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Nate McMurray

September 17, 2020 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael caputo, Nate McMurray, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democratic candidate for Congress in New York’s 27th District praised the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement that Western New York native, conspiracy theorist, fear monger, and embattled HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo would step aside from his role at HHS on a 60-day leave that extends through the Nov. 3rd election. The Department also advised that Caputo’s aide, Paul Alexander, will leave his post at HHS permanently. 

“I said it in April 2020 and I’ll say it again now: the President was beyond reckless to install Michael Caputo — who, by his own admission, has absolutely no scientific training or expertise — as ‘spokesman’ for HHS in the middle of a public health crisis in the first place,” McMurray said. “I wish Caputo well in recovering his faculties over the coming weeks, but this turn of events comes as no surprise. 

“Caputo has been a ‘yes’ man for Donald Trump since 2014 when he spearheaded a smear campaign to muscle out other bidders in Trump’s failed attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills. This spilled over into his shadowy work on Trump’s 2016 campaign and subsequent House of Representatives investigation during which Caputo was brought before the House Intelligence Committee. His latest smear campaign, accusing the learned scientists of the Centers for Disease Control of ‘sedition’ and ‘resistance’ when they have only been hard at work these last many months against the coronavirus, was the last straw.

“It’s clear that Michael Caputo’s loyalty doesn’t lie with the American people, but solely with Trump. His hiatus from HHS is welcome at this critical time in our public health crisis, but at the same time is too little too late. I call on Caputo to step down permanently and leave the scientific experts at the CDC and HHS to do their jobs for the American people.

“Meanwhile where is my opponent? When Western New Yorkers and every day Americans need Chris Jacobs, whether to vote correctly or to stand up for them and denounce Caputo’s and Trump’s organized assault on science, the CDC, and public health and safety, Jacobs’ head is firmly planted in the sand as he protects his own political interest over the public’s health and safety. The lack of leadership is staggering and the silence deafening.”

Here is Michael Caputo's statement, which Caputo sent to The Batavian yesterday, about his leave of absence:

After consultation with President Trump and Secretary Azar, I have decided to take a temporary medical leave of absence to pursue necessary screenings for a lymphatic issue discovered last week.

My experience mirrors that of many Americans. When I first noticed I was losing weight, I thought it was because of a new exercise and diet regimen. But over time, I realized there may be other factors causing my weight loss for months.

Instead of taking the time to see my doctor, I failed to do so. This was a mistake, and contributed to my stress level, along with the increasing number of violent threats leveled at me and my family back in Buffalo. But every American battling COVID — in every city in every state across the nation — has been under enormous pressure. I am just one of them.

I’ve learned so much in friendship with the doctors of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force. Sometimes we disagree, but we work in unity to defeat the virus and we care for one another. I want to thank Dr. Tony Fauci for conferring with my personal physician as we get the healthcare I long needed, and yet neglected, through the pandemic.

Our family is blessed. We urge all Americans to see their family doctor for the health care they need but have missed for months during this crisis. Do it today.

September 15, 2020 - 4:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news, notify.

img_2624itsathreat.jpg

Nate McMurray, candidate for the NY-27 congressional seat in this November's election, threatened me this past weekend.

The threat wasn't the first one McMurray has leveled at me.

The first threat was on a phone call on Feb. 16. That was the day we published this story: McMurray tweeted about his employer but mostly after he was put on unpaid leave.

Feb. 16 was also the first day in my professional journalism career, which goes back to 1986, that a candidate for public office, at any level, yelled at me over the telephone. To be honest, I shouted just as loud in my rejoinder. It was heated. I'm sure profanity was involved. It was a bizarre and disturbing conversation to have with a man who claims he's the best person to represent us in the House of Representatives. 

I don't have a recording of this conversation. Perhaps McMurray will release the recording he suggested he made. He has intimated -- part of his course of threats against me -- that he records all of his conversations.

I'm not sure what to say about a man who records all of his conversations without informing the other party. It's legal in New York. That doesn't make it ethical.

This conflict arose from a story we published Feb. 15: Nate McMurray's employer, owned by the family of his NY-27 opponent, placed him on leave without pay.

