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Jack Davis

Hochul to meet with Jack Davis for factory tour and discuss jobs and trade

By Howard B. Owens

Rep. Kathy Hochul will tour I Squared R Element in Akron at 11 a.m., tomorrow and meet with Jack Davis, the Tea Party candidate she defeated in May's special election to fill the NY-26 seat.

After the tour, according to a press release from Hochul's office, Hochul and Davis will "discuss America’s manufacturing strategy and the need to stop supporting companies that ship jobs overseas, as well as how to replicate Davis’s American success story throughout Western New York."

Son of Jack Davis accused of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident

By Howard B. Owens

The owner of a red Corvette involved in a single-car rollover accident at 1 a.m., June 20, has been cited for allegedly leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, according to State Police.

The driver is allegedly Robert R. Davis, 50, of 1355 Main Road, Corfu. Davis is the son of Jack Davis, four-time candidate for Congress in the 26th District and president of I Squared R Element Co., in Akron.

After the accident in the area of 871 Gabbey Road, Pembroke, local law enforcement conducted a search for Robert Davis in the area and on South Lake Road, Pembroke, speaking with residents about his possible location. At one point, an investigator noted that at least one homeowner he spoke with had "honesty issues."

Davis was reportedly with his girlfriend. 

According to Sgt. Kurt Schmitt, the female passenger was eventually treated at Suburban Hospital in Erie County, supposedly taken there by a friend.

The Corvette was impounded at Jim and Bob's Service in Pembroke until Robert Davis surfaced. The car was released to Davis yesterday morning and Davis was issued citations for leaving the scene of a personal injury accident among other alleged infractions.

Jack Davis said he had heard his son was involved in an accident and tried finding out more about it last week, being concerned about his welfare, but hadn't gotten much information.

"He's not gotten back to me," Davis said. "I'm sure he's disappointed in what he's done. It's embarrassing, but all families deal with situations like this."

This isn't the younger Davis' first run-in with the law. In 2009, he was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th for allegedly possessing a switchblade knife. Information is not immediately available on the disposition of that case.

Photos submitted anonymously by a reader.

Corwin comes out on top in Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens

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.

Hochul declared winner, Corwn concedes, in NY-26 special election

By Howard B. Owens

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.

Latest ads in the NY-26 race

By Howard B. Owens

Ad from Jack Davis

Ad from Kathy Hochul

And that's all that I could find on YouTube.

For Jack Davis, it's all about saving American jobs

By Howard B. Owens

More than an hour into our chat on Sunday afternoon, Jack Davis looked at my iPhone and said, "That's probably made with Gorilla Glass."

It is.

Davis, founder and president of I Squared R in Akron, then explained that his very first customer was Corning, the inventor of Gorilla Glass.

The recipe for Gorilla Glass -- a very tough, durable type of glass -- sat on a shelf for decades until high-tech electronics such as flat-screen TVs and smart phones needed just such a product.

In order to manufacture the glass, Corning turned to Davis, whose company makes just the kind of silicon carbide heating elements Corning needed to start manufacturing Gorilla Glass for Apple and other companies.

When it came time to ship the elements, Dave found out they were going to Japan.

"It broke my heart," Davis said. "We don’t make those (iPhones) here, we don’t make the TVs, we don’t make flat screens. (The elements are) just another product we ship over there and they can back engineer it and that business will be gone."

Jack Davis is making his fourth attempt at winning a seat in Congress -- this time to replace Shirtless Chris Lee in a NY-26 special election -- for one reason, and one reason only: To save American jobs.

"We have to grow, dig or manufacture to produce wealth," Davis said. "Unless you do that, you’re just growing your debt. We have to make everything we use or consume."

Davis knows Batavia and knows what losing a manufacturing base can do to a community. Among his company's early customers were Sylvania and Doehler Jarvis.

"Batavia has been hit like many of the industrial cities have been," Davis said. "You have a lot of farms, but you did have a big manufacturing base.

"Cities and communities that have lost the jobs are a lot more receptive to my message of saving jobs and getting out of those free trade agreements," he added.

