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Nate McMurray

October 17, 2018 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat and Working Families Party Congressional candidate in NY-27, today announced that he has been added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Red to Blue program, which recognizes top-tier candidates who are running strong campaigns.

McMurray’s addition to the DCCC Red to Blue program is further proof of his momentum following a week of impressive fund-raising figures; polls showing the race is a dead heat; and news that his opponent, Chris Collins, who was indicted on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI, will not even stand trial until 2020, more than a year into the next congressional term.

“It’s gratifying to have earned this support of the DCCC," McMurray said. "It’s clear that they see what we see: our grassroots support is real and that we’re building momentum by talking to neighbors, getting small dollar donations, and standing up for what’s right.

"We’re sticking to our values of economic fairness and integrity, and voters are putting country before party because nobody wants a Congressman out on bail. People are tired of a system that’s rigged against them and know that we need real change to make it happen.”

“As Town Supervisor of Grand Island, Nate is a proven leader who has a record of working for Western New York. Nate’s emphasis on putting people first has helped him build a strong grassroots campaign that is highly competitive and prepared to bring ethical representation to New York’s 27th Congressional District,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Lujan. 

Already, McMurray has welcomed the support of Democratic National Committee Chairman and Buffalo-native Tom Perez as well as New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Congressman Brian Higgins, Congressman Paul Tonko and the endorsement of almost every major local and national union.

Surging support for McMurray comes as national Republicans are running away from Chris Collins. Last month, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers told reporters, “I don’t plan to spend a penny in that race."

Red to Blue is a highly competitive and battle-tested DCCC program that arms top-tier candidates with organizational and fundraising support to help them continue to run strong campaigns. Additionally, the DCCC provides strategic guidance, staff resources, candidate trainings, and more.

October 16, 2018 - 12:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, notify, Nate McMurray, Larry Piegza.

A poll released today by Siena gives Rep. Chris Collins a mere 3-percentage-point lead over challenger Nate McMurray in the NY-27 congressional race.

Three percentage points are within the margin of error -- plus or minus 4.7 percent -- making the race a statistical dead heat. 

This matches the results of an internal poll released by McMurray's campaign last week that showed the race tracking as a tie with three weeks left until Election Day.

In response to the release of the poll, McMurray issued the following statement:

“This poll tells us what we already know, that voters are choosing country over party. They’re motivated based on who will help families like theirs rather than simply voting along partisan lines. We always knew this would be a close race, and this poll shows that it’s neck and neck. But our TV ads went on the air yesterday, after this poll was conducted; our grassroots support is strong, and as more voters tune in to the race and learn that they have a real choice, we’re more and more confident.”

The Batavian emailed Natalie Baldassarre, campaign manager for Collins, and asked for a statement from Collins -- not her -- about the poll, his third-quarter fundraising report, which includes a campaign expenditure for the use of a private jet. We have not received a response.

Political reporter Ryan Whalan with Capitol Tonight in Albany said in a tweet this morning that he has made several requests to Collins for an interview and has been rebuffed. Since his arrest on federal charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and lying to the FBI, Collins has largely avoided contact with the media or answering tough questions.

His only campaign appearances have been at invite-only Republican events. After The Batavian was unable to secure an interview with Collins, we announced we would stop publishing his campaign press releases until he sits down for an interview with The Batavian. The deadline for the interview is this Friday and Collins has yet to agree to an interview.

The Siena Poll results released doesn't break out how Collins is doing vs. McMurray in Genesee County, but it does say McMurray is leading in Erie County 46 to 45 percent. Collins is leading in the rest of the 27th District 46 to 42 percent.

Reform Party Candidate Larry Piegza is favored by 1 percent of the voters.

While Collins has a narrow lead in the race, the indicted congressman has a much higher unfavorable rating than McMurray, 49 to 21 percent. 

In most congressional races throughout the country, women are trending toward supporting the Democratic candidate but not in the NY-27. Collins is supported by 46 percent of the women polled compared to 42 percent for McMurray.

McMurray also seems to be bucking the trend of Democrats picking up younger voters. In the under 55 demographic, Collins leads 49 to 42 percent. McMurray is fairing better with older voters, where Collins' margin is a mere 2 percentage points,  45 to 43.

McMurray leads the race among nonpartisan voters 46-45 percent.

Siena surveyed 490 likely voters in the district between Oct. 6 and 11.

President Donald Trump's approval rating is 56 percent among voters in the district, much higher than his 42 percent approval rating nationally.

Fifty-six percent of those polled want to see the Republicans maintain control of the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, since his arrest, Collins has seen donations to his campaign fall off a cliff, according to the Buffalo News.

Collins, who reportedly had more than $1 million in his war chest before his arrest, raised $32,755.74 in the third quarter, and only $2,955 was donated to his campaign after his arrest.

All but $80 of the money donated to Collins in the last round came from residents of the 27th District.

In the quarter, Collins spent $233,369 on advertising, $40,147.33 in legal fees and a $7,895 on a charter flight.

Members of Congress must justify travel expenses as a legitimate campaign activity to spend campaign funds on travel, according to House Rules.

Baldassarre told the Buffalo News that the chartered plane was used to return Collins to Buffalo after his arrest in New York City on Aug. 8. Collins was hours late to a press conference he scheduled and congressional staff at the time (the event was staffed by government employees, not campaign employees) told members of the media that his flight had been delayed. Though Collins called a press conference, he refused to take questions after issuing a statement.

October 15, 2018 - 4:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat and Working Families Party Congressional candidate in NY-27, released the following statement in response to fundraising figures released by his opponent, Chris Collins who is currently out on bail after being indicted on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI.

