So what happens now?

The expression “it’s all over but the shouting” never had more meaning than Wednesday morning following the congressional doubleheader in NY27.

Nine days of early voting and the in-person turnout on Election Day produced relatively low totals. Literally tens of thousands of absentee votes, an unprecedented number, remain to be counted. Even while awaiting official totals which are about two weeks away, however, it is pretty clear that Jacobs’ in-person vote margins of victory in both the special election and the primary cannot be overcome with the available absentee votes that will be split among the candidates. Chris Jacobs has won both the special congressional election in NY27 and the Republican primary for nomination to the same seat in November.

This blogger thought that while Republicans would gravitate to Jacobs in the special election to keep the seat Republican, there was at least the possibility of an upset in the Republican primary with Beth Parlato’s hard charging challenge to Jacobs. It turned out that her over-the-top television advertising campaign may have brought her campaign down — or maybe it was simply a badly run campaign.

The first ads that Parlato ran, with actors sarcastically going after Jacobs on taxes and his previously moderate Republican positions, may have had some impact. But after the brouhaha about Jacobs voting residence played out last week and it became known that she had instigated the matter, she persisted in running an ad that suggested that Jacobs might be a future felon, headed to jail. The ad ran right through Election Day. Bad judgment.

While there were an unprecedented number of absentee ballots returned in the elections, the voting statistics show that Republicans were less inclined than Democrats to vote absentee; the Reps turned out in larger numbers on Tuesday. People going to vote in person had the opportunity to absorb and assess that Parlato had the story about Jacobs’ voting residence either wrong or twisted.

In the special election Democrat Nate McMurray seemed to be waiting for Parlato to help take down Jacobs. There were dozens of McMurray Tweets, but hardly an ad until near the end of the campaign. Political people are fond of saying “signs don’t vote” while assessing the number of signs on lawns. This campaign might add a new truism, “Tweets don’t vote.” Tweets are an inside baseball sort of thing.

We will now wait until July 14 or later to get the official results in NY27, but it’s all over but the shouting.

Jacobs and McMurray will re-litigate things over the next four plus months but McMurray has an awfully high hill to climb to November. NY27 is overwhelming Republican by affiliation; Trump is still popular there; and McMurray’s liberal politics will be difficult to sell. He ran a close race in 2018 against the indicted Chris Collins, but Jacobs is not Collins.

There are also some things that will need to be tidied up with the other two contestants in the Republican primary, Parlato and Stefan Mychajliw.

Parlato at the moment remains the Conservative Party candidate for Congress in the November election. She previously indicated that she would abandon that nomination to allow the party to substitute Jacobs on the ballot. As a lawyer Parlato can decline the nomination in order to run for a judgeship, albeit this will be for a race that she will not compete in actively and will have no chance of winning. The State Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Conventions will be held between August 6th and 12th. Parlato will carry the Conservative banner in the non-conservative hinterlands of Manhattan or the Bronx.

Mychajliw remains Erie County Comptroller for a term that ends in a year and a half. His problem is all the burning bridges that he left behind with Erie County Republicans when he first declined to run for County Executive against Mark Poloncarz last year and then pursued an underfunded and anemic effort in the Republican congressional primary.

In the course of pursuing the congressional seat Mychajliw aggressively attacked the Republican establishment. Will they abandon him when it comes time for re-election or might he just walk away from the office? And while I’m asking questions, close observers in the Southtowns report that during the recent primary there was no Stefan Mychajliw for Congress sign on Lynne Dixon’ property in Hamburg. Why didn’t Mychajliw appointee Dixon have a sign on her lawn?

On to November.

Watching the millionaires fight the billionaires

As the country works its way through the COVID-19 pandemic and the re-opening of the economy we are all looking for a return to some degree of normalcy. We look for the distractions we enjoy for some relief. We might want to take a chance by going to a restaurant. Many would love to watch a baseball game or the championship finals of the NBA and the NHL.

The restaurants have in fact become an option. Watching sports? Not yet. Continue reading

Mail-in voting is making it easier to participate; increased interest could affect the outcomes in NY27

New Yorkers have had a major new opportunity presented to them in 2020 to honor their civic duty. Voting has gotten much easier, and voters in large numbers are taking advantage of their new options.

The first test of the new arrangement has been in the recently completed school district elections outside of the City of Buffalo. All eligible voters in the 2020 district elections were mailed ballots allowing them to vote yea or nay on their districts’ budgets and borrowings. Candidates for school boards were also elected by mail-in balloting. Continue reading

The rumble in NY27

The doubleheader in NY27 will be over in a few days. It cannot happen soon enough.

The indictment, re-election, conviction and resignation of Chris Collins, former member of the House of Representatives from the 27th District in New York, spanned 14 months. The process for getting new representation for the district has gone on for eight months.

It will end on June 23rd when voters will choose between Democrat Nate McMurray and Republican Chris Jacobs for the right to occupy the seat through the end of 2020. Simultaneously Republican voters will select a candidate for the November general election for the seat from among Jacobs, Stefan Mychajliw and Beth Parlato. McMurray has no primary and will be on the November ballot. Continue reading

“Strive for five” is looking less likely in Buffalo City Hall; the impact of mail voting

“These are the times that try men’s souls…” Thomas Paine, December 1776
And women’s souls too.

And thus we find ourselves in 2020, in troubling times. The confluence of a pandemic, a major economic recession and turbulent days and weeks throughout the land make most everyone do their own assessment of where they stand; where the community they live in stands; and where the nation stands. Continue reading

The Buffalo Common Council is paying attention; campaign financials demonstrate the difficulty of raising funds during a pandemic

The 2020-2021 Buffalo budget

Something interesting happened at the Buffalo Common Council last week. By a vote of six to three the Council said they need more time to discuss the mayor’s new budget.

Mayor Byron Brown on May first submitted his proposed 2020-21 budget to the Common Council. The Council, by Charter, has until June 8th to approve the budget.  In years past the legislative body has acted earlier, and generally with only some minor tinkering with what the Mayor recommended. Continue reading