Collins’ seedy congressional campaign; final pre-election financial reports

Where, oh where, was Congressman Chris Collins when Steve Bannon flew into town last week to rally Trumpkins on behalf of the Congressman most likely to be in jail a year and a half from now? Bannon’s track record on congressional rescue missions for legally challenged candidates is not what you would call great, including as it does the defeat of accused pedophile Roy Moore in last year’s Alabama Senate race and the defeat of convicted felon Michael Grimm in his Republican House primary in New York City this past June.

Bannon was also in town to promote the re-election of State Assemblyman David DiPietro, an early Trumpkin. Bob McCarthy’s reporting of the event in the Buffalo News indicated that DiPietro was in attendance but did not speak and left early. Strange. What wasn’t strange was the absence of all other Republican candidates. They were spared the problem of having to explain their absence.

What is interesting about all of this is that this rally was supposed to be about pumping up the Republican/Trumpkin base. A reported attendance of 350 (one report said 200) is nice for any local rally at this stage of a campaign, but not for superstar, Trump-brain Steve Bannon who flew in on a private jet to attend. It did beat the 38 people who attended a Bannon rally on Staten Island earlier in the week. But Republican candidates, who you would think would want to pump up their base, had better things to do.

“There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear,” as the Buffalo Springfield sang. DiPietro seems to be running scared in a district that is heavily Republican. He didn’t even have an opponent in his last two elections. He has Michael Caputo as a paid campaign manager, who seems to be a pretty busy fellow. Why is Caputo spending all that time in Republican Wyoming County, which should be a slam dunk for DiPietro? But heck, $11,000 for that gig isn’t bad.

This year DiPietro has a Democratic opponent, Luke Wochensky. Luke has run a great campaign directed at meeting the people who he wants to represent. It seems to be working. It’s refreshingly positive.

Caputo has publicly commented on the negativity about Chris Collins that he has observed in the time he has been spending in Wyoming County. Not a good sign for Collins.

Collins commercials, which are essentially all of his campaign since he otherwise only pops up unexpectedly at small out-of-the-way Republican gatherings, are the slimiest that this community has seen in a long time.

The Republican strategy for the 27th congressional district is to hold your nose and vote for the future felon. It’s the most Republican district in New York State, so it has a chance of working. The ongoing New York Times poll of the district, however, has the district incredibly close, 44 percent (Collins) to 40 percent, which parallels a previous poll in the district. Nate McMurray has edged up a bit in Nate Silver’s 538 campaign projections.

The sixteen percent who are undecided quite likely already know Collins as an established politician, but they are holding back. McMurray has a good shot at their votes. And perhaps figuring that Collins is not worth it, or that voting for the future felon is too hard, lots of Republicans may just decide they have something better to do than vote next Tuesday.

Collins, who is likely on his way to jail sometime in 2020 (or sooner if he takes a plea deal) will have as his legacy a failed re-election for Erie County Executive; a despicable, desperate re-election campaign for Congress; and time in jail. All that and somewhere in the range of $50-100 millions of wealth. What a way to go out.

Campaign financials

Candidates were required to file campaign financial reports on October 26th for receipts and expenses through October 22. These are the last required financial reports that are due before the election, although candidates who received contributions or loans of more than $1,000 after October 22nd are also required to disclose that information within 24 hours of the receipt of the contribution or loan.

Here is a quick rundown of the balances in the accounts of major party statewide and local candidates, plus the minor party candidates for governor:


Democrat – Andrew Cuomo   $6,753,406

Republican – Marc Molinaro   $311,964

Green – Howie Hawkins   $26,301

Serve America Movement – Stephanie Miner   $52,057

Attorney General

Democrat –Letitia James   $907,302

Republican – Keith Wofford   $207,130.    $150,000 in personal funds contributed.

State Comptroller

Thomas DiNapoli   $2,091,588

Jonathan Trichter   $116,886

State Supreme Court – Cross endorsements

Paula Feroleto   $69,012

John Curran   $53,476

State Senate – 59th District

Democrat – no candidate

Republican – Pat Gallivan   $80,952

State Senate – 60th District

Democrat – Carima El-Behairy   $21,197

Republican – Chris Jacobs   $348,745

State Senate – 61st District

Democrat – Joan Seamans   $11,340

Republican – Michael Ranzenhofer   $839,726.   Donated $50,000 to Republican Senate Committee.

State Senate – 62nd District

Democrat – no candidate

Republican – Robert Ortt   $182,706

State Senate – 63rd District

Democrat – Tim Kennedy   $421,976

Republican – no candidate

State Assembly – 140th District

Democrat – Robin Schimminger   $407,650

Republican – Adam Ohar   No report filed as of November 1st

State Assembly – 141st District

Democrat – Crystal Peoples-Stokes   No report filed as of November 1st

Republican – Ross Kostecky   No report filed as of November 1st

State Assembly — 142nd District

Democrat – Patrick Burke   $22,354

Republican – Eric Bohen   $23,540

State Assembly – 143rd District

Democrat – Monica Wallace     $46,780

Republican – Daniel Centinello Sr.   $2,735

State Assembly – 144th District

Democrat – Joseph DiPasquale   $8,732

Republican – Michael Norris   $87,541

State Assembly – 145th District

Democrat – no candidate

Republican – Angelo Morinello   $71,503

State Assembly – 146th District

Democrat – Karen McMahon   $25,931.    Received $220,000 from the Democratic Assembly Committee.

Republican – Ray Walter   $27,263.          Received $20,000 from the Republican Assembly Committee.

State Assembly – 147th District

Democrat – Luke Wochensky   $44,779

Republican – David DiPietro   $24,443

State Assembly – 149th District

Democrat – Sean Ryan    $218,885

Republican – Joseph Totaro     No report filed as of November 1st

Erie County Court Judge

Suzanne Maxwell Barnes   $1,398

Erie County Family Court

Lisa Rodwin   $14,309

Erie County Clerk

Democrat – Angela Marinucci   $5,794.  $75,000 spent on TV ads.

Republican – Michael Kearns   $76,783

One thought on “Collins’ seedy congressional campaign; final pre-election financial reports

  1. Al those years we spent campaigning, Ken, both for candidates who didn’t have a prayer and those who couldn’t lose and we never had to resort to a single lie. Now a guy like Collins can make stuff up out of whole cloth and have the cash to run the lies none stop. I know Collins is not the Lone Ranger when it ones to lying. Lord knows the whole pack of Republicans are lying bald face when it comes to health insurance. But an incumbent like Collins has not said a word about anything he’s done for his district – not a single thing! So while those Republicans might want to hold their nose before voting, they might be better served sticking their finger down their collective throats.


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