The muddled race in NY27

The race for Congress in NY27 is attracting lots of attention. Even Donald Trump, busy pardoning and setting free various criminals, has found time to become familiar with it.  The reason for the attention to the district, the reddest of the red in New York State and a seat that should be a slam dunk for the Republicans, is that they almost lost it sixteen months ago.

Former Congressman Chris Collins was seriously wounded by his indictment on charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and lying to the FBI but he lingered on for ten months, propped up by local Trumpsters who worked to convince voters that there was nothing wrong with electing a member of Congress who appeared more destined to be serving out a prison term than a congressional term. Continue reading

Looking at the Democratic presidential primary now and where it might leave the New York primary

We have arrived at the first rest stop on the road to the presidential election 2020. With Iowa* and New Hampshire in the rearview mirror, we can all catch a collective breath before the next event, the Nevada caucuses on February 22nd.  (BTW, don’t look for a footnote at the bottom of the page connected to that asterisk after Iowa*.  It just seems fitting that Iowa*’s 2020 Democratic caucuses deserve a permanent asterisk, like the one given to Roger Maris when he hit 61 home runs in 1961, beating Babe Ruth’s record.  But I digress.) Continue reading

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

We are finally getting into the real part of the presidential campaign where people actually get to cast a vote, as opposed to standing in a corner of a gymnasium raising their hands. Were they really voting for Sanders or did they just need to use the restroom?

Anyway, speaking as a long-term political junkie, I’m still wondering, why, oh why do campaigns have to go on so long? Here are some facts, observations and heard-on-the-streets: Continue reading

Medicaid becomes a big issue

Its budget season in New York, and the Governor and legislators are faced with some serious problems – problems mainly of their own creation. It looks like they will be handling it the way Albany usually deals with such things – confusion, short timetables and some passing of the buck.

The issue at the moment is how the state will deal with a six billion dollar budget shortfall for the new fiscal year that begins on April 1. About two-thirds of that hole relates to the state’s Medicaid program.  Medicaid provides health care for nearly one of every three New Yorkers. Continue reading

Out of the darkness emerges the Republican candidate in NY27

Considering the star-crossed history of former Republican candidates for Congress in what is now New York’s 27th District, it should come as no surprise that the 2020 version should emerge from a secret hiding place somewhere in Western New York.  Okay, it was actually a golf club in Varysburg – no press admitted.  The Party leadership’s decision to hide their deliberations suggests that they are defensive about what they are doing. Continue reading

What’s happening at ECC?

Over the nearly five years that Politics and Other Stuff has been published there has been a post or two or twenty about the life and times of Erie Community College, aka SUNY Erie.  The College is an important educational institution, but over the past several years, like other colleges in Western New York, it has struggled with declining enrollment and increasingly difficult financial problems.  More recently there have been concerns about the leadership of the school, as this blog reported on January 7th. Continue reading

Just the facts — campaign filings of state legislators

Candidates and committees were required to file campaign financial reports with the state Board of Elections on January 15. Incumbents generally continue to pile up the cash.  In past years it was not unusual for candidates to be late with their filings, but all of the local candidates listed here are up-to-date.

Here is a quick summary concerning the cash on hand, some fundraising information, and notable expenditures of Western New York state legislators, plus some other potential 2020 candidates: Continue reading