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Duane Whitmer

Whitmer wraps up 'campaign of ideas'

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

Duane Whitmer, Libertarian candidate for Congress (NY-27), wrapped up his Campaign of Ideas today with a speech called “Liberate the Farmer,” in which he made six proposals to get the government off the backs of farmers.

He previously gave major addresses of substance including on the following topics:
1. The illusion that the two major parties provide a real choice and the failure of the lockdown;
2. Why he will vote against Nancy Pelosi for Speaker;
3. Allowing young people to opt out of Social Security;
4. Calling for an end to Selective Service Registration;
5. A landmark speech concerning how American government has harmed blacks since 1619 and continuing; and

Whitmer promises that, no matter how the election turns out, the Libertarian Party will continue to eclipse the Democrats and Republicans in producing specific proposals for real change to reverse the long-standing decline of Western New York.

Links to the text and video of each speech are available at

Whitmer declares victory in debate with Jacobs, McMurray

By Press Release

Press release:

Wednesday, newcomer candidate Duane Whitmer (Libertarian), stunned virtually everyone present by convincingly winning the St. Joe’s NY-27 debate against two veteran politicians and lawyers who have run for office many times.

Duane had previously won an NY-27 debate for June’s special election sponsored by WBBZ against two lawyers and a former TV reporter.

The campaign heard from sources inside the school that the students thought Whitmer won the debate. Social media delivered the same verdict with hundreds of positive comments about Whitmer. The debate has been streamed more than 15,000 times so far.

A careful review of the debate will show that Whitmer had the best opening and closing statements and won each question on points. Throughout the debate, he showed a command of the issues, deftly emphasized the theme of his campaign that the Red and Blue Teams have failed, and demonstrated a detailed knowledge of public policy by citing a 1989 Cato Institute study that concluded that the drug war had failed.

He even paraphrased an obscure quote from 19th century French economist Frederic Bastiat, “When goods don’t cross borders, troops will.” In contrast to the vague rhetoric of Chris Jacobs, he repeatedly provided specific proposals for real change. These included:

  1. End the war on guns.
  2. End the war on drugs.
  3. End corporate welfare.
  4. End the foreign wars.
  5. Bring the troops home.
  6. Abolish the DEA.
  7. Abolish the ATF.
  8. End the lockdown that has destroyed the economy.
  9. Pass a Balanced budget amendment.
  10. Cut foreign aid.

As a result of the debate, Whitmer has received more media coverage than he has in the previous several months. Most of the media had ignored his campaign in spite of Whitmer running an energetic, issue-oriented campaign for well over a year.

The St. Joe’s debate marks a turning point in the race. It is no longer a coronation of Chris Jacobs. It is now a three-way race that is up for grabs. The Whitmer campaign now has the momentum to redouble its efforts in the remaining days of the campaign.

There are only 12 days left before the election. In the era of the internet, however, each day is an eternity during which tens of thousands of people can be reached by our campaign with Whitmer’s message that the Red and Blue Teams have failed and the voters need to send them a message by voting Libertarian for a change.

The campaign plans to release several major policy papers in the next few days and on Wednesday, Whitmer delivered a powerful condemnation of Speaker Nancy Pelosi right in front of Erie County Democratic Headquarters. Tomorrow, he will lead citizens on a 100-mile motorcade from Canandaigua Lake to Lake Erie to call for an end to the Lockdown and to Open Up Main Street.

Whitmer and his loyal staff and volunteers intend to fight to the finish.

Editor's Note: WXXI covered the debate and full audio is embedded in their story. Click here.

Libertarian candidate Duane Whitmer calls for Congressman Jacobs to answer for record at debate

By Press Release

Press release:

With the National Guard under orders from Governor Andrew Cuomo to subject innocent New Yorkers to an unconstitutional quarantine, Republican Representative Chris Jacobs should be calling on his “friend” President Donald Trump to order the Guard to stand down. But as usual, when Cuomo seizes power, Rep. Jacobs is nowhere to be found.

This should’ve been known from his Yea vote on S7919, where he rolled over as soon as the Governor demanded unilateral power over the state. Luckily for voters in NY-27, there is a candidate brave enough to stand up to Andrew Cuomo.

Duane Whitmer, the Libertarian candidate for NY-27, Erie County Libertarian Party chairman, and 2nd vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of New York, held a press conference with 2ANYS yesterday where he called on President Trump to order the National Guard to not enforce the unconstitutional quarantine.

He went on to call out Rep. Jacobs for being completely silent on the issue. And now, he is calling on Rep. Jacobs to answer to the voters for his complacency at Wednesday morning’s Saint Joe’s University Congressional Debate. 

Rep. Jacobs refused to show up to the University of Buffalo’s debate last night, resulting in the debate being cancelled. He is refusing to show up to tonight’s debate with the University of Geneseo.