The story prompted Michael Caputo -- an Erie County resident, longtime Republican political strategist, and one of the early media supporters of The Batavian (he had me on his former television show once) -- to post a tweet suggesting I wasn't a real journalist for not including the assertion that McMurray was potentially placed on leave because of use of twitter to criticize Delaware North.

I immediately called Caputo and complained about the tweet but also admitted he was right: I should look at the timing of McMurray's tweets criticizing Delaware North. Caputo apologized for his rash tweet, and I believe he deleted it. (I can't confirm this because Caputo deleted all of his tweets after he joined the Trump Administration as assistant secretary of public affairs for Health and Human Services.)

I informed McMurray I intended to do a follow-up story. McMurray questioned my judgment. I told him -- as I remember it, but McMurray has the recording, not me -- that Caputo's criticism was valid. As a matter of journalistic ethics, I should look at those tweets. I also made the statement, as quoted back to me in a later text message by McMurray, "I do not want to deal with Caputo's army. I don't want these people on my back." I trust the accuracy of McMurray's quote since he apparently has a recording that I don't have.

As a Democrat, I'm sure McMurray is familiar with the concept of "cancel culture" -- the practice of bands of political extremists piling on people on Twitter to demean and threaten them, even threaten their livelihoods and personal safety, to enforce some perceived politically correct orthodoxy. It's not just a leftist thing. Trump supporters do it, too.

While I'm on friendly terms with Caputo, I also know the most single-minded of Trump supporters follow him on Twitter. Caputo is nothing if not expert at stoking the passion of Trump's base (as I think this New York Times article out yesterday illustrates (since this coverage, it appears Caputo has deleted his Twitter account)).

Any sane person would want to avoid getting "canceled" by the paranoid and angry mobs of either the left or the right. 

But that isn't the reason I wrote the story I did. Caputo had a legitimate point about the ethics of not including that information. It was something that I didn't even think about while working on the first story. It was an oversight that needed to be corrected.

My concern about Caputo was real, but that wasn't the reason I pursued a follow-up story. If I thought Caputo wrong about our failure to look a little deeper, I wouldn't have cared what he tweeted, but I saw no reason to volunteer for abuse in a situation where I had no real defense against his accusation.

There is a reason I never married the girl I dated in college. McMurray's twisting my statement into some a charge of capitulation to Caputo reminds me of her. She was an expert at turning an innocuous statement into an argument. It's what manipulators do.

The ironic thing is, the follow-up article, I contend, was quite favorable to McMurray. It showed Delaware North didn't suspend him because of his tweets. The tweets mocking the Jacobs family and Delaware North all came after McMurray's leave of absence began.

So while Caputo was right on the journalistic ethics of not looking at that aspect of events, he was wrong on the facts of the case.

Still, McMurray was angry. In our Feb. 16 call, he threatened to expose me as a toady to Michael Caputo. I loudly suggested to him that would be a bad idea, and he backed down.

Over the course of his threats, McMurray has questioned my journalistic credibility, calling me an activist. The insinuation is that I'm in the pocket of either Caputo or Jacobs, or both, or that I have a secret anti-McMurray, pro-GOP agenda.

The funny thing is the frequent commenters on Facebook who, every time we publish one of McMurray's press releases, try to engage in their own form of cancel-culture attacks on me and The Batavian, all think I'm on McMurray's payroll.

McMurray conveniently ignores the fact that early in the 2018 campaign, The Batavian was the first publication in the district to take his candidacy seriously. We did the first substantial interview with him.

Covering McMurray has never been about McMurray's politics. He's a candidate for federal office. He deserves to have his voice heard. It would be unethical to deny him a platform to be heard. It's why we publish all of his relevant press releases no matter how inane I might find them personally. We've done nothing in publication but treat him fairly.

Even after these attacks from McMurray started, we showed up at one of his campaign events and published a video that most would think reasonably and accurately captured the event with no anti-McMurray spin.

I suspect McMurray's anger about the Feb. 16 article had more to do with the fact that I quoted Caputo at length in the story than the fact that I did a follow-up.

