Campaign Finance Irregularity Wednesday

Cheers to Steve Pigeon and Kristy Mazurek, who have managed to crowbar their names back into the news. They have either found or manufactured a crisis, accusing Board of Election workers of destroying NYSUT apparatchik Mike Deely’s petitions for county committee.

Is it true? Who knows, but the accusation has been trumpeted, and it’s now Dennis Ward’s and Jeremy Zellner’s problem to unfuck. From Caputo’s

Mike Deely, regional staff director of the New York State United Teachers Union. He’s one of the largest donors to the ECDC over the years and a longtime member of the party’s executive board. Deely recently joined PMB forces, upset with the direction headquarters has taken in the last year.

In the meantime, West Seneca has (naturally) been the epicenter of Pigeon’s and local Conservative Party head Ralph Lorigo.  Steve Casey’s departure from City Hall to become the CEO of the monstrous Scott Congel-led Seneca Mall project underscores the political nature of that project. 

Floridian billionaire Tom Golisano is talking about joining with Congel for the location of the Seneca Mall, near the I-90 and Ridge Road. That land deal has been on simmer since late 2013, at least. 

Pyramid Management Group out of Syracuse have been sniffing around the Seneca Mall since at least last summer.  Look at this August 2013 article from the West Seneca Bee regarding the approval of $50k for town SEQR review of the Seneca Mall site. 

Though not much other detail was offered at Monday night’s Town Board meeting, the board unanimously approved a feasibility study to be performed regarding the proposed development of the former Seneca Mall site at a cost not to exceed $30,000…

…[Town Councilman Eugene P.] Hart said he had just learned of this resolution the day of the vote. Henry said it all came together “pretty quick.” He said the town was required to have the grant application submitted by Aug. 12, hence the need for immediate action.

“It seems very cryptic when you read it,” said Hart. “People will wonder what’s going on.”

[Supervisor Sheila] Meegan said she realized that, but they can’t “spill the beans.”

Hart also told the public that it is the intent of the board to rezone the former Seneca Mall site from industrial to commercial, as per the owner’s request. He said he could not offer much information but did say the proposed development would be a “game-changer” for the town.

Councilman John M. Rusinski said a delicate balance must be struck between the needs of the taxpayers and the needs of the developer. Both he and Hart said the feasibility study is being done in order to protect the interests of the taxpayers.

“Economic development is important to the town,” Rusinski said. “This project is a good thing.”

The Town Board Minutes of October 17, 2013 reflect that Supervisor Meegan made a motion, seconded by Rusinski, to authorize Meegan “to execute an agreement with Camoin Associates to conduct an economic and fiscal analysis for the Seneca Mall site.” 

On the question, Councilman Rusinski stated he agrees with the study but expressed concern about the verbage. He referred to a previously passed resolution which states the dollar amount is not to exceed $30,000, yet an attachment in the agreement shows a fixed fee of $25,000.

