Influencing Albany — lobbying expenses of local businesses and organizations in 2016

The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) is charged with the responsibility of monitoring and enforcing the laws and regulations on public ethics. Yes, I know that seems like something that has not actually been happening in Albany. There certainly have been many transgressions.

Part of JCOPE’s role is to annually publish a report on businesses and organizations that pay registered lobbyists to try to influence state and local laws, regulations, spending, and purchasing. The 2015 Report was published in April 2016. The 2017 Report was published two months later than last year, on June 8, 2017.

Total statewide lobbyist spending rose slightly in 2016 compared with the previous year to a total of $242.7 million. Imagine that – nearly a quarter billion spent by businesses, organizations and individuals trying to direct, re-direct, start or stop some functions of state and local government.

The lobbying firm with the most business was Kasirer LLC ($10.4 million). The lobbyist client that spent the most on such activities was the Rent Stabilization Association of New York City ($3.7 million). The 4,960 statewide clients were, as might be expected, dominated by organizations and businesses in New York City.

This post focuses on the Western New York businesses and organizations looking to influence government action. This is the third year that Politics and Other Stuff is reporting on local lobbyist spending. You can see the 2014 and 2015 reports here and here. While regular readers know that this blog often discusses a partisan point of view on federal, state and local politics, when it comes to a post such as this one and others on campaign financials and election results, Politics and Other Stuff is your blog-of-record.

Total locally identified lobbyist spending in 2016 was $4.1 million, down $1.3 million or 24 percent from 2015. The local list continues to be dominated by the local powerhouse firm, Masiello, Calabrese, Martucci and Associates, whose principals are former Buffalo Mayor Tony Masiello, former Deputy County Executive Carl Calabrese and former Town of Tonawanda Republican Chairman Vic Martucci.

Other lobbying firms with local connections include:

  • Bolton St. Johns (Jack O’Donnell and Camille Brandon)
  • E3 Communications (Earl Wells III)
  • Park Strategies (Joel Giambra)
  • Richardson Management (Rick Winter)
  • Upstate Consultants (James Sampson)

Here is the list:

WNY Firms and Organizations That Employed New York State Lobbyists in 2016

Business/Org.                               Lobbyist                      $ Compensation