This is a sign that Jacobs “knows what he’s done is inexcusable,” Whitmer said. “We cannot afford to have a representative who is asleep at the wheel during these unprecedented times. When you apply for a job, you wouldn’t skip the job interview would you?

"That’s exactly what we’re seeing from Chris Jacobs, and it’s completely unacceptable. The residents of NY-27 deserve better, and I intend to make that case tonight, tomorrow, and every day until November 3rd.”

Whitmer: Collins resignation is chance for voters to reject corrupt political system

By Press Release

Press release from Duane Whitmer, Libertarian candidate for the NY-27 Congressional District:

Former Congressman Chris Collins has officially begun his prison sentence for his insider trading crimes. His guilt is not surprising. What is surprising is that he managed to get caught.

Duopoly politicians have abused their power and access for the pursuit of illicit profit throughout the history of this country, and it is only every once in a blue moon that we get to see one get caught like Rep. Collins.

Normally, these people are left untouched, free to continue their advocacy for endless warfare and welfare while acting against the public interest.

“The people of Western New York and, indeed, citizens all across the state, have seen this detestable movie over and over again for at least the past decade,” said Libertarian NY-27 Congressional Candidate Duane Whitmer. “Eliot Spitzer in 2008, Joe Bruno in 2009, Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos in 2018...this list of New York State Republican and Democrat criminals continues ad infinitum.

"Chris Collins is simply the latest menace produced by the government criminal enterprise I just described, and NY-27 voters — apparently suffering from some form of Stockholm syndrome at the hands of the political duopoly — have accepted this criminal behavior as the norm.

"My message to the voters of NY-27 is that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing — meaning voting for Democrats and Republicans — over and over while expecting a different result. So, if voters truly want to throw off the oppressive shackles of both Washington and Albany and reassert their individual liberty, then it's time to make a different choice. I am that choice. The Libertarian Party is that choice.”

Rep. Chris Jacobs and Nate McMurray legacy Republican and Democrat NY-27 contenders have one thing in common -- they are all either current politicians or attorneys. Such professions dominate what are supposed to amount to part-time endeavors as "legislators" in Albany, and are wholly responsible for creating, condoning, and expanding the culture of rampant corruption that made Collins believe his insider trading scheme was acceptable.

By contrast, Whitmer has built a career as an accountant, fighting against the onerous state and county tax systems perpetuated by all of the aforementioned politicians so that everyday New Yorkers can experience the freedom of doing what they wish with the wealth their labor has produced.

In the wake of the Collins’ imprisonment, voters have the power to determine whether we go through another cycle of electing a career politician. But if voters truly desire less government involvement in their lives and more individual liberty, they need to reject the two-party duopoly and make Duane Whitmer the congressional representative for NY-27.

Video: Interview with Duane Whitmer, candidate, NY-27

By Howard B. Owens
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Duane Whitmer, candidate for the NY-27 election in November, made a campaign stop on Saturday at Sweet Betty's in Le Roy.

NY-27 Candidate Interviews: Duane Whitmer

By Howard B. Owens
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The Batavian interviewed candidates for NY-27 both in the special election and in the GOP primary.

Our original plan was to interview Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, and Duane Whitmer, running in the special election originally scheduled for April and later interview the GOP candidates.

With that in mind, we interviewed McMurray in February at the Richmond Memorial Library. Then the pandemic hit before we could schedule the next interviews.

We were unable to return to the project until late May, early June, at a time when interviews could only be conducted remotely. Outside of this different setting, we strove to conduct the interviews in a similar style.

The goal of the interviews is to try and uncover the political philosophies of the candidates and how that affects their thinking on some big issues.

This is the interview with Duane Whitmer.

McMurray claims to 'dominate' WIVB congressional debate that didn't include all candidates

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

Congressional Candidates Nate McMurray and Chris Jacobs went head to head Tuesday night in the highly anticipated debate hosted by WIVB News Channel 4.

The poll results today confirmed that viewers agree that McMurray won the debate in a landslide.

Tuesday evening highlighted McMurray’s strong resume and stances on the issues most pressing to Western New Yorkers and confirmed voters’ concerns that Jacobs is unfit to represent their needs in Washington after years of being deprived of real leadership in NY-27.

While Jacobs dodged any question as to whether he’d hold the current administration accountable and resorted to rehearsed, partisan rhetoric, McMurray repeatedly stated he’d stand up to anyone in Washington, from President Trump to Speaker Pelosi, in order to fight for the needs of the struggling families across Western New York and the country.

Both Jacobs and McMurray agreed the CARES act and federal loan program for small businesses were critical to help companies stay afloat, but Jacobs claimed the unemployment figures had improved and that the economy is fundamentally strong, to which McMurray rebutted in disbelief noting greater Buffalo has one of the worst job markets in the country.

McMurray condemned Trump’s tax cuts citing the wealthiest Americans and corporations, like Jacobs’ family and their multibillion-dollar empire, are the ones who have received the majority of benefits.

