Niagara Gazette

Opinion

October 20, 2012

GLYNN: Cuomo plays both ends of the spectrum

Niagara Gazette — The trio of area state lawmakers who continue to capitalize on Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's popularity in the polls are finding that a number of their Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill have climbed on the same bandwagon. It's just smart politics, as they say.

State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, and Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-Lewiston, have obviously hitched their own wagons to Cuomo's star power.

A 15-second television spot promoting Grisanti's re-election bid features Cuomo expressing profound thanks to the senator for supporting the University of Buffalo's 2020 plan to improve higher education and spur economic development. (By the way, despite all the rage over Grisanti's crucial support to pass the same-sex marriage law, the senator seems to have the edge in his run for re-election next month.)

In a lot of his campaign material, Maziarz reminds voters that he has worked closely with the governor in a number of ways, particularly to bring the highly touted Nik Wallenda wire walk over falls to fruition. 

Assemblyman Ceretto always aligns himself with the governor as well and it apparently has yielded some dividends. In one TV ad, Cuomo is seen hugging the lawmaker from Lewiston.

All of this cross-aisle schmoozing surely irks the party loyalists and ward heelers who generally dislike any blatant opportunism. It could be even worse, of course, if those aisle jumpers became full-fledged turncoats. 

What's really at stake here is the GOP trying to retain control of the Senate. At the same time, as veteran political analyst Tom Kaplan of the New York Times notes, Cuomo doesn't seem all that interested in helping the Democrats retake control of the Senate. Perhaps he is concerned that some inmates will end up in charge.

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