Final pre-election campaign financials

Campaign committee financial reports were due from candidates’ committees last Friday, October 28, with information that was available through October 24th. Committees must now, through Election Day, report contributions or loans of $1,000 or more. Here is a summary of the most competitive races.

Erie County District Attorney

John Flynn and Joe Treanor are taking to the airwaves as they bring their campaigns to a conclusion. Treanor, who pledged to self-fund his campaign, has loaned his committee an additional $39,000, bringing his total to $50,000. His treasury balance as of October 24th was $40,214. No TV ads were listed in the expenses as of that date, but ads are now running.

Flynn continues to raise money on his own, bringing in $73,733 in the three week period between October 3 and 24. He had a balance of $50,634.

Both campaigns have funds available for modest TV buys in the remaining week of the campaign.

State Senate, 60th District

Amber Small’s campaign raised $53,795 in that same three week period, with a large portion of the receipts coming from unions. Her largest expenditure was $15,000 for a poll, which was likely requested by the state party before they would commit funds to the race. Governor Cuomo’s non-committal comments on this election, as noted in last week’s post, may be indicative of the results of that poll.

Small’s financial resources continue to be dwarfed by those of Republican Chris Jacobs. He took in $458,788 between October 3 and 24, with more than three quarters of that amount coming from the Republican State Senate Campaign Committee. Union contributions to Jacobs were also significant. Jacobs’ campaign purchased $438,729 in TV ads during the reporting period.

The ads and mailers have turned highly angry, with both sides registering on the negative side of the False/True meter – not a great way to end either campaign.

State Senate, 61st District

This David versus Goliath campaign has Democrat Tom Loughran challenging incumbent Michael Ranzenhofer. Loughran’s campaign war chest is about 3 percent of what Ranzenhofer has in the bank.

Ranzenhofer in the past three weeks spent $179,094, but that included $159,000 which was sent to the New York State Senate Republican Campaign Committee, likely for Party purposes outside of the 61st District.

State Assembly, 145th District

This election may take the prize for futility. Both Democrat John Ceretto and Republican Angelo Morinello have spent thousands of dollars on TV ads and mailers, all for the purpose of having one more Republican or one more Democrat in the Assembly. The Assembly currently has 104 Democrats and just 42 Republicans in a house of the Legislature where 76 votes are a majority; one member is an independent; and another one a registered Conservative; and with two current vacancies.

This election seems to simply be a feud among Niagara County politicians. Ceretto was previously elected to the seat as a Republican, but switched parties in 2015. State Assembly Democrats appear to be trying to lock in the seat for the Party.

Spending is excessive for an Assembly seat in Western New York. Ceretto spent $274,829 in the past three weeks, of which $265,000 was for TV ads. He received $255,000 from the State Democratic Party.

Morinello spent $143,418, nearly all on TV. He received $89,000 from the Republican Assembly Committee.

State Supreme Court

The four local candidates for State Supreme Court in the 8th Judicial District are also making the TV and radio stations and print shops happy.

Democrat Lynn Keane, as of October 24, still had $45,428 in her campaign account. She raised $57,117 recently, including a loan of $30,000 from a relative. She has spent $87,133 so far on TV.

Democrat Grace Hanlon raised $84,909, with $62,000 of that total coming from herself and family members. She spent $64,430, with $35,000 going thus far for television ads. She had a balance of $57,832 as of October 24th.

Republican Mary Slisz’s mostly self-funded campaign spent $184,255 on TV and radio and had a balance of $5,599 in the account.

Republican Daniel Furlong’s receipts in this period were $220,374; $200,000 of that total was from his personal funds.  He purchased $245,000 in TV ads.

And you thought local elections are sometimes strange

In an Assembly District on Long Island a Democratic candidate has probably made himself the butt of a lot of jokes. You can try to hide from such an embarrassment, but you cannot really wipe it away. This campaign may give new meaning to the expression, “when they go low, you go high.”

Politician hands out 100K rolls of toilet paper stamped with town supervisor’s face

Oct. 18, 2016 Leigh Munsil,

If all politics are local, then the ugliness of 2016 is on full display in Oyster Bay, New York.

Tuesday morning, New York State Assembly candidate Dean Hart, a oyster-bay-campaignself-described “corruption-bashing machine,” started handing out 100,000 rolls of toilet paper with Town Supervisor John Venditto’s photo on them to protest the fact that Oyster Bay is becoming “the butt of [everyone’s] joke.”

At issue is Venditto’s handling of the Nassau County town’s budget — Oyster Bay is New York’s only municipality with a “junk bond” rating from Standard & Poor’s, according to Long Island’s “Newsday.”

The town has nearly 300,000 residents, and its local government is made up of one town supervisor and six council members.

Hart, a Democrat who’s seeking a state assembly seat representing the area, has made waves with attention-grabbing campaign promises such as a plan to erect a $1 million marble statue of musician Billy Joel outside Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island.

His opponent, New York State Assemblyman Michael Montesano, is a Republican who has served in the state assembly since 2010.

Montesano is not doing enough to honor Joel, Hart said in a press release.

“My opponent is either impotent or is simply not trying, because everyone loves Billy Joel,” Hart said. “No wonder Albany is a mess, our representative can’t do something as simple as renaming a small portion of a road in Billy Joel’s backyard, where there’s near universal support.”