of the great political marriages of the last decade occurred
when Carl Paladino’s daughter married into the Jacobs
family of Delaware North fame. It was kind of a Cinderella
story – the daughter of guy who grew up in Lovejoy marries
into one of the wealthiest families in the area – an
American dream of social mobility come true.
it would seem the honeymoon’s over. On the Paladino
side, Carl has long been one of the most vociferous supporters
of a casino in downtown Buffalo. His vision of downtown Buffalo
as a playground for middle class white folks is, of course,
shared by many. In addition to investing in several upscale
condo projects in the downtown area, Paladino has been a big
believer in the notion that a tourism economy will be a major
factor in regenerating the downtown economy and he has advocated
for a downtown casino (to the point of hiring an attorney
to legally force the Senecas to build a casino downtown).
has stated that a casino does not represent a panacea for
Buffalo’s economic woes, but should be viewed as just
“one piece in the puzzle” of a new economy powered
in large part by tourism. This, of course, is an argument
born in the booming economy of the nineties, when gas was
cheap and middle class folks had lots of discretionary dollars
to spend exploring off-the-beaten track tourism gems like
the Buffalo-Niagara region.
that economic growth has slowed, the middle class is an endangered
species, and the cost of gasoline has skyrocketed, Paladino
is still apparently holding onto to the tourist economy dream
and has not backed down in his support of a downtown casino
run by the Senecas.
the other hand, Chris Jacobs, the political heir apparent
of the Jacobs family clan, recently came out against the casino
along with other major players such as the development dynasty
inheritor Paul Ciminelli. Normally, wealthy power brokers
in Buffalo work together to keep control of the market, harassing
outside investors and would-be political reformers from within
their own ranks. Who would have thought that a Paladino-Jacobs
union would ever encounter such turbulence?
appears to be a somewhat significant disagreement because
the Senecas are not only outsiders; they’re outsiders
with a history of not playing nice – particularly with
Delaware North. In any event, the casino is still being promoted
by The Buffalo News as another done deal which local citizens
have no power to stop. This despite the fact that the fundamental
rationales for a casino, increased tourism due to higher disposable
incomes and low gas costs, are now completely out the window.
1. Kickin' Ass & Cashing Checks
2. Seizin' Regan
3. Less is Mohr
4. The Dead Zone