Town Engineer Richard Henry responded this was his mistake. The fixed fee language will be removed and the agreement will be amended to read “not to exceed.”
Councilman Hart stated he has numerous concerns and commented if this project were to go forward it will be considered huge and impact all of Western New York, yet they do not have a lot of information about the developer. He did not feel they had enough information to go forward at this time and questioned spending $25,000 when there are so many unanswered questions such as infrastructure and sewage.
Mr. Henry responded he has spoken with Camoin and they are aware they have to have more information from the developer in order to go forward. Upon approval, Camoin will present the developer with a list of questions. Mr. Henry stated the purpose of the study is to assess the fiscal impacts to get the answers so they can go forward.
Councilman Hart suggested the developer provide the town with $25,000 and the town will spend it on their behalf and do the study.
Town Attorney Shawn Martin responded the developer should not pay for a study that the town is requesting.
Supervisor Meegan stated they will be finding out what the potential is for the town’s investment and whether or not the investment will have a return for taxpayers. She commented that the town has an opportunity to do something and they cannot continue to let the site sit there as it has for so many years. The developer is asking for assistance to pursue a Seneca Place project of 3 million square feet of mixed use buildings, community center, retail, residential, office, hotels, parking, etc. Supervisor Meegan stated this project will not go forward at risk to the Town of West Seneca taxpayers.
Councilman Rusinski stated that West Seneca is screaming for economic development and the town has made the mistake of being too idle in the past.  The analysis will provide insight as to whether this type of development has economic potential for West Seneca. He did not feel any board member would put taxpayers at risk.
Councilman Hart stated there doesn’t seem to be any involvement by the IDA’s or the development corporation of New York State and he feels there should be more substance with regard to the developer’s marketing and business plan. Councilman Hart questioned how soon information will be provided to the board members and if the recommendations and numbers will be made public at that time.
Mr. Henry responded they have a total of 60 days; 30 days to gather the information and another 30 days to compile the information and report back to the town.
Mr. Martin stated if the report has an exception with regard to acquiring property or contract negotiations involving costs, information will not be made public.  He will have to see the report before he can make a determination as to whether or not the information provided will be made public at that time.
Councilman Hart stated he is ready to discuss the entire project with the public so they are fully aware of what the proposal is. He would like to see the Seneca Mall property developed and is willing to look for his own developer and take the property by eminent domain to acquire a reasonable project.
The motion carried unanimously. Lorigo’s involvement, at minimum, has to do with the fact that his office is located at the Seneca Mall parcel. Why did this come up last summer? Because of what I called the AwfulPAC; the now-defunct “WNY Progressive Caucus” was the Steve Pigeon / Frank Max / Kristy Mazurek effort to disrupt the Democratic Party and defeat certain of its county-level candidates.
AwfulPAC benefited from a huge cash injection from nominal Democrat and pro-life-oh-wait-pro-choice Tim Kennedy. But at the time, a singular donation of $25,000 from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3 was quite puzzling, and no one reported on it. 
No one understood why it was made, and it’s glaringly odd because a $25,000 donation would have practically emptied the union’s account. The image above is taken from Mazurek’s AwfulPAC 11-day pre-primary filing. By contrast, this is what the Bricklayer’s union’s disclosure shows on its 11-day pre-primary filing: 
We’re meant to believe that a union with only $28,000 on hand is emptying its account to fund the AwfulPAC? Indeed, a scan of this union local’s intake and outflow shows modest amounts – a few thousand coming in, a few hundred going out. It reports $5,000 to current Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren in its 11-day pre-General. It gave Sean Ryan $500 bucks. Its July 2013 report shows a little over $1,000 to Tim Kennedy, but at no time did the BAC Local 3 report $25,000 to the “WNY Progressive Caucus”, and such an outflow appears on no disclosure report whatsoever
So, what’s going on? 
As Pigeon and Mazurek hyperventilate over allegations of supposed petition-destruction – something that despite years and years of open and obvious, internecine Democratic warfare has never happened before – let’s not let them off the hook for their own, more glaring and apparent sloppy campaign finance irregularities. 
New York State Democrats’ inability to get out of their own damn way is neither novel nor unique. Witness the spectacle just this week,  as a liberal gubernatorial challenger, Zephyr Teachout, is holding anti-Cuomo press conferences with right-wing Putin lookalike winner Rob Astorino. Hell no.
You want to make a point about the shutting down of the Moreland Commission? Do it. You want to call out the governor with his Republican challenger standing next to you? You just lost me. 
Here in Erie County, Nick Langworthy has the easiest  job in the world. He doesn’t need to do a thing when he has an endless parade of job-hungry nominal Democrats around to repeatedly sabotage whatever the county committee tries to do. 


  • WOW – all this great drama and no responses? Even the regulars?

    Well, let me chime in. HaHa

    First off, why can’t the Buffalo News hire a real, INDEPENDENT political reporter? McCarthy is Pigeon’s and that’s so gosh darn clear anyone can see that. Steve probably has McCarthy convinced that once he retires from the News that a big State patronage job awaits him – probably at a much higher rate than McCarthy gets nowadays. It’s so apparent that he’s Pigeon’s. Too bad. Too bad for News readers.

