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Friday, October 30, 2015


I've mentioned once or twice that I enjoy politics. I follow politics like some people follow sports. Local, state, national; it doesn't matter, it's all interesting to me.

I've never understood why anyone goes into politics, to be honest with you. The grief they get ... the attention they get ... as compared to the paltry salary most of them get ... it's just not worth the effort.

Lockport elections this year is nearly blood sport: We've got unpaid taxes by candidates in the First and Second wards, a debate over whether Second-Ward Alderwoman Anita Mullane supports firefighters or not, a controversial postcard, a four-person race in the Third Ward, the most hotly contested mayoral race since I've lived in Lockport, the treasurer's race, a referendum ... mass hysteria. Then there's county Legislature races -- in theory. Not a single candidate ever contacted East Niagara Post. Not one. Were it not for David Mongielo dropping out a week ago, we would have forgotten there were Legislature races.

About a week ago, we began being inundated with political press releases. That's died down mostly now. But it's been replaced by letters to the editor. Everyone wants the rest of the city to vote their way. It's a fun part of the process. We'll continue to publish letters through Monday, by the way. They must be received by noon Monday to make publication before election day.

***

I got a really strange Facebook message the other day from a Newfane woman asking us to post something about trick-or-treat times in Lockport being unchanged. Apparently they were changed in Lockport, La., and some people thought they were changed here, too. I ignored the request. I mean ... people know what state they live in, right? Then I got the same basic message in the form of a press release from City Hall. So, no. The answer is: people don't know what state they live in. And their vote counts just as much as yours does. Let that sink in.

***

The "we're not Louisiana" press release wasn't even the stupidest press release I got this week. No, the "we're going to cancel the last Common Council meeting before the election" press release took the cake. Now to be fair, it was only a work session. Also, they probably didn't have much to talk about. But a note to future politicians: You don't cancel the last meeting before an election. It just looks bad. Something about "the appearance of impropriety..."

***

The election of Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House is most interesting. Ryan got everything he wanted as Speaker all by pretending he didn't want it at all.

I read several stories a week ago or so about his "demands" if he were to run for speaker. He basically said, "the only way I'll take the job is if I get undying support from all factions of the GOP." Basically he set up an impossible scenario and waited to see how it played out. And it played out in such a manner that people that can't so much as agree on what time it is, all agreed that they wanted this guy as their leader.

Another "demand" Ryan had was that he wanted to be able to go home on the weekends to spend time with his family. A lot of people complained about that. Especially given that Ryan had voted against the Family Medical Leave Act. But again, Ryan wasn't campaigning to be Speaker. No, he was basically drafted and said, "fine, I'll do the job. But only if I get it my way." I'm honestly not sure whether he really wanted the job or not. But he has it. Congratulations, Speaker Ryan.

***

East Niagara Post will be hosting election returns live, on-air Tuesday night beginning at 8:30. We'll, of course, publish returns as they come in. But we'll also broadcast those results via EastNiagaraRadio.com. Tune in and be the first to know.

***

Speaking of East Niagara Radio, thank you to the candidates who made it in for "On the Record" interviews. We appreciate your time and surely the voters do, too. To those of you who haven't made it in, there's still time. We'll air one final round of interviews on Monday.

***

+Scott Leffler is ready for this whole election thing to all be over. Follow him on Twitter @scottleffer or email him at scott.leffler@eastniagarapost.com.



Catch up quick

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