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May 25, 2011 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

While Kathy Hochul won the race for the NY-26 seat, Jane Corwin was favored in Genesee County.

Corwin picked up 44.2 percent of the vote to Hochul's 39.2.

Jack Davis, who garnered only 9 percent of the vote throughout the rest of the district, picked up 14.5 percent in Genesee County.

Here are the final vote totals.

Total ballots: 8,247

Corwin: 3648 -- 44.2 percent

Hochul: 3239 -- 39.2 percent

Davis: 1195 -- 14.5 percent

Murphy: 100 -- .012 percent

Write-in: 43

Blank: 22

These are unofficial numbers and they may not yet include absentee counts.

We don't have the turnout percentage yet.

May 24, 2011 - 10:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

Even before the Genesee County vote has been counted, the Buffalo News, along with other media outlets, have declared the race for Kathy Hochul.

According to the Buffalo paper's numbers, with 87 percent of the precincts reporting, Hochul has 48 percent of the vote to Corwin's 42 percent. Jack Davis picked up 9 percent and Ian Murphy 1 percent.

Corwin conceded the race shortly after 10 p.m.

It's unclear what will become of the court order Corwin obtained earlier today barring certification of the election results before a court appearance on Thursday.

May 22, 2011 - 7:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Ian Murphy.

As part of our ongoing series of questions for candidates, we close with questions about "intellectual life."

From my perspective, to be qualified for office, it's not just about your policy positions, it's also about what you know, how you think and how you learn, because elected officials are asked to deal with problems that aren't always easily grasped by political ideology. Being intellectually curious is important to any job that's essentially a job of the mind.

The deadline for questions was Thursday at 11 a.m. None of the candidates, perhaps understandably, met the deadline. Kathy Hochul and Ian Murphy turned in answers Thursday evening.

In effort to get answers from either Jane Corwin or Jack Davis, I waited until Friday afternoon to post the questions and answers, but then we had a big breaking news story.

Jack eventually turned in partial answers. Jane Corwin, despite repeated calls and emails to Matthew Harakal, including one conversation in which he promised the answers "soon," we have yet to receive any answers. We requested them again today.

Below are the questions, after the jump, answers in the order received.

Perhaps write-in candidates Jeff Allen and JoAnne Rock would like to provide their answers in the comments.

What three books first published in the past 100 years have been most meaningful to you?

Name your three favorite songwriters and pick one song from one of those writers and tell us what that song has meant to you?

If you were asked to read a poem on the floor of the House of Representatives, what poem would it be and why?

Tell us about a museum you’ve visited any time in your life and how it had a lasting impact on your intellectual life or imagination.

Who is your favorite Western New York writer, musician or artist (any genre/style/medium)?

Do you have any hidden artistic talent? What is it (sing, draw, photography, etc.)?  If not, is there anything along those lines you aspire to -- ‘I really wish I could .... ?’

May 18, 2011 - 8:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in roads, Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

In light of our story Tuesday about the sad state of our roads and bridges, at the candidates' forum yesterday, I wanted to ask the candidates what they would do about the problem.

Jane Corwin said we have a big problem with infrastructure and we need a comprehensive, long-term plan for funding from the federal government. She said infrastructure should be one of the highest priorities of the federal government.

But, she said, the government is spending too much money, driving up debt.

"We're spending too much money that is going toward interest payments not enough toward infrastucture," Corwin said.

Hochul's response contrasted the government's infrastructure spending with current foreign policy.

"I’m going to go out on a limb here," Hochul said. "We are probably spending more on roads in Pakistan and places like that where they’re not exactly our friends than we are right here in Genesee County. We’ve got to get our priorities straight. I’m starting to reexamine a lot of our commitment internationally."

Jack Davis and Ian Murphy did not attend the forum.

May 18, 2011 - 7:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

More than 20 advocates for independent living for people with disabilities were at a candidate forum Tuesday morning with the four candidates vying for the NY-26 congressional seat.

All four candidates were invited and expected to attend, but only Jane Corwin and Kathy Hochul made it. Jack Davis sent a spokesman who said Davis had an emergency at his manufacturing plant and Ian Murphy just didn't make it.

Both Corwin and Hochul opened with statements about their support for independent living, weaved in their usual stump speech remarks about jobs, Medicare and taxes, and then took questions.

In her opening, Corwin said as an Assembly member she has supported legislation benefiting independent living, including pushing for more group homes.

"I am certainly very supportive of the issues that are important to you," Corwin said.

