Tag Archives: WNY Progressive Caucus

Campaign Finance Irregularity Wednesday

23 Jul

Cheers to Steve Pigeon and Kristy Mazurek, who have managed to crowbar their names back into the news. They have either found or manufactured a crisis, accusing Board of Election workers of destroying NYSUT apparatchik Mike Deely’s petitions for county committee.

Is it true? Who knows, but the accusation has been trumpeted, and it’s now Dennis Ward’s and Jeremy Zellner’s problem to unfuck. From Caputo’s PoliticsNY.net

Mike Deely, regional staff director of the New York State United Teachers Union. He’s one of the largest donors to the ECDC over the years and a longtime member of the party’s executive board. Deely recently joined PMB forces, upset with the direction headquarters has taken in the last year.

In the meantime, West Seneca has (naturally) been the epicenter of Pigeon’s and local Conservative Party head Ralph Lorigo.  Steve Casey’s departure from City Hall to become the CEO of the monstrous Scott Congel-led Seneca Mall project underscores the political nature of that project. 

Floridian billionaire Tom Golisano is talking about joining with Congel for the location of the Seneca Mall, near the I-90 and Ridge Road. That land deal has been on simmer since late 2013, at least. 

Pyramid Management Group out of Syracuse have been sniffing around the Seneca Mall since at least last summer.  Look at this August 2013 article from the West Seneca Bee regarding the approval of $50k for town SEQR review of the Seneca Mall site. 

Though not much other detail was offered at Monday night’s Town Board meeting, the board unanimously approved a feasibility study to be performed regarding the proposed development of the former Seneca Mall site at a cost not to exceed $30,000…

…[Town Councilman Eugene P.] Hart said he had just learned of this resolution the day of the vote. Henry said it all came together “pretty quick.” He said the town was required to have the grant application submitted by Aug. 12, hence the need for immediate action.

“It seems very cryptic when you read it,” said Hart. “People will wonder what’s going on.”

[Supervisor Sheila] Meegan said she realized that, but they can’t “spill the beans.”

Hart also told the public that it is the intent of the board to rezone the former Seneca Mall site from industrial to commercial, as per the owner’s request. He said he could not offer much information but did say the proposed development would be a “game-changer” for the town.

Councilman John M. Rusinski said a delicate balance must be struck between the needs of the taxpayers and the needs of the developer. Both he and Hart said the feasibility study is being done in order to protect the interests of the taxpayers.

“Economic development is important to the town,” Rusinski said. “This project is a good thing.”

The Town Board Minutes of October 17, 2013 reflect that Supervisor Meegan made a motion, seconded by Rusinski, to authorize Meegan “to execute an agreement with Camoin Associates to conduct an economic and fiscal analysis for the Seneca Mall site.” 

On the question, Councilman Rusinski stated he agrees with the study but expressed concern about the verbage. He referred to a previously passed resolution which states the dollar amount is not to exceed $30,000, yet an attachment in the agreement shows a fixed fee of $25,000.

Town Engineer Richard Henry responded this was his mistake. The fixed fee language will be removed and the agreement will be amended to read “not to exceed.”
 
Councilman Hart stated he has numerous concerns and commented if this project were to go forward it will be considered huge and impact all of Western New York, yet they do not have a lot of information about the developer. He did not feel they had enough information to go forward at this time and questioned spending $25,000 when there are so many unanswered questions such as infrastructure and sewage.
 
Mr. Henry responded he has spoken with Camoin and they are aware they have to have more information from the developer in order to go forward. Upon approval, Camoin will present the developer with a list of questions. Mr. Henry stated the purpose of the study is to assess the fiscal impacts to get the answers so they can go forward.
 
Councilman Hart suggested the developer provide the town with $25,000 and the town will spend it on their behalf and do the study.
 
Town Attorney Shawn Martin responded the developer should not pay for a study that the town is requesting.
 