“The people at the top have already benefited from a tax cut that 83 percent of the benefits went to 1 percent of the people," McMurray said. "That’s wrong. He doesn’t understand what average people are going through. That’s why he thinks the economy is good.

"But for most people in Western New York, it ain’t so good. You [Jacobs] have been a State Senator for years, what have you done to improve things?”

NOTE: Duane Whitmer, Libertarian Party candidate for the NY-27, was excluded from the debate.

Other candidates finding it difficult to keep pace with fundraising, and self-funding, of Chris Jacobs

By Howard B. Owens

When she first jumped into the race for the NY-27 congressional seat, Darien resident Beth Parlato got off to a fast start in fundraising from individual donors.

She raised $271,000 in eight weeks. Her campaign coffers now stand at $554,153.62, which includes some PAC money and a personal loan but so far that isn't half of the $1,253,465.46 Chris Jacobs has in his campaign account.

Parlato said she knows what she's up against in trying to win a congressional seat against a candidate who can afford to drop $446,000 of his own money into his quest for a seat in D.C. So when the novel coronavirus swept through New York and she was forced to cancel five fundraisers, Parlato took what she thought was the next most sensible route to keep her effort financed. She borrowed $150,000 against her property on Seven Day Road.

That loan, which she turned around and loaned to her campaign, promoted a reader to contact The Batavian and suggest the loan violated Federal Election Commission rules.

At first blush, based on language on the FEC site, that might seem true.

When a candidate obtains a bank loan for use in connection with his or her campaign, the loan is considered to be from the bank and not from the candidate's personal funds.

However, two experts in campaign finance interviewed by The Batavian for this story said Parlato's use of money obtained from a second mortgage to make a personal campaign loan is legal.

"It's her personal money," said Paul Cole, a Republican who was once heavily involved in WNY politics, working for Tom Reynolds and Chris Lee before running David Bellavia's 2012 primary campaign. He is not currently involved with any congressional campaign.

"She's going to be personally responsible for paying back that banknote regardless of what happens in terms of the campaign," Cole said. "She's going to have to pay back that loan."

While the campaign, if it raises enough money, can repay the loan to Parlato, if the campaign for any reason can't raise enough money to pay back the loan, Cole said Parlato is still personally responsible to repay the money to the bank.

Michael E. Toner, an election law attorney in Washington, D.C., also said it is legal for a candidate to take out a second mortgage on his or her own property and then loan that money for a loan to his or her campaign.

A footnote on the FEC site also indicates such a loan is permissible:

The personal funds of a candidate include: Assets which the candidate has a legal right of access to or control over, and which he or she has legal title to or an equitable interest in, at the time of candidacy ...

Parlato, who is endorsed by the Conservative Party and is running the GOP primary, has raised $376,691 from individual contributors. She collected another $11,000 from political action committees.

Jacobs, the endorsed Republican in the special election and also a candidate in the primary, has raised $720,856 from individual contributors. He's also raised -- from PACs, other congressional campaigns, and corporations -- $85,699.

The other Republican in the race is Stefan Mychajliw, who has raised $75,576. He's loaned his campaign $465.

Democrat Nate McMurray, running in both the special election and unopposed in the Democratic primary, has raised $527,886. He's received more than $30,000 from PACs and has not loaned his campaign any money.

The Libertarian candidate is Duane Whitmer, who has raised more than $20,000, half of which comes from a loan from himself to his campaign.

CORRECTION:  Parlato is not a candidate in the special election, as previously stated.

Libertarian candidate for NY-27 says he'll debate McMurray, who left him off the invitation list

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

Duane Whitmer, the Libertarian Party candidate for Congress in the 27th District of New York, today accepted Democrat Nate McMurray’s invitation to Chris Jacobs to debate McMurray eight times during the election.

So far, Jacobs has ignored the invitation eight times.

“Chris may be afraid to debate Nate,” Whitmer said, “but Nate is apparently also afraid to debate me as he left me out of the invite. So, I hereby accept Nate’s invitation to Chris to debate Nate.”

Whitmer, who is the chair of the Erie County Libertarian Party, received the endorsement from the district county chairs of the Libertarian Party last night and is also petitioning to be on the Right to Bear Arms ballot line for both the special election on April 28th and the general election in November.

“I will really spice up this debate that would otherwise feature two corporate lawyers affiliated with Delaware North who are political centrists,” said Whitmer. “Without a candidate who proposes real change for the 80 percent of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, the audience could very well fall asleep from sheer boredom.”

Whitmer, who is a tax adviser who represents taxpayers before the IRS, said his key issues if nominated would be: ending the twin wars on peaceful gun owners and drug owners; ending the pointless foreign undeclared wars started by George W. Bush and Barack Obama; and drastically cutting federal spending to stop borrowing from our grandchildren to pay for our own greedy programs.

Whitmer, who ran track at Fredonia State, is originally from Franklinville and now lives and works in Lake View.

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