Campaign financials in Buffalo Council, Legislature and town and city primaries; a note about asylum seekers

All campaign committees involved in primary elections this year were required to file their financial disclosure reports with the state Board of Elections on May 26.  Several Democratic and Republican primaries are worth noting.  The campaign account information for transactions reported since January 2023 includes the following:

  • Buffalo, Ellicott District Councilmember, Democratic primary.  Matt Dearing;  raised $11,816; spent $8,742; has $3,073 remaining.    Leah Halton-Pope: raised $45,644, with approximately a third of the money coming from donors with addresses in New York City and other parts of the state outside of Erie County; spent $10,224; balance $35,420.  Cedric Holloway: raised $7,161; spent $500; balance $6,661. Emim Eddie Egriu had did not a financial report on file as of June 6.
  • Buffalo, Lovejoy District Councilmember, Democratic primary.  Incumbent Bryan Bollman:  raised $16,631; spent $5,176; balance $22,268.  Mohammed Uddin: raised $ 15,716; spent $11,835; balance $3,881.
  • Buffalo, Masten District Councilmember, Democratic primary.  Zeneta Everhart: raised $63,858, about 10 percent of which came from donors with addresses outside of Erie County; spent $43,809; balance $20,049.  India Walton: raised $22,280, of which $4,270 was unitemized; spent $11,902; balance $13,165.  The Walton Committee did not file its required January 2023 report.
  • Buffalo, North District Councilmember, Democratic primary.  Incumbent Joe Golombek:  raised $24,894; spent $20,596; balance $55,211.  Eve Shippens: raised $14,488; spent $18,107; balance $3,774.
  • Buffalo, University District Councilmember, Democratic primary.  Incumbent Rasheed Wyatt: raised $6,490; spent $12,618; balance $10,218.  Kathryn Franco: raised $7,846; spent $5,943; balance $2,421.
  • Erie County Legislature, 10th District, Republican and Conservative primaries. Incumbent James Malczewski raised $37,527; spent $6,673; balance $31,342. Lindsay Lorigo: raised $10,930; spent $1,593; balance $9,337. Expect spending in this race to ramp up considerably over the next four weeks.
  • City of Tonawanda, Council President, Democratic primary.  Incumbent Jenna Koch: raised $878; spent $728; balance $590 .  Mary Ann  Cancilla: has no financial data in her report.
  • Alden Supervisor, Republican primary.  Neither Alecia Barrett nor Colleen Paulter had a financial report on file as of May 30.
  • Grand Island Supervisor, Republican primary.  Peter Marston: raised $1,170; spent; $4,269; balance $2,516. Michael Madigan: raised $2,925; spent $2,925; balance $0.
  • Marilla Supervisor, Republican primary.  Neither Incumbent Earl Gingerich nor Jennifer Achman had a financial report on file as of May 30.

There are 8 Democratic and 10 Republican primaries including those for the offices of highway superintendent (Cheektowaga); councilmember (City of Tonawanda, Alden, Orchard Park, Wales); town clerk (Marilla); and town justice (West Seneca).  There are 10 Conservative Party primaries for County Legislature, Lackawanna and City of Tonawanda offices, and town offices. The Working Families Party has two primaries for town offices.

The next financial reports are due on June 16th.  The primary elections will be held on June 27th.

Asylum seekers

When they cannot come up with relevant issues to discuss in a campaign, some candidates gravitate to matters that can create confusion or fear.  Such is the discussion now occurring about housing or not housing asylum seekers.

An alien who seeks asylum is a person who has left their country where their life or freedom may be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion..

As far as I can determine there were no Casilio’s; or Lorigo’s; or Malczewski’s; or Kruly’s on that first shipload of asylum seekers who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. 

Those of us with ancestors who came long after that date, particularly in the latter half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, got into this country at various locations and under rules and regulations that were certainly different and in many cases looser than the immigration laws that we know about today.  Many came to escape various forms of persecution in their native lands.  Not all of those who arrived 100 to 175 years ago became good citizens, but most did.  Some had names that were difficult to pronounce.  They didn’t all speak English.  They accepted some of the most backbreaking jobs available in order to support their families.  You know their descendants today as your family, friends and neighbors.

History has a way of repeating itself.

Twitter @kenkruly

Off to the races – the 2024 primaries begin to take shape

It seems like it is way too early for this, but like it or not, the 2024 presidential primaries have begun and they will last forever – or at least it will appear that way.

Both the Democrats and the Republican/Trump parties have contestants lining up.  No one knows how busy the primaries will be but when a politician with a dollar and a dream envisions him or herself as president, the starting gate awaits. On one side things might get crowded.