“Let me get this straight: Chris Collins sat on the board of a drug company, then conspired to make sure he didn’t lose money when a drug trial failed, then lied about it to the FBI, then decided he’d run for re-election because his lawyers thought it would keep him out of jail and now the only financial support for his campaign comes from pharmaceutical special interests? If it wasn’t so shameless, it would be unbelievable,” McMurray said.

“Who is Chris Collins beholden to? Not the voters, he won’t even meet with them. But his buddies in the pharmaceutical industry? Yes, and he’ll end up in jail because of it. Now we have evidence that he’s using his campaign as a slush fund to pay his attorneys even after he said he wouldn’t.

“Mr. Collins has said that his loyalty is to his donors, but he doesn’t seem to have many of those either. He spent more on fundraising consultants and fundraising events than he’s earned.

“Support is fading, Chris. People see that your campaign gets more desperate by the day. I’m proud that we’ve had thousands of hard-working Americans chipping in through potlucks and picnics to fight the corruption they see in Washington. They know we can do better than a member of Congress out on bail and has been kicked off of every Congressional committee.”

A third-quarter filing with the Federal Election Commission by Collins shows his campaign raised a mere $32,755.74 in the last three months.

Last week, McMurray announced that he raised more than $475,000 in the third quarter, the vast majority of it in the seven weeks following Collins’ indictment. McMurray’s impressive fundraising comes even as he will not accept corporate PAC money.

He was recently endorsed by End Citizens United, a group dedicated to getting Big Money out of politics and fixing the rigged system in Washington so it works for all Americans. McMurray’s full announcement is here.

McMurray's impressive fundraising kicked off a week of good news as a recent poll showed McMurray tied with Chris Collins. And today, McMurray’s advertisements went on the air. Momentum is building for McMurray in NY-27.

October 11, 2018 - 7:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news, chris collins.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat and Working Families Party Congressional candidate in NY-27, today responded to news that his opponent, indicted member of Congress Chris Collins won’t stand trial until 2020. Collins was indicted on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI in August.

“Now it’s official, Chris Collins will be beholden to his defense attorneys for the next year and a half, not the voters, not the hard-working people of Western New York, but his lawyers," McMurray said.

"He won’t just be a part-time, he’ll be a no-time Congressman. This is shocking and truly embarrassing to the people of Western New York. I’m out talking to voters every day and they tell me that they deserve better. They’re right.

“House Speaker Paul Ryan has stripped Collins of all of his committee assignments in Congress. He won’t help the people of this region. He can’t help the people of this region. He never did. There couldn’t be a clearer contrast in this race. He will not let go of his congressional seat until this trial is over, or until the voters take it from him. They will.”

This morning, McMurray stood shoulder-to-shoulder with more than 100 activists and supporters from the labor community who pledged to work to get McMurray elected on Nov. 6. They praised his integrity, work ethic and commitment to the values that help the working men and women of this region.

McMurray was endorsed by New York’s Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, the last Democrat to win this district and a great champion of Western New York./p>

McMurray'’s rally with working people comes a day after he announced polling that shows a dead heat between himself and Collins. Earlier this week, McMurray’s campaign announced he raised close to a half million dollars in the third quarter with the vast majority of that money coming in the seven weeks following Collins’ indictment – and that total does not include any corporate PAC money.

October 11, 2018 - 1:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Larry Piegza, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

The Reform Party Candidate, Larry Piegza, announces he is willing to take Chris Collins' spot in the McMurray/Collins debate.

"Chris Collins obviously has more pressing legal issues than to explain to the voters in NY-27 how he intends to represent us," Piegza sent in a statement. "Fortunately, there are still two candidates on the ballot that are prepared to represent our district.

"Nate McMurray, I accept your #DebateNate Challenge. If the Buffalo News is still willing to host it, I am still game. Collins can come if he can get time away from preparing for his trial. I am sure that the voters would love to hear how he plans to represent our district if he is convicted and serving jail time."

A pro-Trump Republican, Piegza has been unsuccessfully pushing the local Republican offices to only endorse ethical candidates for the last 12 months. He earned the Reform Party's endorsement in June. In the past, the Reform Party has always endorsed Collins, but they broke from it this year when they learned about the fact that Collins might have broken the law.

"Kudos to the Reform Party for only supporting candidates who are more ethically sound," Piegza said. "And it really paid off. If they hadn't stepped up an endorsed me, the people in the district would have had to choose between voting for a possible criminal and a Democrat.

"I would have been curious to see how many people actually voted in November. Now, they can vote for an ethical conservative who supports all of Trump's agenda. In addition, I plan to use an online town hall so the people in the district can always tell me what their needs are. That means I will be able to do a better job of keeping in touch with everyone than Collins did."

Piegza has tried unsuccessfully to debate McMurray in the past. In the weeks following Collins' indictment, his campaign aired 30-second commercials on WBEN accepting his #DebateNate challenge. These were ignored by the McMurray campaign.

Now, it appears that McMurray is changing his mind. In a Facebook post on Oct. 10, 2018, McMurray played off of the "Fix It Larry" moniker McMurray has used for his website (FixItLarry.org) and said that McMurray should be calling for a debate.

"BANG THAT HAMMER! Democracy needs some noise." In the post, McMurray also proposes to set up an empty chair for Collins.

"This is a welcome surprise," Piegza said. "I thought that I would finally get a chance to debate Nate at the forum at SUNY Geneseo, but apparently McMurray isn't attending. I am glad to see he isn't avoiding me."

