Democratic State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who boasts a big lead over his November 4th election opponent, Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci, visited Lockport on Monday night (Oct. 20) and told a labor-dominated crowd at Erie Canalside that it is important to get out the vote on Election Day to keep the state’s momentum moving in the right direction and capture the majority in the State Senate.
Introduced by Niagara County Democratic Chairman Nick Forster, DiNapoli, who oversees one of the strongest and most sustainable public pension funds in the country, urged the crowd to support Democrats on Election Day, including State Senate candidate Johnny Destino and Supreme Court candidate John DelMonte, both on hand for DiNapoli campaign appearance.
DiNapoli, whose office recently released an audit highly critical of Lockport’s fiscal house, said Destino’s race could decide the balance of power in the State Senate, saying “we’re in the home stretch and every vote is critical.”
In his introduction, Forster praised DiNapoli as “spot honest,” and referred to the state audit by the comptroller’s office that blamed much of Lockport’s fiscal crisis on the city treasurer, Michael White, a relative of the current Republican state senator, for being wildly off the mark in estimating the general fund balance at the end of 2012.
White is the brother-in-law of retiring State Sen. George Maziarz, and Forster said that it was important for voters in the 62nd District to replace Maziarz with Destino so that the culture of corruption and incompetent patronage appointments that led to Lockport’s fiscal collapse and the likely tax increases to follow can come to an end.
Under DiNapoli’s stewardship, the state pension fund has reached an all-time high of $178 billion, and DiNapoli has repeatedly said that the fund’s success under his oversight means retirement benefits for more than one million New York workers continue to be safe and secure.
A number of local officeholders and party leaders were in attendance, including Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and Niagara County Legislators Dennis Virtuoso and Jason Zona.
Bill Rutland, president of AFSCME Local 182 and a state Democratic committeeman, helped organize the welcoming for DiNapoli. Rutland has been critical of the layoffs approved by the Lockport Council and the mayor to help deal with the budget crisis.
Club Backs Destino
The Good Government Club of Western New York on Monday announced its endorsement of Johnny Destino for the 62nd District State Senate seat.
Don Alessi, the president of the Good Government Club, said in a letter to Destino that “because you have exhibited qualities that we believe promote good government, the Good Government Club of Western New York is pleased to endorse your candidacy.”
A complete list of the Good Government Club’s endorsements is expected to be released in the coming days.