Niagara Gazette — Why are the major political parties holding their state conventions in quiet communities far from the urban masses?
It’s almost like they prefer that three-in-a-room approach to run state government. Certainly Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, to name a few, would have had more to offer. Instead, the Republicans opened their convention Wednesday in Rye Brook, N.Y. (pop. 9,600) with the Democrats meeting May 21 in Melville, Nassau County, (pop. 18,000), slightly less than Lockport.
Obviously Rye Brook was selected because the GOP candidate for governor is Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. If nothing else, the Republican gathering there should produce a strong turnout for the “favorite son” in November. All the opinion polls indicate that Astorino will come out on the short end, although upsets occasionally occur. As for Westchester County, it should be noted that’s also where Gov. Andrew Cuomo and girlfriend Sandra Lee live. And even though the Democrats maintain a two-to-one edge in the registration at the polls, the popular Astorino has managed to win the county executive race twice.
Meanwhile, the choice of Melville on Long Island is viewed by some political experts as a way to attract independent voters who usually prevail in the suburbs. Gov. Cuomo is fully aware that that segment has become a significant factor in many elections. Strong support in the downstate suburbs could perhaps counter any weak vote upstate. The incumbent could be shocked by his drop in popularity ratings after he spearheaded the fight for tighter gun control laws. Many gun owners throughout Western New York are upset with his aggressive role in that legislation.
TAKE IT SLOWLY: That work zone along the 1-190 between the fore bay to the Robert Moses Power Plant and the Pump Generating Station has signs warning motorists about stiff fines for not slowing down. It’s amazing how many drivers ignore those signs, putting the workers at serious risk. If you regularly travel in that area, you must know the police have nabbed a number of offenders.