Davis isn't against all trade with foreign countries. He just thinks it should be fair trade. If we trade with another country, he said, that country should buy as much product from the U.S. as we buy from them. If not, they get slapped with a tariff on the difference.

A tariff that targets trade imbalance, he said, would address the uncompetitive practices of countries such as China, where the Yuan is artificially lowered by 40 percent against the dollar.

“Give the guy down the street a 40-percent advantage on you and you’re screwed," Davis said.

On top of that, the Chinese government gives its own corporations tax breaks not available to U.S. manufacturers and labor is 1/20th the cost that in the United States.

The U.S. needs to level the playing field, Davis said.

"There are plenty of entrepreneurs left in this country," Davis said. "Right now they're spending money overseas, rather than in this county, but if given a level playing field, they will come back."

Bring up just about any topic with Davis, and the conversation soon turns back to jobs and fair trade.

Asked about how he could help counties such as Genesee address its crumbling infrastructure problem, he said the solution is jobs, just as it is for most of the problems in the United States.

"Obama shouldn’t be talking about cutting services and increasing taxes," Davis said. "He should be addressing this trade imbalance. We have about $2 billion per day going overseas. That’s our wealth going off shore. Until that’s addressed, we’re going to continue to have problems, problems with Social Security, problems with Medicare, problems with the budget, problems with the deficit."

And if that wealth continues to flow overseas, Davis said, eventually China is going to own the United States.

"I’m a patriot. I love America," Davis said. "I see what’s happening to it. I think  what kind of future are we leaving our children? We’ve got a $14 trillion national debt, half of it’s owed to the Asians, and if we’re not manufacturing anything, we have no way to pay this debt, so they’re going to own America."

He says once the Chinese own all the multinational companies, they'll also own all the lobbyists in Washington.

“We already know (the government) is for sale to the highest bidder and the Chinese are going to have all the money," he said.

Davis came to his anti-unfettered trade position through 56 years of working in international trade, he said, and seeing more and more companies that he did business with shipping jobs overseas.

He didn't think, and still doesn't believe, that's a sustainable path for the United States.

And he doesn't buy the pro-free trade arguments that globalization of trade benefits the United States, too. The U.S. won't have anything to trade, he points out, if all of the manufacturing plants -- as 53,000 of them have already done -- keep shutting down.

In pointing to my iPhone, he raised the issue that even new technology depends on products manufactured in the United States. His heating elements are used not only for Gorilla Glass, but for manufacturing all sorts of flat glass, from window panes in skyscrapers to the windshields of cars as well as an essential tool for manufacturing solar cells.

The high-tech industry needs a strong manufacturing base in the United States to remain competitive globally.

"There was one guy, I think he was with the Commerce Department, who said there’s no difference between computer chips and potato chips and I’m like, 'Man, how stupid can you be?'" Davis said.

Davis believes both the Republicans and Democrats are selling out the United States. Both parties are beholding to the multinational corporations and even big labor -- traditionally a stalwart in the Democratic corner protecting American jobs -- has sold out the American worker. Their national leaders in Washington, he said, are more interested in organizing in foreign countries now.

"The managers for these large multinationals, they’re not loyal to America," Davis said. "They’re loyal to their stockholders and they’ll just take their business to the cheaper place to manufacture with no thought of American workers. They have all the advantages of being in America, but they’re not taking care of it."

Toward the end of our conversation, Davis talked more about the campaign. 

He is disappointed most of all in the Republicans.

He said he registered Republican when he first could vote. He's voted for Eisenhower, Reagan and both Bushes. He's given the Republicans money, and now they just lie about him.

"To have them come after me so viciously and tell so many lies about me, it was a big, big disappointment," he said. 

"I always thought they were the integrity party," he added. "They’re the party of the thugs. They even sent a thug after me."  (A reference to Jane Corwin's chief of staff, Michael Mallia, harassing Davis following a veterans' event in Greece, allegedly calling the former Marine a "coward" (a charge the Corwin campaign has made no attempt to refute.))

But even as some polls show Davis losing ground and coming in third, he's not giving up the fight. It's too important to him. He clearly thinks he's needed in Washington to save American jobs, even if Washington doesn't seem to want him.

