. But the PBA wants more trucks and higher toll revenues. Contracting, being the ‘new-patronage,’ drives these grandiose expansion projects.”
Reese argues that the Cuomo Administration is interested in little more than political photo-ops in which the governor can demonstrate his successes. But Reese wonders why Cuomo assumes that perceived success must come in the form of massive construction projects and at the expense of public health.
“Cuomo is not warmly received on the left,” Reese said. “There would be enormous upside for Cuomo to carry the torch on environmental issues, especially in a city like Buffalo, with all of the vestiges of our industrial past and our elevated rates of asthma, cancer, stroke, and other environmentally-linked diseases.”
While not tape recorder accurate, this is what I said. I also called the Common Council "gutless" for failing to issue the subpoena, but that will be our little secret. The last time I know of that the Council actually dragged someone in under subpoena was 1982, when a young and ambitious Niagara District Councilmember named Joel Giambra was investigating waste and mismanagement at Western Region Off Track Betting.
After nearly killing and bankrupting ourselves supporting Mario Cuomo in 1982, I was named a person most likely to benefit from patronage in the new administration, one of only three lawyers who were on board early. In the Democratic Primary Election, my wife and I purchased every lawn and polling place sign used in Western New York, because, otherwise, there wouldn't have been any. When we got on the bus, Mario was 39 points down in the polls and going nowhere. "The first shall be first," said Cuomo the First, and for the past 32 years I have been waiting patiently by the phone for my call from the governor with that big job I was sure was on the way. When Cuomo II was elected in 2010, I was certain my ship would come in at any moment. Four years later, still no call. Now Matt's reckless reporting of the truth has shattered any hopes I have harbored. Thanks a lot, Pal.