By Don Glynn
Niagara Gazette — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s new book about his life and governing philosophy is scheduled for publication in 2014.
Harper & Collins, the publisher, has not disclosed any terms but it is known that Cuomo worked out a cash advance for the project. A title has yet to be determined.
Earlier, the New York Times reported that Cuomo’s publisher was backing off plans for another book on the governor by New York Post writer Fred U. Dicker. You may recall that Dicker, who also is host of a daily radio show in Albany, clashed with Carl Paladino, the Buffalo-Niagara Falls businessman and unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial candidate in the last election.
It isn’t clear why Harper & Collins has decided to drop Dicker’s book proposal. A couple of factors, however, have been cited: The Post columnist has differed sharply with the governor’s stand on the gun control law and he has been relentless in criticizing the governor for continually vacillating in the debate over hydrofracking in the Empire State.
Meanwhile, even though Cuomo’s popularity rating has dropped a few percentage points since the last credible poll, he still appears a solid contender for re-election. Despite what State GOP Chairman Ed Cox says, there is no sign of a strong Republican candidate to oppose Cuomo in the next race.
Some so-called leading Republicans already mentioned as potential candidates have vanished from the scene. The most recent departure was Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards said he would neither seek re-election to his current office nor run for governor in 2014.
Edwards declined to specify why he was withdrawing from consideration but he apparently told close associates that he viewed a race against Cuomo as strictly an uphill battle. Edwards won the county executive post in 2005, defeating Mark Thomas, a Democrat, 52 percent to 42 percent. Thomas is now the western district director of the regional state parks commission.
Chairman Cox had been told in April that Rep. Chris Gibson, whose district includes the Hudson Valley area, was interested in running against Cuomo. Later, however, Gibson told reporters that instead he would focus on getting re-elected to his House seat.
ON THE WATERFRONT: Countless area residents will be heading to the foot of Center Street in Lewiston Friday for the popular Smelt Festival. Members of the Niagara River Anglers Association will batter and fry some 400 pounds of smelt and offer free samples, starting at 6 p.m. Other festival coordinators include the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, the Village of Lewiston, and The Silo Restaurant.
If you miss the outing, there’s always a chance to enjoy variations of the smelt that several Lewiston restaurants will be offering during the weekend. Look for the fish flag near the entrance.
GO FIGURE: No wonder that citizens get cynical about public agencies and how they fulfill their responsibilities. For example, take Consolidated Edison, New York City’s major utility, that left hundreds of thousands of customers without power for four days in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The company directors decided to reward its senior executives for their “exemplary” performance so they provided them with more than $600,000 in bonuses. As expected, some of the executives were so embarrassed that they opted to return the checks.
IN THE HEADLINES: “Border Fee for Canadians Ruffles Snowbird Feathers” — Yahoo! Finance. The U.S. government wants our cross-border neighbors to pay for the privilege of entering this country. Maybe they should be restricted to mall parking lots with a 15-minute limit on meters.
UNEASY RIDER: Overheard in Players Sports Bar, Niagara Street: “You know it’s a bad day when your car horn sticks on the highway, behind 32 Hell’s Angels bikers!”
Contact reporter Don Glynnat 282-2311, ext. 2246.Contact reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.