Assembly candidate Dan Bazzani has pledged to wage a clean campaign against incumbent Francine DelMonte.

So, the former Niagara Falls High School basketball coach unveiled a five-point job-creation “game plan”.

He wants to create a tax-free zone in Niagara Falls to make it easier for local businesses to compete with the Seneca Niagara Casino.

He wants 70 megawatts of low-cost power from the Niagara Power Project returned to the Niagara region — a measure supported by state Sen. George Maziarz and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, as well as Bazzani’s opponent, Francine DelMonte.

He also wants tax credits and eminent domain to be used to tear down abandoned buildings and provide incentives for redevelopment.

Other parts of the plan include development of Niagara Falls International Airport into an international cargo hub and personal recruitment of businesses to the Niagara region.

But if Bazzani wants to win, he’ll need more than a two-page description of how he plans to save the Niagara County economy.

DelMonte is airing a new set of television advertisements with video of Eliot Spitzer endorsing her.

Whether Bazzani has the funds to compete on television remains to be seen. New campaign finance filings aren’t due until October.

•••

The governor’s race still appears to be heavily one-sided.

Republican John Faso began airing an attack ad featuring a grainy, black-and-white photo of Eliot Spitzer, and threatens that if the Democrat is elected property taxes will rise.

If people don’t know who Faso is now, this ad doesn’t help them.

It’s a direct attack — there’s no promise that Faso won’t do the same or what he will do differently. In fact, there’s no photo or mention of Faso at all, unless you read the fine print as the commercial ends.

Maybe if he chose a different tack for his first television ad, he wouldn’t be unknown to more than half of New York’s likely voters.

Faso is trailing Spitzer by 51 percent, according to a poll released last week by the Siena Research Institute.

And the wealth of endorsements Spitzer has accumulated has included some from otherwise right-leaning groups that in another race would probably go to a Republican.

Spitzer picked up the endorsement from the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership, a pro-business organization that helped found Unshackle Upstate, an initiative to get Albany to realize that upstate’s problems aren’t being remediated by a state Legislature dominated by downstate politicians.

It leads one to wonder if it’s a case of the tail wagging the dog — that these otherwise unlikely endorsements are meant to help these groups under a nearly inevitable Spitzer administration, not the other way around.

Even among Republicans, Spitzer is leading Faso by eight points.

Spitzer’s wide base of support must make for some strange campaign days.

Take this Thursday.

Spitzer will deliver an address to one of the state’s largest public employee unions, CSEA, in New York City. The union endorsed Spitzer back in April.

Then he heads north to Lake George, to a meeting of the New York State Association of Counties, which is essentially management to CSEA’s membership.

Though it doesn’t appear that NYSAC has issued any kind of endorsement, those will be two interesting speeches to compare.

No one said having so many different fans didn’t have its challenges.

Contact Jill Terreri at 282-2311, Ext. 2250.

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