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Nate McMurray

January 27, 2020 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat running in the Special Election in Western NY’s 27th District, today released his proposal for protecting and expanding health care for seniors, working families, rural communities and small businesses.

With a growing rural doctor shortage and many rural hospitals struggling, the high cost of health care for small businesses, entrepreneurs and so-called “gig workers,” nearly 30 million people still uninsured, and Trump’s new attack on Medicare, McMurray said the time for action is now.  

“Insurance companies and big pharma are choking our economy, making people sick and driving families into bankruptcy," McMurray said. “The cost of insurance is up, deductibles are up, and co-pays are up, and the CEOs of drug companies and insurance companies are taking home millions.

"Meanwhile, rural hospitals can’t find doctors, and Trump is getting ready to cut Medicare. The system we have isn’t working for too many people, and we need to change.” 

McMurray put a particular focus on Medicare, which provides healthcare to America’s seniors.

“Medicare is one of the great successes of our nation," McMurray said. "Before Medicare, half of all seniors couldn’t afford health insurance, now everyone is covered because taxpayers and employers put money into the system with every paycheck.

"How dare Trump and his allies threaten to cut benefits. Our seniors paid for those benefits all their lives, and as Congressman, I’m never going to let Washington break that promise."

McMurray slammed Washington’s approach to health care in general, and called out Congress members for taking corporate PAC money from the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, while protecting their profits, over helping families and small businesses.  

“It’s corrupt,” McMurray said. “Big pharma pushes cash to Congress members like they pushed opioids into our communities. The politicians they buy should be protecting us but they don’t, so we need to cure this sickness by electing people who will do the job.”

McMurray’s 4 Point Healthcare Platform includes: 

1.) Supporting rural hospitals by expanding debt forgiveness programs for medical professionals and doctors that work in rural hospitals and clinic and increasing funding for rural hospitals;

2.) Creating a single-payer health care system while protecting patients’ rights to choose their doctors;

3.) Blocking Trump’s Medicare cuts;

4.) Battling the opioid epidemic by reimbursing local hospitals and clinics for overdose treatment, and training all first responders in usage of Naloxone to save overdose victims’ lives.

 “Medical costs help cause two-thirds of all bankruptcies, and the average cost for small business for family coverage is over $20,000 per employee," McMurray said. "How many more small businesses have to go under and how many more families have to go bankrupt before we are willing to change? It’s time to break free and give Americans the health care they deserve."

Fact Check: According to the National Institute of Health, medical costs do not cause "two-thirds of all bankruptcies." The report states: " ... the magnitude of the bankruptcy effect is much smaller than previously thought: we estimate that hospitalizations cause only 4 percent of personal bankruptcies among nonelderly U.S. adults, which is an order of magnitude smaller than the previous estimates described above.

January 23, 2020 - 2:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat running in the special election in NY-27, issued the following statement criticizing the rumored presidential pardon for disgraced former Congressmember Chris Collins, who resigned from Congress following pleading guilty to felony insider trading. Collins was sentenced to 26 months in prison on Friday. So far, 14 Trump aides, donors and advisers have been indicted or imprisoned.

“President Trump should not further the injustice inflicted on Western New York," McMurray said. "His own Justice Department pursued this case and won a sentence that includes prison time for Mr. Collins, a convicted felon. This should not be a Democratic or Republican issue; I urge all Republican candidates in this race, elected officials, and party leaders to stand unified in defense of the rule of law in America.

"Collins was a wealthy politician who acted as if laws don’t apply to him. We all need to tell him that America's laws apply to everyone. He must pay his debt to society and not have it wiped away because of his political support for the president. I know that these are the same Republican insiders who enabled and protected Collins, long after we all knew he was guilty while working people paid for his salary and pension. Now is the time for them to do what’s right. Join me.”

January 21, 2020 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, Rob Ortt, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Today, New York State Senator Rob Ortt, Army combat veteran, and candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District is calling for Democrat and Working Families endorsed candidate, Nate McMurray, to give up his recent Working Families Party endorsement. Recently, the New York State Working Families Party called on candidates to “stop defending taxpayers,” and stated that using the term “taxpayer” is racist.

“Our district is home to around 710,000 ‘taxpayers’ who go to work every day to help support their families and build a better life,” Ortt said. “The fact that a candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District would accept an endorsement from a political party that explicitly asked prospective candidates to avoid advocating for the taxpayers of our state is embarrassing.

"As elected officials, we are chosen by the taxpayers of our district to defend their best interests and do the will of the people. Any politician who accepts and endorsement from the Working Families Party clearly shows they have no interest in protecting hardworking taxpayers.”

