Power to the
People Who Possess It!
Although he was
put into office as a result of an intense campaign by organized labor, Congressman
Brian Higgins has focused on two issues with laser-like intensity: the redevelopment
of Buffalo's waterfront and the need for Buffalo to obtain a larger share of
revenue from the New York State Power Authority's massive Niagara Power Project.
Plans for the
waterfront by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority's preferred development
team seem to be moving forward, despite the fact that the team's plan greatly
limits public park space in favor of private waterfront condos.
Thus far, Higgins
has not been able to convince the New York State Power Authority's Board that
Buffalo deserves far more than the offer currently on the table in negotiations
for the federal relicensing of the Power project.
patriarch of the eponymous local real estate development dynasty, has served
as Chairman of the New York State Power Authority, but that does not mean that
he has been entirely sympathetic to the idea of increasing Buffalo's share of
revenue. His loyalties seem to lie with the Pataki administration.
Now Pataki has
chosen a replacement for Ciminelli from the “toxic political culture” of Erie
County politics. Erie County Legislator Elise Cusack of Amherst seemed to be
sending a message of reform when she announced that she would not seek reelection
in the wake of the County budget crisis. However, Cusack's resume shows that
she has always been a creature of Republican party politics, so it was not surprising
that she has already resurfaced as Ciminelli's replacement on the board of the
Although the position
is unpaid, her vote on the upcoming relicensing battle is of critical importance.
After accepting the appointment, Cusack vowed to be a “fighter for Western New
York” in the upcoming debate. The question is which Western New York will she
be fighting for? The Western New York that feeds the downstate GOP/Wall St.
machine, or the Western New York that still holds out a slender hope for industrial
revitalization through low-cost electric power?
Previous brief : Friends & Family Program Extended || Next
Brief : Chuck "War Hero" Swanick >