Melissa Golpl (pictured above), disability rights advocate for Independent Living of Niagara County, came prepared with detailed questions for the candidates.

One of her questions was about Corwin's position on federal legislation to assist people with autism.

Corwin said she had a son who used speech services when he was young, "so I've seen from the inside how the system works and how important it is to get those services to children, especially at young ages."

As for autism, Corwin said that cases of autism in children have increased dramatically and in the Assembly, she said she worked to raise awareness among her colleagues to be more sensitive to the needs of people with autism. She also said she sponsored legislation to get more services for students with autism, including make it possible for them to participate in sports.

Greg Bruggman asked Corwin about her position on block grants for Medicaid, a proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan but opposed, Bruggman said, by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Corwin said she supported the block grant proposal because there is a lot of fraud and waste in New York's Medicaid system and a competitive block grant formula would be the best way to eliminate it.

Hochul opened by saying she strongly supported the people who provide services to people with disabilities.

"I feel strongly the 26th district needs somebody in Washington looking out for people like you and the people you work with," Hochul said.

She said her concern with people with special needs is why she opposes the Ryan budget plan, which she said would decimate Medicare and Medicaid.

"What kind of community are we if we don’t supply support for people with special needs," Hochul said.

While Medicare and Medicaid need to be reformed, Hochul said, it's a matter of priorities and ensuring the programs are fixed in a cost-effective way that still takes care of people of people with special needs.

"I guarantee I will be a strong advocate for people with special needs," Hochul said.

Golpl asked about housing for people with disabilities and Hochul said there needs to be more housing built to accomodate the needs of people with disabilities and said she favored offering incentives to builders to construct such houses and apartments.

Above, Curtis Ellis, spokesman for Jack Davis, speaks to the gathering at the YWCA for the candidates forum. Media from Rochester and Buffalo were on hand, as well as a reporter from the D.C. bureau of the Los Angeles Times and a cameraman from CNN.

May 18, 2011 - 12:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

All four candidates for the NY-26 special election race on May 24 were scheduled to appear at the YWCA on North Street this morning at the invitation of the Western New York Independent Living Project.

Only Jane Corwin and Kathy Hochul actually made it. Curtis Ellis, spokesman for Jack Davis, claimed that Davis couldn't make it because of an emergency at his plant. Ian Murphy, well, by the time I left, nobody knew what happened to him.

Each of the candidates were scheduled to speak in 15 minute increments with each of hopeful arriving and leaving separately. Corwin was up first and exited before Hochul entered the room.

When Corwin reached the parking lot, another reporter asked Corwin a question and when Corwin kept walking without saying a word, he said, "Can you stop?" Corwin said, "I'm on my way to another meeting, Dave, thank you."

I had one question I wanted to ask Jane Corwin, "where is the second tape?"

The second tape is one shot by a GOP operative in Greece last Wednesday when Corwin's Assembly chief of staff, Michael Mallia, confronted Jack Davis and produced a 15-second YouTube video in which Davis is caught on tape saying, "hey, you want punched out," then takes a swipe at the video camera and Mallia reacts by wailing like a banshee.

We know there was a second camera operator because she was caught on tape by WGRZ-TV.

Nobody from the Erie County GOP or Jane Corwin's camp has denied that there was a second camera operator and that she was there on behalf of the GOP.

When other reporters pressed Nick Langworthy, ECGOP chairman, on the second tape -- under the assumption that it would tell the full story of what really happened during the incident -- Langworthy said there was no tape because the battery was dead.

However, the WGRZ footage shows the GOP operative is operating a camera, something no reasonable person would do if the battery was dead (as Judge Judy says, "If it doesn't make sense, it's not true").

Since there must obviously be a second tape, the logical question is, where is it and why hasn't it been released? The most logical person to ask about it is the CEO of the Corwin Campaign, which is Jane Corwin.

Certainly, Corwin, with all of her busienss experience, understands that the buck stops with the CEO. She's the one who needs to explain the conduct of the people she's chosen to surround herself with, which is something she hasn't done yet.

The result of my attempt to ask the question of Corwin can be seen in the video posted above.

Meanwhile, after Kathy Hochul (picture below) finished speaking, rather than rushing to get into her car, she stayed for another good 20 minutes and answered every question every reporter could think to ask.

As soon as I can, I'll post a story on what Corwin and Hochul said during the forum.

 

May 16, 2011 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

Here are links to articles related to the NY-26 special election race from the past day or so.