As for the empty chair, Piegza says, "Collins might feel more comfortable if we swap the chair out for a prison bench."

October 10, 2018 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Days after revealing an impressive fundraising quarter, Nate McMurray revealed results of internal polling showing that the race for New York’s 27th Congressional District is tied between McMurray, the Democratic and Working Families Party Candidate, and incumbent Chris Collins, who was indicted on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI in August. The poll was taken from Oct. 6th – 8th, sampling 400 voters in the district.

With the race as a dead heat, McMurray’s support has come from a deep base of grassroots support as voters are demanding integrity and a member of Congress who will listen and truly represent them. McMurray has yet to air a single ad on TV, while Collins has spent heavily, launching extensive negative advertisements in the weeks before the poll.

“This proves what we’ve been seeing on the ground for months: We. Can. Win. Voters are tired of corruption and care about protecting healthcare, fighting for farms and supporting small businesses,” McMurray said. “Voters feel taken advantage of by a wealthy man who used his power to enrich himself instead of representing people like us.

"They are angry that he’s running for reelection because his defense attorneys told him to. They are sick of politics as usual that puts the desires of the powerful above the needs of working people. They know that we are better than this in Western New York, and they’re right.”

Among the findings of McMurray’s internal polling:

McMurray and Collins are tied and McMurray is in a strong position to win the election, having raised the necessary resources to communicate his message to voters in the final weeks of the campaign.

Collins and McMurray are each attracting 42 percent of the vote while Reform Party candidate Larry Piegza receives 6 percent and 10 percent of voters are undecided.

Nine in 10 voters (90 percent) report that they have heard, read, or seen information about Collins’ indictment, with a majority (57 percent) stating they have heard “a lot” about the indictment.

Earlier this week, McMurray’s campaign released his campaign’s third quarter reports, raising close to a half million dollars with the vast majority in the seven weeks following Collins’ indictment. This comes even as McMurray’s campaign will not accept corporate PAC money. Last week, he was endorsed by End Citizens United, a group dedicated to getting Big Money out of politics and fixing the rigged system in Washington so it works for all Americans./p>

Collins was arrested on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI in August and pledged to suspend his campaign. Collins broke his pledge weeks later on the advice of his criminal defense lawyers, announcing on Sept. 17 that he intended to keep remain on the ballot. It’s no surprise that overwhelming financial support has come to McMurray since voters learned that he would be running against Collins.

In that time, McMurray has built up his campaign staff and opened seven offices to hold the massive volunteer base.

NOTE: The Batavian has suspended publication of press releases from Rep. Chris Collins until Collins agrees to an interview.

October 8, 2018 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, the Democratic and Working Families Party candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District, today showed a major force of strength raising more than $475,000 in the campaign’s third quarter.  The vast majority of it was raised in the seven weeks following incumbent Member of Congress Chris Collins being indicted on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI.

The momentum of Nate’s campaign is accelerating even as the campaign is still counting checks from September.
 
“I’m proud to show the party bosses that our grassroots campaign has the resources to go toe-to-toe with special interest dark money and Mr. Collins’ dirty attack ads. We’re only getting started,” McMurray said. “I have been crisscrossing this district since January meeting thousands of voters from across Western and Central New York.

"We’ve been fueled by potlucks and picnics and our grassroots support has been growing from day one. But this race now has, and deserves, national attention. Mr. Collins’ arrest put NY-27 in the spotlight because it’s obvious to everyone, and certainly voters here, that they deserve better than a representative out on bail.

"I understand how big this district is – I know because I’ve been everywhere talking to voters about healthcare, Social Security, and how to help small businesses and family farms succeed – and I know that it’s important we get our message everywhere. You can expect to see us on TV soon and expect to see our grassroots supporters out in their neighborhoods, spreading our message of integrity and a system that works for the working men and women of this district.”
 
Nate’s impressive fundraising comes even as he will not accept corporate PAC money. Last week, he was endorsed by End Citizens United, a group dedicated to getting Big Money out of politics and fixing the rigged system in Washington so it works for all Americans.
 
It was Aug. 10 when Mr. Collins was arrested on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI but it was only Sept. 17 when voters of this region learned that it would be Mr. Collins running for reelection after weeks of bait-and-switch legal shenanigans.

It’s no surprise that overwhelming support has come to Nate since voters learned that he would be running against Mr. Collins.

In that time, Nate has built a professional finance operation, built up his campaign staff, and opened seven offices to hold the massive volunteer base.

Nate has also received the support of the working men and women of the district with support from:

  • Amalgamated Transit Union
  • American Federation of Government Employees
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
  • Buffalo Building Trades Council
  • Civil Service Employees Association
  • Communication Workers of America
  • International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 9
  • International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • International Union of Operating Engineers
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
  • New York State Nurses Association
  • New York State United Teachers
  • Niagara Building Trades Council
  • Service Employees International Union 1199
  • United Association of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders, & Service Techs
  • United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Workers of America
  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters
  • United Food and Commercial Workers
  • United Steel Workers

NOTE: The Batavian has suspended publication of press releases from Rep. Chris Collins until Collins agrees to an interview.

October 1, 2018 - 7:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, the Democratic and Working Families Party Candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District, today released the following statement in response to President Trump announcing a deal with Canada and Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“I think President Trump deserves praise for renegotiating trade deals that have hurt people of this region for decades. I believe in fair trade. My own life experience helping open markets to U.S. farmers and manufacturers shows me that trade creates opportunities. But I’m opposed to trade deals that only help the most powerful, where the true benefits of trade don’t come to the laborers and farmers who do the work. Remember that NAFTA was hailed when it was signed but ended up hurting people of this region.