"The lobbyists, they don’t want me in Washington, because I’m going to make changes," Davis said. "When I get there, I’ll be one of 435, but I will probably have the biggest mouth. I’m going to call these people out and they don’t like that."

NOTE: We were previously privileged to have Kathy Hochul visit The Batavian. Jane Corwin has been invited numerous times but has pretty much ignored the invitation. Ian Murphy was invited, but said he didn't have a car to make the trip to Batavia.

Questions for the candidates: Intellectual life

By Howard B. Owens

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 .... ?’

Kathy Hochul:

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

A: The three books that have been most meaningful to me are “American Tragedy” by Theodore Dreiser, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, and “Profiles in Courage” by John F. Kennedy.

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

A: I actually have four favorite songwriters - Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, The Goo Goo Dolls, and Simon & Garfunkel. Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence” always reminds me of people less fortunate who don’t have a voice.

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

A: I would read “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. I have an independent streak and identify with the individualism of the poem.

Q: 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?

A: When I was 10-years-old I visited the National Archives on a trip to Washington with my family. I remember seeing the Constitution and The Declaration of Independence and being inspired by the tremendous challenges faced by our forefathers as they created the foundation for our country.

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

A: My favorite Western New York playwright is Tom Dudzick, who wrote the “Over the Tavern” series.

Q: Do you have any hidden artistic talent? What is it (sing, draw, photography, etc? If not, is there anything along those lines you aspire—‘I really wish I could…?’

A: I aspire to write short stories about the lives of the fascinating people I have come to meet in my life.

Ian Murphy:

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

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins, and Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein.

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

Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, and Tampa Red. Anything by Tampa Red means something to me because he plays the kazoo. There has never been a more perfect folk instrument than the kazoo.

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

I would read Carl Sandburg's I Am the People, the Mob:

I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.

Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history to remember. Then—I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year, who played me for a fool—then there will be no speaker in all the world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob—the crowd—the mass—will arrive then.


I'd read that piece to remind all the corporate flunkies who they really work for, and to remind the American people that they are ultimately in charge.

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.

The Kazoo Museum in Eden, NY, sparked my life-long appreciation for the kazoo.

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

Folk-blues singer Jackson C. Frank.

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 .... ?’

I really wish I could play the kazoo.

Jack Davis

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

Atlas Shrugged, the engineering textbook from UB are the first two. I'll get back to you on the third.

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 .... ?’

I play trombone. (Though I admit I'm a bit out of practice.)

Davis campaign claims its own poll shows Corwin falling to third

By Howard B. Owens

The Jack Davis campaign is claiming that their own polling numbers show Kathy Hochul ahead in the NY-26 special election race with Jane Corwin coming in a distant third.

In the words of the Davis campaign press release, "it appears support for Jane Corwin is collapsing."

The Davis campaign claims that Corwin's numbers have dropped to 17 percent, with Hochul polling 44 percent. Davis, in the Davis poll, is at 27 percent.

According to the press release, 4,602 "frequent voters" were surveyed. The poll was conducted between May 18 and May 19.

Seventeen percent were undecided.

From the press release:

“It’s clear that if conservatives, Republicans and Tea Party patriots want to keep Kathy Hochul, a Nancy Pelosi Democrat, from representing this district, they must vote for Jack Davis,” said Jack Davis campaign manager Curtis Ellis.

Late last night, I emailed both the Corwin and Hochul campaigns for a response.

Fabien Levy, with Kathy Hochul, replied but has not provided a response for publication yet and we haven't heard from Matthew Harakal with Jane Corwin's campaign at all. This post will be updated with any responses.

UPDATE 8:16 a.m.: Statement from Levy: "Every poll shows Kathy Hochul garnering the support of more and more voters in the 26th District. Voters here know Kathy is the only candidate in this race fighting to protect both Social Security and Medicare, which is why they are running away from her two conservatives opponents."

New Jack Davis Ad: 'What's at Stake'

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

The new television spot from the Jack Davis campaign highlights what’s at stake in this election: our jobs, our families and our future.

A dramatic departure from the typical political ad, “What’s at Stake” shows a scene that has been repeated in kitchens across Western New York and America.