May 16, 2011 - 8:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

The latest TV ad from Jane Corwin.

Jack Davis speaks at neighborhood meeting.

DCCC commercial.

MSNBC segment with ThinkProgress spokesperson.

A video from AmericanCrossroadsWatch.org.

NRCC television ad.

And we close with comedy from Ian Murphy.

UPDATE: Found another Jane Corwin ad.

 

May 15, 2011 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

We now have answers from all four candidates in the NY-26 to our questions on personal liberties, with Jack Davis being the last to respond (answers had been due on Friday).

We posted the questions Friday, so won't repeat them here, except in context of the answers. The answers are after the jump in the order received.

May 13, 2011 - 7:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

As part of this week's questions for candidates, we told the candidates that we would delay publishing answers if by the deadline (which was late this morning) one or more of the candidates hadn't responded.

But we also said we would update readers on the status of the questions and answers.

This week's topic (questions after the jump) is personal liberty.  

We've received responses from Ian Murphy, Kathy Hochul and Jane Corwin. We haven't received a response from Jack Davis.

I spoke with his representative this afternoon Curtis Ellis, who said the Davis campaign has just been kept very busy the past couple of days, but the answers would be forthcoming.

So, stay tuned for the answers as soon as we hear from Jack Davis.

May 7, 2011 - 4:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

UPDATE 9:29 p.m.: Jane Corwin's answers are now added to the original post.  Click here.

It's been three days since the answers were due on the set of trade and agriculture questions we sent to the four candidates in the NY-26 special election to fill the seat vacated by Shirtless Chris Lee, and still no reply from Jane Corwin.

We've been promised the answers, but have not yet received them.

It would be interesting to know Corwin's answers because on one hand, the head of her party in the House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner promised the passage of three free-trade agreements if the GOP won a house majority.

On the other hand, when she announced her candidacy, Corwin promised to be an independent voice in Washington and not beholden to the House leadership.

So we don't really know where Corwin stands on what may be one of the most important votes likely to come up during her first few months in office, should she win.

Is Corwin authentically in support of free trade agreements or will she oppose such deals? We still don't know.

With most Democrats and some Republicans opposing the deal, whomever wins the NY-26's race could wind up casting a crucial vote.

Kathy Hochul, Jack Davis and Ian Murphy all told The Batavian they oppose the South Korean trade deal and would vote no on ratifying the treaty if elected.

There are also pending free trade deals with Colombia and Panama, which Boehner has promised to get passed.

May 6, 2011 - 6:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Ian Murphy, County Republicans.

Jane Corwin, candidate for the NY-26 special election race, stopped by the Genesee County GOP dinner last night at Bohn's Restaurant.

When I first heard she would make an appearance, I thought I would try to catch up with her there and ask questions in person. Then I heard from her Communications Director Matthew Harakal, who apologized for not sending in the answers for the questions on trade and agriculture, which the other candidates have provided (now including Ian Murphy). Harakal promised them today.

It's 6:33 p.m., and I still don't have the answers. I wish I had asked the questions at Bohn's.

But I did ask Corwin for her thoughts on Ian Murphy being excluded from the WGRZ candidates' debate.

She said it's up to WGRZ to decide whom to include, but "I"m happy to talk about any issue with anybody at any time." 

She said she had no objection to Murphy being included in the debate.

So now Jack Davis, Kathy Hochul and Jane Corwin all say they either favor or have no objection to Murphy being included in the debate.

As for the county GOP's business, here's the endorsed slate of candidates:

Genesee County Legislature

District #1, Towns of Alabama and Oakfield
Raymond F. Cianfrini
District #2, Towns of Elba, Byron and Bergen
Robert J. Bausch
District #3, Towns of Darien and Pembroke
Annie Lawrence
District #4, Towns of Batavia and Stafford
Mary Pat Hancock
District #5, Town of Le Roy
Shelley Stein
District #6, Towns of Alexander, Bethany and Pavilion
Esther Leadley
District #7, City of Batavia, Wards 1 and 6
Marianne Clattenberg
District #8, City of Batavia, Wards 2 and 3
Frank C. Ferrando

Genesee County Coroner - Barry Miller

New York State Republican Committee, Assembly District #139
Gertrude Penepent and John Rizzo
New York State Republican Committee, Assembly District #147
Barbara Eddy and Neil Kingdon

Eighth Judicial District Convention, Assembly District #139
Don M. Read and Charles Zambito, Delegates
David Saleh and Michael Cianfrini, Alternates
Eighth Judicial District Convention, Assembly District #147
Nelson Green, Delegate, Kenneth Alfes, Alternate

One last note: Ian Murphy did answer the questions on trade and ag. His answers are now posted.