I already knew McMurray hated Caputo. He had made his animosity clear months earlier in a private dinner meeting at Eli Fish Brewing Co. I also knew Caputo hated McMurray. More than once, he's said to me, "McMurray is a punk."

The next conflict came up around June 16, when we published five video interviews with the candidates in the NY-27 special election. McMurray proudly tweeted out a link to his interview with The Batavian but falsely claimed that Jacobs refused to submit to an interview. I retweeted his tweet and pointed out this error, linking to the interview with Jacobs.

Within minutes, McMurray started sending text messages. Among his claims, that I had told him that Jacobs had refused to sit for an interview. I never told McMurray any such thing. I can guarantee you, McMurray has no recording to support that assertion. He also said, accurately, that I would inform him once I had secured an interview with Jacobs. I neglected to follow through on this promise, which I had forgotten about until he reminded me.  

Be that as it may, I would expect a candidate for federal office to be informed enough about the media coverage of his own race to know when an interview is posted with his chief rival before making a claim that is falsifiable. How he could have missed an interview with Chris Jacobs on the home page of the best-read news source in Genesee County is something I can't explain.

Our ensuring testy text exchange included McMurray stating, "Time to start calling you out, Bro," followed by "I got tape."

To me, this was another threat. It was another attempt at extortion, another attempt to bully me into not bucking McMurray's campaign narrative. 

Later in July, there was the debate about whether Genesee County is a "news desert," the latest trendy phrase among media pundits about rural counties without sufficient local news coverage.

Margaret Sullivan is the former editor of the Buffalo News. Currently, she is a media columnist for the Washington Post. Earlier this year, she published a book, Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy.

According to excerpts of the book (such as this one from The Atlantic), Sullivan quotes McMurray about local coverage of his 2018 campaign against then-incumbent Chris Collins. As you may recall, Collins was under federal indictment -- charges he would eventually admit to -- for insider trading and lying to the FBI.

But in the more far-flung parts of the sprawling congressional district, voters were far less informed. The largely rural and suburban district includes Orleans County, which, according to Abernathy’s criteria, is a news desert—one of just a few in New York State.

“I’d be going door to door, or meeting with people at a diner or a fair, for example, and in the most isolated areas, a lot of people had no idea that their own congressman had been indicted,” McMurray told me. Orleans County, west of Rochester, he said, was “one of the toughest places.” Some people didn’t even know who Collins was, and many were incredulous when McMurray told them of the federal charges.

“People told me I was making it up,” said McMurray. That shouldn’t have been the case, given that television news stations in both Rochester and Buffalo were giving plenty of airtime to the scandal as it developed, and those stations were available throughout the district. Nevertheless, the constituents lacked access to the in-depth coverage that a newspaper would have provided. At one time, almost everyone in the district had ready access to print editions of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle or The Buffalo News, or were within easy reach of smaller newspapers in nearby Niagara Falls or Lockport.

This inaccurate take on the 2018 election was not only insulting to Tom Rivers, editor of Orleans Hub, but to me, as the publisher of The Batavian. I complained to The Atlantic, The Washington Post, which also Margaret Sullivan, first on Twitter, and then when she didn't respond, via email.

I believe these assertions are demonstrably, factually wrong. I believe corrections are in order -- and are still in order -- for the book, and these other august publications.

The Batavian reaches at least 70 percent of our market -- Genesee County -- every week. Our readership is 10,000 to 12,000 area residents per day. On a market-size-adjusted basis, the Buffalo News would love to reach as many people as The Batavian. In the past 10 years, we've published more than 900 items about the 27th district. While Jerry Zremski, of the Buffalo News, did Pulitizer-Prize-worthy work in uncovering the corruption of Chris Collins, an investigative enterprise, a publication like The Batavian could never hope to duplicate. I do believe our coverage after his indictment was as robust and thorough as any news publication in Western New York. And I know Tom Rivers covered the case thoroughly as well.

There is simply no way that one single voter in either Genesee or Orleans counties went to the polls in November 2018 without knowing Rep. Chris Collins stood accused of federal crimes.