ALBRIGHT-KNOX ART GALLERY MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      36,000
AMERICAN MEDICAL RESPONSE MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      53,000
ARTHUR (Sic) DANIELS MIDLAND COMPANY MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      33,000
BAKER VICTORY SERVICES BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC      36,000
BUFFALO & ERIE COUNTY NAVAL & MILITARY PARK BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC      10,000
BUFFALO & PITTSBURGH RAILROAD, INC. HARTER SECREST & EMERY, LLP      13,070
BUFFALO AND FORT ERIE PUBLIC BRIDGE AUTHORITY BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC      46,147
BUFFALO CITY CEMETERY, INC MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.        8,000
BUFFALO COMPUTER GRAPHICS, INC. LANDEN ASSOCIATES, LLC.        5,500
BUFFALO GAMES UPSTATE CONSULTANTS, LLC      10,500
BUFFALO NIAGARA ASSN. OF REALTORS, INC. BUFFALO NIAGARA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS    169,590
BUFFALO NIAGARA MEDICAL CAMPUS MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      36,000
BUFFALO NIAGARA PARTNERSHIP BUFFALO NIAGARA PARTNERSHIP      29,623
BUFFALO SABRES FOUNDATION PARK STRATEGIES, LLC      90,000
BUFFALO STATE COLLEGE BUFFALO STATE COLLEGE      31,548
BUFFALO STATE COLLEGE LYNCH, PATRICIA ASSOCIATES, INC.      10,415
BUFFALO TRANSPORTATION, INC. MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      12,000
BUFFALO ZOO MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      24,000
BUFFALO/LAKE ERIE WIRELESS SYSTEMS CO., LLC MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      42,000
CANISIUS COLLEGE CANISIUS COLLEGE            762
CATHOLIC HEALTH SYSTEM LYNCH, PATRICIA ASSOCIATES, INC.      30,000
CITY OF LACKAWANNA MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      36,000
COALITION FOR COMMUNITY BUILDING MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      24,500
COUNTY OF NIAGARA MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      60,000
DELAWARE NORTH COMPANIES, INC. BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC    142,500
DELAWARE NORTH COMPANIES, INC. DELAWARE NORTH COMPANIES, INC.        1,947
DELAWARE NORTH COMPANIES, INC. MEARA, BRIAN R. PUBLIC RELATIONS, INC.    120,000
DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE OF WNY DREXELIUS, JR., JOHN R.      35,002
DOUGLAS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION UPSTATE CONSULTANTS, LLC      15,500
D’YOUVILLE COLLEGE MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      82,500
ERIE COUNTY  ERIE COUNTY            185
ERIE COUNTY LAW DEPARTMENT (KEN-TON UFSD) MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      30,000
ERIE COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY HARTER SECREST & EMERY, LLP      36,750
FAIR COMMITTEE MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      18,750
FREY ELECTRIC RICHARDSON MANAGEMENT      30,000
GAR ASSOCIATES LLC MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      15,000
GAR ASSOCIATES, INC. LYNCH, PATRICIA ASSOCIATES, INC.        8,000
GARRETT LEATHER UPSTATE CONSULTANTS, LLC      10,000
GENESEE & WYOMING RAILROAD COMPANY HARTER SECREST & EMERY, LLP      13,070
GENESEE CO. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CENTER PARK STRATEGIES, LLC      51,000
GENESEE CO. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CENTER RICHARDSON MANAGEMENT      25,500
GLOBE METALLURGICAL INC. UPSTATE CONSULTANTS, LLC      39,020
GREENMAN-PEDERSEN, INC. MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.        9,000
HAMBURG BREWING COMPANY MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      12,000
HEALTHNOW NEW YORK, INC. MANATT, PHELPS & PHILLIPS, LLP      36,000
INDEPENDENT HEALTH ASSOCIATION, INC. INDEPENDENT HEALTH ASSOCIATION, INC.      89,800
IROQUOIS BAR CORP. MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.        3,500
JOHN W. DANFORTH COMPANY MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      36,000
JOHN W. DANFORTH COMPANY PARK STRATEGIES, LLC      60,000
KALEIDA HEALTH MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.    118,000
KCG DEVELOPMENT UPSTATE CONSULTANTS, LLC      38,465
LACTALIS AMERICAN GROUP, INC. MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      25,000
LPCIMINELLI, INC. WHITEMAN OSTERMAN & HANNA LLP        5,500
MAID OF THE MIST CORPORATION LYNCH, PATRICIA ASSOCIATES, INC.      30,000
MCGUIRE DEVELOPMENT CO. MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.        7,500
MENSCH CAPITAL PARTNERS, LLC MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      36,000
METALICO BUFFALO MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.        3,000
METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.        6,000
NATIONAL FUEL GAS COMPANY & SUBSIDIARIES ASCENSION CONSULTING, LLC      30,000
NATIONAL FUEL GAS COMPANY & SUBSIDIARIES E3COMMUNICATIONS      24,000
NATIONAL FUEL GAS COMPANY & SUBSIDIARIES NATIONAL FUEL GAS COMPANY        4,993
NATIONAL GRID NATIONAL GRID      32,974
NIAGARA COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE RICHARDSON MANAGEMENT      30,000
NIAGARA COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, INC. PARK STRATEGIES, LLC      60,000
NIAGARA FALLS BRIDGE COMMISSION BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC    108,000
NIAGARA FALLS MEDICAL CENTER ASCENSION CONSULTING, LLC      35,000
NIAGARA FALLS WATER BOARD E3COMMUNICATIONS      10,000
NIAGARA FRONTIER AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSN. HARTER SECREST & EMERY, LLP      13,600
NIAGARA FRONTIER TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      72,000
NOCO ENERGY CORP. (FKA NOCO, INC.) E3COMMUNICATIONS      48,000
PARKVIEW HEALTH SERVICES MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.        6,000
PEOPLE INC. BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC      48,000
PHILLIPS LYTLE LLP MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.        6,000
POSTPROCESS TECHNOLOGIES LLC MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      18,000
RIGIDIZED METALS CORPORATION BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC      44,000
ROSINA FOOD PRODUCTS, INC. MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      36,000
ROSWELL PARK CANCER INSTITUTE BROWN & WEINRAUB      90,000
ROSWELL PARK CANCER INSTITUTE CORP.  ROSWELL PARK CANCER INSTITUTE      84,305
SAVE ONTARIO SHORES, INC. MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      30,000
SENECA NATION OF INDIANS MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.    120,000
SENECA NATION OF INDIANS SENECA NATION OF INDIANS        2,205
SHEA’S O’CONNELL PRESERVATION GUILD, LTD. MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      30,000
SINATRA & COMPANY MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      36,000
SNYDER CORPORATION MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      18,000
SOLARCITY SOLARCITY      70,892
SOUTH BUFFALO RAILWAY COMPANY HARTER SECREST & EMERY, LLP      13,070
SPEED GLOBAL SERVICES MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      17,500
SUNY GENESEO COZEN O’CONNOR PUBLIC STRATEGIES LLC      10,420
SUNY GENESEO MILROY, JAMES        2,512
SUNY GENESEO,CAMPUS AUXILIARY SERVICES, INC. WHITEMAN OSTERMAN & HANNA LLP      14,584
TM MONTANTE DEVELOPMENT E3COMMUNICATIONS      60,000
TOSKI & CO. RICHARDSON MANAGEMENT      24,000
TOWN OF CHEEKTOWAGA BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC      30,000
TOWN OF TONAWANDA WATER RESOURCES DEPT. E3COMMUNICATIONS      30,000
TROCAIRE COLLEGE E3COMMUNICATIONS      36,000
UNISYS CORPORATION BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC    120,000
UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO    308,262
UPSTATE NIAGARA COOPERATIVE, INC. UPSTATE NIAGARA COOPERATIVE, INC.        6,970
UPSTATE PHARMACY LTD. UPSTATE CONSULTANTS, LLC      10,500
VAZQUEZ, RAUL M.D. MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      36,000
WE CARE TRANSPORTATION MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.        8,000
WESTERN NEW YORK ENERGY, LLC PARK STRATEGIES, LLC      24,000
WESTERN NEW YORK LAW CENTER, INC. BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC      36,000
WESTERN REGIONAL OFF-TRACK BETTING CORP. JACKSON LEWIS P.C.      16,666
WESTERN REGIONAL OFF-TRACK BETTING CORP. LYNCH, PATRICIA ASSOCIATES, INC.      40,000
WESTERN REGIONAL OFF-TRACK BETTING CORP. RICHARDSON MANAGEMENT        9,000
WESTERN REGIONAL OFF-TRACK BETTING CORP. WILSON ELSER MOSKOWITZ EDELMAN DICKER      33,332
WESTFIELD AIRPORTS, LLC BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC      50,000
WILLIAM SCHUTT & ASSOCIATES, P.C. MASIELLO, MARTUCCI, CALABRESE & ASSOC.      18,000