“I don’t want to celebrate this deal until we see the full details, but I’m encouraged by President Trump’s commitment to dairy farmers. As we learn more details, I will evaluate its effectiveness based on what this means for workers in Lockport and farmers in Livingston County.”

In 2003, Nate was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study the development of democracy in the Constitutional Court of Korea. He worked to represent U.S. farmers and U.S. manufactures ensuring that they had an opportunity to feature their products in Korean stories helping create jobs back here at home.

October 1, 2018 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, Nate McMurray, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Yesterday on ABC News, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said if Democrats regain control of the House, the House Judiciary Committee would have to investigate Brett Kavanaugh if he's confirmed to the Supreme Court.

"We are looking forward to seeing where our self-admitted progressive opponent Nate McMurray stands on this issue," said Collins campaign spokeswoman Natalie Baldassarre. "Both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the FBI have done everything in their power to investigate these allegations, and so far both have come up with nothing.

"Now, Nancy Pelosi and her radical cohorts are desperately attempting to hijack this seat. The voters of NY-27 deserve to know if Nate McMurray agrees with the far-left cries to impeach Brett Kavanaugh."

Rep. Nadler, who would likely chair the House Judiciary Committee if Democrats regain control, said lawmakers "would have to investigate any credible allegations ... of perjury and other things that haven't been properly looked into before." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has even floated the idea of impeaching Kavanaugh if he is confirmed.

"If the FBI doesn't find any corroborating evidence against Brett Kavanaugh, the vast majority of Americans agree that he should be confirmed to the Supreme Court," Baldassarre added. "At the very least, Nate McMurray should let the voters of NY-27 know if he plans to stand in the way of that happening."

September 28, 2018 - 5:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, the Democratic and Working Families Party Candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District, today applauded the House of Representatives for unanimously approving legislation that would rename the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act after the bill’s champion, the late Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. The bill outlawed insider trading in Congress.

“Here in New York’s 27th Congressional District, we know the consequences of a member of Congress who takes their constituents for granted and decides that enriching themselves is their top priority. It took the FBI arresting Mr. Collins for many to see what Congresswoman Slaughter had been saying for months.

“On the campaign trail, I often tell the story of the time I met Louise Slaughter. I tell them that when I decided to challenge Congressman Collins a lot of people told me to go home, a lot of people in Washington told me not to bother. But then I met Louise. In her legendary Kentucky accent, she told me ‘if you do it, fight like hell,’ and since then we’ve made that the motto of our campaign.

“Louise told me to fight like hell and she showed us what it looks like to fight for what’s right. I’m proud that the House of Representatives honored her once again by recognizing her integrity, tenacity and the simple idea that a representative’s duty is to the constituents they serve, not their own financial interests.”

This week, Real Clear Politics labeled Nate’s race a toss-up.

September 22, 2018 - 8:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Nate McMurray.

Rep. Chris Collins, under federal indictment on charges of securities fraud, has kicked off his resurgent campaign with an ad attacking Democratic candidate Nate McMurray for supposedly having something to do with a free trade agreement with Korea, which Collins falsely claims has cost the United States 95,000 jobs.

In 2010, South Korea and the United States entered a free trade agreement commonly known as KORUS. 

Collins is apparently getting his statistic from a 2016 report by the union-backed Economic Policy Institute, which has a record of calculating job loss estimates solely on a balance-of-trade figure. 

Such a calculation ignores the increase in exports, the lower costs of imports, the jobs created from increased trade, and an assumption that the imports would have been made in the United States if not for the trade agreement. It is not a survey of how many actual workers, if any, were terminated after the trade deal.

Scott Lincicome, an international trade expert with the conservative Cato Institute, has written a couple of times about EPI's flawed methodology. 

EPI used the same methodology to make false claims about jobs lost to China. 

Writing about a similar report in 2012, Lincicome said:

I really shouldn't give the "study" an iota of bandwith, but because it will undoubtedly be mentioned by ignorant journalists or opportunistic politicians looking to respectively score a few cheap page views or scare a few unwitting voters, here's all you need to read:

  • My 2010 blog post dismantling of EPI and its study (including boatloads of links from myriad scholars decrying EPI's asinine "trade deficit = job losses" methodology); and
  • Today's quick dismissal of the EPI report by the U.S.-China Business Council.

The claim of 95,000 jobs lost is also contradicted by steady economic growth in the United States since 2010, including 95 straight months of job growth. Since 2010, the U.S. economy has added more than 18 million jobs.

According to a U.S. Trade Representative report from 2015, KORUS had increased U.S. exports to Korea by nearly $25 billion annually to that point. 

"U.S. auto exports to Korea increased by 208 percent by value between 2011 and 2015," the report states, "more than 14 times faster than the increase of U.S. auto exports to the world (up 14 percent), thanks to Korea’s 50-percent tariff reduction (from 8 percent to 4 percent) when KORUS entered into force."

In 2016, the USTR reported that total, two-way trade with Korea had increased to $144.6 billion, with $63.8 billion in exports and $80.8 billion in imports.

A trade deficit does not translate into job losses, however. It means Americans are buying more because of greater availability or lower prices. It doesn't mean those products would have been made in the United States.

The Batavian tried to contact the communications director for the Collins campaign this morning and got no response. We reached out to Chris Grant, who works for the campaign, and he referred us to a statement Collins issued to the Buffalo News.

