Preetsmas Update: Mazurek and Pfaff Guilty

PreetsmasTrio

His own felony convictions may have finally ended Conservative Fusion Party operative Steve Pigeon’s yearslong operation to ratfuck western New York Democrats. It’s fair now to call it a crime syndicate. Since Pigeon’s indictment, remnants – stragglers – leftovers have popped up to give the old playbook a try, but in the last few cycles these irrelevant candidates have made no impact whatsoever. Long gone are the days where some shadowy committee would pop up seemingly out of nowhere with six figures’ worth of funding at the ready to destroy and obliterate endorsed Democratic candidates, to considerable Republican and Conservative fusion Party glee.

On Tuesday, two of Pigeon’s top lieutenants pleaded guilty to election law misdemeanors in connection with the rampant fraud and illegality surrounding 2013’s Western New York Progressive Caucus, a/k/a “AwfulPAC”. Pfaff and Mazurek were sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge – a punishment barely registering a figurative slap on the wrist, and unlikely ever to meaningfully deter some budding future criminals from illegally coordinating PAC business with campaigns in the future. 

According to admissions made by the defendants at the time of the plea, from August 2013 through September 2013, Mazurek and Pfaff knowingly and willfully attempted to engage in illegal campaign coordination while acting on behalf of the Western New York Progressive Caucus, an unauthorized political committee, in regard to the nomination for election of an Erie County Legislature candidate in the September 10, 2013 primary. Campaign coordination is a crime under the Election Law. The crime is committed when a person knowingly and willfully, solicits, organizes, or coordinates the activities of an unauthorized committee with the activities of a candidate or the candidate’s agents and where the expenditures made by the unauthorized committee on behalf of the candidate exceed the contribution limit for the candidate’s race. 

On behalf of the Western New York Progressive Caucus, Mazurek and Pfaff sought input from an Erie County legislative candidate with respect to campaign literature and a photo shoot. Western New York Progressive Caucus paid expenses on behalf of the candidate that exceeded the $1,476.50 contribution limit of that race by over $16,500. 

Pigeoning: pi·geon·ing ˈpi-jən-iŋ: (n) the action of using money and influence, oftentimes pushing the election law envelope, to actively sabotage and undermine the Erie County Democratic Committee.

Mazurek entered a guilty plea to an attempted violation of Election Law section 14-126(5), a class A misdemeanor; Pfaff entered a guilty plea to attempted violation of Election Law section 14-126(3), a class B misdemeanor, today before Hon. Donald F. Cerio, Jr., in Erie County Supreme Court. 

The Western New York Progressive Caucus was created by G. Steven Pigeon and Kristy Mazurek in August 2013 as an independent expenditure committee designed to support Democratic candidates in the 2013 Democratic Primary.   

In 2013, Pigeon, Pfaff, and Mazurek created the AwfulPAC in order to raise money and operate campaigns on behalf of several candidates, including Dick Dobson for Sheriff, and Erie County Legislature candidates Rick Zydel and Wes Moore. Pfaff and Mazurek admitted through their plea that they illegally and improperly coordinated PAC and campaign activities and fundraising. Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood said that the AwfulPAC was created to “skirt the law”. 

I am having a hard time reconciling the clear illegality with the extremely light sentences here. I don’t know how these people can do what they did and get away with it. Small consolation we can call Mazurek and Pfaff convicts. New York voters deserve better. 

Cheap Dishonest Shots at Bob McCarthy

mccarthys

On Saturday afternoon, Erie County’s elected Comptroller tweeted the following: 

I didn’t really have to click through to the linked-to Buffalo News article to know exactly who wrote it and what it was. But, I’m a glutton for punishment, so…

I don’t begrudge Mychajliw – one of the most camera-thirsty pols in town – his puff piece. I’m trying here to understand how the Buffalo News can allow itself to be a platform for unilateral, unchecked propaganda, here masquerading as a news story about an ambitious elected who is ostensibly ruffling feathers in his own party. 