The Working Families Party, backed by progressive donors, recently stated in the party’s 2020 questionnaire:

Messages that frame "taxpayers" as an aggrieved or marginalized group promotes an anti-tax, anti-government worldview that is often used to justify disinvestment and austerity policies. "Taxpayer" has also become a racially coded term designed to appeal to white individuals and reinforce the misconception that they are paying taxes to support the needs of people (often implied to be non-white) who don’t pay taxes. Will you avoid messaging that centers "taxpayers" or "tax burdens" and instead talk about "public funding" and the public as a whole?

Just this week, Nate McMurray accepted the endorsement of the Working Families Party line. The New York State Working Families Party has already endorsed several other candidates for 2020, including for U.S. President (Elizabeth Warren), U.S. Congress (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), and Democratic candidates for the New York State Legislature. Ortt called on all candidates running for office to denounce the Working Families Party and refuse their support. McMurray did neither.

“By accepting this endorsement, it is clear that Nate has not prioritized representing the best interests of the constituents in New York’s 27th Congressional District,” Ortt said. “Either he is ignorant of the agenda that the New York State Working Families Party stands for, or he has full knowledge of the statements made by this group and has decided that advocating for ‘taxpayers’ is racist. Either one is unacceptable and I call on him to give up his endorsement by this radically socialist party."

January 20, 2020 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, news, NY-27.

Press release:

The Working Families Party (WFP), a grassroots party representing the interests of hardworking, everyday Americans, has endorsed Nate McMurray in his bid for Congress in Western New York.

“We are endorsing Nate McMurray because he firmly stands with us on issues that matter to working-class people in America today,” said WFP representative Louisa Pacheco.

“Nate boldly supports protecting immigrants as a marginalized labor force, expanding healthcare for all, and building a country that is for everybody -- not just the rich. We stand with him because he has an expansive and fresh vision for NY-27!”

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be endorsed for the second time by the Working Families Party," McMurray said. "We will win the special election by engaging our strong grassroots partnerships across the region and beyond.

"The good people of WFP will be a critical part of this coalition, help us finish what we started in 2018, and once and for all restore the people's voice in this office."

The Working Families Party is a minor political party founded in 1998 that uses fusion voting to cross endorse candidates on other party lines. Recently, the WFP has garnered national attention with its interviews of the 2020 presidential candidates and endorsement of Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic Primary.

January 17, 2020 - 7:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat running to fill the vacancy left by Chris Collins in NY-27, has issued the following statement on Collins’ sentencing for insider trading related crimes earlier today.

“Years of lies by Collins and those who justified his crimes end like this. Tears. An empty seat. It’s a sad moment. No sentence can heal the damage caused. The sting will linger.

Remember this. Who brought us here? So when we look back, we will see how far we’ve come. I'm heading to my son's basketball game, watching a movie with my family, going to sleep, and waking up tomorrow to continue the fight to restore integrity to NY-27 and Washington.”

January 15, 2020 - 11:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news, ethics reform.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, a Democrat running in the Special Election in NY-27 to fill the vacancy left by the Chris Collins, and Ammar Campa-Najjar, Democrat running in CA-50 for Duncan Hunter’s former seat, have teamed up to call for ethics reform to prevent corrupt Congress members from retaining their Congressional pensions following their guilty pleas.

McMurray and Campa-Najjar ran against Collins and Hunter, respectively, in 2018 while they were under indictment and proclaiming their innocence. Both former Congress members have since resigned in disgrace after pleading guilty to their crimes. Collins will be sentenced for insider trading violations on Jan. 17th.

The candidates are pledging to sponsor legislation to require Congressional pensions to be forfeited if a member is found guilty of a felony. Additionally, they will sponsor legislation to require the repayment of personal loans to campaigns within two years of the election.

McMurray first called for pension forfeiture in an October letter to the judge overseeing Collins’ case after Collins pled guilty.

It was reported earlier this month that Collins, a multimillionaire, also paid himself back more than $140,000 for a personal loan he gave to his losing 1998 campaign.

“People across our country are fed up with politicians illegally using their positions for personal gain – here in Western New York and in California, we have been deeply betrayed by our Congress members who prioritized their personal wealth ahead of their constituents,” McMurray said.

“That’s why Ammar and I are committed to addressing corruption when elected. Specifically, we want to ensure no felon former Congressmember can profit off their crimes by retaining their pensions and prevent campaign accounts from turning into personal piggybanks. Americans deserve better.”

“Nate and I are standing together today to fight back against the corruption that has harmed our districts, and demanding that Washington hold members of Congress to the most basic standards of ethical behavior,” Campa-Najjar said.

“Regardless of your party, if you break the public’s trust, you should not be able to keep your pension. Corruption harms all of us and undermines faith in our government. We must do better.”