This is a real video of Nate McMurray that he removed from social media because he didn’t want to defend his efforts to promote a Korean-U.S. Free Trade Agreement that shipped nearly 100,000 U.S. jobs overseas. Nate McMurray needs a new video to explain why he opposes President Trump's policies that are protecting American jobs and American workers. Hopefully, he’ll leave that video up.

Via text message, The Batavian pointed out to Grant that the statement didn't address Collins's false claim about the number of jobs lost and we got no response.

Collins made his claim as part of a campaign commercial (see video above) that attacks McMurray's past employment as an attorney for U.S. companies in Korea.

According to the Buffalo News story, McMurray helped U.S. companies trying to open up the Korean market to their exports.

McMurray learned to speak Korean while working there. He married a Korean. He's said that the Collins' ad is xenophobic. He shared this on Twitter yesterday:

"I watched that ugly attack ad with my son. His mom is Korean. My son speaks Korean. He looked at me with a grave sadness on his face. He felt what I felt. Neither of us said a word."

Collins was arrested Aug. 3 and charged with securities fraud. A few days later he suspended his campaign. Earlier this week, he announced he would not cooperate with GOP efforts to remove his name from the ballot in November and then announced he would resume actively campaigning for reelection. As far as we know, he made his first public appearance in the district today in Newstead. About the event, he tweeted

It's great to be back on the campaign trail meeting with constituents across NY-27. Voters have a clear choice in November. We must keep this seat in Republican hands to continue advancing President Trump's America first agenda.

September 21, 2018 - 3:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in NY27, politics, Nate McMurray, chris collins, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, the Democratic and Working Families Party Candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District, today responded to the launch of Chris Collins’ so-called campaign comprised solely of TV attack ads:

“Right out of the gate, Chris Collins’ so-called campaign has nothing to do with Chris Collins. There’s a reason: there’s nothing to brag about while their guy is out on bail. This ad is desperate, it’s untruthful, and no one’s going to fall for it. I can’t believe they thought it was a good idea to start with this.

“I won’t shy away from the fact that I speak a foreign language, that I’ve been on the front lines of the trade war that’s redefining our economy, and that I’ve been fighting FOR American workers. Do you think I’d have the support of the local and national labor community if I was going to ship jobs to Asia? Of course not.

“I’ll use every experience I’ve got to fight for this district. No can play me in Warsaw or Washington, Beijing or Batavia.

“If this is the best they’ve got, bring it."

In 2003, Nate was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study the development of democracy in the Constitutional Court of Korea. He worked to represent U.S. farmers and U.S. manufacturers ensuring that they had an opportunity to feature their products in Korean stories, helping create jobs back here at home.

About Nate McMurray

Nate McMurray is a native of North Tonawanda. He’s a family man, an Eagle Scout. He is also one of seven children raised by his widowed mother when his father died of cancer at the age of 39. Nate worked his way through community college, earned a bachelor’s degree at SUNY-Buffalo, then went on to law school and a successful career in business.

For the last two years, he’s served as town supervisor of Grand Island, a conservative community in Western New York, where he has been instrumental in bringing fiscal responsibility to local government and millions of dollars in new business investment to the town. For more on Nate McMurray and his campaign for Congress in NY-27, visit www.votemcmurray.com.

September 19, 2018 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Nate McMurray, notify.

Rep. Chris Collins announced on Twitter today that he will "actively" seek reelection to the NY-27 seat he's held through three terms despite being under federal indictment for alleged securities fraud, wire fraud and lying to the FBI.

Collins released his statement in a graphic. Below is the graphic:

dnetj3-x0aagqd9.jpg

Below is a response from Nate McMurray, who is challenging Collins in the November election:

Nate McMurray, the Democratic and Working Families Party Candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District, reacted to today’s news that indicted member of Congress and master insider trader Chris Collins would suspend suspending his campaign.
 
“It looks like the criminal is returning to the scene of the crime – and I’m not just talking about insider trading, lying to the FBI and everything else he’s been accused of – I mean the derelict(ion) of duty he did by ignoring his constituents and their interests for every second of his elected life.

"I’m curious to know what Mr. Collins means by ‘actively campaign’ because he hasn’t talked to his constituents, hasn’t held town halls, and has been hiding in his penthouse since the FBI arrested him. Now he thinks that the voters of this district who are getting hurt by a trade war, are struggling to make ends meet, and know that Washington is more corrupt than ever, he thinks they’re going to trust him? Give me a break. He looks out for himself. And maybe his donors.

"Chris Collins has been charged with a crime. He can’t buy his way back into his job.

"Chris Collins thinks the rules don’t apply to him. They do.

"Chris Collins represents everything that’s wrong with Washington.

"Chris, if you’re listening from Manhattan, here are a few words you may remember, ‘lock him up’ ‘drain the swamp’. I hear your next court appearance is on October 11. I bet some folks from NY-27 may take a road trip.

"In the meantime, I welcome you on the campaign trail, sir. Bring it.”

September 17, 2018 - 1:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, notify, Nate McMurray.

Rep. Chris Collins, the three-term congressman representing the NY-27 who was arrested on insider trading charges, will remain on the ballot in the November election.

Collins, in contradiction with prior statements, has decided not to cooperate with the efforts of GOP leaders in the district to have his name removed from the ballot and replaced by a new candidate.

Below is the only statement released by the Collins' campaign about the decision:

“Because of the protracted and uncertain nature of any legal effort to replace Congressman Collins we do not see a path allowing Congressman Collins to be replaced on the ballot.”

