Bob McCarthy’s story in the Sunday Buffalo News about the latest in Pigeongate intrigue raises interesting questions. Here is the News story in a nutshell:
The Buffalo Republican Committee is under new leadership. The new chair, Tracey McNerney, is wondering why the former chair, William Nowakowski, donated $4,700 to a Pigeon committee called WNY Freedom, as well as $4,500 to James Rozanski, a Republican candidate for the University Council seat last November. Republican Board of Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr has asked the State Board of Elections (BOE) to investigate. The contributions were reported by the Republican Committee on their financial disclosures, but do not show up on any filing of the WNY Freedom committee. Rozanski did not even file a financial disclosure for his campaign. David Pfaff, Pigeon ally, is the Treasurer of WNY Freedom. He claims filing errors for that committee.
Here are some comments and questions about this:
- Where did the News story go to? It’s in print on the bottom of the first page of The Region section of today’s printed newspaper, but it cannot be found in the digital edition. UPDATE: the McCarthy story is now on the News website, posted 15 minutes after this Politics and Other Stuff post first went up.
- What did WNY Freedom do with the money? They reported $1,000 in total donations in late 2013 from Carl Paladino, who seems to think that the money was to help with the 2014 Buffalo School elections that were held several months later. Perhaps, or maybe not. There is a committee listed on the State BOE website for Larry Quinn’s campaign for school board but no money disclosures. There is no committee on file with the State BOE for Patricia Pierce, who also ran and was elected to the school board in May 2014.
- WNY Freedom has made no disclosure about the Buffalo Republican Committee’s $4,700 contribution.
- The date on the check that the News reproduced today is September 9, 2014, which was primary day. We know that the $4,700 was deducted from the Republican Committee account so the money went somewhere. McCarthy reports that Kristy Mazurek and David Pfaff had control of the checkbook. So they wrote one or more checks to??? There were several Democratic primaries on September 9, 2014, but the only two that were seriously contested that day. One was the primary for the Senate seat in the 63rd District. Marc Panepinto beat Al Coppola by less than 400 votes. Pfaff now works for Senator Panepinto. There was also a primary for State Assembly, where Kristy Mazurek’s brother Mark defeated Camille Brandon by more than 600 votes. There were also primaries for delegates to the Democratic Judicial Convention that was to choose five candidates for State Supreme Court later in September in a highly competitive situation.
The “there were filing errors” story is getting a little old. Pigeon and Pfaff have been doing politics since it seems like forever. They know what they are doing. Stay tuned for the next episode.