Many folks in the Democratic Party would have preferred that President Joe Biden defer to a younger generation of candidates.  But…  He saved the country from four more years of Donald Trump.  He has accomplished more legislatively than any of the past several presidents.  He’s brought back respect for America from around the world.  He’s running for re-election.

There are two other candidates who say they will run in the Democratic primaries, Robert Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson.  The Kennedy family has a long and distinguished career in public service.  They have paid a severe price for that service.  Robert Kennedy Jr. will disgrace his family.  His obsession with opposition to vaccinations is bizarre.  His association with Steve Bannon says all that needs to be said about his intelligence or potential value as a public servant.

Williamson undoubtedly enjoyed her 2020 15 minutes of fame so much that she wants another 15.  That attention might give her a chance to write another self-help book or to pick up some paid speaking engagements.

So that takes care of the Democrats for the moment.  How goes the Republican/Trump Party?

Trump himself has been a candidate since last November.  He has solidified his base as his legal problems deepen but that base is probably no more than 30 percent of the electorate.  Some thought that we might see a new, moderate version of candidate Trump as 2023 began.  His appearance on CNN’s “Town Hall,” however, demonstrated that his 2024 campaign will simply be a re-run of the grievances and lies that he has been telling for years.  His greatest hits include:

  • Trump claimed for the thousandth time that the 2020 election was rigged, (unlike in 2016, when the Russians helped elect him).  His rants will continue as various criminal matters on the subject swirl about.
  • Concerning the completion of the wall on the Mexican border:  “I did finish the wall. I built a wall, I built hundreds of miles of wall.”  According to a report by US Customs and Border Protection just 52 miles of new wall were constructed during Trump’s term in office in locations where no barriers previously existed.
  • Trump said that January 6 was a peaceful assembly attended by tens of thousands, the biggest crowd he ever spoke to.  He said that just “a couple” people got out of control.  The fact is the January 6 insurrection by Trump-supporters has resulted in the largest law enforcement response in modern history, with several of the criminals already convicted of sedition.
  • A day after a Manhattan federal jury found that Trump had sexually abused and defamed the writer E. Jean Carroll, Trump claimed that the jury in the civil trial found he did not rape her and said he “didn’t do anything else either.”  The Republican-packed CNN audience thought it was funny.
  • Trump claimed that the United States has provided $171 billion in aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia.  Actually since the beginning of the war in February 2022 the USA has provided approximately $75 billion in military, humanitarian, and financial assistance.  He said he could end the Russia-Ukraine war in 24 hours – to the benefit, no doubt, of his friend Vladimir Putin.
  • Trump is having trouble defining his position on abortion.
  • Trump suggested that he gave Americans the biggest tax cuts in history in 2017.  The tax cuts mostly benefited the super-rich.  The Treasury Department has found that since 1968, three other tax cut bills have been bigger, including Reagan’s 1981 package and two bills passed by former President Barack Obama to extend earlier tax cuts signed by former President George W. Bush.

National polling currently shows Florida Governor Ron DeSantis running a distant second to Trump among Republicans.  He is positioning his campaign to be “Trump without the baggage.”  His campaign will be heavy on wokeness and on “Making America Florida.”  The Florida Legislature has deferred to DeSantis on all issues.  How those matters translate nationally is questionable.  Here are some of DeSantis’ Florida highlights:

  • Permitting the open carrying of guns without a permit or training, ignoring the mass killings that have occurred in his state and elsewhere.  That law can work in tandem with Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which basically allows anyone with a gun to shoot someone who the gun owner perceives as a threat.  The laws have played out tragically, including once instance where a college student from Western New York was shot and killed.
  • Wokeness on the right has been demonstrated in many pieces of legislation:
    • Freedom as promoted by DeSantis does not include academic freedom.  The state is telling universities how they must operate and what they can teach.
    • The state Department of Education system dictates what textbooks can be used in elementary and high schools, overruling locally elected school boards.
    • Local control of libraries is superseded by state decisions on what books can be made available for readers.  The state is telling parents what books their children will be allowed to read.
  • Abortion legislation and LGBTQ policies of the state contradict a political stance that promotes freedom.
  • And not to be forgotten, there’s DeSantis’ war on Disney.  There are reports, however, that Goofy has defected and joined the DeSantis team.

After Trump and DeSantis there come several candidates who will likely end their campaigns over the next several months.  A couple of them might still be running in February is DeSantis continues to falter.  The list includes:

  • North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum
  • Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
  • Larry Elder
  • Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley
  • Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison
  • Perry Johnson
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence
  • Vivek Ramaswamy
  • Senator Tim Scott
  • Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin

The road to November 2024 will be long and occasionally interesting.  Stay tuned.

Twitter @kenkruly