Families are seeing their livelihoods, their dreams and their lives destroyed. The two parties will give us more of the same, but there is a real a choice in this election. Jack Davis wants to put Americans back to work and return to the values that made us strong as a nation – hard work, self-reliance and pride in workmanship.

A Greenberg Quinlan Rosner <>  poll of November 2010 shows 89% of Americans believe we need to make things in America if we are to revive the middle class. The Pew Research survey from November 2010 <>  shows 55% of Americans – and 63% of people who identify with the Tea Party - believe trade deals like Nafta are job killers. Yet both Democrats and Republicans continue to push for more. Right now, President Obama and Speaker Boehner are supporting free trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

Both the Democratic and Republican candidates in this race are using nuanced talking points about where they stand. Jack Davis is the only candidate talking about what it really takes to create jobs in Western New York. He knows because he’s doing it right now – manufacturing a product right here and selling it around the world.

Candidates answer question on Genesee County's infrastructure needs

By Howard B. Owens

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.

Candidates discuss needs of people with disabilities living independently at forum

By Howard B. Owens

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.

Bellavia says second camera operator identified

By Howard B. Owens

Press release from David Bellavia:

(BATAVIA, NY) - Decorated Iraq combat veteran David Bellavia today challenged Congressional candidate Jane Corwin to come clean on her involvement in a gambit to disrupt a veterans' event in Greece, NY. The former Army Staff Sergeant whose actions during the Battle of Fallujah earned some of the nation's highest honors also pointed out the second Corwin staffer caught by WGRZ-TV videotaping the candidate's chief of staff as he repeatedly called a U.S. Marine a "coward."

"Media reports indicate the second camera was operated by Rep. Chris Lee's former Congressional staffer Emily Hunter, a native of Rochester," Bellavia said. "This is further proof Corwin has ordered the local GOP machine to push the edges of common decency in a desperate attempt to help her buy this seat."

Military veterans are hunting for Michael Mallia, Corwin's Assembly chief of staff, in Florida, where Corwin sent him to hide from the media after he embarrassed himself and his candidate in a Youtube video edited to look like he was assaulted. Angry veterans in the 26th Congressional District have taken to referring to Corwin's dirty trick as "CowardGate."

"I urge Jane Corwin to come clean on why she ordered her chief of staff and Rep. Lee's staff assistant to disrupt the Greece veterans' event," Bellavia said. "I also beseech her to release the unedited tapes of CowardGate, reveal where she has hidden Mallia from the media and produce the second shooter and her video."

"It was bad enough that Jane Corwin ordered this dirty trick - now she's lying. Corwin is the architect of a cover up designed to deceive voters and duck the media," Bellavia said. "The veterans of Western New York will not give her a pass on this despicable prank."

"Jane Corwin is failing her CSPAN audition: if she will not tell the truth about CowardGate, she is not ready for prime time and cannot represent our Congressional District with honor and effectiveness," Bellavia said.

Veterans in Florida have offered a $5,000 reward for information on Mallia's whereabouts that leads to a media interview of the Corwin staff chief. They have published a Web site offering a WANTED poster to help in the hunt ( Broadcast quality b-B-roll of the Florida search is available at

The question for the CEO: 'Where's the second tape?'

By Howard B. Owens

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.


Bellavia says he’s taking a stand against Corwin for the sake of the GOP

By Howard B. Owens

David Bellavia’s dislike for Jane Corwin didn’t just begin when he was passed over as a candidate in the NY-26 race. It goes back to Corwin's earliest days in politics.

And while Bellavia has taken a genuine shine to Tea Party-line candidate Jack Davis, he regrets that his support for Davis is being seen by some as just sour grapes.

Mainly, he supports Davis, he said, because he is an "honorable man" who knows what he stands for while he doesn’t know whether Corwin is a real conservative or just an opportunist.

“She only believes what people within a 5-foot radius of her believe,” Bellavia said. “If she’s in a red district, then she’s red. If she were in New Jersey, she would be a Patacki Republican. I can’t honestly tell you what she believes because all she talks about is negative things. She tells us what’s wrong with Kathy Hochul, but she expresses no beliefs, she has no plans. She’s an empty-suit candidate.”