I heard locally many times in 2018 that people would prefer to vote for a Republican accused of insider trading and lying to the FBI than vote for a Democrat, no matter how much that Democrat might admire Ronald Reagan.

I tried to make this clear to Sullivan. Still, her response was, "Nate McMurray was emphatic, in our interview, that he encountered a surprising number of people in some parts of the district (we specifically discussed Orleans) who weren't aware of Chris Collins' indictment. He tied this to news coverage."

In other words, if there were going to be any retraction of these bogus claims of misinformed voters, it would have to come from McMurray.

So I sent a text message to McMurray about his quote, and the conversation soon devolved into an argument about my journalism bona fides and how I had, in his view, capitulated to Caputo. He mentioned the "tape" again.

"You actually said that bro," after I accused him of lying about the substance (not the statement itself, as quoted above, but the meaning) of my comment, "and maybe I record all my calls."

It's evident to me that Nate McMurray, much like Donald Trump, will browbeat and bully reporters who won't genuflect at his feet. If the coverage isn't fawning, it's fake news. If the journalists report the truth, they're an enemy of the people. This is the mindset of the narcissist and the authoritarian. 

We saw it on public display when McMurray blasted the Buffalo News for reporting on his unhinged tweets attacking Democratic leadership.

Apparently, in McMurray's world, when the press cover's Trump deranged tweets, it's news. When the press covers McMurray's off-the-wall tweets, it's "gossip."

What set off McMurray this weekend was my response to one of his tweets about a campaign appearance in Batavia without appropriate notification to the local news outlets. 

So I tweeted, "Another politician avoiding the media."

It didn't take but seconds for McMurray, who seems to be obsessed with Twitter, to send me a text message, setting off another argument leading to another threat (screenshot at the top of this editorial). He claimed in the course of the argument that the event wasn't public, but the pictures show it took place at DeWitt Recreation Area. And he posted pictures about it on a public forum. To claim it was a private event is disingenuous. He used a public space and publicized it after the fact in an open forum.

In my jurisdiction, when a candidate for state or federal office makes a public appearance locally, the local media should be notified; otherwise, the candidate is merely dodging public scrutiny. That shouldn't happen in a democracy. In the age of Trump, it's all that much more important to cling to these democratic norms.

And for those who think I might just be picking on McMurray, earlier this month, we received a press release from Rep. Chris Jacobs about his tour of GCASA. While GCASA is essentially private property, the fact that Jacobs thought it public enough to issue a press release about it makes it clear, it was a public event.

The press should be informed of his visit. The fact no invites went out to local reporters is, to me, a clear indication Jacobs wishes to avoid any tough questions about his time, thus far, in office. I can assure you, Jacobs' staff heard a detailed complaint from The Batavian about this failure to inform the local media about his visit to a location in Genesee County.

The fact is, Nate McMurray and Donald Trump are more alike than McMurray will ever acknowledge. Both claim to be men of the people (I'm reminded of the song by The Blasters, Common Man) but are elitist -- Trump by his money (no matter how overstated his actual wealth) and McMurray by his big-corporation attorney pedigree. Both love the media limelight. Both use Twitter to cultivate devotees. Both are narcissists with authoritarian tendencies. Both blame others for their failings and never acknowledge their mistakes. Both attack reporters who dare to tell the truth about them or challenge them in any way.

If you're among those who support either of these men, fine. It's a free country. We don't cover Donald Trump, but we do cover the NY-27, as well as several other local political jurisdiction, and we want to make it clear, The Batavian won't be bullied by any politician. 

We've never been afraid of politicians. We weren't scared when Jane Corwin refused to answer questions about the conduct of her campaign. We weren't fearful of Kathy Hochul when her campaign misquoted our interview with Chris Collins. We didn't cower when Chris Collins ran away from our interview attempts.

If Nate McMurray thinks he can bully us in order to keep us covering him without fear or favor, this editorial should emphatically answer that question. He can't.

img_2626recenttweet.jpg

The tweet that prompted Nate McMurray's most recent threat against The Batavian.

img_2275misrepcaputo.jpg

McMurray misrepresenting the reason for our follow-up story about his being put on leave by Delaware North.