May 5, 2011 - 3:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

In our ongoing effort to ask candidates questions of substance on issues that matter, we turn our attention this week to trade and agriculture.

All four candidates in the NY-26 special election to replace Shirtless Chris Lee on May 24 where asked the same exact questions.

We received responses from Jack Davis and Kathy Hochul. Ian Murphy apologizes for missing the deadline and will have his responses in later today.

As for Jane Corwin -- we've heard not a peep from her campaign. I've left messages and sent multiple e-mails today seeking a response and Matthew Harakal, her communications director, hasn't acknowledged the messages.

If Corwin replies later, we'll update the post with her answers.

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: We received an e-mail from Matthew Harakal that he sent about an hour ago. He apologized for not responding to messages today.  He said he was away from the office all day.  He said answers will be forthcoming tomorrow. We'll add the answers to this post once received.

UPDATE: Ian Murphy's answers added below.

As previously, the questions we asked are below and the candidate answers, in the order received, cut and pasted verbatim after the jump.

What is your position on NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)?

The next representative of the NY-26 is likely going to be asked on vote on the South Korea – United States Free Trade Agreement. If elected, will you vote “Yes” or “No.”

After offering a straight up or down answer, please explain your yes or no vote.

The U.S. has a $252 billion trade deficit with China, the largest between any two countries in the world. Does this concern you and as a congressional representative would you do anything to address it?

Would New York’s farmers find your immigration policy beneficial or harmful to their businesses?

What policy changes need to occur that you would favor in support of New York’s dairy farmers?

What policies, if any, do you favor to assist family farmers selling their products in local markets?

 

May 5, 2011 - 12:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Ian Murphy.

WRGZ is hosting a debate in the NY-26 special election race, and Ian Murphy, Green Party nominee, has been told he won't be welcome.

Murphy was originally included, but the invitation was pulled after News Director Jeff Woodard took offense to an item Murphy wrote about how his invitation was handled in the first place.

Jack Davis says Murphy should be included:

“In a democracy, all citizens should have a voice, and all candidates should be heard. The media shouldn’t be deciding who gets heard and who doesn’t. Though I may disagree with where Ian Murphy stands on the issues, I believe in the First Amendment and he should be heard. Ian Murphy is on the ballot, and he should be in any debate televised on the public airwaves.”

Murphy's take on the kerfuffle, which includes copious amounts of R-rated language, can be found here.

UPDATE: We asked the campaigns of Jane Corwin and Kathy Hochul for their thoughts on whether Murphy should be included in the debate. 

We've received a response from Fabien Levy with Kathy Hochul's campaign:

"Kathy Hochul has already accepted six debates and is willing to debate any candidate on the ballot. An open debate will show that Kathy Hochul is the only one in this race who will fight to protect Medicare, fight to help small businesses create jobs, and fight to get our debt under control."

April 28, 2011 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

This week, we asked each of the four candidates in the special election for the NY-26 Congressional District questions related to taxes, spending and debt.

Below are the questions. After the jump, the candidates' responses in the order received.

Let’s start with general economic theory. There are two primary, and opposing, schools of thought regarding modern economics and the role of government. Which theories most closely match your own economic view, those of John Maynard Keynes or Ludwig Von Mises?

A median-wage worker pays 23.4 percent of his or her income in federal taxes. A person in the top 1 percent of wage earners pays 16.9 percent.  Would you consider this differential something that should be reformed in the current tax code, or does this seem reasonable to you?

For purposes of political speech, corporations are considered persons. In tax law, persons must, at a minimum, pay an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Should the AMT be extended to the “persons” of corporations, such as General Electric Corp.? In other words, should corporations be required to pay at least some tax, regardless of write-offs and other tax advantages?

At the federal level, there are several departments and agencies – such as education, health, commerce, and more – that duplicate state and local services. Which, if any, of these departments and agencies could be eliminated or greatly reduced?

In 2009, Obama pushed through a tax cut cut for the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers that saved taxpayers from $800 to $1,600 per year. In December 2010, Congress overturned this tax credit. Would you have voted to repeal this tax cut if you were in office at the time?

Is it necessary to reduced the nation’s $14 trillion in gross national debt, and can it be reduced without tax increases? And if taxes have to go up, where should they go up first – corporations, the top 1 percent wage earners, the middle class, the poor?

