Bloodlust For Power
What does Niagara County’s record high taxes and high energy costs have in common? They come from our 18 year veteran of a Senator, George Maziarz.
Usually, when a sports team employs a veteran, the get a leader who can teach the younger players and lead the team. In politics, though, it’s quite different. Niagara County has a veteran Senator. For 18 years, Senator Maziarz learned the tricks of the trade, not to help the next generation of Niagara, but rather to line his pockets and build his own personal power.
As the third most powerful Senator in the entire State, Maziarz opted not to use his power to better Niagara. Rather, he used his power to place himself in a very lucrative position: Chairman of the New York State Energy Committee. One can ask: “What can he do as the Energy Chairman?” The answer is simple: He can do whatever the Energy Lobbyists want! Just look at “Queen” George’s campaign finance statements. Since he has taken control of the Energy Committee, Georgie Boy has raked in about $300,000.00 in campaign donations from Energy companies and lobbyists.
What has this meant for Niagara residents? Since 2008, Niagara residents have seen their electric bills increase over 20%. Since 2008, gas prices in the county have gone up over 40%. And of course, being the highest taxed County in the entire United States, our taxes bills have increased over 28%.
So what is Boy George doing in the energy committee? He will be quick to tout that he is trying to increase low cost power through “Empower Niagara”. But what does that mean to us hard working taxpayers? Not a damn thing. These grants of free or low cost power only go to businesses hand selected by Maziarz and his band of cronies. So our residents don’t benefit from the low cost power, only those businesses that kiss George’s ring and give campaign donations will benefit. But if Georgie Boy really represented all of Niagara, wouldn’t he be pushing for all of Niagara residents to receive low cost power?
And with all residents and businesses in Niagara receiving low cost power, maybe more people and business will move into our area. But George doesn’t care about that. He wants to control the system and rake in as much power and money from it that he can.
Just look at the Industrial Development Agency. Henry Sloma and crew, all appointed by Maziarz and camp, are actually in charge of doling out tax breaks to businesses. Wonder how those tax breaks are handed out? It is interesting to note, too, that when One Niagara requested a tax break before the IDA, a campaign contribution of $15,000.00 was very timely sent to Queen George Maziarz.
Unfortunately, that’s politics in Niagara. Maziarz has created an entire culture of “pay to play” in our own backyard. And for that reason, Niagara cannot prosper. We need new blood in our government that will actually put the people first…and not their own blood lust for power.