But I got an interesting reaction from one of McCarthy’s former colleagues; someone who runs a non-profit that does investigative journalism locally: 

Has Heaney explained why my “cheap shot” was “dishonest”?

Not yet. Not to me, not to the several other people who rose to defend my terse take.

This isn’t some new, haphazard observation I make with no evidence just to throw rhetorical stones. I have for years pointed out McCarthy’s dependable, friendly stenography for powerful conservative males and his dismissal of females, Democrats, and political figures coming up through the ranks. 

In 2014, for instance, someone – most likely East Aurora political consultant and renowned shitposter Michael Caputo – arranged for McCarthy to accompany Donald Trump on his private 757 to Buffalo. There was a big Erie County GOP fundraiser being held at Salvatore’s and Trump was the marquee guest. McCarthy’s resulting column was pitiful and risible. I mocked it at the time, likening McCarthy’s frequent descriptions of Trump’s gilded plane to objectum sexuality. Passages like: 

Dissecting the strategies of a statewide race around an exquisite oak table is exactly the kind of political scene you might envision involving a top Republican like Donald J. Trump, especially when he’s mulling a challenge to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

But when the conversation takes place thousands of feet above New York State, aboard what he proudly calls “the world’s most luxurious airplane,” you get a sense of just how unique this campaign might be.

and 

So during a Friday afternoon interview with The Buffalo News aboard Trump’s $100 million Boeing 757 en route from New York to Buffalo, the Manhattan real estate mogul laid down his conditions in the clearest language yet.

and 

Trump has no problem dwelling on that “very nice life.” Watching a golf tournament on the 57-inch screen stretching across mid-cabin, he casually drops the fact he has won a string of club championships.

“I’m a good golfer,” he said.

But he also thinks the opulence that surrounds him could prove his point.

“People want to see success; I would like to show my financial statement,” he said. “I’m one of those guys who says let’s make a lot of money so we don’t have to cut, even though I know that last part doesn’t sound very Republican.”

McCarthy challenged nothing Trump said; his attacks on State GOP Chairman Ed Cox were met with nothing. No comment from Cox, nothing even to vet whether or not Trump is a good golfer. It was just raw, uninterrupted Trump proclamations, and a star-struck McCarthy writing it all down, with frequent allusions to Trump’s opulent lifestyle and gold-plated things. 

Fast-forward to this year’s Collins-McMurray race, just a few weeks ago I again criticized McCarthy’s careful efforts to promote the profile and propaganda of male right-wing figures. On just one Sunday, the Buffalo News published no fewer than three ridiculously one-sided, Republican-friendly McCarthy pieces. One – amazingly – about Chris Collins’ indicted son’s wedding still being on. Another was a glowing profile of Chris Collins himself – front page of the Sunday paper. Finally, echoing the 2014 ride-along on the Trump jet, Caputo (probably) set McCarthy up to interview fascist wino Steve Bannon on his limo ride back to Prime Aviation, where the nominal populist would catch his private jet back to Teterboro. Like the coal miners do. 

Despite the fact that Bannon insulted McCarthy’s entire profession as the “opposition party”, (McCarthy didn’t try to rebut this slander), the News scribe dutifully transcribed and spat back at his readership whatever propaganda Bannon wanted out there. No facts were checked, no claims were vetted. He just wrote it all down. Example: 

“Man, [Trump] knows China,” Bannon said. “He knew chapter and verse in 2010 about China. I can’t have that conversation with five guys in Washington. They wouldn’t understand what he was talking about.”

I think anyone who pays even casual attention to the Trump Administration knows that Trump may be many things, but he’s no policy wonk. 

Let’s turn back to what noted local journalist Jim Heaney characterizes as my  “dishonest cheap shot” at McCarthy’s “analysis” of Stefan Mychajliw’s involvement with the Collins campaign

Mychajliw, 45, emphasizes his ubiquitous presence on the campaign trail was aimed at preserving the district for Republicans, and that he worked for other candidates too. But he acknowledges his interest in Washington.

