Trump’s alliance with Putin

Donald Trump’s recent European tour was undoubtedly a smashing success, at least for him and his loyal Trumpkins. “He’s opening up lines of communication.”

Well, here is a news flash: those lines have been open already, for many years, even well before he announced his candidacy for president in 2015. Eric and Donald Jr. spilled the beans about that long along. We are just waiting now for the documentation.

Trump continues his obsession with his election in 2016 and questions of its legitimacy. Trump comrades, like Congressman Chris Collins, are still re-litigating the election too. So let’s play along with that line of thinking.

Ring master Vladimir Putin is out in the open with his 2016 Trump campaign efforts. “Yes, I did. Yes, I did” were his answers at the press conference on Monday when asked if he wanted Trump to be elected and if he directed his government to assist in that effort.

He helped with the hacking. Trump asked the Russians on July 27, 2016 to find Hillary Clinton emails, and that same day the Russians went looking.

We may someday see that Putin also helped with the money too when the story about the Russians and the NRA plays out. Such things are, to be technical, illegal in these United States.

Trump flag.png

Axios, July 16, 2018

As to collusion, take your pick of Manafort, Stone, Donald Jr., Jared, or Carter Page, etc., etc. Or just look at the stage where this week’s press conference was held to see sycophant Trump mouthing Putin’s lines. Trump has chosen sides, but he does not seem to be on our team. Whatever happened to “America First?”

The United States Constitution spells out the oath of office of the president. It includes the line, “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

We saw Trump trying to walk back his audio-recorded British interview where he trashed Prime Minister Theresa May, so it would not be surprising for him to try to walk back his oath. Fortunately there’s lots of video of it, and of course, all those millions who attended the inauguration can serve as witnesses.

Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution states in part, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

This week we witnessed the most direct and specific evidence (there has been much more) that Donald Trump has adhered to our “Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

In the spy business when a person comes under the influence and control of a foreign government, that person is referred to as an “asset.” We don’t know for sure just yet how true that is about Donald Trump, but his words and actions consistently point to his loyalty and commitment to Vladimir Putin. He has not spoken a single negative word about Putin. His responsibilities as president to preserve, protect and defend the United States Constitution are being ignored.  His priorities, for whatever personal or financial reasons Trump may have, seem to lie elsewhere.  Why?

Just the facts — the new campaign financial reports for state and local candidates

State and local candidates and others who maintain campaign finance accounts were required to submit their periodic reports to the State Board of Elections on July 16th for receipts, expenses and account balances through July 12th. Here are the latest campaign account balances on file, two days past the filing deadline. I will update this data for the next day or two if additional information becomes available.

There’s no analysis or discussion in this post. I’ll leave that up to the readers for now, but will be back at a later date with some commentary.

Note: most of the candidates carry one or more minor party endorsements. For simplicity sake I am only listing the Democratic and Republican candidates at this time, except in the race for governor.

Statewide

Governor

Andrew Cuomo, Democrat. Incumbent: $31,122,985

Cynthia Nixon, Democrat: $657,439

Marc Molinaro, Republican: $887,239

Howie Hawkins, Green: $16,866

Stephanie Miner, Serve America Movement: $162,856

Lieutenant Governor

Kathy Hochul, Democrat. Incumbent: $1,244,516

Jumaane Williams, Democrat: $45,502

Attorney General – Democratic primary

Leecia Eve: $250,719

Letitia James: No report filed as of July 20, 2018 PM

Sean Patrick Maloney: $981,386

Zephyr Teachout: $314,059

Keith Wofford, Republican: $1,023,848

State Assembly

140th District

Robin Schimminger, Democrat. Incumbent: $416,397

Adam Ohar, Republican: No report filed as of July 20, 2018 PM

141st District

Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Democrat. Incumbent: $298,991

