John Restaino has been privy to politics for a long time.
His father was involved with the Democratic Party for decades, and both of his brothers – who are more than 10 years older than him – work in government. Robert is the mayor of Niagara Falls and Anthony is his city administrator.
It was in 1995 that Restaino said he woke up.
“I just paid attention locally, just from hearing things, and the things that I would hear back then just seemed like, ‘God, why are the Democrats and Republicans endorsing the same people?’ What is this?,” Restaino said. “I didn’t understand why it was happening.”
Twenty-five years later, Restaino has a podcast called “Citizens United with John and Lisa,” in Lockport. The podcast goes live 6 p.m. on Wednesday nights and can be found on Facebook and Youtube.
Formerly, Restaino hosted a show on WJJL from 2007 to 2013 about politics, and recently came off a five-month stint at another media company in Lockport, due to "creative differences" to create his own brand called Gold Medal Media Productions.
“Once we get all our equipment and get ready, we’re going to have a variety of podcasts,” Restaino said. “We have lined up a couple people who want to do a relationships show, someone wants to do a sports show. We’ve got someone who wants to do a science show, so there’s a lot of stuff going on there and we’re going to be the political show. We’ve done really well on Facebook and Youtube, we were averaging 3,000-4,000 views and a couple times we got to 7,000. I know we’re the leading podcast in Niagara Count that is a political podcast.”
On the show, Restaino talks local politics with the help of co-host, Lisa Dorato while his wife, Robin Restaino, does the paperwork and reads Facebook messages. Wade VanValkenburg also contributes his technical expertise, as well as, shoot video.
Restaino is frank when he talks about the various “swamp monsters” of Niagara County. He names names, and brings on guests, never a politician, he said, though he admits there’s been exceptions like Alderman-at-Large Austin Tylec of North Tonawanda. He said, also frankly, that the individuals who hold office think they’ll always be in control, and should be voted out, just once, to see their true side.
“Right now, they believe that we’re all asleep,” Restaino said. “Through the years there have been people like me, yelling and screaming, … and people always try to make them out to be crazy, because they’re calling the corruption out, and I’m just hoping we’ll get a group of people that will see how messed it is.”
Currently, “Citizens United with John and Lisa” can be found on Facebook. Gold Medal Media can be found at https://goldmedalmediaproductions.com/.