January 8, 2020 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat running in the Special Election in NY-27 to fill the vacancy left by the disgraced felon Chris Collins, has called for ethics reforms in light of multiple members of Congress resigning after guilty pleas and Chris Collins repaying himself over $100,000 from a decades-old campaign loan.

McMurray is calling for Congressional pensions to be forfeited if the member resigns after a felony guilty plea. He first called for pension forfeiture in an October letter to the judge overseeing Collins’ case after Collins pled guilty. Now, McMurray plans to introduce legislation to codify pension forfeiture for members of Congress who break the public’s trust.

“Taxpayer-funded pensions should not go to corrupt Members of Congress who abuse the public’s trust. Americans from California to Western New York deserve better,” McMurray said. “No felon former Congressmember should continue to profit off of their crimes.

"We will send a clear message to every dirty politician -- Chris Collins, Duncan Hunter, and anybody else, Democrat or Republican that they will pay when they break our trust.”

Collins, a multimillionaire, also paid himself back over $140,000 for a personal loan he gave to his 1998 campaign. McMurray also announced plans to introduce legislation to stop this corrupt practice by requiring the repayment of personal loans within two years of the election

“Political campaigns should not be personal piggybanks, and we must close loopholes that allow someone like Collins to raise money and put it into his own pocket twenty years later,” McMurray said.

McMurray also criticized Collins’ efforts to seek a light sentence for his crimes.

“Chris Collins must pay his debt to society and to the voters he lied to and cheated. The rich and powerful should not dictate the terms of our criminal justice system and the U.S. Probation Office should not be recommending a slap on the wrist to one of the president’s cronies after he committed multiple felonies,” McMurray said.

December 13, 2019 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, the Democrat running for Congress in NY-27, issued the following statement blasting the state GOP for their lawsuit. 

“The GOP’s party bosses are once again prioritizing partisan politics over what’s best for the families of Western New York. These enablers didn’t care about NY-27 having real representation when they supported and bowed down to the criminal Chris Collins, even after his indictment.

"But now, they want to bill the taxpayers for an additional special election because they think it gives them a leg up on holding onto this seat. We should not reward the party machine for failing the hardworking people of this region by enabling a criminal who abused his elected position.

"Regardless of when the special election is held, we will be ready to once and for all deliver the representation the district has been robbed of for years.” 

New York Daily NewsState GOP head suing Cuomo over special election to replace disgraced former Congressman Chris Collins

November 18, 2019 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

With the majority of the weighted vote, county chairs across NY-27 have expressed their readiness to secure Nate McMurray as the candidate to run on the Democratic line when the Governor calls the special election to replace Chris Collins. He has earned support from the Democratic chairs of Niagara, Wyoming, Monroe, Genesee, Orleans, Ontario and Livingston counties. These committees carry a combined total of 51 percent of the weighted vote for the nomination.
 
Committees across the district have gained members in record numbers after McMurray’s run in 2018 - with committees more than doubling their membership in majority-Republican counties.
 
“I am tremendously proud to earn the support of these Democratic leaders across Western New York," McMurray said. "The strength of our Democratic Party is the power in all its communities, urban, suburban and rural. As I've traveled the backroads and small towns of these counties for the past two years, I know that families are struggling and looking for new leadership on the issues they care about most – ending corruption, expanding healthcare, lowering taxes for middle-class families, and bringing back good jobs. Together, we can bring true representation for this region to Congress and I am ready to be the fighter our families, farmers and small businesses need."
 
“Nate did well in Niagara County last year against a strong political machine and has a lot of grassroots support throughout much of the county," said Niagara County Democratic Committee Chair Jason Zona. " As county chair, I support him in a special election run, and I anticipate the members of our county committee will do so as well when we convene in the near future."
 
"When Nate McMurray ran in NY-27 in 2018, he came within less than a percentage point of victory," said Wyoming County Democratic Committee Chair Cynthia Appleton. "But along with this, he did something else, something magical. He energized the rural counties. He created a movement on the ground that hasn't gone away. Nate asked them all to ‘Fight Like Hell’, they did, and will again. I'm proud to endorse him for a special election in NY-27."
 
“The Monroe County Democratic Committee is proud to join Nate to finish the fight he began in 2018 for the 27th Congressional District," said Monroe County Democratic Committee Chair Brittaney Wells. "We are confident he will fight for the hard-working people of the district who have long been without a voice. Nate will restore integrity to the office and ensure his constituents are heard."
 
Genesee Democratic County Committee Chair Michael Plitt said, “Genesee County Democrats are excited to help Nate McMurray finish the job he started last year. Our volunteers worked tirelessly and will do so again because they believe in Nate and his message. Voters in Batavia crossed party lines for him and the city went blue for the first time in years. We believe our government should work for all people, not just the elite; and we are confident Nate will be the representative we all deserve.”
 
