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"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." -- H.L. Mencken

How about that Dan Rivera, the losingest chairman in the history of the Niagara County Democratic Party?

In what has become a sad routine, Rivera's Democrats were again slaughtered in the county Legislature contests, despite the fact that an unusual number of seats were open. The Republican advantage in the Legislature now stands at 15-3, with the trio of Democrats all hailing from the city of Niagara Falls.

Not only does this mean that the Falls will continue to get the smelly end of the stick when it comes to its dealings with the county, but it also indicates the mindset of the city's population, which is content to continue to elect members of the party that turned the city into what is inarguably the least hospitable place in Niagara County to live and work.

In the races for city council, both of the Democratic endorsed candidates, Alicia Liable and Don Zambotti, went down to defeat, and Mayor Paul Dyster's razor-thin victory over the under-financed and inexperienced campaign mounted by Johnny Destino provides no real mandate for his often-confused brand of leadership.

But it is being the odd municipality out in the Legislature -- combined with the fact that both our state senator, Mark Grisanti, and state representative, John Ceretto, are Republicans -- that virtually assures Niagara Falls will get little or no outside help in the foreseeable future.

The enmity of Dyster and Dennis Virtuoso -- who heads up what is now laughingly called the "Democratic Caucus" in the Legislature -- toward state Sen. George Maziarz, leader of the county Republicans and the third most powerful senator in Albany, will come home to roost over the next few years.

Maziarz's inclination to do anything that Dyster or Virtuoso might be able to steal credit for is nil, as is the likelihood that either of them could even get a telephone call returned.

Here at the Niagara Falls Reporter, we know all about having powerful enemies. Lacking in the "powerful" department, neither Dyster nor Virtuoso can be included on that list, but we have had some and can say unequivocally that powerful enemies can make for tough sledding in whatever it is you're trying to do.

By electing a mayor and three legislators belonging to what essentially has become a minor third party in county politics, the voters of Niagara Falls in their infinite wisdom have endorsed a confidence in the status quo that virtually guarantees the continued exodus of the most productive members of our society and further decline in the business sector, while at the same time antagonizing those with the clout to actually effect positive change here.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com Nov. 15, 2011