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Did Cuomo Scold or Thank Pigeon?

This photo, courtesy ArtVoice, purports to show an angry Gov. Cuomo making dagger eyes at Steve Pigeon (right).
This photo, taken moments later than the photo at left, purports to show a happy Gov Cuomo with Steve Pigeon and his nephew Brandon

According to a report in ArtVoice, Steve Pigeon "attended the Bills season-opener last Sunday against the Patriots in the retinue of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. At one point, Pigeon approached the governor and apologized for a mailer that his newly formed PAC, WNY Progressive Caucus, had paid for in Niagara Falls, painting developer Mark Hamister as a con artist... Leaving aside whether or not Hamister is a con man... the mailer evoked fury from Cuomo and Mayor Paul Dyster... Several who observed the attempt at an apology tell us that Cuomo fixed Pigeon with any icy stare and said words to the effect of "I just want it built"and turned away."

On the ArtVoice blog, it was written that "Cuomo shook Pigeon’s hand and shot daggers out of his eyes at Pigeon, and calmly but forcefully told him, 'I just want that hotel built - stay out of my way.'"

In response to these reports - and more particularly that the Gov. turned his face away from Pigeon - is Pigeon's denial: He said that the governor was pleased to see him and thanked him for helping him get closer to negotiating the Hamister deal - something he helped achieve - with Sam Hoyt a few days later.

One of our sources told us that the Gov. in his own manly way played tough guy with his friend and ally Pigeon for a moment then relaxed as Pigeon was smiling. The Gov. then shook his hand warmly and seeing Pigeon was with his seven year old nephew, Brandon, the Gov. picked up the child in his arms and posed for photographs with Pigeon, holding the boy, who may be likely to remember that a New York Governor once held him in his arms.

According to both Niagara Falls Council member Bob Anderson, who provided the third vote to approve the Hamister hotel deal this week, and Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian who opposed the deal, Pigeon worked behind the scenes and met with both of them to get at least one vote of the three man council majority in support of the project.

Interestingly, Pigeon and former assemblyman Sam Hoyt, now the governor's appointee as regional president of Empire State Development, two former rivals, are now apparently allies in the service of Cuomo.

They met with Anderson, Fruscione and Choolokian separately and, according to Anderson, they tightened up the Hamister deal enough for him to support it.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

SEP 10, 2013