Bellavia, a Batavia resident and a decorated Iraq War veteran, stopped by The Batavian’s office Monday morning to discuss the race and why he’s come out in favor of Davis and against Corwin.

In 2006, Bellavia backed Republican Tom Reynolds against Jack Davis, and in 2008, even though some in the GOP had encouraged him to run, he backed Chris Lee's campaign. When Shirtless Chris Lee vacated the office, Bellavia let the GOP leaders know he wanted to be the candidate, but Erie County Republicans, particularly the Chris Collins' wing, had another idea.

In a weighted-vote system that disenfranchised GLOW Republicans, the Erie County GOP handpicked Assemblywoman Jane Corwin.

Even so, Bellavia said, after he couldn't get on the ballot as an independent candidate, he was prepared to sit out of the race. But then, the smear campaign started. There were e-mails to his wife's coworkers and bosses suggesting nefarious conduct by Bellavia.

Until this election Bellavia has been a loyal Republican. But he believes the whisper campaign was orchestrated by Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy. He said Langworthy denied it. Langworthy couldn't be reached for comment.

Bellavia believes the Langworthy/Collins camp is taking the Western New York GOP in the wrong direction, that Corwin isn't suited for the office she seeks. While he doesn't agree with Davis on all issues, at least Davis will give you an honest opinion, according to Bellavia.

The questions Bellavia has about Jane Corwin's character began, he said, when they met at a GOP function where she told the group they were talking with that she would never use her own money for an election campaign.

At the time, Bellavia said, he didn't know who Corwin was or the Lewis family/Talking Phone Book connection.

Later, when Corwin had an opportunity to run for Assembly, according to Bellavia, Corwin promised to drop $500,000 of her own money into the race. The self-funding vow immediately caused the other GOP hopefuls to drop out of the race.

He found Corwin's seeming double-speak distasteful, he said.

“Conservatives should stand for truth and honesty,” Bellavia said. “We don’t say just anything to get elected.”

When the nomination process came around for the NY-26 special election to fill the seat vacated by Lee, Bellavia said he witnessed Corwin use the same tactic. Corwin, he said, promised to spend $5 million of her own money on the race.

So far, she’s only put about $2 million into the race and outside money is flooding into the district to shore up her campaign.

“That’s money conservative Republicans in other districts are going to need to protect their seats,” Bellavia said. “Instead of spending her own money like she promised, she’s taking money that the Republican Party will need.”

Bellavia believes the NY-26 should be represented by somebody from one of the rural counties, which are the reddest part of the district. He thinks Erie County Republicans, led by Colins and Langworthy, hold too much sway – and aren’t conservative enough – to get the NY-26 the kind of representation it deserves.

They also represent too narrow a base of Amherst, Range Rover Republicans to truly reflect the more diverse parts of the district, or the working class, rural counties.

“Where are the black conservative Republicans?” Bellavia said. “Where are the conservative Hispanic Republicans? You know they’re out there. Where are they? Where are the farmers? Why can’t we be represented by a farmer?”

The thirtysomethings gaining power in the ECGOP, Bellavia said, are unprincipled, lack values and aren't true conservatives.

He wants to see them stopped before they become entrenched, which will only happen, he said, with a Corwin defeat.

“If she loses, I can guarantee you, the next candidate will be a conservative,” Bellavia said.

“If I have to be the one to fall on a grenade to change the direction of the Republican Party in Western New York, then I’ll be happy stay out of politics, to just raise my kids and stay right here in Batavia,” he added.

Which raises the question, is Jack Davis a conservative?

“He’s right on a lot of issues,” Bellavia said.

Bellavia then listed off trade (he characterizes Jack’s position as “fair trade”), he's right on the Second Amendment (he noted Davis has a substantial gun collection and loves guns), and Davis has said he will caucus with the Republicans and the Tea Party. He said Corwin hasn’t said that she will caucus with the Tea Party.

In fact, Bellavia said that typically, the Tea Party movement is supposed to stand against mainstream, GOP insiders, and today, the Tea Party Express was in Buffalo endorsing Jane Corwin, the epitome of a GOP insider.

