A short take on the debate; post-primary candidate financials; the judicial race — Correction posted: no Reform Party candidates for State Supreme Court

We are all overwhelmed today by the post mortems about last evening’s presidential debate, so I’m only offering my two-paragraph view of things.

Hillary Clinton did what she needed to do last evening. She showed herself to be a competent and intelligent person, with the proper temperament and judgment to be President of the United States. Her presentation should help move the few genuinely undecided plus some of the third-party candidate supporters to her side.

Donald Trump, for all his efforts to look “presidential,” is basically the opposite of Clinton. He was at times incoherent during the debate. He is not competent or intelligent and lacks the judgment and temperament that are needed in the Oval Office. And to whatever extent he attempts to assume that presidential mantle, there are hard drives and file drawers full of the vile, racist, name-calling presentations that he has put forth over the past 15 months. He can “pivot” a hundred more times before November 8th, but a leopard does not change his spots.

Forty-two days to go.

Campaign financial reports

Candidates involved in the September 13th primary elections were required to submit their 10-day post primary reports last Friday for information available as of September 19th.

DA race

Democratic victor John Flynn reports a balance of $3,977, with $19,500 in liabilities. He has raised a total of $333,099 this year and will need to raise more over the next six weeks to complete the election process.

This blog noted that in the last financial filing prior to the primary, acting DA Michael Flaherty had a balance of $143,382 and outstanding loans of $140,000. I suggested that they were holding back money to repay the loans, which the new filing basically confirms. The campaign now has a balance of $112,551 but outstanding loans of $109,000. Campaign manager Jim Eagan was repaid $31,000 of his $40,000 loan. The remaining $100,000 in outstanding loans is from Flaherty himself and family members. So with a balance of $112,551 as of September 19th, one has to wonder if the Flaherty team was convinced they were going to win with no need to spend that money, or assumed they would lose and were holding off to repay the loans. The relatively small number of actual votes separating Flaherty from primary winner Flynn (1,483) on September 13th makes you wonder what they might have been able to do with spending some or most of that $112,551.

Republican candidate and Conservative primary winner Joseph Treanor has a balance $2,806 in his self-funded campaign account. Chairman Nick Langworthy, according to the Buffalo News, indicates that he may provide some financing, which is likely. The questions are, when and how much?

State Senate, 60th District

Democrat Amber Small has raised an impressive $124,048 thus far in the campaign, but has a balance of only $16,766 after her primary. She is in need of a substantial amount of money coming from out-of-town interest groups, including the Senate Democratic structure, to give her the resources to compete through November. Aside from her day-to-day campaigning and local fundraising, Small needs to convince folks in Albany and New York City that her chances are good. She does have a substantial Democrat-to-Republican enrollment edge that works in her favor, but that same enrollment edge still left Mark Panepinto with only a 34 percent share of the 2014 race in this district while Mark Grisanti and Kevin Stocker split up the other 66 percent.

Chris Jacobs’ campaign had $326,184 in the bank as of September 19th, after spending $190,367 recently, mostly on TV ads. Outside interests have also already provided substantial cash to assist the Jacobs effort.

State Assembly, 146th District

Incumbent Assemblyman Ray Walter’s victory margins have not been large and this year is a presidential year, which will bring out substantially more Democratic votes than came out in 2014 in the Amherst-based district. Walter has $30,414 in his account. His Democratic opponent Steve Meyer, who also ran against Walter in 2014, has $13,259, after having spent $21,500 for polls recently. The polling is likely because the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee (DACC) wants to see how competitive this race might be. The results of that polling will determine whether Meyer can attract substantial Albany cash to make this competitive.

The race for Supreme Court

The Republican, Democratic, Conservative and Independence Parties last evening met to select two candidates for State Supreme Court in the 8th Judicial District. While the head-to-head ballot line-up in the race remains to be sorted out, here are the contestants:

  • Lynn Keane – Democrat, also nominated by the Independence Party
  • Grace Hanlon – Democrat, also nominated by the Working Families and Independence Parties
  • Mary Slisz – Republican, also nominated by the Conservative Party
  • Daniel Furlong – Republican, also nominated by the Conservative Party
  • Kenneth Schaeffer – nominated by the Working Families Party

Campaign followers in Western New York probably do not recognize the name Kenneth Schaeffer. He is a candidate for the court through election conniving by the leadership of the Working Families Party.

Schaeffer, for your information, is also at the moment a candidate for Congress in the First Congressional District, located in Suffolk County. He is a lawyer and lives in New York City. The First District is one of the major battlegrounds in races for the House of Representatives this year, but it seems that the Democratic nominee has only that line on the ballot plus the very small Women’s Equality Party. In order to assist the Democrat, it appears, the Working Families organization is trying to push Schaeffer off the congressional ballot.

In New York State the only way that you can get off a ballot for an office you have been nominated for at this stage of the campaign is to move out of state, die, or be nominated for a judgeship. So voila, Schraeffer gets nominated for justice in the Eighth District, declines the congressional nomination, and that nomination then goes to the Democratic congressional candidate. It is the same scheme that the Republicans pulled in 2010 when they needed to get Rick Lazio off the Conservative Party ballot after Carl Paladino defeated him in the Republican primary. Lazio ran for Supreme Court in a district based in the Bronx.

The results in this race will be largely influenced by the turnout and votes of the presidential candidates. In a presidential year Democratic candidates can do well, probably with or without a lot of minor party support. We’ll see.