Supervisor Meegan stated they will be finding out what the potential is for the town’s investment and whether or not the investment will have a return for taxpayers. She commented that the town has an opportunity to do something and they cannot continue to let the site sit there as it has for so many years. The developer is asking for assistance to pursue a Seneca Place project of 3 million square feet of mixed use buildings, community center, retail, residential, office, hotels, parking, etc. Supervisor Meegan stated this project will not go forward at risk to the Town of West Seneca taxpayers.
 
Councilman Rusinski stated that West Seneca is screaming for economic development and the town has made the mistake of being too idle in the past.  The analysis will provide insight as to whether this type of development has economic potential for West Seneca. He did not feel any board member would put taxpayers at risk.
 
Councilman Hart stated there doesn’t seem to be any involvement by the IDA’s or the development corporation of New York State and he feels there should be more substance with regard to the developer’s marketing and business plan. Councilman Hart questioned how soon information will be provided to the board members and if the recommendations and numbers will be made public at that time.
 
Mr. Henry responded they have a total of 60 days; 30 days to gather the information and another 30 days to compile the information and report back to the town.
 
Mr. Martin stated if the report has an exception with regard to acquiring property or contract negotiations involving costs, information will not be made public.  He will have to see the report before he can make a determination as to whether or not the information provided will be made public at that time.
 
Councilman Hart stated he is ready to discuss the entire project with the public so they are fully aware of what the proposal is. He would like to see the Seneca Mall property developed and is willing to look for his own developer and take the property by eminent domain to acquire a reasonable project.
The motion carried unanimously. Lorigo’s involvement, at minimum, has to do with the fact that his office is located at the Seneca Mall parcel. Why did this come up last summer? Because of what I called the AwfulPAC; the now-defunct “WNY Progressive Caucus” was the Steve Pigeon / Frank Max / Kristy Mazurek effort to disrupt the Democratic Party and defeat certain of its county-level candidates.
 
AwfulPAC benefited from a huge cash injection from nominal Democrat and pro-life-oh-wait-pro-choice Tim Kennedy. But at the time, a singular donation of $25,000 from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3 was quite puzzling, and no one reported on it. 
 
 
No one understood why it was made, and it’s glaringly odd because a $25,000 donation would have practically emptied the union’s account. The image above is taken from Mazurek’s AwfulPAC 11-day pre-primary filing. By contrast, this is what the Bricklayer’s union’s disclosure shows on its 11-day pre-primary filing: 
 
 
We’re meant to believe that a union with only $28,000 on hand is emptying its account to fund the AwfulPAC? Indeed, a scan of this union local’s intake and outflow shows modest amounts – a few thousand coming in, a few hundred going out. It reports $5,000 to current Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren in its 11-day pre-General. It gave Sean Ryan $500 bucks. Its July 2013 report shows a little over $1,000 to Tim Kennedy, but at no time did the BAC Local 3 report $25,000 to the “WNY Progressive Caucus”, and such an outflow appears on no disclosure report whatsoever
 
So, what’s going on? 
 
 
 
As Pigeon and Mazurek hyperventilate over allegations of supposed petition-destruction – something that despite years and years of open and obvious, internecine Democratic warfare has never happened before – let’s not let them off the hook for their own, more glaring and apparent sloppy campaign finance irregularities. 
 
New York State Democrats’ inability to get out of their own damn way is neither novel nor unique. Witness the spectacle just this week,  as a liberal gubernatorial challenger, Zephyr Teachout, is holding anti-Cuomo press conferences with right-wing Putin lookalike winner Rob Astorino. Hell no.
 
You want to make a point about the shutting down of the Moreland Commission? Do it. You want to call out the governor with his Republican challenger standing next to you? You just lost me. 
 
Here in Erie County, Nick Langworthy has the easiest  job in the world. He doesn’t need to do a thing when he has an endless parade of job-hungry nominal Democrats around to repeatedly sabotage whatever the county committee tries to do. 