Mychajliw was the Zelig of this congressional campaign season, popping up at opportune moments to shed the “Comptroller” mantle and do a quick-change into a Bannonist neo-fascist spitter of malignant talking points. Literally one day he was using transphobic language to insult County Executive Mark Poloncarz, and the next he was on the radio, falsely accusing Democratic Congressional candidate and Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray of threatening him. 

After Collins’ indictment, Mychajliw was loudest among the faux-alt-right crowd ready to enter the fray against McMurray. I wrote, 

The campaign strategy has already been polled and formulated. All they have to do is plug in an avatar for the carefully crafted pro-Trump/anti-Pelosi messaging that attacks family man and in-house corporate lawyer—Democrat Nate McMurray—as some sort of antifa radical. Mychajliw, especially, is trying to paint McMurray as some sort of Marxist guerrilla rebel leader slightly to the left of Che Guevara who will feed you a Venezuelan existence. Imagine: a supporter of Donald Trump’s robotically parroting someone else’s talking point about McMurray’s demeanor. To call it insane would be an grave insult to insane people. 

With his oddly aggressive table reads of this season’s script, Mychajliw pivots awkwardly from his putative 2019 Erie County Executive race by simply replacing “Poloncarz” with “McMurray.” Mychajliw tells you absolutely nothing about what he’s for, except one thing: Donald Trump. They love to invoke Nancy Pelosi, who has as much influence on the average Western New Yorker’s day-to-day life as, say, the Ancient Aliens guy, but these people need to play to the WBEN-listener rubes who hate Democratic women from the coasts, for whom they have choice one-word nicknames. 

Not a word of that is inaccurate. QEMFD. But here comes Bob McCarthy, raising Mychajliw’s profile and setting him up for his special election when Collins gets sent to the slammer. 

But after Collins re-entered the race on Sept. 17, Mychajliw shifted into support mode for him and others. He accompanied Assemblyman David J. DiPietro of East Aurora on his rounds, helped town justice candidates and spent several nights a week working the phones for others – earning political chits that may be someday redeemed.

Imagine the hubris of Stefan Mychajliw – largely unknown outside of Erie County – lending his clout in support of DiPietro and Collins out in the rural counties. This junket as DiPietro’s and Collins’ obedient travel companion was wholly self-serving – Mychajliw hasn’t been a journalist for a decade. His name is not a household word in the easternmost parts of NY-27, and if he’s going to run for NY-27 again, he needs to raise his profile. 

“It was a real eye-opener, to be able to talk to voters every day,” Mychajliw said. “It will make me a better candidate in the future, no doubt about it.

“We’re ready to do it now if the opportunity presents itself,” he added.

Oh, I’ll bet it was. I’ll bet you are. 

Again, let’s go back to Jim Heaney calling me out for my “unfair cheap shot”. Here’s a quote from McCarthy’s Mychajliw piece: 

After raising more than $100,000 in three months for the county campaign, he was already aiming at Poloncarz as a “vulnerable, out-of-touch, liberal extremist.”

“He’s more interested in banning plastic bags, the Paris climate accords and allowing grown men to use the same bathroom as my daughter than anything else,” Mychajliw said in July. “I think Mark has totally checked out.

“I’m telling friends and supporters to stay tuned,” he added.

I think that – apropos of literally nothing – pull-quoting and composting Mychajliw’s most dishonest, transphobic, and outrageous attack on Poloncarz and allowing it to fester there on the page, unchallenged, is dutiful transcription of right-wing talking points. It is a pattern, and it should be pointed out. Oh, sure, McCarthy got on the horn to Paladino, who was pissed at Mychajliw for cutting the line in front of him for the opportunity to run for the Collins seat, but he cleaned it up by running this: 

“I don’t think anyone should begrudge me for wanting to advance a political career,” he said, noting that the local political world “blew up” following Collins’ Aug. 8 indictment.

