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Questions linger about second tape from Corwin staffer's confrontation with Jack Davis

By Howard B. Owens

Richard Nixon has his 18 1/2 minute gap. Nick Langworthy has his dead battery.

As the screen shot above shows, there was a second camcorder at the scene of Wednesday's confrontation between Jane Corwin's Assembly chief of staff and Tea Party-line congressional candidate Jack Davis.

The question is, where's the tape from that second camera?

Langworthy, the Erie County GOP chairman, told the Buffalo News there is no tape. The young woman with the camera was operating a device with a dead battery.

Our question, didn't she know the battery was dead? How could she not know the battery was dead? (See our video posted below.)

Our public question to Langworthy: Please explain how the woman could be operating the camera without knowing the battery was dead, and, presuming that's impossible to explain, where's the full, unedited copy of that tape? 

In the now widely discussed incident -- perhaps the most bizarre incident in the NY-26 since Shirtless Chris Lee sent a half-nude photo of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist, leading to this special election -- Michael Mallia, an Assembly staffer by day, a Corwin campaign volunteer at night, confronted Davis after a campaign event in Greece.

In the video shot by Mallia, you hear Mallia repeatedly and aggressively asking Davis why he dropped out of a planned debate scheduled for the following day.

Davis is seen saying, “You want to be punched out?”  The 76-year-old Davis then takes a swipe at the camera -- it's unclear if Davis hit the 50-years-younger Mallia, or merely slapped the camera, or if Davis connected with nothing but air. After the swipe, Mallia falls away, wailing like a damsel in distress.

Buffalo's WGRZ-TV caught the tail end of the incident on tape and what the footage reveals is that a second person, who seems to clearly be part of the GOP crew, is standing behind Mallia taping the incident.

The tape from that second camera could answer a lot of questions about what really happened.

Besides saying the battery in the second camcorder was dead, Langworthy has steadfastly refused to release the unedited version of the tape from Mallia's camera, saying of the 15-second tape: “It’s the whole story, right there.” (Source, Buffalo News, linked above).

A spokesman for Davis, a registered Republican, has called the incident a "set-up job."

As the Buffalo News story indicates, even many Republicans are critical of Jane Corwin, Langworthy and Mallia over the incident.

Popular conservative talk show host Bob Lonsberry, a lifelong Republican, posted a strongly worded denouncement of the ECGOP tactics on his Web site

Afraid that Jack Davis was polling too high, apparently unable to argue against his platform, the Corwin campaign and the Republican Party decided to use character assassination, and they got a state employee to do it.

This isn’t the Republican Party that took control of the House of Representatives last fall. This isn’t the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan. This is the Republican Party of Richard Nixon. This is the dirty tricks party.

Of course, the second tape would inform us all better whether this was a "set-up job" or whether Davis acted as irrationally as Langworthy would like us all to believe.

So, Mr. Langworthy, where's the tape?

George Richardson

Just stick to the story. That was a pretend camera, so just pretend it was never there. Karl, WTF Turdblossom, have you lost your evil touch? The Cobert Super Pac is going to crush your stupid ass in 2012 unless all currently stupid people stay stupid and a whole lot of new people join the ranks of the stupid. I have faith in you, don't prove me wrong NY-26, the political hometown soil of my political hometown soul.
Think before you vote.

May 15, 2011, 4:38pm Permalink
Lorna Klotzbach

Howard, that was a very effective demonstration showing a dead battery in a video camera. My high school math teacher used the term "elegant" for things that are so effective and yet so simple. One would think that the Corwin campaign operators would think more carefully about their story of the second camera before they settled on that explanation for not releasing its video. It's worrisome to think that they want to become part of the federal government and make decisions for all of us!

May 15, 2011, 7:51pm Permalink
Ed Gentner

What's more disturbing is that the Corwin campaign staffer was calling a Marine Corps veteran a coward at an event that was held to honor our military veterans and had the names of those who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan from the community read aloud followed by a moment of silence where the same Corwin staffers were heard gigling and making comments during the ceremony. It might be a joke to Corwin and her staff but to my fellow veterans it is an insult and reminds those of us who served during the Viet Nam era of the name calling and taunts that followed Jane Fondas calling American military members cowards and baby killers while standing atop a T-10 tank in Hanoi. Veterans by and large don't ask for much other than what we have been promised and a little respect for those who have fallen while in harms way in service to our country.

May 16, 2011, 3:49pm Permalink
Ed Gentner

I'm voting for Jack Davis.....however Ian Murphy has my respect and admiration for his albeit unconventioal approach and thought provoking positions. If he runs for another office in the future I would consider him as a serious candidate and be inclined to work to get him elected.

May 16, 2011, 5:53pm Permalink

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