Tim Kennedy’s Just Desserts

29 May

Tim Kennedy sold out his principles, his party, and his constituents when, in 2010, he executed a Steve Pigeon-brokered deal to align the majority Democratic county legislature with Republican County Executive Chris Collins. The figurehead leader of that coup was Barbara Miller-Williams, who has since returned to the legislature, and Kennedy was happy to let her take the brunt of criticism at the time. 

Through his actions, Kennedy handed a de facto legislature majority to the Republicans and to Collins, leading to devastating harm to the most vulnerable members of our society and a wide variety of policy decisions that were penny wise but pound foolish. The “reform coalition” reformed absolutely nothing, and merely served as a springboard for Kennedy to run for the state Senate against a guy who had been there forever and was just as toxic. 

When Kennedy last ran for re-election to the senate, County Legislator Betty Jean Grant – who had been among the most vocal and fearless critics of the “reform coalition” coup – launched what seemed a quixotic write-in campaign against him. In the end, she lost by only 139 votes, according to the Board of Elections. (Grant maintains that she won). 

Last cycle, Kennedy donated $85,000 in campaign funds to the Pigeon-Mazurek “AwfulPAC” or “WNY Progressive Caucus” (which was hardly “progressive”, and is now defunct). His obvious purpose was to punish Grant, and although she won re-election, Miller-Williams defeated Grant ally Tim Hogues. 

We now come full circle, as Kennedy flips and flops on abortion, and Grant’s effort against Kennedy becomes more organized. 

Last night, the county Democratic committee endorsed Grant over Kennedy. And of course it did – why reward someone who has worked tirelessly against the committee and its candidates with an endorsement? But as you read the press release shown below, note that county chair Jeremy Zellner’s last paragraph is Kennedy getting cockpunched. 

The Erie County Democratic Committee’s Executive Committee today overwhelmingly endorsed Legislator Betty Jean Grant for New York State Senate, District 63. 

The Executive Committee, which includes leaders from each town in the county and the City of Buffalo, credited Grant with her long history of standing up to powerful interest groups on behalf of the average citizen.  “Betty Jean Grant has shown unwavering support for the Democratic Party’s platform and philosophy,” said Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner.  “There is no second guessing when it comes to her commitment on jobs, education, health care and social issues.  Legislator Grant has always consistently supported the issues that are the bedrock of the Democratic Party.”

Grant’s support on the committee extended far beyond her base in the City of Buffalo, “I am proud to note that I received endorsements and nominations from suburban towns and among leaders in the pro-choice community.  I look forward to campaigning throughout the district and talking with voters from all backgrounds and points of view. I vow to work closely with Governor Cuomo to continue the momentum that Western New York has achieved.”

Zellner dismissed criticism that the endorsement amounted to insider support from party bosses. “Our Executive Committee is designed to represent a cross section of our community. In addition to representatives from each town and city in the county, we have seats for labor, education, the private sector as well as the LGBT community and African American and Hispanic leaders.  Legislator Grant’s support comes from the grassroots up. The public has grown cynical of politicians who trot out substance free, feel-good initiatives at home, while running back to Albany to surround themselves with the worst elements of our political system.

This will absolutely be a race to watch. 

 

The 2014 Kennedy/Mazurek Slate

13 Mar

From everything I can gather, there’s never been a time in recorded history when Erie County Democrats were united and working together as a matter of routine. It happens from time to time when convenient (i.e., when there’s something (or nothing) in it for everyone), but every election cycle or two there’s a party establishment that is battling on two fronts; Republicans on one side, and the sabotage wing of the nominal Democratic party on the other. 

You know the drill – “Concerned Parents” bludgeoning Sam Hoyt within an inch of his political life with the double-edged sword of infidelity and interns, engineering a coup in the state Senate to depose Democratic leadership there with a small collection of criminals, and a copycat coup in the Erie County Legislature to prop up the person who has quickly emerged as the most transactional, least interesting local politician – Tim Kennedy. 