“Everyone’s plans changed that day,” he said.

Mychajliw is an excellent retail politician, but as Comptroller he doesn’t set policy. He has never, ever served as a representative. He’s never passed or drafted a law, and he’s never really had to set forth a platform of policy positions because that’s simply not what a comptroller does. Call me crazy, but the newspaper reporter might have pointed out that fact. So far, Mychajliw’s only policy is to talk shit about other politicians who take strong stands on policy, and regurgitate things fed to him by campaign consultants. 

And it’s not just Republicans – McCarthy has also been a reliable mouthpiece for Conservative fusion party operative Steve Pigeon. Seriously. Click that link and read that piece I did during the Preetsmas series, as the walls closed in on Pigeon and his collaborators. I wrote,

As recently as May 24th, the Buffalo News’ political columnist, Bob McCarthy, dutifully did Steve Pigeon’s bidding, producing an opinion piece that amounted to faithful stenography of a longtime source’s spin. In this case, it was Pigeon spinning about why he had ended what had until recently been a likely mutually beneficial relationship with a Rochester-based law firm. Pigeon told McCarthy it had nothing to do with any investigation — but the state and federal raids came literally four days later. 

But don’t take my word for it. Ask Angela Marinucci, a Democrat who ran for Erie County Clerk this year against political opportunist Mickey Kearns, 

This is from Marinucci’s expanded comment: 

…let’s review how the Buffalo News treated our race:

I sat in front of the Buffalo News Editorial Board, made up of four 50+ year old white men for 35 minutes explaining my plans for the Clerk’s Office & my opponent’s fiscal irresponsibility. I quoted, without notes, exact statistics & Ed Board comments FROM THE BUFFALO NEWS to show how the office was being mismanaged.

When the Buffalo News endorsed my opponent, they wrote 2 sentences about me – belittled me by calling me a “rookie” & referring to my COLLEGE internships from 15 years ago while praising my opponent’s demonstrably false claims about how he’s running the Clerk’s Office.

Here is how this “rookie” with the college internships contrasts her experience with Kearns’: 

I am a published attorney, graduate of a Tier 1 law school, running for a quasi-legal position who earned the endorsement of our Lieutenant Governor, our County Executive, no less than 7 local town Supervisors / Mayors and 2 Council Presidents, numerous town board members across the county, and many community leaders. My opponent ran on being a former garbage man career politician who was an “independent” voice in Albany because he flip flopped party loyalty so many times.

When Marinucci turns to our mustachioed hero, watch out. 

This morning Bob McCarthy wrote a column once again belittling me. He claims that my opponent won with a “hefty cushion” & said my “last-minute” ads feature me “flipping pancakes”, with no mention of my qualifications which featured prominently in my ads. Apparently, math isn’t Mr. McCarthy’s strong suit. I outraised my opponent & my campaign was able to finance a 2 week TV ad buy as well as a substantial digital buy, more than double what my opponent was able to buy (spending every dollar in his campaign account) – but he did put is smiling face on a racist Willie Horton-style political mailer.

“Reporting” such as this encourages the worst among us. Failing to even acknowledge my credentials is part of the reason why a man commented “Stay home & raise your kids” on an article from the Buffalo News just three days ago saying my race was too close to call. It’s part of the reason why I receive comments & messages on my campaign FB page saying things like “hell no!!!!!!!” & “the only thing going for you is that you’re a woman.”

THIS is why it matter that we have women in positions of power. Shame on Bob McCarthy & shame on the Buffalo News. I am disgusted.

It’s true that I took a “shot” at McCarthy, but the debate here is whether that shot was “cheap” and/or “dishonest”. There’s my explanation; there are the facts that inform my opinion that Bob McCarthy is a dutiful Republican stenographer. Meanwhile, Jim Heaney hasn’t responded to anyone’s request that he explain precisely how my critique of McCarthy was cheap or dishonest. 