Maziarz cannot serve as a lobbyist until 2017, but is he doing so now?

George Maziarz served as a member of the New York State Senate for 20 years, from 1995 through December 31, 2014. During his time in office he was an active and aggressive legislator. He worked to provide assistance to Niagara Falls and the County of Niagara in obtaining funding and legislative changes.

Then in 2014, on the heels of the now-disbanded Moreland Commission, Senator Maziarz got himself into some legal problems linked to his election campaign account and how it was used. He spent tens of thousands of dollars of his campaign funds to hire attorneys to defend him. He declined to seek re-election in 2014. Continue reading

Western New York firms and organizations spent $5.5 million on lobbyists in 2015; here’s the list

This post marks a minor milestone for Politics and Other Stuff. I am presenting my second annual review of local lobbying activities in state and local government. The first edition was published on May 13, 2015. Once again, this is mainly a “what we know if we do a little digging” post.

When I worked at Canisius College one of my responsibilities was to serve as the school’s registered New York State lobbyist. I became familiar with the Lobbying Commission’s rules and procedures, including the periodic reports they require. Continue reading

Some facts, speculation and heard-on-the-streets

Erie County DA

Michael Flaherty, as previously reported, has already assembled a large campaign war chest. It’s the politics that seem to be his problem.

There are continuing reports about his lack of political skills on the campaign trail. Most of us would prefer that a DA be as non-political as possible, but that really refers to activities such as appointments, handling cases and the like. What I am referring to is the give-and-take of campaigning, working a room, etc. That does not seem to be going so well for Flaherty.

John Flynn, having been a candidate before, is more comfortable with such activities. I have not really heard much about Mark Sacha’s campaign style. Continue reading

Campaign contributions of local lobbyists; Justice Department prosecution of election law violations

A previous post (May 13, below) dealt with local businesses and organizations who retained state and/local lobbyists in 2014.  A second post (May 26, below) reviewed the lobbyist firms as well the local individuals who own or work for those firms.  Today’s post concerns campaign contributions from the principals of the firms who have a local connection. Continue reading

Western New York firms and organizations that employed New York State lobbyists in 2014; their costs; the names of the lobbyist firms

This post is mainly a “What We Know,” or perhaps a “what we know if we do a little digging” post.

When I worked at Canisius College one of my responsibilities was to serve as the school’s registered New York State lobbyist. I became familiar with the Lobbying Commission’s rules and procedures, including the periodic reports they require.

The Lobbying Commission later became the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE. As public agencies go, JCOPE is one of the more transparent. Among the things it does is publish an annual report on lobbying activities in the state. Continue reading