The O’Donnell for New York committee

Running for public office can be a difficult proposition. A potential candidate has to commit him or herself to the grind of the campaign – endless hours and public scrutiny. A campaign team needs to be assembled. And depending on the office, money, sometimes lots of money, needs to be raised.

Denise O’Donnell had by 2004 (and continues to have) a distinguished legal career that has included work in private and public practice. She served in the 1990’s as the Western District of New York United States Attorney, held a state criminal justice position and more recently has been a member of the staff of the United States Justice Department. Senator Charles Schumer recommended her appointment as a federal District Judge but the Obama White House never formally nominated her and she withdrew as a candidate for the position. Continue reading

As tax reform moves along, will Collins and other Reps side with their constituents or with Trump and Ryan?

As we move past the inauguration festivities and on to the really important stuff, one of the main federal issue that rises high on the agenda is tax reform. Okay, I know, some people in Washington, like lyin’ Don in the Oval Office, have not seriously moved on yet. Just pretend that there are more important things than counting the millions who attended the inauguration and who voted illegally for Hillary Clinton. Continue reading

Wrapping up and looking forward: updated campaign financials

Six month campaign financials were due to be filed at the State Board of Elections on January 17th for transactions through January 13th. Here is a summary of what they show:

Wrapping up

Former interim Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty still has $41,473 in his campaign account, which also shows $100,000 in outstanding loans from family members and $9,000 to James Eagan.

Newly elected District Attorney John Flynn has a balance of $12.15 in his campaign account, which is not quite enough for a large cheese and pepperoni pizza. From the start of his campaign through January 13th Flynn raised $530,473. Continue reading

Gaming out the race for Mayor of Buffalo — Corrected

While there have been some seriously contested elections for Mayor of Buffalo from time to time over the past forty years, you really need to go back to the campaign of 1977 to see what a real fight for the office entailed.

The 1977 election for Mayor featured four candidates: Democrats Leslie Foschio, Arthur O. Eve and Jimmy Griffin, plus Republican John Phelan. Eve won the Democratic primary, but Griffin won the three-way race (Eve, Griffin, Phelan) in November. Continue reading

Issues and unintended consequences concerning a state “free tuition” plan

An old expression goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement last week proposing a free college tuition plan offers new opportunities for many families with incomes under $125,000. It also raises a number of concerns. There might be some unintended consequences if the plan is approved by the State Legislature. Continue reading