By DON GLYNN firstname.lastname@example.org
Niagara Gazette — Threatening to raise upwards of $200 million to run in this year’s race for governor, Donald Trump will be off to Buffalo late this month, perhaps to announce he intends to challenge Andrew M. Cuomo.
At a glance, that promise of a big Republican spender is a slap at Cuomo, a Democrat, who apparently has only $33 million for his campaign. What price glory!
Meanwhile, the staff at Salvatore’s Restaurant in Depew will have their hands full Jan. 31 trying to reconfigure the main ballroom to accommodate Trump’s massive ego.
It’s shocking to concede that the Empire State has apparently run out of qualified people to serve as the Chief Executive. Basically “The Donald,” as he’s known in the tabloids, feels he is eligible because he’s a real estate baron, a beauty pageant owner, and founder of the television show “The Apprentice.”
The state GOP is obviously desperate as evidenced by a letter that party chief Ed Cox sent out last week, urging fellow Republicans not to endorse a Democrat governor for re-election. By the way, Cox, son-in-law of Richard Nixon, is the same guy who stated months ago that his party had strong gubernatorial candidates waiting in the wings.
Ironically, in his letter to Republican leaders across the state, Cox accurately described shortcomings of the present administration on Capitol Hill: “New York remains the most taxed, most regulated, least economically free state in America, with the highest out-migration and the most debt per capita.”
For the record, Cuomo must be recognized for making some headway with his agenda, despite the fractious Legislature and widespread scandals created by lawmakers for whom betraying the public trust is part of their daily routine.
If Trump makes a formal announcement to enter the race, many Republicans will probably opt for “no comment.” In a way, that makes sense. Why should they dare to speak out when Trump’s campaign won’t even last until the Labor Day parade?
The Cox letter had barely been mailed when — to no one’s surprise — former GOP senator Al D’Amato, now a lobbyist still feeding at the trough, endorsed Cuomo for re-election. On the local front, you can expect state Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, and Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-Lewiston, among other Republicans in the Western New York delegation at Albany, to support the incumbent, although not through any formal endorsement. Ceretto, of course, has made it clear on many occasions that he is enamored with the governor.
Maziarz is reticent to say anything negative about Trump. “I’ve never really met him,” the senator said, noting that the Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino also is among those expected to enter the governor’s race. The latter would have little appeal to voters in Western New York or other upstate communities.
OFF THE PRESS: “Western New York Steel,” by Spencer D. Morgan (Arcadia Publishing Co., 126 pages, paperback, $21.99) is a splendid addition to that popular and informative Images of America series.
From the impressive Lackawanna Building, known as the “North” or “Old Main” Office Building, to the open-hearth furnaces charged with molten iron and the apartments and company housing in Ridge Road Village, this inexpensive book focuses on the rise and fall of the steel industry in the area, from 1900 to the early 1980s.
ACROSS THE BORDER: The bizarre saga of Toronto’s flamboyant and erratic mayor, “Crazy: The Rob Ford Story,” by Robin Doolittle, will be published in early February. She’s one of the Toronto Star reporters who viewed Ford’s crack video. Meanwhile, Olivia Chow, widow of Jack Layton and a former city council member, continues to overwhelm Ford in the early opinion polls for the Toronto mayoralty race next fall.
In more news from up north, according to the Goldman Sachs forecast for 2014, the Canadian dollar (the Loonie) will be worth 88 cents (U.S.) for most of the year. It probably would have to decline much sharper to adversely impact the present flow of cross-border shoppers.
TRIVIA QUIZ: (Answer to last question): SPUR was the acronym for the Society for the Promotion, Unification and Redevelopment of Niagara Inc., an arm of the former Niagara Falls Area Chamber of Commerce in the 1980s.
GOOD NEWS: The third-floor Local History Department at the Niagara Falls Public Library will re-open to the public Jan. 28, from 2 to 5 p.m., Library Director Michelle Petrazzoulo announced. That department has been closed several times due to budget cuts. It has yet to be decided how often it will be accessible in the future.
HEADLINE OF THE DAY: “If 49ers Can Halt Lynch, NFC Title Will Be There” — from a New York Post article referring to former Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch, now a star with the Seattle Seahawks.
Prediction: Seattle 38, San Fran 35.Contact Reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246