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The messages from McMurray after my tweet about him saying Jacobs refused an interview. Note, "Time to start calling you out bro" and "I got tape."

UPDATE 7:20 p.m.: Here is McMurray's text message in response to this piece. He's also blocked me on Twitter.

img_efd1d873b9a9-1mcmurrayresponse.jpg

August 29, 2020 - 5:33pm
posted by Press Release in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news, Chris Jacobs.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democratic congressional candidate in NY-27, released the following statement after his opponent attended Donald Trump’s acceptance speech for the Republican 2020 Presidential nomination:

“After his ‘no’ vote against NY-27’s postal workers last weekend, and after more than 180,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, Chris Jacobs recklessly joined a crowd of more than 1,500 unmasked people, seated for hours cheek to jowl in a potentially unlawful gathering to lavish praise on Donald Trump.

"Will he self-quarantine for two weeks? He won’t, but he absolutely should. Not even Mitch McConnell was so cavalier about his own health, opting instead to stay thousands of miles away in Kentucky rather than risk attending what was little more than a garish coronation.

“We know without a doubt that Trump lies to the American people, and that he will continue to re-write history in order to fit his false narrative for November. Over 3,600 Americans died over the four days of the RNC from the coronavirus. Nearly 30 million Americans are on unemployment after Trump failed to create a national strategy for combating COVID-19.

"Trump and Jacobs continue to support defunding Social Security, and their attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act and coverage for pre-existing conditions continue as well. These are indisputable facts.

“Donald Trump and Chris Jacobs desperately want you to be afraid of Joe Biden, but it is a sad attempt to distract you from the horrors of Donald Trump’s America today — where moral leadership is vacant, the President is above the law, dissent is punished by pepper spray or worse, and the reality that Americans are living each day is re-written to fit Trump's authoritarian narrative of ‘greatness.’

“We can do better, and we must. That begins with rejecting Jacobs and Trump on November 3rd. Then we do the hard work of implementing universal healthcare, achieving racial and social justice, rebuilding our infrastructure, strengthening Social Security and Medicare, combating climate change, and so much more.

“This November, don’t pull a Jacobs. Don’t let your vote be a mistake.”

August 24, 2020 - 3:10pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, news, Nate McMurray, NY-27.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, congressional candidate in NY-27, released the following statement after his opponent voted against $25 billion in funding for the USPS (H.R. 8015), but then released a statement that he had mistakenly pushed the wrong button and meant to vote for the bill:

"Yesterday, thousands of letter carriers and postal workers in NY-27 went to bed believing that their congressman voted against their very existence as essential workers. Today, hundreds of thousands of voters woke up to wonder whether their congressman was even able to do his job. Chris claims he was 'distracted' during the vote and was on his way to the airport before he realized he had 'pushed the wrong button.'

"How could he allow that to happen? Could he have been eager to get home before his big fundraiser Monday morning? The truth is that this negligence would never have happened on a vote important to his big-money donors.

"No matter his alleged intention, Chris Jacobs' actions have shown zero support for the USPS and zero ability to stand up to the President. Chris has been silent as Trump threatened our democracy, saying that no funding meant fewer mail-in ballots for November and a better chance for his reelection. He hasn't said a word about postmaster DeJoy stealing mailboxes and dismantling mail sorting machines here in Buffalo.

"I'm proud to be endorsed by the National Association of Letter Carriers, because they know I can't be distracted from the fight to protect our workers, unions, and democratic institutions. There is going to be another big vote in November, on inept politicians like Jacobs and Trump — I know there are many former Jacobs voters in NY-27 who are ready to change their vote, too."

We offered Chris Jacobs an opportunity to comment on his vote but did not get a response from his congressional office.

Here is a story from the Buffalo News about the vote, Jacobs' statement about casting the wrong vote, and his position on the bill.

"I don't know what happened," Jacobs said. Noting that he might have been distracted during the vote, he added: "I must've hit the wrong button."