Maybe it was Heaney’s unexplained, undefended shot at me that was both cheap and dishonest. 

The #NY27 Count So Far…

ny27

It might be time for The Buffalo News, Channels 2, 4, and 7, WBEN, WBFO, and Spectrum News all to re-visit whether anything is decided in the race for NY-27 between indicted incumbent Republican Chris Collins and Grand Island Supervisor Democrat Nate McMurray. 

On election night, McMurray somewhat clumsily gave a non-concession concession speech, but quickly retracted any such notion after the results showed that Collins maintained an extremely narrow lead in the unofficial machine count. As of right now, Collins is leading McMurray 134,251 to 131,341, a margin of only about 2,910 votes; 49.5% to 48.4%. 

But what happens on election night isn’t necessarily the final count, and that’s becoming quite evident in NY-27. The provisional and absentee ballots cast are not included in those unofficial election night results, and those are just now starting to be counted in the counties to the east of Buffalo. So far, in Ontario and Monroe Counties, sources indicate that the absentee ballots are skewing overwhelmingly pro-McMurray, by double-digit percentage points. I’m told that this has resulted in an overall ~11% narrowing in Collins’ lead – about 320 votes or so. Both McMurray and Collins have lawyers on hand at every canvass to fight for every vote. 

But reports are that there are 18,000 absentee ballots left to count in Erie County alone throughout WNY, and many don’t get touched until Tuesday November 20th. 

Erie County accepted absentees postmarked by November 5th, and military ballots are accepted through the 19th. All election day provisional and machine ballots will be sealed & sequestered on Friday. On Monday, candidates may review all unopened absentee ballots and applications. Objections must be made by 5 pm that day. On Tuesday, Nov. 20 the Erie County BOE will begin opening absentee ballots. On Wednesday, Nov. 21, the final canvass begins. 

So, let’s do some quick & dirty math for those 18,000 outstanding absentee ballots. Let’s assume that to be the number, and let’s assume that they follow the same pattern – about a 15% McMurray lead. 

This is sheer speculation, but indulge me: let’s say the absentees run 65-35 for McMurray;  so the Democrat pulls in 10,350 and Collins racks up 7,650. Add those figures to the unofficial machine counts from election day, and you’re left with Collins’ lead diminishing to 141,901 to 141,691, or just about 200 votes! 

Also, remember that the absentees were largely sent out well before the ostensibly pivotal Trump robocalls on election eve. To the extent that motivated unenthused Republicans to vote, that doesn’t apply to these absentee voters. 

All of this means that it becomes quite clear that Nate Mcmurray has a clear shot at an incredibly narrow victory. There is a path here, and it seems so far to be rather well-paved.

[POST UPDATED to reflect that it is 18,000 absentees throughout the district, not just in Erie County] Stay tuned…

Nate McMurray for Congress

Nate McMurray for Congress (@Nate_McMurray) | Twitter 2018-11-04 18-27-19

Election Day is Tuesday November 6th. Please vote to send Nate McMurray to Congress. 

Nate McMurray is the smartest and most exciting new Democratic politician I’ve seen in this area in a long time. 

This election is, in part, a referendum on Donald Trump and his Republican Party’s chaotic tumble into a nihilistic, eliminationist, and authoritarian movement. There are myriad reasons to be angry and concerned about the direction of the country. The economy may be humming along, for now, but what good is a 3.7% unemployment rate if you’re living under a kakocracy? When tariffs are imposed, violating contracts we’ve entered into with other countries, those are Republican taxes and they’ve already killed not a few jobs. The Trumpian movement is generally billed as some sort of anti-elitist populist movement, but Christopher C. Collins is at the summit of the local Republican suburban elites, and has been for at least 11 years. 

It takes a special sort of either cynicism or stupidity (or both) to perceive and promote Christopher C. Collins as some sort of pro-Trump avatar – a spokesman for the working man, battling against the big-city, coastal elites. 

