Gov. Andrew Cuomo wasn't very popular among the people along the Niagara Frontier to begin with; he was embarrassed by Republican Carl Paladino in the 2010 gubernatorial election.
After getting elected, Cuomo treated Niagara County in general and Niagara Falls in particular quite badly during the gaming standoff between the state and the Seneca Nation of Indians. His push for the NYSAFE gun control legislation in a state that already has the most onerous gun control laws in the country and his absurd proposal to provide prison inmates with college educations at taxpayer expense have combined to make him an increasingly unpopular figure here.
But, as if by magic for Cuomo, an even worse candidate for governor has emerged, the Green Party's Howie Hawkins.
A graveyard-shift United Parcel Service worker from Syracuse's South Side, Hawkins has no illusions about his chances of winning, but he does have ambitious goals for the race.
"We want to establish the Green Party as the voice of the left in this state," he said. When the media and the public think of the left now, they think of liberal Democrats or maybe the Working Families Party, which is just a second ballot line for the Democrats. Our voices are not being heard." ?
The Green Party platform isn't fascist, exactly, but it does rather resemble the policies deployed by the Soviet Union under the Stalin regime. That is to say, they wish to impose totalitarian solutions designed to address social problems under the guise of helping the poor and impoverished.
Hawkins and the Green Party advocate guaranteed employment, single-payer public health care, tuition-free state colleges, and a $15-per-hour minimum wage. Hawkins supports a ban on hydrofracking and a transition to 100 percent "clean energy" by 2030.
Who will pay for all of this? The taxpayer, of course. Hawkins himself has declined to elaborate about how the billions of dollars in additional costs incurred by these new programs will be covered.
In 2010, Hawkins snagged 59,906 votes - more than any other third-party candidate who ran against Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republican Carl Paladino. This time around, Hawkins wants to quadruple his vote total to lodge a "strong protest'' against the policies of Cuomo and the Democrats.
He said he is aiming higher this time around.
"We want to get a lot more votes than we got last time. If we can quadruple the 60,000 I got last time - just short of 60,000 - we'll have done as well as any independent left party in New York history," he said. "That's what we're hoping for, and we think the basis is there. There are parents angry about their schools; there are teachers angry about the way they're being treated. There are a lot of state employees that are angry, and they talk to a lot of people. And I think there's a potential base for a strong protest vote."
Hawkins, who ran against Cuomo four years ago, hopes to have $7,000 to $10,000 in his campaign fund by Friday. Cuomo is estimated to have a campaign war chest of $35 million.
The number of New York State businesses that would fold if the minimum wage were raised to $15 an hour is incalculable. The entire class of "working poor" would be eliminated, because most would be laid off their menial jobs and become the "unemployed poor."