“I am so pleased to support Nate in the upcoming special election," said Orleans County Democratic County Committee Chair Jeanne Crane. "He has visited Orleans County many times and is very aware of what our small county faces every day...few jobs, lack of affordable housing, and high taxes. We need NATE!”
 
“We need a fighter like Nate McMurray in Congress,” said Ontario Democratic Chair John Hurley. “He had record turnout here in 2018, and we are ready to build on it in 2020. Nate has traveled across our county, meeting with people and hearing their stories. From combatting the opioid crisis to creating jobs, Nate is the leader we can count on to deliver for us.”
 
“Given how close Nate came in 2018, we are thrilled to have him running for us this cycle," said Livingston Democratic County Committee Chair Judith Hunter. "It’s been too long since the people of NY-27 have had a representative that puts service over self, and people over politics. We are delighted to support him again."

November 11, 2019 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, running in the Special Election in NY-27, has received additional endorsements from local leaders today, including Genesee County Democratic Committee Vice-Chair Nikki Calhoun and Batavia Democratic Committee Chair Erica O’Donnell. They join six Democratic County Chairs in endorsing McMurray.

"Last year showed us that local Democrats and Republicans can work together for the common good of our communities. Nate McMurry brought people together by listening and adjusting his ideas for the future of NY27. He has shown us that he has what it takes to Fight Like Hell and I am proud to say I stand behind him!" said Nikki Calhoun.

“Democrats in The City of Batavia are used to being written off when it comes to national politics, but Nate McMurray embraced our grassroots enthusiasm, showed up here, and actually won the City of Batavia by nearly 500 votes. That’s why I will stand behind Nate in our upcoming special election in New York’s 27th Congressional District,” said Erica O'Donnell.

“I am proud to have Nikki and Erica’s support as I run for Congress. Genesee and Batavia were tremendously important in 2018, and I will be working hard to build on our support there in 2020. I am ready to be a leader this region can count on in Congress,” said McMurray.

Genesee Democratic County Committee Chair Michael Plitt endorsed McMurray over the weekend, saying, “Genesee County Democrats are excited to help Nate McMurray finish the job he started last year. Our volunteers worked tirelessly and will do so again because they believe in Nate and his message. Voters in Batavia crossed party lines for him and the city went blue for the first time in years. We believe our government should work for all people, not just the elite; and we are confident Nate will be the representative we all deserve.”

November 10, 2019 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, running in the Special Election in NY-27, has been endorsed by Genesee County Democratic Chair Michael Plitt. He has also been endorsed by the Democratic chairs of Niagara, Wyoming, and Monroe counties.

"Genesee County Democrats are excited to help Nate McMurray finish the job he started last year," Plitt said. "Our volunteers worked tirelessly and will do so again because they believe in Nate and his message.

"Voters in Batavia crossed party lines for him and the city went blue for the first time in years. We believe our government should work for all people, not just the elite; and we are confident Nate will be the representative we all deserve."

“I am proud to have the support of Michael Plitt and the Genesee County Democrats as I run for Congress," McMurray said. "Across Genesee, and across Western New York as a whole, families are struggling to make ends meet and our lack of representation in Washington is not helping. I will fight for the healthcare access and jobs our region needs."

October 28, 2019 - 3:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in NY-27 District, General Election 2020, news, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat running for Congress in NY-27, intends to address loopholes that lead to corruption in Congress and fight for the bills that have died in the Senate without review. 

The “For the People Act,” or HR 1, was proposed this year, but never made it to the Senate floor, is one such piece of legislation. HR1 comprehensively addressed financing of elections, ethics reform, and expanding voting rights.

These issues were a critical focus during McMurray’s race against Chris Collins in 2018, but the legislation has been stonewalled by the Republican Senate. 

“HR 1 needs to be taken seriously by Senate Republicans, because at the end of the day, corruption is not a partisan issue. As it stands, though, Republicans will not pass this legislation all at once,” McMurray said, “We need leaders that say, ‘look, the buck stops with us.’

"We’ve seen the damage that corruption can cause in the democratic process, and we need to look at each element of this legislation and fully address it.When I’m elected, I intend to work with my colleagues and propose legislation that we will get through Congress.”

McMurray’s proposal for addressing corruption in government includes proposals to:

  • Enact stricter limits on political contributions from special interests, lobbyists and wealthy special interests. McMurray has voluntarily imposed  a ban on corporate PAC money for his campaign, but believes this should be the law for all candidates.
  • Keep investigation inquiries open -- even after a member has left their seat.
  • Strip corrupt members of Congress of their pensions when found guilty of violating the public trust. 
  • Prohibit members of Congress from sitting on for-profit corporate boards.
  • Pass tougher campaign finance laws and more transparent disclosures of outside political spending.
  • Overturn the disastrous Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates for unlimited, untraceable spending in our elections.
October 10, 2019 - 11:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, running for Congress in NY-27, is calling for Chris Collins, who recently resigned in disgrace after pleading guilty to insider trading and lying to the FBI, to return the Congressional salary he has collected since his indictment in August 2018.

