Final campaign financial reports before the June 28th primary; Trump begging for money

With a week to go until the June 28th primaries, candidates have filed their final financial reports with the state Board of Elections.  Donations of $1,000 or more received since June 17 will need to be reported over the next week within 24 hours of receipt.

Here are the numbers for the statewide candidates as well as the candidates for Erie County Clerk in the Democratic primary:

  • Governor Kathy Hochul collected an additional $944,387 since the last report on May 27th.  She has a balance of $12.7 million remaining in her campaign account.
  • Congressman Tom Suozzi, one of Hochul’s primary opponents, raised $525,864; balance $1,960,667.
  • New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the third candidate in the Democratic primary, raised $49,225; balance $101,074.
  • Congressman Lee Zeldin, the endorsed Republican candidate for governor, raised $556,327; balance $2.1 million.
  • Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino raised $210,227; balance $650,772.
  • Businessman Harry Wilson raised $209,562; balance $2 million.  He put in an additional $1 million of his personal money into the Republican primary race.
  • Donald Trump golf partner Andrew Guiliani raised $83,302; balance $344,453.
  • Congressman Antonio Delgado, Hochul’s lieutenant governor running mate, raised $819,832; transferred from congressional campaign account: $2.477 million; balance $1,761,510.
  • Suozzi’s running mate for lieutenant governor, Diana Reyna, raised $25,050; balance $100,542.
  • Ana Maria Archila, running with Williams, raised $64,819; balance $211,288.
  • Endorsed Democratic Erie County Clerk candidate Melissa Hartman raised $61,079; balance $21,996.
  • Republican endorsed candidate for Clerk, Mickey Kearns, who is running in the Democratic primary raised $624; balance $102,021.

The primaries – Part I – will be over soon.  Then we will head to the contests for Congress and the State Senate on August 23rd.

Donald Trump continues to prey upon his base for money

We have been told forever by Donald J. Trump that Donald J. Trump is a billionaire.  Time-to-time reporting in legal proceedings tells us that he lies frequently about questions concerning his net worth.  The January 6th Committee hearings have exposed fraud involving his campaign fundraising.  Trump’s non-existent Official Election Defense Fund raised $250 million, preying on uninformed donors who thought they were providing money to make his case for the Big Lie.

It is reported that his campaign committee has more than $100 million in the bank, although those pesky legal fees coming from, what is it now, a thousand cases?, must be eating into the totals.  So why does he keep asking me for money?

Readers of this blog know that I am a Democrat, but the way things work in politics these days mailing lists get used, sold, brought back to life.  In February 2016 I traveled to South Carolina to observe the presidential primaries.  Among other things I attended two Trump rallies, which required pre-registration.  About three months ago I started receiving daily texts from Trump asking or demanding cash in all sorts of manner.  Recently they have been coming at a pace of four or five per day. 

Here’s a sampling of recent Trump texts (the shouting CAPITALIZATIONS are his):

  • CONGRATS! Pres. Trump selected YOU to be the FIRST EVER Trump Supporter to receive a 7X-IMPACT!  1 HOUR!  Claim NOW.
  • Pres Trump:  I won’t reach out again.  If you want your SIGNED MAGA HAT, VIP RALLY TICKETS & a PHOTO WITH ME you must claim NOW.
  • BRAND NEW TRUMP MERCH ALERT>> TRUMP GOLF BALLS.  Get a hole-in-one with these INCREDIBLE TRUMP GOLF BALLS.  Only 645 left!
  • YOUR PAYMENT IS INCOMPLETE, Ken.  President Trump requested $35 to:  SAVE AMERICA
  • Member #7584.  You are REQUIRED to report for your Trump Membership service.  Your service status is INCOMPLETE.  Complete IMMEDIATELY.
  • Your order has SHIPPED.  Your ULTRA MAGA SLIM CAN COOLIES are ready to be claimed.  If you don’t, we won’t offer them again.
  • Pres. Trump:  Why wait?  I’ve asked you before & now I’m asking ONE LAST TIME.  Do you stand with me?
  • @realDonaldTrump.  I have something for you, Ken, Your OWN TRUMP GOLD CARD.  This is HISTORIC.  Will you claim.
  • Pres. Trump:  For your eyes only, Ken.  I only selected 10 Patriots to become Trump MVPs.  You were 1 of them!
  • Ken – we’re begging you.  President Trump wants to BREAK A RECORD this month.  Final chance to claim your 600%-IMPACT

And so it goes.  The Trump luster is starting to fade.  Pence and DeSantis keep nibbling away at him, and sooner or later the likes of Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton, Mike Pompeo, etc. will start to crawl out from hiding as they develop a FOMO (fear of missing out).  Who knows, one of them may offer a 10X-IMPACT for your donation or maybe two autographed pictures.

