Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

September 20, 2012

OUR VIEW: Destino wasn't helped by fliers

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Last week, voters made a decision on who would be the best to represent their respective parties in November’s general election. There were a couple of surprises in Erie County, but nothing that really shook the earth in Niagara County.

What we did see, however, was attorney Niagara Falls School Board member Johnny Destino receive about 30 percent of the vote in the Republican primary. We’re just not sure if this is a rejection of Carl Paladino’s attack mailers aimed at George Maziarz, or if his efforts were simply ignored.

One thing seems a certainty: The money was wasted.

Paladino’s political action committee, Turning Albany Upside Down, spent nearly $3,000 on mail fliers that never mentioned Destino but certainly spared nothing in their attacks on Maziarz.

Whether you like or despise a candidate, attack ads do little to sway voters. We’re sure that people who were already anti-Maziarz got a big kick out of the fliers. But what about those who were trying to make an intelligent decision? All they learned is that there are certain people out there who don’t like the incumbent.

Why wasn’t the money spent on Destino, about whom little was known outside of Niagara Falls? Destino seems to be an honest, hard-working man, but he didn’t have the cash on hand to deliver his message.

Turning Albany Upside Down’s effort resulted in a 70-30 split, and we doubt these numbers would have been much different if the group hadn’t spent a dime.

Now that we have let the parties decide who to represent their ideals in November, our focus turns to that general election between Maziarz and Amy Hope Witryol. We hope that there’s some civility in this race, and a focus on issues.

Anything less will be a waste of money, and voters’ time.