McMurray sent a letter to Judge Vernon S. Broderick asking the judge to consider ordering Collins to return his salary and forfeit his pension as a part of sentencing.

While calling Collins’ case “inherently tragic” and expressing sympathy for Collins’ family and victims, McMurray also pointed out that Collins had profited from his deception of voters in his district and deserved to lose his salary as a result.

“Following his guilty plea last week, Mr. Collins has admitted that his actions were in fact illegal; that he knew they were illegal; and that his claims of innocence were false. With his reelection predicated on an admittedly false claim of innocence, I urge that in sentencing, you recognize this fraud on the taxpayers of this nation and the people of New York’s 27th Congressional District and require him, in addition to whatever other penalties you deem appropriate, to repay his salary from the date of his indictment until his resignation and forfeit his taxpayer-funded pension,” McMurray wrote.

After months of proclaiming his innocence, Collins changed his plea to “guilty” last week and admitted in court that he knew what he was doing was illegal.

A copy of McMurray's letter can be seen below:

Honorable Judge Broderick,

I am writing to you to express my thoughts regarding the sentencing of Chris Collins. 

Last year, I ran and lost a race to replace Mr. Collins in the United States House of Representatives. I am proud of that campaign and our opposition to Mr. Collins. I say this to fully disclose any perceived bias or subjectivity. I share my comments with full sincerity and an understanding of the possible consequences of my words. 

First, I want to acknowledge that much about this case is inherently tragic. A district has been denied its due representation in Congress; an individual of great promise, a fellow Eagle Scout no less, betrayed his constituents and will forever have his name tainted; a son followed his father’s request and now stands on the verge of incarceration and a lifetime defined by a criminal act not of his own creation. I have true sympathy for everyone caught up in Mr. Collins’ web of illegal activity and look forward to our district moving on.

Nevertheless, justice must be served, and Mr. Collins’ actions and character must be examined. Following the indictment in August of 2018, Mr. Collins continually lied to voters by proclaiming his innocence and ultimately won re-election. As a member of Congress, Mr. Collins said he worked for his donors—not the people of Batavia, Hamburg, Canandaigua, Warsaw, or the countless other small towns and communities within New York’s 27th District. Following his guilty plea last week, Mr. Collins has admitted that his actions were in fact illegal; that he knew they were illegal; and that his claims of innocence were false. He knowingly abused the trust of the people of Western New York.

I stand with many who are angered by Mr. Collins’ actions, but I find some discomfort celebrating anyone’s demise, even his. However, with his re-election predicated on an admittedly false claim of innocence, I urge that in sentencing, you recognize this fraud on the taxpayers of this nation and the people of New York’s 27th Congressional District and require him, in addition to whatever other penalties you deem appropriate, to repay his salary from the date of his indictment until his resignation and forfeit his taxpayer-funded pension.

Sincerely, 

Nathan D. McMurray

October 1, 2019 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, the Democrat running for Congress in NY-27, reiterated his commitment to bring honest and effective leadership to NY-27 today at a press conference on the steps of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.
 
“Today is a good day for Western New York – Chris Collins, the most corrupt politician we’ve seen in this region, is gone. Following his indictment last summer, the rest of the nation saw what we already knew, and had known for a long time -- that the people of Western New York have been without real representative for the better half of a decade. Now, this district can finally move forward, and it’s time to bring responsible and honest leadership to NY-27 once and for all,” McMurray said.
 
“When I challenged Collins 18 months ago, his enablers, some of whom are now running for this seat, belittled our efforts, spread lies about me and my family, and betrayed voters by defending and lying for a guilty man. They are complicit in his crimes, and they know it. But we refused to back down, and we will not allow these enablers to rewrite history.

"The everyday people of Western New York – the nurses, the teachers, the police officers, and the working families – continue to stand with us and know that I will fight for them on the issues that impact our everyday lives. Issues like protecting healthcare, creating good jobs and fighting the corruption that has plagues our region."
 
McMurray also came out strongly supporting the announcement from Governor Cuomo that he plans to call the special election “sooner rather than later.”
 
“Democrats, Republicans and Independents all agree that this district has lacked effective representation for too long, and we need to elect someone who’s willing to speak truth to power as quickly as possible to give the people the voice they deserve in Washington.
 
“We came close in 2018 in a district that was designed for even an indicted Republican to win, but whenever this race occurs, we will be ready. Just watch, because we are just getting started."