Kennedy and Betty Jean Grant never really got along well, but the whole thing fell apart when Kennedy and Barbara Miller-Williams sold the Democratic legislature majority out to then-County Executive Chris Collins in a Pigeon-engineered coup in 2010. That positioned Kennedy to challenge incumbent Bill Stachowski and hop over to the appropriately useless State Senate. Grant mounted a grassroots, barebones challenge against Kennedy as payback two years later, and lost by only 139 votes

This year sets up a rematch of the Kennedy-Grant battle. During the last political cycle, the political action committee that Pedro Espada’s patronage hire, Steve Pigeon, set up last year with toxic personality Kristy Mazurek, found itself the subject of a bipartisan Erie County Board of Elections campaign finance violation probe. Subpoenas revealed undeclared expenses and sloppy accounting. It was called “Progressive Caucus of WNY” and its sole purpose was to sabotage the Erie County Democratic Committee and its candidates during the last cycle. I called it “AwfulPAC“. At one point in late October, it was late on its filings and $19,000 in the red. (It’s since updated its filings, which the Board of Elections has basically said are a masterpiece of fiction.) But losing most of its primaries wasn’t enough, AwfulPAC’s Republicans-in-Democratic-clothes went so far as to defame the Democratic candidate on the eve of the election

Pigeon supposedly funded AwfulPAC to the tune of $120,000 of money that came from God knows where. Senator Tim Kennedy gave an additional $80,000 – and he got revenge on Betty Jean Grant when AwfulPAC candidate Barbara Miller-Williams unseated Tim Hogues in the September primary. 

In the end, it cost about $267,000 (that are accounted-for) for Steve Pigeon and his known associates to kneecap the county Democratic committee and destroy Tim Hogues and Betty Jean Grant.  This is all they can do, since they have failed and refused to successfully challenge the committee chairmanship repeatedly over the last decade. They’re now gearing up not only to do battle against Grant, who is well-liked and not even close to lying down for these punks, but also to back a likely Mazurek effort to take the Assembly seat most recently kept warm by creepy toilet video director Dennis Gabryszak. AwfulPAC failed to account for $35,000 in TV spending, and spent another $112k directly on behalf of failed Sheriff candidate Dick Dobson, despite not properly being set up as an independent Dobson committee

Meanwhile, Kennedy flips and flops on abortion – he was pro-life when convenient, and is now pro-choice because that has suddenly become convenient – 

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo’s joke of an election law review – the Moreland Commission – has done absolutely nothing about any of this.  It hasn’t addressed election law shenanigans or improper reporting, raising, and spending of money, and has completely avoided the issue of toxic and corrupt minor “parties” and their use of electoral fusion to obtain unearned political clout and patronage. 

As Kennedy and Mazurek run, watch how the money flows in and out of their campaigns, (to the extent the disclosures resemble reality), and that’s how you’ll know what this is all really about. Hint: good government and constituent service aren’t on the list.

Wes Moore c/o Kristy Mazurek?

1 Nov

Michael Caputo’s PoliticsNY.net published some embarrassing 10 year-old information about Democratic LD-8 candidate Wynnie Fisher on Friday. Fisher apparently doesn’t get along with her neighbors, who figured they’d dime her out to her former Democratic primary opponent, Wes Moore. Typical small-town neighbor feud. Fisher’s neighbors sent a letter to Fisher’s Democratic primary opponent, Wes Moore. 

Now, if you wanted to send a letter to Wes Moore, what address would you use? 

Wes Moore’s campaign committee was based (inexplicably enough) in LD-6 – Clarence. 

8940 Main Street is a nondescript office building at Shimerville Road. Essex Homes and some other offices are located there. But when first constituted, Moore’s campaign treasurer listed a Buffalo address: 

Evidently, Nanula’s company is now located in Clarence. In any event, there is nothing to show that Moore’s campaign can be contacted anywhere but Clarence or Buffalo. A Google search doesn’t give up much information. Moore never had a campaign website – only a Facebook page, since closed. 