Ross Kostecky, Republican: No report filed as of July 20, 2018 PM

142nd District

Patrick Burke, Democrat: $29,311

Erik Bohen, Republican. Incumbent: $13,284

143rd District

Monica Wallace, Democrat. Incumbent: $55,215

Clara Wroblewski, Republican: no report filed as of July 20, 2018 PM

144th District

Joseph DiPasquale, Democrat: $3,064

Michael Norris: Republican. Incumbent: $90,536

145th District

Democrat: No candidate

Angelo Morinello, Republican. Incumbent: no report filed as of July 20, 2018 PM

146th District

Karen McMahon, Democrat: $35,147

Raymond Walter, Republican. Incumbent: $56,691

147th District

Luke Wochensky, Democrat: $15,843

David DiPietro, Republican. Incumbent: $67,262

149th District

Sean Ryan, Democrat. Incumbent: $215,031

Joseph Totaro, Republican: No report filed as of July 20, 2018 PM

State Senate

59th District

Democrat: No candidate

Patrick Gallivan, Republican. Incumbent: $89,797

60th District

Carima El Behairy, Democrat: No report filed as of July 20, 2018 PM

Christopher Jacobs, Republican. Incumbent: $454,457

61st District

Joan Seamans, Democrat: $79,540

Michael Ranzenhofer, Republican. Incumbent: $868,298

62nd District

Democrat: No candidate

Robert Ortt, Republican. Incumbent: $203,118

63rd District

Timothy Kennedy, Democrat. Incumbent: $605,737

Thomas Gaglione, Republican: No report filed as of July 20, 2018 PM

Justice of the Supreme Court

Paula Feroleto, Democrat. Incumbent: $73,653

John Curran, Republican. Incumbent: $90,433

Erie County Court Judge

Suzanne Maxwell Barnes, Democrat: $133,534

Debra Givens, Republican: $35,431

Erie County Clerk

Angela Marinucci, Democrat: $37,760

Michael Kearns, Republican. Incumbent: $31,916

Unions in 21st century politics

I began my active involvement in politics when I was in college in the late 1960’s. A lot has changed since then. Here are a few things that come to mind:

  • From what I hear from some party leaders, it is harder than it used to be to recruit members for their committees
  • In Buffalo and other places we paid attention to the local news cycle, which meant that in major campaigns in days gone by we had to have separate press releases each day for the News and the Courier
  • And last, but not least, we checked nearly everything that was going on for reaction or comment from leaders of organized labor

Things are different now. Continue reading

It’s time to cool things down

To say that things are getting crazy in this country is certainly an understatement. It’s hard to find a precedent in our history. The Vietnam era? The great depression? The civil war?

The word of the day or the month or the year is tribalism. We are mostly gathering personally or through social media into tribes of all sorts – political, religious, and racial. It is a strange development, since there are so many things like cross border economies, personal contacts, and mutual interests that should draw people together. But they are not. It is very discouraging. Continue reading

A couple ideas to jump-start the shutdown of the Erie County Water Authority

This blog has over the past three years commented on the excessive staffing at the Erie County Water Authority (ECWA) and its lack of openness to the public it serves. I have frequently pointed out the redundancy of Authority administrative staffing and have suggested converting the agency into a department of Erie County government. The release last week of a report by the New York State Authorities Budget Office (ABO) has now focused much greater attention on this issue. Continue reading

Schroeder’s analysis points to a return to a hard control board for Buffalo

Over many years, going back nearly 50, the finances of the City of Buffalo have had a whole lot of ups and downs. Years with major deficits, years with comfortable surpluses. Sometimes, though, years of surpluses can lull a municipal government into a sense of complacency.

In the most recent version of financial roller coastering, the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority, aka the Control Board, was created by the state in 2003 following budget difficulties magnified by the financial turmoil that followed the terrorist attacks on the country in 2001. The board was put in place in a “control” or “hard board” status right from the get-go, and immediately set about imposing serious budget controls on the City government as well as the Buffalo Board of Education, including a wage freeze that extended for several years. Continue reading