Statement by Mark Braden, legal counsel for Rep. Chris Collins

GOP county chairs were scheduled to meet tomorrow in Albany to select the person they hoped would replace Collins. WBTA reached Genesee County Chair Dick Siebert this afternoon and he said he was as surprised by the sudden of plans as everybody else.

In response to the news of the decision, Nate McMurray, running as the Democratic opponent to Collins in the election, released the following statement:

Today, Nate McMurray, the Democratic and Working Families Party Candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District, responded to the breaking news that his opponent, indicted Congressman Chris Collins, the first Member of Congress to endorse President Trump, will remain on the ballot despite long-pushed rumors that he would removed before November.

This morning several local news outlets reported and local Republican leaders confirmed that Congressman Collins, on advice from his attorneys, will choose to remain on the ballot.

“Well, it’s nice to finally know who I’m running against. But, in truth, we always knew we were running against Chris Collins. There are laws for a reason. There is accountability in our society for a reason. And in the greatest democracy in the world, voters weren’t going to take this kind of sham switching around names on a ballot at the whims of local party bosses,” McMurray said.

“I credit the people of Western New York for standing up in town after town saying ‘don’t force him on the ballot in my town.’ They saw through this fraud. They weren’t going to fall for the bait-and-switch strategy by the same team that endorsed, celebrated, took pictures with and defended Chris Collins.

“There is an incredible grassroots movement in NY-27. Like me, the voters want to Fight Like Hell against the political machine that has let them down for so long. They like that I’m an underdog. Every day when I’m out meeting voters, we talk about affordable, accessible healthcare for all, defending Social Security, investing in our infrastructure, protecting our farms. But in this region, we’re still always talking about corruption. Voters have a chance to end that once and for all in NY-27 and I’m excited for the next 50 days.”

McMurray heard the news as he was on stage opening his new office headquarters, his fourth in two months, standing with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. Chairman Perez announced the news to a raucous crowd of more than 120 volunteers and supporters as he announced that the DNC was “all in” for Nate’s campaign.

September 15, 2018 - 8:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news, notify.

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Standing in front of about 100 members of the Democratic Party -- volunteers who signed up walk precincts on his behalf -- Nate McMurray, candidate for Congress, said something you might find surprising: Donald Trump is right about a few things.

"Let's be honest, a lot of people voted for Donald Trump because they knew they needed help," McMurray said. "It was a Hail Mary. They felt like there wasn't a party representing them and maybe they needed somebody on the outside to say, 'hey, I can shake the system up.'

"I'm going to tell you something to a lot of people in the Democratic Party will not say," McMurray added. "Mr. Trump may be a master salesman. He may be a lot of things but his message was right in many respects. The message of the fact that a lot of Americans get left behind or forgotten about."

Many of Trump's voters are now disappointed in Trump, McMurray suggested, because he hasn't delivered on his promises.

"The problem is, Mr. Trump's message has been nothing but bluster," McMurray said. "He's is not doing anything to help people in this country. We hear about a booming economy but do you think the people here in this part of the region or the people in Attica, do you think they feel things are booming and moving and things are going great?"

McMurray promised not only to fight for jobs if elected, including opposing bad trade deals, but to support health care for all, protect Social Security, and follow through on a campaign promise Trump seems to have forgotten: infrastructure.

"Within 60 days in office, we will present a joint infrastructure bill in the house," McMurray said.

Right now, it's unclear who McMurray is running against. The man he planned to beat, Rep. Chris Collins, is under federal indictment on insider trading charges. The Erie County businessman continues as the singular target in McMurray's crosshairs, at least until, and if, the GOP NY-27 chairs are able to remove Collins from the ballot and replace him with another nominee.

Next week, Democratic Party Chair Tom Perez is going to visit the NY-27 but there was a time in McMurray's congressional quest, he said, when the party bosses told him he couldn't possibly beat Chris Collins and he should save his political capital for another fight, he said he told them Collins needed to be taken out.

"I said no someone has to stand up to Chris," McMurray said. "We know he has an ethics violation. We know he has this history of saying 'I only represent my constituents who are my donors.' He had this horrible record and all knew his record even before he was a congressman. We knew about his record when he was county executive when he would fire people and defund libraries and defund all kinds of projects important to the community just because he felt like it."

There was only one person in Washington, D.C., back then willing to encourage McMurray's run, said: Louise Slaughter.

It was Slaughter, he said, who wanted to know if McMurray would "fight like hell," which has become the campaign motto. 

"She said something else," McMurray said. "She said, 'this man has used the house of the people not to do people's business but to make money for himself and his family. Are you ready to stand up against that?' and I said yes and she said, 'Will you stand on his neck?' She said that.

"Now that's mean and it sounds tough but there comes time for accountability. It is time for accountability, not just for Collins but for the entire party that supported him."

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September 12, 2018 - 11:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, alexander.

Press release:

Join us on Saturday, Sept. 15th, at Alexander Fire Hall for lunch and a rally! Meet Nate McMurray and hear his inspirational message for New York's 27th Congressional District!

A year and a half ago, we drew an excited crowd of neighbors from across the 27th District who came together to stand up against Chris Collins. Since then, the energy has only increased. Many of us have met and been working for McMurray, and we're getting together again because we need your help and he needs to win. The 27th needs a representative who cares!

Fire hall event is 12-2 p.m.; canvassing happens afterward in various parts of the district. You can choose which part you'd like to canvass with a partner. One person can drive, one can knock doors, or you can knock doors together!