The WNY Progressive Caucus (which I have dubbed “AwfulPAC”) is now under investigation for campaign irregularities; possible illegalities. Among the myriad accusations that have been lodged is that members of the WNY Progressive Caucus PAC have been “coordinating” with campaign committees, which is against the law. Specifically, it is believed  that Kristy Mazurek of the suspended “2 Sides” WGRZ weekly political program, had simultaneously held positions of some authority within the Rick Zydel and Wes Moore campaigns. Due to some rift between Erie County Democratic chairman Jeremy Zellner, she was going to run legislative candidates to oppose the committee’s own. Only Barbara Miller-Williams was successful. Barely. 

Mazurek co-hosts 2 Sides with PoliticsNY.net publisher Caputo. She also ran media relations for the Shenk for Comptroller campaign, whose internal campaign materials mysteriously appeared on Caputo’s site some weeks ago – months after they ceased to be in any way relevant to anything. 

The primary that kicked Wes Moore out of the race for LD-8 took place the second Tuesday in September. Mazurek’s AwfulPAC was created on August 22nd. By September 7th, she claimed to the Buffalo News that any suggestion that she was coordinating with the Moore campaign was “laughable”

“That’s laughable,” said Mazurek, who denied any official role in any campaigns since the PAC was formed last month.

Mazurek said she volunteers at various campaigns but is involved in no coordination between them and the PAC.

“I can show up as a volunteer or for lit drops or fundraisers,” she said. “But I have been hands off because I know the rules and regulations.

“And I don’t understand these continuing, vicious attacks on Steve Pigeon,” she added. “I’ve never heard such a bunch of crybabies before.”

So, from Mazurek’s own mouth, she hadn’t been “hands-on” with the Moore campaign since August 22nd.  

But, if there had been no coordination – everything “hands-off” – between Mazurek‘s AwfulPAC and the Wes Moore campaign starting on August 22nd, why did the disgruntled neighbors send their “we hate Wynnie Fisher” materials to Mazurek’s house on October 19th

Compare that with this: 

Why is Wes Moore getting mail at non-coordinating “volunteer” Kristy Mazurek’s house? Why did the information then become fodder for a concerted Republican attack just 10 days later? Is Mazurek just a Republican stooge, now

AwfulPAC abandons Dobson

31 Oct

AwfulPAC made $112,000 in direct payments to vendors on behalf of the Dobson for Sheriff campaign. Under the law, it was entitled (a) only to make contributions to the Dobson campaign, not make payments on its behalf; and (b) spend only up to $14,392. AwfulPAC hasn’t filed its 10 day pre-General election disclosure, but its last report showed only a $100 check to its spokesman for taking the heat up in the Falls after AwfulPAC libeled Mark Hamister

If AwfulPAC was so intent on electing Dick Dobson Sheriff of Erie County, why hasn’t it spent $100,000+ on the general election? As it turns out, Dobson is an excellent candidate and would make a great Sheriff. He is articulate and thoughtful, and could use the help.

One can only conclude that AwfulPAC was never about electing Dick Dobson Sheriff – it was just about Dobson winning the Democratic primary in September. Now, AwfulPAC’s silence is effectively an endorsement for Tim Howard, since Dunn and Dobson are splitting the non-Howard vote. Not one ad, not one expenditure, not one contribution. 

Dobson’s own disclosure shows that Democrats came out in force for him after he won the primary, helping him raise over $10,000 in just one reporting period, $13,000 in another. Mazurek and Pigeon aren’t named. Pigeon’s Landen Associates contributed a whopping $200

In the first post-primary report, “Democratic Action” donated $9,000. That’s fine – that’s what a PAC is legally empowered to do. That’s great, except Democratic Action hasn’t filed a single disclosure this cycle, its last being a “no activity” report in July 2013. Its last reported fund balance? $2,400. If you’re going to BS people, at least do so credibly. 

In any event, $9,200 is a far cry from $112,000 in TV time. Why did Pigeon’s money and support flow in prior to October, but not since? 