September 30, 2019 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Nate McMurray has issued a statement following reports that Rep. Chris Collins will be resigning.

“The real victims of Collins' crimes are the people of his district that he repeatedly lied to about his guilt. Collins and Republican party insiders robbed his constituents of the representation they need on important issues like the rising cost of healthcare, the opioid epidemic, and the fight for good-paying jobs.

"They all failed us, so I’m going to keep talking about the critical issues Western New Yorkers face every day, because that’s what public service should be about, working to make other people’s lives just a little bit better."

August 16, 2019 - 9:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins, Nate McMurray, politics, video.
Video Sponsor

Rep. Chris Collins paid a visit Thursday to the Child Advocacy Center in Batavia (more on that later) and after his visit we spoke with him about his campaign plans and his criminal case.

August 10, 2019 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, chris collins, video.
Video Sponsor

Today, Nate McMurray, who narrowly lost to Chris Collins in the NY-27 congressional race in 2018, formally announced he will seek the office in 2020.

One of the first things did after finalizing his decision to run was call The Batavian and ask for an interview, so we met this afternoon at The Coffee Press.

McMurray said that while other Republicans have said they are mounting a primary challenge to Collins, Collins is the front-runner and there is no reason to believe Collins won't be on the general election ballot in November. Collins, McMurray said, is the person he's running against.

"I think a lot of people always assume he's going to give up or go away, but he's proven that he doesn't go away easily," McMurray said. "I think that he needs to hold onto this seat to maintain his freedom. It's the best leverage point he has in his trial (on Federal insider trading charges). I think until he's gone you have to assume he's the candidate."

Collins has to go, McMurray said, because with Federal charges pending and a congressional ethics investigation that is still open, Collins is unable to effectively represent the people of the 27th District.

In 2018, McMurray opposed efforts to impeach Donald Trump. Since the release of the Mueller Report, he's changed his position. He said he realizes this stand may cost him votes in this district.

"Anyone who respects the rule of law and reads (the report), as I've read it, you'll come away very troubled," said McMurray, who is an attorney. "You'll come away thinking that Congress and the Senate have a duty to act. They really shouldn't be playing politics with this. It's too important.

"And I think that whether you support President Trump or not, if read that report, you're going to see a portrait of a man who tried to obstruct justice, who tried to manipulate the law, and who thought he was above the law."

August 10, 2019 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Today I am officially declaring my candidacy in New York’s 27th Congressional District. In some ways, it seems like I never stopped. I continue to travel across Western New York meeting with good people; listening and learning.

But I was struggling to officially commit. I know how hard it is to run, how much time it takes away from my family, and the hateful attacks we will endure. I also considered other opportunities as a business professional and even other roles as a public servant. Certainly, there is a path of less resistance.

Instead, I am choosing the path of most resistance. This week marks the one-year anniversary of Chris Collins’ federal indictment charges for insider trading. Mr. Collins and the political machine behind him remain strong despite his many ethical and legal failures. Many party loyalists continue to view him favorably, even more than his Republican challengers. He retains this support in part due to the tactics he employs; the depths he and his hateful political forces will stoop to.

Despite the perceived insurmountable challenges in 2018, our race against Collins was one of the closest in the country (decided by less than 1 percent), achieving the largest partisan swing of any first time state/ federal candidate in the country—in a district designed for a Republican (any Republican) to win easily. This was despite our side being outspent, outnumbered, and attacked day after day by some of the most dishonest and detestable TV ads ever produced for a political race.

Why did we perform so well? Many are tired of being asked to vote blindly for their party. They are tired of nothing ever-improving, nothing ever-changing. And they are tired of the politics of hate and corruption. With your support, passion, and service to our community, we can finish what we started 2018 and finally reclaim this seat on behalf of the hardworking people of Western New York. People like you, who go to work on time every day, who help their neighbors, who never cheat their business associates, and who spread kindness and goodness throughout their lives.

The last time I ran I said that we needed to “Fight Like Hell.” And we did fight like hell. We always will. But this time I will rely more on the good hearts and values I saw in the people of my district. We will empower the kindness and goodness around us. We will, “Be Kind. Do Good.”

It sounds simple, maybe some will call it soft. But could any two words be more strong in this age of professional cruelty? Kindness and goodness in an era of violence and hate is more bold than any rally cry.

All of us fall short of these values. It is easier to match rage with rage, hate with hate. But with kindness and goodness as our standard, we can overcome this sad moment in American history — a moment where all good people regardless of party affiliation can all feel the America we love fading.