Regardless of your political affiliation, I ask you please to vote on November 6th for Nate McMurray.

This year, in this race, we have a genuine opportunity to elect a good and smart person to Congress, and to expel someone whose cynicism is eclipsed only by his criminality and lack of any ethical or moral principles. 

Christopher Collins was a lousy one-term County Executive, and he’s been a worse Congressman. He’s been seen on CNN more than he’s been seen in the district. 

Nate is a regular guy from North Tonawanda who hasn’t forgotten where he came from. He grew up poor, worked hard, got an education, went abroad, and bettered himself. He is the embodiment of the American Dream that people used to talk about hopefully, back before the dark times. Before the Empire. (j/k)

He has done better than the generation that preceded him. 

McMurray lived for several years in South Korea, and has a unique perspective as a western New York re-pat who worked for years to open Asian markets up to American exports. He came back to work as in-house counsel at Delaware North, ran for Grand Island town supervisor, and won. He has shaken things up there, and that has, predictably, ruffled some establishment feathers. 

When McMurray jumped into the NY-27 race, it was clear that he had the smarts and the qualifications. So did other candidates, but Nate had also actually ran for – and won – a race. He understood the dynamics of a tough campaign, and had the chops to make waves and get his name out there. He’s also someone who isn’t a hyper-partisan. He works with people from all walks of life, and from all political viewpoints to achieve goals for the common good. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Republican idea or a Democratic one, as long as it’s good. 

The job of a representative is to represent his constituents. That’s difficult to do if he doesn’t make himself available to hear them out. 

I have long said that there’s no sense in running a partisan left Democrat in the Reynolds/Collins district, because that’s not the kind of district this is. There’s no sense, for instance, in running an anti-gun Democrat in a gun-friendly place. It makes no sense to run someone who is reflexively anti-Trump in a district Trump won by double digits. To that end, McMurray fits the bill. He has made many progressives upset with his centrist positions, but McMurray’s pitch this year is a simple one. It’s not about the party label, necessarily. It’s about merit. It’s about the rule of law. It’s about the sort of representative the people in the 27th district deserve to have speak for them in Washington. 

Nate’s not part of some Pelosi mob or Antifa or any of the other stuff Collins has tried to scare people about. I mean, Collins backed Trump. Trump won. Collins has been in Congress for several years. What the hell is he so angry and afraid about? Why can’t he say one positive thing about himself or his record or his President? 

McMurray’s pitch is quite compelling, especially in a district that Chris Collins and Chris Lee before him treated as personal fiefdoms to which they were entailed.  Chris Lee held “telephone town halls” where friendly pre-screened questions were filtered through to the politician, and the whole thing was tightly stage-managed. Never did he show up during the Obamacare debate to listen to his constituents, or to explain to them his thinking. 

Maybe it’s time to stop letting the Erie County Republican Committee select one ethical disaster after another to send to Washington. (Shout-out to Batavia’s David Bellavia, a hyper-partisan but comparatively honorable alternative, whom the Republicans found new and unique ways to overlook and disrespect). 

A Congressman should be accountable to his constituents – not just one November Tuesday every two years, but all the time. McMurray has pledged to hold a town hall meeting somewhere in the district – in person and not censored – every month if elected. McMurray calls it his “transparency pledge“, and he will also release his public schedule in advance to the public, and to introduce a bill requiring candidates to debate their opponents. 

It’s obvious that if the Democrats take the House, NY-27 will be better served with a Democrat in office than Christopher C. Collins. 

The biggest issue facing the average American in NY-27 isn’t some racist scaremongering about immigrants, but things like nstead health care. As Trump and the Republicans erode Obamacare, it has become crystal clear that some other solution is needed to ensure that every American gets the care and coverage he or she needs, without regard to ability to pay. Literally every other industrialized democracy has this figured out, but America has been dithering with this since World War 2. Britain has its NHS, Canada has its Medicare, but Americans still pay exorbitant rates to private companies whose bureaucracies are redundant, and ration care when they’re not resulting in medical bankruptcies.