 

AwfulPAC is Awful (UPDATED)

30 Oct

Remember the WNY Progressive Caucus? The Steve Pigeon/Kristy Mazurek production that was caught existing way before it intended

It’s $19,000 in the red, paid someone $100 on top of that, and is late filing its 11-day pre-General election disclosure

So, good government and whatnot. 

UPDATE: 

The Erie County Board of Elections voted unanimously today to refer a complaint lodged by attorney Mark Sacha against the WNY Progressive Caucus and Democratic Action to the County Attorney to seek a court order requiring the PACs to provide complete and accurate disclosure reports of all incoming and outgoing money. Furthermore, the BOE voted to launch an investigation into allegations that the PACs have been operating in violation of the law. 

Specifically, a PAC exists to raise money for candidates, and to donate money to those candidates’ campaigns. It does not exist to spend money on behalf of campaigns – that is what a committee does – authorized or not – and it is required to file a CF-3 sworn statement indicating the identity of the candidates the committee is backing. 

All this comes amidst evidence unearthed by Jerome Schad, an attorney for County Legislators Betty Jean Grant and Tim Hogues, showing that the WNY Progressive Caucus has actually spent $35,000 more on TV ads than it has disclosed to the Board of Elections. 

Campaign Finance Complaint & Evidence Against WNY Progressive Caucus

Everybody’s Awful Everywhere (Niagara Edition)

6 Sep

Up in Niagara Falls, a deal with businessman Mark Hamister to build an admittedly boring and dull hotel in the beleaguered city is in danger of being killed by the city’s own council. One of the most vocal critics of a deal that has zero downside for the city is Sam Fruscione. Recently, an ugly mailer accusing Hamister of being a criminal has been hitting mailboxes. Who’s behind it? The usual suspects. What’s Fruscione got to say about it? Nothing; defamation is apparently his thing.

The Buffalo News’ Brink Blog has images of the mailer in question

Image via the Brink Blog

A $25-ish million development in a city with little of it, and it would bring not just a hotel but retail and residential space, as well – it’s just this side of being aborted altogether. The state would be kicking in $3 million in incentives, and the city gets $100,000 for the derelict property, a new taxpaying entity, and a less horrible area around the state park. The city council, however, is holding out for a $2 million figure for the land parcel – pretty much the opposite of the NFTA selling the state most of Buffalo’s Outer Harbor for $2.00. The city, meanwhile, only owns the land because developer David Cordish gifted it on his way out of town. The development is so important to the the state that Governor Cuomo personally intervened to save it from what appeared yesterday to be imminent death. It should be noted that Hamister’s bid was selected pursuant to a request for proposals that USA Niagara put out. 

The mailer above shills for councilman Sam Fruscione and calls a would-be Falls hotelier a “con man” – a criminal

Pretty mild and simple questions from Mary Alice Demler sent Fruscione into a fit.  

As you might have learned over the past week, when it comes to inflammatory and false, libelous mailers, the Mazurek/Pigeon/Kennedy “WNY Progressive Caucus” is likely behind it. A PAC created a week ago and miraculously generated over $100,000 in funding, forced by the media to disclose itself. Its spokesman is a failed candidate for Batavia city council who has been a protege of Steve Pigeon’s since then, where he parlayed a stint as an intern with then-Assemblyman Mark Schroeder into working a patronage job at the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority. 

The Fruscione mailer Mazurek’s group produced, seen above, has a glaring typographical error, and as it accuses Hamister of being a criminal, one has to wonder whether they think Fruscione is running against Hamister? What the hell makes Hamister a “con man”? His company’s track record of developing and operating hotels?  The fact that his company will be ponying up $25 million or so for this project, and that it’s probably none of the city’s business how Hamister raises those funds? In what way is it a good idea for a PAC supporting a councilman – a councilman who would not denounce the likely defamatory mailer sent to support his re-election – to accuse a prospective developer of committing fraud in a city well-known for being a corrupt hellhole? 

