It’s not the fault of the newly constituted “WNY Progressive Caucus” that it (or someone using its mail permit) sent out anonymous, no-attribution lit blasting incumbent legislators Betty Jean Grant and Tim Hogues, and praising challengers Joyce Wilson Nixon and Barbara Miller-Williams. So long as people aligned with the breakaway Steve Pigeon faction of disgruntled nominal Democrats exist, there will be nonsense. It is ever thus.
The literature in question accuses Betty Jean Grant of being evil and bad with money, and accuses Hogues of helping Republican towns with their roads. Smearing Grant is baseless and offensive, but Hogues is running against Barbara Miller-Williams, who collaborated with former Republican County Executive Chris Collins to give the GOP minority a de facto majority for two years. Miller-Williams sold out her district, her community, and her principles for political gain which, thankfully, was short-lived. The hypocrisy is thick as molasses.
Do you think that these people need to reveal who they are on that literature? You’re wrong. In a state race, there is no requirement whatsoever that the sponsor of an advertisement reveal themselves. “Paid for by” isn’t a requirement. Typical New York, that – protecting shenanigans, instead of informing the voting public.
Generally, a PAC like the “WNY Progressive Caucus” would need to disclose where its money is coming from. But here, it’s so new, it hasn’t filed anything. A woman named Kristi Mazurek is listed as the group’s treasurer. She is a commentator for WGRZ’s Sunday political show, 2Sides, and has been running the campaigns of a few Democratic legislature candidates who are challenging people endorsed by the county Democratic committee. As I wrote in August,
It should be noted that WGRZ 2Sides co-host Kristy Mazurek is [Wes] Moore’s and [Rick] Zydel’s campaign manager. Query why [her former co-host Stefan] Mychajliw would have felt the need to abandon the show when he ran for public office, yet the Democrat on the show feels no similar ethical obligation to do so, going so far as to attempt to ridicule an opponent on Facebook who wasn’t interested in going on the show.
Mazurek had taken to Facebook to ridicule Moore’s opponent Wynnie Fisher for refusing to appear on 2Sides. Yet why on Earth would a candidate appear on a show to be interrogated by her opponent’s campaign manager? It’s an insane proposition. (N.B., David Pfaff is a known Pigeon associate):
And so, Mazurek has Palinistically taken to Facebook again to issue a non-denial denial about the WNY Progressive Caucus’ literature:
Translation: Zellner didn’t hire / get me hired for something-or-other, and so I’m going to align myself with the people who are working to undermine and unseat him. Note that Mazurek doesn’t deny that she or her PAC sent out the anti-Hogues and anti-Grant mailings. She simply says the complaints “don’t have merit”. So, I replied:
Reply, (right under one from Erick Mullen, who did all of Jack Davis’ ads that relentlessly went after endorsed Democrat Jon Powers in ’08):
I have no idea what that means. So,
There was no reply, natch.I don’t think Ms. Mazurek knows what “meritless” means.
These types of anonymous mailers come out all the time, and when anonymous, you can bet that the people behind it want to keep you in the dark. You should be insulted by them – they figure you’re an idiot; an ignoramus. Yet there’s no law that says they have to disclose who they are.
So, if you’re outraged when your candidate gets anonymously and unfairly slammed by anonyms, you’re going to have to lobby Albany to demand that the Election Law be amended to (a) require that all campaign advertisements and literature clearly disclose who paid for them; and (b) institute a hefty penalty for any violations – penalties that are confiscatory deterrents.
I’m sick and tired of nasty people with unclean hands making electoral politics dirtier than it has to be. If Mazurek and the people behind the group for which she is treasurer think that Tim Hogues is a closet Clarence Republican and that Barbara Miller-Williams is the reincarnation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then they should disclose who they are.
By the way, if you’re a disgruntled Frank Max supporter or in league with Steve Pigeon, that’s swell – but instead of working with Republicans and the fusion parties actively to undermine endorsed Democrats, why not convince the various and sundry committee members why they should vote for Max over Zellner for party chair next time around? If you’re in league with the Conservative Party, why even pretend to be a Democrat?
We’re a region with a lot of dummies running too many horrible governments, and at a bare minimum we should know who’s behind what.