When you see those milk jugs collecting money at the checkout counter for people’s health care, that’s not a heartwarming thing – that is a moral and ethical (if not medical) disaster. People should not have to rely on alms to pay for chemotherapy or any other care. Not kids, not adults, not seniors – no one. Americans should not have to have anxiety about how they’ll pay for care they and their loved ones need, and GoFundMe is not a substitute for a federal healthcare policy. 

Christopher Collins has voted repeatedly to not only take away or worsen your health insurance coverage, but he has expressly voted for a bill (he never read) that would repeal protections for pre-existing conditions. Nate McMurray will not do any such thing, and has advocated for a single-payer health coverage system to replace the ridiculous, anachronistic, and poor patchwork of coverage that Americans rely on. 

Christopher Collins voted to give himself and his friends at the club massive tax cuts, and this has exploded the deficit. The Republicans propose to pay for this by destroying Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. 

As far as tax policy, this is sheer depravity. 

I could recount and link to all of the negative things I’ve written about Christopher Collins: the articles are many, and the language is salty. But he deserves as much consideration and thought as he has given his vassals and serfs constituents as Lord Collins, Earl of Spaulding representative.  

Think instead on this: not once has Christopher Collins – a man who is under arrest and in custody for 11 felony counts set forth in a federal indictment – asked you for your vote. His every advertisement, his every pronouncement has been to personally destroy Nate McMurray, a guy who’s just running to do better than Collins. 

Chris Collins hasn’t asked you for your vote, because he thinks he deserves it without having to earn it. 

Not once has Christopher Collins set forth his record of achievements that would justify re-election. There’s no mailer or TV ad explaining just what a great job Collins has done for his constituents – or the country. 

Chris Collins isn’t bringing up his record, because the only record he’s got now is a criminal record. 

You would think that Chris Collins – a mad too cowardly to debate his opponent, to scared even to answer questions from High School students – could look his constituents in the eye and make some sort of pitch. Hey, I know you’re not sure about me, but I’ve worked hard for you and your vote matters to me. There won’t be any such ad – no such pitch. He hasn’t worked hard for you, and your vote doesn’t matter to him. He expects it. He expects to win. He is favored to win, despite the fact that the government accuses him of being a crook and a cheat and a liar. 

I’ve seen some Republicans on Collins’ Facebook page respond to critiques having to do with the indictment by saying, “innocent until proven guilty”. Right. Save that for the trial. This is politics, and the accusation itself is bad enough. The same crowd that screams “lock him [or her] up!” at the bare mention of any Democrats’ name – ostensibly for the crime of being a Democrat – has no standing to whine about the presumption of innocence. 

What other crimes do Collins supporters think befit a public official? 

Seriously, I ask that question because if a Democrat so much as sneezes weird, these people turn it into years’ worth of congressional investigations, but they’re willing to vote for a crook because he won’t take away their guns? 

Nate McMurray won’t take away your guns. He isn’t a fan of the SAFE Act. Every story the Republicans have fed you about McMurray being anti-Second Amendment are lies. 

In fact, Nate McMurray still retains his right to bear arms. Chris Collins relinquished his when he had to turn in his passport. 

The point here is that the job of a Representative is to serve the people – not just to do the constituent services piece, but also to help formulate federal policy, draft laws, and to listen. Christopher Collins has never listened to any non-Republican, and he’s seldom listened to anyone who hasn’t paid to be in his presence. Nate McMurray listens to people regardless of their political affiliation, because he wants to serve responsibly and responsively

I think it is especially important for a Democrat representing the 27th to stand there and hold himself accountable to his Republican constituents. I know Nate McMurray is up to the task, and that he won’t let us down. More importantly, I know that Nate McMurray genuinely cares about the direction of WNY because he has kids to raise here. He has work to do here. He wants to be a partner with Brian Higgins to ensure that the federal government is working for us, not against us.