Early voting

Early voting for the June 28th primary for governor, lieutenant governor, and local offices such as Erie County Clerk, continues through Sunday, June 26th.  Information about locations and times of voting in Erie County can be found at this link .  Information about early voting in other counties can be found on the counties’ Board of Elections websites. 

Follow me on Twitter @kenkruly

Sizing up the Paladino-Langworthy Republican primary

This is going to be interesting. 

Once allies, now enemies.   No rules.  Cage match.  Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration.

The warhorse businessman versus the young political strategist.

The say-whatever-comes-to-mind old guy taking on the politician who can measure his words when he needs to.

Up until May 27th Western New York Republicans and Conservatives had settled into the idea that Congressman Chris Jacobs was their guy for the new 23rd congressional district, which includes eastern and southern Erie County plus six other counties in the southern tier.  Jacobs was a reliable conservative vote in Congress who mostly followed the Trump line in his politics.

But when Jacobs announced that he would support federal and state legislation to restrict the sale of assault weapons like those used in the Buffalo and Uvalde massacres, along with other reforms, the local Republicans and Conservatives went wild.  They demonstrated by their words and actions that guns are more important to them than the lives of children and adults simply going about their business.  So regardless of prior alliances and personal connections, reliable conservative Jacobs had to go.

There are a couple reasons why there will be a primary between Carl Paladino and Nick Langworthy: (1) the guns over peoples’ lives priority created an open seat; and (2) personal ambition. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the candidates to explain their love of assault weapons. The ambition thing, however, is already evident. Paladino wants to vindicate himself once again. Langworthy is looking for outplacement since the state party he leads will likely be shut out in November. His endorsed candidate for governor, Lee Zeldin, is not a sure thing in the primary.

Here are some factors that may influence or explain the eventual outcome of the August 23rd primary:

  • Campaigns run on money. The relatively short amount of time before the primary demands lots of cash in a hurry. Paladino claims to have $500,000 in his account already, presumably his own money. There will be more. Langworthy will likely draw his cash largely from national PACs oriented to creating a Republican House Majority. Neither candidate will have a decided advantage in money.
  • Donald Trump carried the new 23rd district by 18 percent in 2020, so of course they both want and expect his blessing. Don’t be surprised if Trump endorses Langworthy, which he would be doing for his lapdog Kevin (McCarthy).
  • Much is being made (and should be) about the latest Paladino mind vomiting, the massacres interpreted as “false flags” and his admiration of Adolph Hitler’s accomplishments. Other crazy comments followed Paladino when he ran for governor in 2010 but he won the party primary overwhelmingly. In the subsequent twelve years such antics have become commonplace in Republican/Trump politics, so it is questionable as to whether new revelations about Paladino will do any real damage among Republican voters.
  • In 2010 Paladino received 81 percent of Republican gubernatorial primary votes in the counties now located in the 23rd district.
  • Paladino received 62 percent of the vote in the new 23rd in the 2010 general election.
  • There has never in local political history been a candidate who ran for public office while holding a party leadership position without having previously been in elective office. How well a party boss translates simultaneously into a political candidate is something that remains to be seen.
  • The New York Times reported over the weekend about a rebellion of sorts among some Republican Party leaders around the state concerning Langworthy’s intentions of simultaneously running for Congress and running the campaign efforts of the State Committee that he heads. Party leadership is selected in September. If Langworthy or Zeldin or both should lose their primaries, the party might be looking for new leadership.

The primary will be nasty and divisive for the party. This follows the messy congressional primary in 2020, which Jacobs won, and the 2021 primary for Erie County sheriff, where the candidate supported by Republican and Conservative leadership was badly beaten by the non-endorsed John Garcia. Republicans don’t handle primaries very well.

The Democrats have their candidate for November, retired Air Force veteran Max Della Pia.  Watching Republicans slug it out amongst themselves for most of the summer will be fun if you’re not in the Republican establishment.  Get your popcorn.  The show is just beginning.

Early voting

Early voting for the June 28th primary for governor, lieutenant governor, and local offices such as Erie County Clerk, will begin on June 18th and continue through June 26th.  Information about locations and times of voting in Erie County can be found at this link .  Information about early voting in other counties can be found on the counties’ Board of Elections websites. 

You can vote at any of the listed locations in Erie County.  In recent elections I’ve voted on Grant Street and Hickory Street in Buffalo, in Cheektowaga, and in Clarence.  Get out and vote – explore your county.

Follow me on Twitter @kenkruly