Niagara Gazette — It’s the season for schmoozing.
Time to cross the aisle and heap praise on a politician of another party. At the same time, any candidate running for re-election, especially a vulnerable one, needs to choose coattails wisely.
A prime example: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat with a favorability rating of a record 70 percent. That’s the kind of guy it helps to be on the right side of, when you’re a candidate of another party stripe.
Three area Republican lawmakers — Sen. George Maziarz, R- Newfane, Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, and Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-Lewiston — are obviously counting heavily on Cuomo’s popularity in their November races.
It is clear they relish the chance to bask in the governor’s glory on Capitol Hill, citing a perceived clean-up of corruption, the end to a thoroughly dysfunctional Legislature, and the increased number of private sector jobs. Voters in the Empire State surely are a little more savvy than that.
The new era of good feeling works both ways, to be sure. Cuomo can hardly afford to slight upstate lawmakers — regardless of party affiliation — who represent thousands of people hurting from the depressed economy. By helping re-elect them, Cuomo can expand his base for a future run as the state’s Chief Executive or to a higher office.
Thus, the latest campaign commercial extolling Grisanti’s efforts in staunchly supporting the “UB 20-20” legislation, a long-term plan to encourage economic growth and create jobs in Western New York. As they say, that’s a no-brainer. Don’t expect to hear Grisanti though lauded for his crucial vote on same-sex marriage. That’s still contentious on both sides of the aisle.
Maziarz probably never gave the time of day to either of the former Democratic governors, Eliot Spitzer or David Paterson, even before they became embroiled in scandals of their own making. The two governors simply weren’t the schmoozing type. In light of what happened, it’s easy to understand why.