As for abortion – Bellavia is staunchly pro-life -- he disputed claims that Davis has said he supports partial-birth abortion. While he doesn’t agree with Davis’s overall position on abortion, he said Corwin’s position is even worse.

“She said she favored allowing abortion in the first trimester,” Bellavia said. “Nobody talks about trimesters. Either you’re pro-life or pro-choice. You only talk about trimesters if you’re a career politician trying to have it both ways.”

Bellavia said he was disappointed in New York pro-life groups when he went to them to seek support for his candidacy and was told they were going to sit on the sidelines in this race. He said one group announced that Corwin is “pro-life enough.”

As for the other candidates in the race, Bellavia said he personally likes Kathy Hochul and Ian Murphy. He called Hochul a “good Catholic and strong woman.” He also said she’s a liberal Democrat and disagrees with her on a lot of positions.

As for Murphy, he said the Green Party candidate is smart and funny.

“If Murphy gets (as much as) 2 percent of the vote, it’s going to be an embarrassment for Corwin,” Bellavia said. “He’s nailed her character. He saw in her what the Republicans should have seen in her.”

As for regrets, he has a few.

Bellavia said he likes Assemblyman Steve Hawley but regrets that he got off on the wrong foot with him.

Early on, Bellavia admitted, he said that Steve never would have been elected to the Assembly if his name was Johnson rather than Hawley. He knows that really offended Steve and he never should have said it.

Then, in the run up to this race, word leaked out that Collins, Langworthy and Carl Paladino offered Bellavia Steve Hawley’s Assembly seat if Bellavia would drop out of the congressional race (the plan was, Hawley would move to Ranzenhofer’s Senate seat and Ranzenhofer would become a judge). 

Bellavia regrets that a discussion that was supposed to remain behind closed doors among a small group of people leaked out.

He said it was an unfair to Hawley that the conversation was leaked. 

“It didn’t come from me. I never said a word,” Bellavia said. “I never even considered it for a minute and I wouldn’t take such a deal.”

Bellavia’s other regret is that some people think he’s just the “candidate scorned” and that’s the only reason he’s backing Davis.

“Honestly, 90 percent of my initial response was these guys were so nasty that I wanted to get back at them,  but I stand with Jack today,” Bellavia said. “I could have just stood back and lobbed bombs, but Jack Davis is an honorable man. I honestly believe in Jack Davis.”

We left two phone messages with Matt Harakal, spokesman for Jane Corwin, and invited him either to provide answers to interview questions or submit a response of any length at any time after publication. We followed up the phone offer with an e-mail. We also reached out to Nick Langworthy for comment and would welcome a written response from Langworthy.

It should also be noted that we’ve extended at least a half dozen invites to Jane Corwin to stop by The Batavian office for an interview. We’ve never gotten a yes or no response from Harakal to any of those requests.

NY-26 link round up

By Howard B. Owens

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

NY-26 Race: A slew of new videos and TV ads

By Howard B. Owens

The latest TV ad from Jane Corwin.

Jack Davis speaks at neighborhood meeting.

DCCC commercial.

MSNBC segment with ThinkProgress spokesperson.

A video from

NRCC television ad.

And we close with comedy from Ian Murphy.

UPDATE: Found another Jane Corwin ad.


Davis campaign, Bellevia, offers $5K reward for person revealing Corwin staffer's location

By Howard B. Owens

Michael Mallia is a wanted man. He's a wanted man in Western New York and a wanted man in Florida.

Mallia is the man behind the camera in a controversial video produced by the Erie County GOP in an attempt to discredit Jack Davis, a registered Republican running for congress on his self-made Tea Party line.

The Davis campaign announced today, in conjunction with David Bellavia, that veterans in Western New York are willing to pay a $5,000 bounty for a media interview with Mallia, who has allegedly been spirited away by the GOP to an undisclosed location in Florida.

Of course, no credible media organization is going to accept cash for a conducting a news interview, but a wanted poster published on was clearly created with tongue implanted in cheek.

Though, a footnote on the poster says, "This is not a joke. This is a serious offer and the reward may be collected."