Do not let America fade. America must always be, as Ronald Reagan called it, the “City on the Hill.” A country of kindness and goodness, where capitalism does not build walls; it builds ladders allowing every American to climb from poverty to flourishing. Where we do not fear science and fact, but embrace and lead the world in research and education. Where we do not pay homage to millionaires and aristocrats but value those who provide humble, honest service to family, friends and community.

In 2020, we will go to Washington to fight for healthcare for every American (now!), infrastructure (now!), for common-sense gun control (and now!), for immigration reform to help our farmers (now!), and for technologies and policies that will confront the reality of climate change. I will also fight for a capitalist system that preserves the American Dream and provides opportunities to all, and not just hoards wealth for the most connected and elite.

“Given how close Nate came in 2018, we are thrilled to have him running for us this cycle. It’s been too long since the people of NY-27 have had a representative that cares about representing the voters rather than the party. It is the one-year anniversary of Chris Collins’ indictment and the Republicans are still stuck with him and don’t know what to do. We are delighted to have Nate running again” -- Judith Hunter (chair, Livingston County Democratic Committee)

"When Nate McMurray ran in NY-27 in 2018, he came within less than a percentage point of victory. But along with this, he did something else, something magical. He energized the rural counties. He created a movement on the ground that hasn't gone away. Nate asked them all to ‘Fight Like Hell’, they did, and will again." -- Cynthia Appleton (chair, Wyoming County Democratic Committee)

“I am so pleased to hear that Nate will be running again. He has visited Orleans County many times and is very aware of what our small county faces every day...few jobs, lack of affordable housing and high taxes. We need Nate!” -- Jeanne Crane (chair, Orleans County Democratic Committee)

“Chairwoman Brittaney Wells and the Monroe County Democratic Committee are proud to join Nate to finish the fight he began in 2018 for the 27th Congressional District. We are confident that he will be successful in his effort to unseat an absentee billionaire that has not represented the hard-working people of the 27th. Nate will restore integrity to the office and ensure his constituents are heard.” -- Brittaney Wells (chair, Monroe County Democratic Committee)

Thank you all for standing with me in the battles ahead. Together we will finish what we started; together we will bring real representation to the hard-working people of Western New York.

November 26, 2018 - 5:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Statement released by Nate McMurray:

Good afternoon,
 
Nearly all the votes have been counted and Chris Collins will be returning to Washington to represent the people of New York’s 27th Congressional District. After discussing the matter thoroughly with counsel and weighing our options, we believe it’s in the best interest of this community to end this chapter and move on to the next.
 
I offer Mr. Collins my concession.
 
It was a hard decision. Part of me wants to fight. I can’t just smile and pretend this was all fair. And so my concession comes with a warning. Mr. Collins, you won by the slimmest of margins (less than half a percent), in a district designed to ensure anyone with an “R” next to their name, even an indicted criminal, could win a decisive victory.
 
Still, you almost lost. To win you had to resort to extreme measures—lying about me and my family, hiding from the media and the people you represent, and refusing to face me in the time-honored tradition of a public debate. Your strategy was by your own admission cowardice and partisan politics.
 
So I will be watching. We will all be watching. We are not going anywhere.
Together, with countless supporters across this district and throughout the country, we built something special. We ignored the naysayers and fought like hell for what we believed in.
 
We learned that at the grassroots level, the people have the power to break the political machine when we work together. We had the largest partisan swing of any first-time state or federal candidate in the country and one of the largest swings period. Together we set the foundation for incredible things to come.
 
We built this movement from the ground up via potlucks and picnics. I’m proud that we did this with little to no outside support. We raised over $1.2M in primarily grassroots donations in just over 3 months. Our campaign funds came from mechanics and farmers, school teachers, office workers, students, and senior citizens. There are few feelings more humbling than to have someone squeeze your hand at a campaign appearance, and tell you, “I just donated five dollars to your election. It’s all I can afford.”
 
For the first time in a very long time, the people of the 27th District felt that their voice was heard and that their vote mattered. My heart will not permit me to abandon those wonderful people.
  
So today, I am proudly announcing that I am forming an organization called Fight Like Hell. Fight Like Hell will be a voice for those thousands of Western New Yorkers who feel excluded, disenfranchised, and apathetic -- those who continue to reach out and ask what they can do, what’s next.
 
We want to take what we’ve learned and the tools and resources we’ve gathered and pay them forward by empowering more good people to run for office. I want more people to understand who their local leaders are (and how they can hold them accountable). Among other things, we will host Town Halls where residents will have a chance to share their voice, whether or not your Congressman thinks it’s important for you to do so or continues to hide
  
Beyond that. Mr. Collins' future in Washington remains murky. He says that he will finish his term, but as we know, Mr. Collins is not the best at keeping promises. Let me say it here first: when the time is right, I will run for office again.
  