Lunch is provided by the Alexander Fire Department Auxiliary. It is $6/person and is chicken, tuna, or egg salad sandwich; macaroni salad; chips; cookie; pop or water. Alexander Fire Hall is located at 10708 Alexander Road, Attica.

September 11, 2018 - 10:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, the Democratic and Working Families Party candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District, released the following statement after Congressman Chris Collins broke his silence one month after suspending his campaign when he was indicted on charges of insider trading.

“Tonight voters heard from a man who has lost the public trust. Congressman Collins played the victim, has refused to resign from Congress and tonight expressed surprise that the rules do, in fact, apply to him.

“Mr. Collins admitted that this ballot bait and switch, ‘has never been done before’ and there’s a very clear reason: it’s undemocratic, it’s wrong, it’s insulting to voters, and it’s a joke. Most importantly, it’s illegal and will not stand. Our laws exist for a reason and party bosses don’t get to change them just because their candidate was indicted.

“The truth is that Mr. Collins is willing to be a sham candidate, willing to dupe voters by running for whatever position these kingmaking ‘powers that be’ can manipulate the easiest.

 “I’ve been crisscrossing the district and talking to the voters Mr. Collins pledged to represent and the truth is that they’re angry, they feel betrayed, and they don’t want to trust the system that knew about these allegations and propped up Mr. Collins anyway.”

In other NY-27 news, the deputy chief of staff for Collins, Michael Kracker, has resigned and taken a job with Unshackle Upstate as executive director.

September 4, 2018 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, chris collins, NY-27, news, notify.

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Nate McMurray thinks the president should take a positive interest in his campaign for Congress.

After Donald J. Trump sent out a highly controversial tweet yesterday blasting his attorney general for prosecuting criminal cases against Rep. Chris Collins and Rep. Duncan Hunter, McMurray responded with two tweets of his own. 

Hey, @potus popular? Around here @RepChrisCollins is about as popular as Lyme Disease. You need to pick better friends, maybe someone who actually has a clue about helping working families...Call me.

The Batavian asked, via text message, for McMurray to clarify his statement, McMurray said, "Just like I said. He's picking the wrong people. The wrong policies. If the President is really interested in helping the people here, and not just talking about it, I want him to be successful."

He then added, "I can help."

Collins was arrested by federal agents a month ago on charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and lying to the FBI. The NY-27 representative is accused of disclosing to his son confidential information about Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd. Collins served on the board of directors in 2017 and was notified in June of that year that a key clinical trial had failed. The call by Collins to Cameron Collins allegedly sparked a series of stock trades where Cameron, other family members, and associates dumped 1.4 million shares of the company's stock.

Hunter (who represents the eastern part of San Diego County, including El Cajon, filling a seat once held by his father) is accused of using campaign funds for personal expenses (a non-criminal accusation also levied in 1989 against his father). 

Contrary to Trump's claim in his tweet, neither investigation began during the Obama years. Both investigations started after Trump became president. In fact, the trigger for the investigation into Collins was Cameron's highly suspicious pattern of trades in June 2017, which led to investigators discovering the phone call made by Collins from the lawn of the Trump White House.

Two days after vowing to fight the charges and remain in the campaign for reelection at a press conference where he refused to take questions, Collins suspended his campaign. He promised to cooperate in an effort to get his name off the November ballot. So far, the eight GOP county chairs of the NY-27 haven't announced how they intend to get Collins off the ballot and there's even doubt among the chairs that it can be done.

The presidential tweet about the Collins arrest also prompted a press release from McMurray. He wrote:

“President Trump just acknowledged what we all know: what was long considered a slam-dunk election for Congressman Collins is now in doubt and the reasoning is clear – Congressman Collins spent more time worrying about making millions for his buddies than he did helping working families in Western New York,” McMurray said.

“The FBI finally confirmed what so many of us in Western New York know – that the system is corrupt. Now the same party officials that knew of Congressman Collins’ conduct want to fool voters into believing that they can pull a bait and switch to put someone new on the ballot. They want a mulligan. This isn’t democracy, this is fraud and the voters I meet as I crisscross the district won’t stand for it.

“I’m putting party politics aside to stand up for the working men and women of Western New York. I was proud to stand with many of them this Labor Day and I’ll be proud to work on their behalf in Congress.”

On Twitter, McMurray often portrays himself as fighting for the middle-class, working families of Western New York; however, where he aligns with Trump on issues is hard to say.

In a July 14 Tweet, McMurray he said:

Later in the month, he was critical of Collins' support of Trump's trade agenda, tweeting

TARIFFS ARE TAXES. My opponent supports them. I support smart trade, leveraging our strength to gain access to key foreign markets. We need to sell to more people. We don’t need to put up a barrier to the world and hide.

However, an email exchange with The Batavian on July 30, McMurray said Trump was 100 percent right in his assertion that the U.S. is being taken advantage of by trading partners. The Batavian had asked McMurray if he would seek the aid from the Koch Network, which is backing Democrats this cycle who support free trade. McMurray said he wouldn't, citing his agreement with the president that the world is taking advantage of the United States.

"We can’t bury our head in the sand," McMurray said. "We need to engage with the world. We just can’t do it the way we have done it, by getting taken advantage of and being willing to leverage our bargaining power."

One of the fears or Trump-supporting Republicans is that if the Democrats win control of the House in the mid-term elections, they will quickly move to impeach Donald Trump. McMurray has indicated on social media that he is not an automatic vote for impeachment.

 

McMurray has campaigned across the district since the arrest of Collins but has completely skipped over Genesee County during the past four weeks. Yesterday, he missed the Labor Daze parade in Oakfield.