From Bellavia's press release:

"Jane Corwin's legislative chief of staff is wanted by the military veterans of Western New York for disrupting our meeting last week, mocking a moment of silence for combat casualties, attacking a 78 year-old Marine, and working on a political campaign while being paid by New York State taxpayers," decorated combat veteran David Bellavia said. "Now Corwin has sent Mallia to Florida in an attempt to hide him and the unedited video from reporters, because she doesn't want the truth to come out before Election Day: her staff chief followed a Marine and called him a coward to create an incident."

The reward, apparently, could be paid to anybody who just lets a media outlet know where Mallia is, leading to a published interview.

Full press release after the jump:

(BATAVIA, NY) - The special election in New York's 26th Congressional District is now being played out in Florida. Vacationers and locals there are being asked to find Michael Mallia, the chief of staff to Jane Corwin, a candidate for Congress in New York's 26th Congressional District - and veterans in Florida have offered a $5,000 reward to anyone who finds the politico on-the-lam.

"Jane Corwin's legislative chief of staff is wanted by the military veterans of Western New York for disrupting our meeting last week, mocking a moment of silence for combat casualties, attacking a 78 year-old Marine, and working on a political campaign while being paid by New York State taxpayers," decorated combat veteran David Bellavia said. "Now Corwin has sent Mallia to Florida in an attempt to hide him and the unedited video from reporters, because she doesn't want the truth to come out before Election Day: her staff chief followed a Marine and called him a coward to create an incident."

Twenty three year old Mallia attacked Jack Davis, Corwin's Tea Party opponent, in a political dirty trick at a veterans event last week. Mallia has video of the attack that reporters in Western New York are demanding, but Corwin's campaign sent him to Florida to hide him and the video from the media. (See:

To facilitate the manhunt, Bellavia also announced that Florida veterans who served with him in Iraq have launched, where Floridians can download a WANTED poster with recent photos of the Corwin staffer to aid in their search. sent emails over the weekend to 25,000 veterans and Tea Party activists in the Sunshine State to inform them of the search and reward. Broadcast-quality video of the poster plastered at beaches, pools and marinas on both coasts of Florida is available here:
"How does a candidate for public office send her taxpayer-funded chief of staff out to disrupt a veterans event?" Bellavia asked. "This shows Jane Corwin's lack of judgment and indicates she can't be trusted to work on behalf of veterans in Washington." will pay the $5,000 reward to the person who finds Mallia and helps organize a media interview of the political fugitive. The bounty expires on Election Day, May 24th.

Spokesman claims Corwin staffer was yelling 'coward' at Jack Davis after veterans' event

By Howard B. Owens

The reason the Erie County GOP won't release the possible second tape of the confrontation in Greece on Wednesday is because it will show Jane Corwin's staffer disrespecting a veteran, says a spokesman for Tea Party-line candidate Jack Davis.

Curtis Ellis said a person who witnessed the incident claims that Michael Mallia, chief of staff for Jane Corwin's assembly office, jumped out of a car as Jack Davis was walking toward his car and called Davis a coward.

Mallia, he said, repeatedly called Davis a coward for not participating in last Thursday's debate.

"Here's a U.S. military veteran coming from this very somber veterans' event and some young kid is calling him a coward," Ellis said.

The event at a fire hall in Greece, sponsored by Republican David Bellavia, who endorsed Davis at the event, included a recitation of the names of all the military members killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Coming to an event like this and yelling 'coward' at a veteran as he's leaving is an insult to every veteran, every man or woman who has ever served in the military," Ellis said. "Jane Corwin needs to apologize."

If Corwin doesn't apologize for her staffer's conduct, Ellis said, "she's no better than Jane Fonda."

When we asked to speak with the volunteer who was with Davis at the time of the incident, Ellis said, "If they dispute my account, they can release the tape. They won't do that because it will show that she's really Jane 'Fonda' Corwin. That's what it will show."

Ellis made these comments in response to our earlier post requesting that Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy either release the tape or explain how somebody could operate a video camera without knowing the battery was dead. (Langworthy has claimed he can't release the second tape because the camera battery was dead.)

At 4:30 p.m., after talking with Ellis, we e-mailed Corwin's spokesman, Matthew Harakal, and asked for a response. So far, we haven't received it.

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