    Second, what the heck is this Mike Deely thinking? Pigeon and Mazurek??? You know the crooked Tim Kennedy must be in there somewhere, too. Deely, like hundreds before, will learn the hard way hooking up with Pigeon. Like an old-time used car dealer, Pigeon sounds grand, that is, until you get screwed once out of sight and your car BLOWS UP.

    Next, come on McCarthy, Dennis Ward is NO SAINT (HaHa), but he would NEVER risk his career by doing such a thing as Pigeon and Mazurek (got a laugh by her righteous indignation in the News story – Now that was funny) say in the News.

    Personally, I hope Pigeon and Mazurek stay in local politics for a nice long time. They are GREAT (at least Steve is proven to be GREAT) as reasons NOT to vote for someone. And I sure hope this space points that out in the coming weeks as Tim Kennedy faces Democratic voters. These fools should be Honorary Lifetime Achievers for the Republican Party with all the Democrats they have hurt and Republicans they help.

  • Hey know saint I stopped reading at Tom Golisano being a Floridian. He is a New Yorker for 179 days a year. Golisano realized that the jet fuel to get him back from Florida quickly was much less expensive than the taxes he was paying to NY. ( I remember all the left wing claptrap about the wealthy not leaving and would be happy to pay the confiscatory taxes) Tom Golisano is a modern day George Eastman for Rochester. He donates a ton of money to hospitals and schools. Congel is scum of the lowest form. His way of getting out of paying taxes is to sue the municipality he owes the taxes to. The Irondequoit mall is a fine example of this practice. He could have been a gentleman about it and become a Floridian.

    As for campaign irregularities, I guess Alan published to early. This afternoon there was big news, Andy Cuomo the DEMOCRAT governor of NY got caught up in his own Moreland commission. I am sure Alan would have included that in the story. But then again maybe he did, like I said I stopped reading at Tom Golisano Floridian.

    • No doubt that Andy is a wolf in sheeps clothing…but this Moreland thing has nothing to do with his campaign….however, hopefully it will become his political undoing as he is a crook and needs to go…..

    • I’ve been doing this for over 10 years, and I’ve seen a lot of trolls come and go, but you’re one of the worst.

      1. This isn’t a post about Tom Golisano. He’s a tangential figure in the story, and has likely nothing to do with the scandalous misreporting of funding of the AwfulPAC, yet you focus on him throughout the bulk of your comment. Tom Golisano has a jet and is a “New Yorker” for part of the year? WGAF.

      2. The pivot to Cuomo. Happily, you’re not a Facebook friend of mine, as I have a pretty tight rule of only adding people I’ve met in real life. If you were, you’d know that I shared the Times’ article and labeled it as “absolutely disgusting”. I’m so terribly sorry that this particular post – one which has been in draft mode and slowly edited since about October 2013 until being published yesterday – didn’t also include a completely irrelevant link to a NY Times story that came out later in the day and has nothing to do with the AwfulPAC or a $25,000 misreported union donation, but I just was too busy in my real life job to write something up about it. Likewise, this morning was too busy for me to get to the computer to write something up, setting aside the obvious fact that you’re not my fucking story editor to begin with.

      So, troll better.

      • Takes one to know one, troll on yourself, bloviate all you want. Nice touch with the “fucking story editor” comment. Do you use such language with you real life job?

        • That’s three poorly spelled, barely-articulate comments on an article you openly say you didn’t even read all the way through. Looks like somebody’s got himself a new pet troll! I’m sure that Alan will hug you and squeeze you and call you George.

      • No problem on not being your Facebook friend either. I can live without having to meet you. Facebook main function these days is a training center for trolls, especially identity theft trolls, no thank you.

  • some things never change. A Toles Cartoon from years ago

  • Does the title of this post make trolls think that irregularities do not happen on Tuesdays ?

  • Much of the middle of this blathering rant is common expected claptrap.. But the troll bait comparing Asterino to Putin is great journalism. The real challenge for Alan now is to find a republican that looks like Hitler.

    I am sure you are not too worried, you will probably be able to add up all the anti Cuomo votes and they will not be enough

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