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Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster and his campaign team, led by the, depending on who you speak to, "outspoken" or "loudmouthed" city Democratic Party Chairman David Houghton, have accused this newspaper of being a "propaganda machine" working on behalf of "a behind the scenes coalition of Republicans and old-style politicians" who want to oust Dyster from office in the upcoming election.

That event, by the way -- his ouster -- is being increasingly viewed as extremely likely.

Dyster's campaign, in what appears to be a sign of utter desperation, has sent out several negative mailers to residents proclaiming, among other things, that "lies" are being told about Dyster by this publication.

The man is being "smeared," they say.

Thankfully, neither the Reporter's Editor in Chief Mike Hudson, nor I, its publisher, is running for office. The publicity, the controversy, the attack, the making our publication part of a campaign by a sitting mayor -- all are good for business. Indeed, I was warmly flattered by Houghton's claim that we write "propaganda at its finest."

The question raised by Dyster and company when they say we are writing propaganda on behalf of unnamed old-style politicians and Republicans is, are we publishing these unpleasant facts and our analysis of these facts because people are paying us to malign this noble human being, or is it because we genuinely think Dyster is a self-serving phony?

Over the three-and-a-half years of Dyster's administration, this newspaper has reported on many examples of his misdeeds, like making his own neighborhood a historic district, or leaving the veterans at their Memorial Day monument groundbreaking ceremony to cavort with the Japanese ambassador -- someone far more glamorous and important than a bunch of old Niagara Falls veterans -- or hiring out-of-town know-nothings at $100,000 per year to rule over us dumb locals in this broke and desperate city.

Dyster's legacy is millions in casino money squandered, gone without a trace; taxes raised on top of that, all to favor campaign contributors, with little to show other than a much more expensive City Hall; millions spent on engineering drawings of a $40 million (if it is ever built), unnecessary new train station; a botched job on Lewiston Road; a bunch of unpaved, almost impassable roads making Niagara Falls hazardous for drivers; and the hallmark of his administration -- no private sector development. No new jobs. A net loss of jobs.

Hudson and I write what we believe to be true -- that Dyster is a self-serving mayor the like of which has rarely been seen in this or maybe any city.

That is our opinion, expressed in articles labeled opinion columns or analyses. We intend to continue to publish our opinion. If you want to hear our opinion of Dyster -- and it is not a flattering picture, I can assure you -- then read our paper. If not, don't pick it up.

As for Dyster's clever charge that the Reporter is beholden to Republicans, I for one am not a Republican and not supported by Republicans.

The Reporter does not need anybody's money. We have our own money, enough to publish this paper without a single advertiser for years to come. That makes us independent.

Dyster's opponents, Republican or otherwise, may share the negative impression we have of Dyster. The unpleasant facts we unearth speak for themselves. Truth is truth, after all.

If that is not to your taste, if you want to hear only rosy, naive and self-serving portraits of Dyster, then read his campaign literature or his website.

Then decide for yourself.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com June 21, 2011