I have met a lot of disappointed people since the election. I have felt a great deal of sadness. But be of good cheer. We are not what Mr. Collins represents. And we are not what the opportunistic politicians and pundits who supported him represent.
 
We ARE what those thousands of folks who stood up to him by standing on corners, writing postcards, and knocking doors in the cold represent. We ARE are what those Republicans who took a chance on a lanky Democrat represent. We ARE what the folks who are already gearing up for the next fight represent. Indeed, we ARE what America represents. We are hope, we are kindness, we are decency, and integrity.
 
Sure, we lost. But if we lost with integrity and fighting for Unions, the middle class, and healthcare for every American, so be it.
 
Stay strong. Protect it from the wind. But let that light glow.
 
With love, gratitude, and joy,
 
Nate

November 21, 2018 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, Nate McMurray, notify.

Two weeks after election day, with most of the outstanding ballots in the NY-27 counted, challenger Nate McMurray has pulled within 1,384 votes of Rep. Chris Collins but it's unlikely there are enough ballots left to be counted for McMurray to overtake the Federally indicted congressman.

McMurray has not conceded the race, though Collins has declared victory.

In Genesee County, in the count of provisional, military, absentee and emergency ballots, McMurray gained 71 votes on Collins, making the split 11,471 for Collins to 8,705 for McMurray. Third-party candidate Larry Piegza finished with 627 votes.

According to the McMurray campaign, and multiple other news reports, McMurray gained votes in nearly every, if not every, county in the district since election day two weeks ago.

In a statement this afternoon, McMurray thanked his supporters and vowed to continue the fight, claiming potential irregularities. He said he and his attorneys are discussing the situation and will decide what to do after Thanksgiving.

In election law in other states, when the margin separating two candidates is less than 1 percent, an automatic recount is required or a candidate can request a recount. New York law provides no mechanism for requiring a recount.

"We have seen extensive irregularities in the voting process, especially pertaining to absentee ballots, and there are issues that need to be addressed, not only for this election but for all elections in the future to ensure voters are not disenfranchised and that every voice is heard," McMurray said.

The Collins campaign has not sent a statement about the outcome of the election to The Batavian.

In Genesee County, the recount is a bipartisan affair, overseen by Richard Siebert for the Republicans and Lorie Longhany for the Democrats, with observers from both parties watching the entire process, from ballots being opened to votes being tabulated.

In Erie County, which is where McMurray picked up most of his additional votes to close the gap, which was 2,241 votes districtwide when Erie County started its vote count yesterday morning, Republican Commissioner Ralph M. Mohr told the Buffalo News the process there is similar to the process locally.

From the Buffalo News:

The Tuesday process began around 10 a.m. in a stark room at the Board of Elections on West Eagle Street. Officials first ran through a scanner the emergency ballots that somehow were jammed or encountered other problems in the machines on Election Day.

Then Mohr explained the process by which a bipartisan team from the board would open the ballots and prepare them for machine scanning. Officials lined up approximately 16 workers at carefully staged positions on both sides of a long table, with Democrats observing Republicans and vice versa.

“We have here a bipartisan team,” Mohr explained to a crowd of campaign observers and reporters, asking Democrats and Republicans assigned to the counting table to raise their hands.

Erie County officials counted 5,588 absentee ballots, 1,454 affidavit ballots, and 433 emergency ballots, with McMurray picking up 3,279 votes and Collins 2,422.  There are more ballots to count but McMurray would need nearly all of the remaining his ballots to go his way in order to pull out a victory and that is statistically improbable.

Collins is expected to be sworn in for his fourth term in January even though he faces an ongoing investigation by the House Ethics Committee, will be in the minority party, serve on committees, and awaits a Federal trial on charges that he exchanged in securities fraud, wire fraud, and lied to the FBI about his role in an alleged scheme to illegally use corporate insider information to assist family and friends in dumping stock they owned in Innate Therapeutics. Collins served as a member of the board of directors of the Austrailian biotech company.

He was also once the company's second-largest shareholder but in a recent disclosure by the company, Collins isn't even listed among the top 20 shareholders.

At one time, Collins reportedly held 3.8 million shares of the company's stock.  

By law, members of Congress must disclose their stock trades within 30 days of the transaction.

On June 20, Collins sold between $15,000 and $50,000 shares of stock (as specific as he's required to be on the disclosure form).

On that date, Innate was trading at 28 cents a share.  If he sold $50,000 worth of shares, he sold less than 180,000 shares. It's unclear when and how he disposed of his other outstanding shares (which would have been enough to keep in the top 20 shareholders of Innate if he retained the shares).

In a news report about the stock disclosure, his campaign spokeswoman called these facts "fake news."

Collins is expected to go on trial for his insider trading charges in February 2020. He vows to beat the charges and continue to serve in Congress.

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