Monroe County IP Chair Resigns over Davis' "Bribes"

29 Jul

From the Buffalo News comes this update to a story you read here first.

The chairman of the Monroe County Independence Party has resigned after his wife accepted $5,000 in what party officials call “bribe money” from the campaign of Democratic congressional candidate Jack Davis.

Rafael Colon, a Rochester resident who works in a Batavia factory, quit his local and state positions after Monroe County Independence Party officials confronted him over the payment, according to Walter Schiemann, interim chairman.

“It’s all about what we call the bribe money from Jack Davis,” Schiemann said. “I’m not going to let this party fall into hands like that.”

The Buffalo News reported July 18 that Colon’s wife had received $5,000 from Davis under her maiden name for “campaign consulting.” The wife of Anthony L. Orsini, chairman of the Erie County Independence Party, also received $5,000 from Davis for “campaign consulting” through a firm she established in the couple’s Florida mobile home earlier this year.

Colon and Orsini are the party’s two most influential chairmen in the 26th Congressional District, now represented by the retiring Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence. The party has nominated Anthony A. Fumerelle, a Kenmore attorney and Orsini’s godson, as its candidate for the post.

How is it that Colon is gone, but Orsini’s not? Is he Teflon, or what?

Schiemann said Monday that Colon evaded party officials for eight days as they attempted to discuss the situation. When he finally returned his call, Schiemann said, he told Colon he had done wrong and needed to resign.

“We can’t get them out of the party,” he said of the Colons, “but we can keep them from having any power.”

He also said the fact that the payments were made to Colon’s wife under her maiden name of Blanca Semidey underscored the party’s concerns over their questionable nature.

“It’s definitely a bribe — absolutely,” Schiemann said, adding that the resignation may satisfy party officials and preclude further discussions with the Monroe County district attorney.

But BP, you ask, don’t other candidates give to Orsini, too?

Ah yes, dear reader, they most certainly do. But there is a world of difference between giving a donation to “Friends of Tony Orsini” or “Friends of Rafael Colon” and giving to “Coastal Consulting” and “Blanca Semidey” in an effort to evade detection of the payment.

4 Responses to “Monroe County IP Chair Resigns over Davis' "Bribes"”

  1. mike hudson July 29, 2008 at 9:35 am #

    glad to see everyone’s putting “bribes” in quotes here this morning. correct me if i’m wrong chris, but didn’t the news endorse reynolds last time?

  2. RaChaCha July 29, 2008 at 12:06 pm #

    I’m delighted that the Buffalo News has been looking into this and reporting on it, and that this blog has been following the coverage. I’m frankly embarrassed, as a Monroe County resident, that it took folks from western New York to bring this to light. If only our anemic fishwrapper here actually did real reporting…

    I wonder how many other bodies will be left in the wake of the Davis wagontrain before the wheels finally come off – as they ultimately will.

  3. lazyboy July 29, 2008 at 3:44 pm #

    I like it

  4. Denizen July 29, 2008 at 10:56 pm #

    Is it me or has this blog turned into a Jack Davis fanclub?

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