Also, one should make the connection that state Senator Tim Kennedy personally endorses calling Mark Hamister a “con man”, since his campaign account is one of the largest donors to the WNY Progressive Caucus. I wonder what Senator George Maziarz, who represents Niagara Falls, thinks of that. 

Long ago, when Steve Pigeon went to war against then-Assemblyman Sam Hoyt during his primary battle against Barbra Kavanaugh, the advertisements against Hoyt were so outrageous and inflammatory that the entire attempt backfired. Instead of being angry at Hoyt’s dalliances with Albany interns, voters took pity on him and his family and he cruised to victory. I called it the “Kavanaugh Flip” – that moment when negative ads actually generate sympathy for their intended victim. 

In 2008, Pigeon teamed up with billionaire Tom Golisano to form “Responsible New York”, and ask Kathy Konst, Joe Mesi, and Barbra Kavanaugh how effective it was. You could also ask convicted felon Pedro Espada and convicted girlfriend batterer Hiram Monseratte. 

It’s the same as it ever was with Pigeon, though. Consider this exchange Jim Heaney published in 2008

The attack flyer from Mothers and Fathers [Demanding Answers] uses the same bulk mail permit as … Responsible New York.

Sloppy, sloppy.

Pigeon did a lot of ducking and weaving when I called to inquire.

I asked him what he knows about Mothers and Fathers Demanding Answers.

“I’m not going to comment,” Pigeon said. “I’m sure they will file their independent committee status, if it’s not filed already.”

Gee, Steve, how do you know they’re required to do so?

“I would assume, I don’t know that they do.”

Pigeon then resorted to the mantra he repeated throughout the balance of the interview.

“Everything we’re doing is within the law.”

Followed by:

“We’re not coordinating with the [Barbra] Kavanaugh campaign.”

How does he explain Mothers and Fathers using the same bulk mail permit as Responsible New York?

“Independent committees can work together under the law.”

So, you’re working with them, right?

“I think it will all come out in the reports.”

Is this the dirtiest campaign he’s been involved in?

“I don’t think this one is dirty.”

OK, Steve.

Pigeon went to lengths to vent his outrage over reports that Hoyt had sex with a member of the Assembly staff. This is the same Steve Pigeon who has been an unwavering loyalist to Bill and Hillary Clinton through thick and thin, including the Big Dog’s sexual escapades with intern Monica Lewinski.

I guess you could say Pigeon is practicing situational ethics. Among other things.

There’s con going on in Niagara Falls, alright. But it’s not coming from the guy who is trying to develop a parking lot near a natural wonder. 

AwfulPAC

5 Sep

Yesterday, I wrote about the Kristy Mazurek / 2Sides / Steve Pigeon involvement in a shiny new PAC that sent out thousands of unattributed campaign literature smearing incumbent Democratic county legislators Betty Jean Grant and Tim Hogues, and supporting challengers Joyce Wilson Nixon and Barbara Miller-Williams. Instead of focusing on the politics as usual, I noted that the state should really change the rules to require that campaign advertisements disclose who paid for them

Yesterday afternoon, the PAC’s financial disclosure was revealed on the Board of Elections’ website, and Geoff Kelly wrote up most of the details in Artvoice’s print edition. Big news was a $45,000 influx of cash from Senator Tim Kennedy’s campaign fund, which represents a huge middle finger to, among others, Betty Jean Grant, who not only primaried Kennedy last year, but came within spitting distance of defeating him through a write-in campaign. There was also a $20,000 “loan” from Steve Pigeon.

But what we also noticed last night was the list of 24-hour notices of massive contributions. Here it is: 

Frank Max gave almost $2,000. Steve Pigeon donated a straight $30,000 – no loan, just cash. AJ Wholesale is a business that is not located in New York State, but on sovereign Seneca territory. It is owned by Aaron Pierce, who was targeted in 2010 for possibly illegal tax-free cigarette shipments in violation of federal law. Pierce unsuccessfully ran for Seneca President in 2012. He’s given money to Kennedy, among others: 

AJ Wholesale didn’t appear in any searches for prior donations. Curious, that.