Trump's Labor Day tweet has been criticized by both Republicans and Democrats as an attack on the criminal justice system and an attempt to subvert the rule of law.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who presented Genesee County in Congress before losing her seat to Collins in 2012 joined the chorus of boos this morning.

August 27, 2018 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27.

Press release:

In the two weeks since Congressman Chris Collins was indicted by the FBI, Nate McMurray’s campaign for New York’s 27th  Congressional District has steamed ahead with huge momentum.

Nate McMurray, the current Grand Island supervisor and Democratic and Working Families Party candidate for Congress, has run nonstop across the 27th District, meeting with hundreds of voters, doubling the number of volunteers helping his campaign, making key staff hires, and raising more than $100,000 in just a few days.

“I’ve spent the last seven months crisscrossing the district talking to voters and I can tell you that there was always a palpable grassroots energy but now it’s absolutely booming,” McMurray said. “Everywhere I go, I meet voters of all parties and I’ll tell you what I hear: they tell me that the system is broken.

"They feel ripped off by politicians who abuse their power and feel insulted by party bosses playing kingmaker. They use the word ‘corrupt’ and they’re right. Every day I hear them say that the system isn’t working for them and that want a real change.&rdquo

“The energy here in the 27th District is electrifying,” said Campaign Manager Victoria Dillon, Western New York native and an alumna of the Obama Administration, Iowa Caucuses and Capitol Hill, where she helped Congresswoman Louise Slaughter pass the STOCK Act to stop insider trading in Congress. “The campaign’s growing, Nate’s everywhere and voters are listening.”

In the two weeks since Congressman Collins was indicted:

McMurray has crisscrossed the 27th District eight times.

McMurray's campaign has received more than $100k in donations in the past two weeks from thousands of contributors.

McMurray's campaign has more than doubled the number of volunteers in our movement to get him elected to Congress.

McMurray's campaign has hired two additional staffers including Amherst-native Victoria Dillon as campaign manager.

Local leaders have publicly cheered Nate on including: Former Congressman John LaFalce, former WKBW anchor Susan Banks, and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.

McMurray has received huge support from the labor community including: the United Steelworkers, Service Employees International Union 1199 and the New York State United Teachers.

That adds to his support from the Western New York Area Labor Federation, New York State AFL-CIO, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1342, United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local One, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades and United Auto Workers.

In Ontario County: McMurray walked into a standing-room-only crowd in Farmington, a town that hadn't had an established Democratic committee until six months ago.

In Livingston County, he talked to more than 100 voters in Hemlock.

In Wyoming County: the day after Congressman Collins was indicted, our expected crowd doubled at a house party in Silver Springs.

McMurray has held rallies and barnstorms and house parties in Avon, Clarence, Canandaigua, Hemlock, Farmington and Silver Springs and received support from friends and neighbors at events in Grand Island, Amherst, and Buffalo.

He drove in the World’s Largest Demolition Derby at the Erie County Fair and attending the Wyoming County Fair.

He has conducted more than 30 national and local media interviews and held four press conferences.

About Nate McMurray

Nate McMurray is a native of North Tonawanda. He is one of seven children raised by his widowed mother when his father died of cancer at the age of 39. Nate worked his way through community college, earned a bachelor’s degree at SUNY-Buffalo, then went on to law school and a successful career in business.

For the last two years, he’s served as town supervisor of Grand Island, a conservative community in Western New York, where he has been instrumental in bringing fiscal responsibility to local government and millions of dollars in new business investment to the town. For more on Nate McMurray and his campaign for Congress in NY-27, visit www.votemcmurray.com.

August 11, 2018 - 6:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, news, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Chris Collins’ decision to suspend his campaign is good news for New York State and good news for America. This will be a trying time for him and his family but the era of corruption he represents must come to an end.

"This tragic tale is yet another example of how a corrupt party machine has consistently betrayed the people of the 27th Congressional District," Democratic congressional candidate Nate McMurray said today.

“It’s absolutely true that Chris Collins should not be running for this or any other seat, a fact that the local Republican Party knew full well when they endorsed and celebrated him while he was under investigation for securities fraud,” McMurray said.

“And now the same machine that relentlessly attacked me for daring to question Mr. Collins’ record is attempting to get rid of him while gaming the system in order to hold on to a seat they can no longer win,” McMurray said. “New Yorkers and Americans are sick of this kind of charade and they are right to be.

“And it is a continuing disgrace that both parties have not said, with one clear voice, 'resign, Mr. Collins, and do it today.’ Well, let me do it for them: Mr. Collins, a suspension is one thing but it is time for you to resign. Do it today.”

McMurray said that Collins’ arrest earlier this week on insider trading charges has brought attention to a race and a region previously overlooked by national media and political insiders.

“Pundits who a week ago couldn’t pronounce my name or tell the difference between Hamburg, New York and Hamburg, Germany are now laser-focused on this campaign,” McMurray said.

“But my focus has never wavered. I want to be an independent voice for the people who work two jobs and still struggle to meet their mortgage and their health care bills, the forgotten working and middle-class families who will pay the price for the tax cuts and insider deals that make Chris Collins and his friends rich. I know what it is to struggle, and I want to help others in their struggle as well.

“In a sense, the contest for the 27th has changed dramatically in the past few days but fundamentally the issues are the same,” McMurray said. “It’s still about breaking a failed system that serves itself and putting the power back in the hands of the people. That’s what I have stood for since Day 1, and that’s what I will stand for come January 1 in Washington, D.C.”

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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