Would you support a flat tax or national sales tax as an alternative to income tax?

April 27, 2011 - 3:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin, Ian Murphy.

Ian Murphy, on the Green line in the NY-26 special election on May 24, may be considered such a long shot that the Buffalo News won't even mention him as a candidate in the race, but that's hardly keeping him silent.

As a long-time blogger at Buffalo Beast, Murphy has learned a thing or two about the Web, social media and PhotoShop.

Murphy has raised so little money for his campaign, he hasn't even needed to file campaign financing reports, but it doesn't take much cash to launch a Web site.

So Murphy is campaigning against the frontrunners in the race the best way he knows how -- with satire and digital media.

Within the last day or so, Murphy launched JaneCorwin.org.

The site is a direct copy of Corwin's own campaign site, JaneCorwin.com, but alter's text and photos to send a decidedly different message.

On the authentic site, where Corwin invites people to sign up for an e-mail newsletter, Murphy changed the submission fields from e-mail address and zip code to "Bank Account Number" and "SS #."  Where Corwin has a "Contribute" button, Murphy's button reads, "Give Me Your Money."

One blog post entry is titled "Corwin Outlines Comprehensive Pandering Strategy." The post begins: "Jane Corwin, successful daughter of rich people and candidate for New York’s 26th Congressional District, today outlined a comprehensive pandering strategy to say she’ll decrease gas prices because that’s what our polling research said people want to hear. Corwin discussed her pandering agenda to a crowd of local idiots."

The humor isn't always polite. Murphy also calls Corwin "ugly."

The disclosure on the footer of the site reads, "paid for by corporate greed."

Some of the links on the site lead to a page asking people to make contributions to Murphy's campaign.

Asked about the site, Murphy wrote back:

We set it up as a favor to Jane. Her current Web site doesn't accurately portray her vapidity, her corporate agenda, or her desire to decimate Medicare and Social Security for the financial benefit of the Wall Street elite. We just thought she deserved a more honest Web site.

We also asked Corwin's campaign for a response and this is what we received from Matthew Harakal:

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Now if we could only get liberals and career politicians like Kathy Hochul to follow Jane Corwin’s lead to reduce taxes, cut spending and create jobs, we could really start to fix Western New York’s economy.

April 20, 2011 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

As part of our ongoing series to find out as much as we can about what the candidates for the NY-26 special election believe about issues, we present this week's questions and answers on hot button social issues.

Below are the questions as sent to the candidates and, after the jump, the answers from each candidate in the order received.

What is your position on abortion, addressing your position on when if it should be legal at all, or only in early and/or later stages of pregnancy and the circumstances of a pregnancy (age of the mother, whether rape or incest), also as it relates to federal funding either directly or indirectly of abortion and/or agencies that may be involved in providing abortions.

What is your position on marriage? Should the federal government involve itself on issues of who can marry whom? Should the federal government provide the same benefits to heterosexual couples as well as gay couples?

Finally, should gay men and lesbians be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military?

April 12, 2011 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul, Ian Murphy.

There are a number of questions I have for the candidates in the NY-26 special election race, and I'm sure you do as well. Rather than sit back and wait for position statements, I thought I would just start asking questions.

I plan to ask about a question per week until election day.

Today's topic: Foreign policy, particularly as it relates to the use of the U.S. military abroad. Each of the candidates were given four days to formulate a reply. 

Below is the question (which was a bit longer than I imagine most will be). Because of the length, and the length of answers, the question and answers appear after the jump.

The answers are presented in the order received, Ian Murphy, Kathy Hochul and Jane Corwin. We got no response from the Jack Davis campaign.

April 9, 2011 - 10:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Ian Murphy.

Ian Murphy, the Green candidate for the NY-26, was barred from a Tea Party candidates' forum by organizer Rus Thompson of Buffalo because, supposedly, Murphy isn't a "serious" candidate.  

David Bellavia, who didn't even get a line on the ballot, was allowed to speak.

The forum was hosted somewhere in the Buffalo area.

Murphy showed up dressed in Revolutionary War-era garb.

April 7, 2011 - 12:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin, Ian Murphy.

In the past, when the Jane Corwin campaign released a new commercial, they put out a press release. This new attack ad just appeared.

Ian Murphy, on the other hand, hasn't put out any press releases that I'm aware of, but he does have three videos posted on his Murphy for Congress YouTube page.

They are embedded below.  

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