Reed, who voted yes without incident, agreed with Jacobs' sentiments in favor of the bill, which also blocks President Trump's postmaster general from implementing changes that have delayed delivery and that could hamper mail-in voting in the November election.

"I believe a healthy, functioning post office is critical to our nation’s well-being,” said Reed, who recently sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to ask about the delays. “With more federal support and additional coordination with Postmaster General DeJoy, the issues delaying mail, medication and bill deliveries can be addressed immediately."

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: We received the following statement from Jacobs:

“I fully support the USPS and I had every intention of voting in favor of H.R. 8015, the Delivering for America Act. I made an unfortunate mistake and voted no instead of yes. I will ensure that the Congressional Record is corrected to reflect my support for this legislation. During these uncertain times it is critical that Western New Yorkers have faith in our fundamental public institutions and the United States Postal Service is certainly one of those. I supported and intended to vote for Saturday’s legislation to send a clear message that I will do whatever it takes to ensure a stable and reliable postal service. Saturday’s bill should’ve been included within a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package. 

I urge the Speaker to resume negotiations and I will be working tirelessly to get one passed with targeted aid for small businesses, farmers, workers and families.”

-Congressman Chris Jacobs

August 14, 2020 - 10:39am
posted by Press Release in Nate McMurray, news, NY-27, Beth Parlato.

Press release:

Democratic candidate Nate McMurray released the following statement as reports circulated that Wednesday, Aug. 12th, Conservative candidate Beth Parlato would vacate her ballot line in NY-27. Under significant pressure from GOP party bosses, Parlato is reportedly willing to accept a nomination for a State Supreme Court judgeship using an often abused loophole in New York election law.

“I do not agree with Beth on much, but I admire her strength and tenacity. The same party bosses that attacked her and pressured her to bow to Jacobs in the primary want a unified political machine because they’re nervous about Jacobs in November. She told them ‘No’ before, and I hope she’ll do it again.”

McMurray hopes that Parlato stays true to her principles regarding party corruption.

“I talked with Beth a few times, and she was as disgusted by these party insiders as I was. These are the same men who made excuses for Chris Lee, still defend Chris Collins, teamed up against David Bellavia, and traded their principles for Jacobs’ deep pockets — a guy who up until a couple of months ago didn’t have a conservative bone in his body.

"She knows Jacobs is a fake. She knows that his allegiance isn’t to conservative morals or Republican ideals, his only loyalty is to the pursuit of money and power. I hope today she won’t do what Jacobs has done so many times, changing herself and her positions on a dime for political expediency.”

The Batavian attempted to give Parlato a chance to respond. We sent an email to her campaign email address and the email bounced. We sent a direct message through Facebook to her campaign more than 24 hours ago and the message doesn't appear to have even been read. 

August 11, 2020 - 12:16pm
posted by Press Release in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

The United States Postal Service, even before the current strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has endured years of attacks by President Trump. These attacks have ramped up as more states expand access to vote-by-mail in response to the still-raging pandemic.

Democratic candidate for Congress Nate McMurray is calling for NY-27 to be a national bellwether, for absentee and vote-by-mail systems to be quickly safeguarded, and for Trump’s attacks on America’s favorite Federal agency to be rebuked.

In his attacks on the Postal Service, Trump has continued to baselessly claim "fraud" regarding mail-in votes, but in addition to this smear campaign has fractured its inner foundations: withholding funding; appointing unqualified Republican donor Louis DeJoy to be postmaster general; and slowing delivery times, delaying delivery of medications, Social Security checks, and soon millions of votes in the November elections.

“The Postal Service is a vital, publicly held resource," said McMurray, who has twice been endorsed by the National Association of Letter Carriers. "The connection it provides, especially in rural areas, is more important than ever because of the pandemic.

"Mail-in votes, which have been around since the Civil War, are necessary to keep our nation safe as we prepare for this November election. The USPS is an institution that binds our country together, rain or shine, one stamp at a time. It predates the nation’s independence and is recognized by the Constitution.” 

In the NY-27 June Special Election, nearly half of all votes cast were cast by mail. After an unprecedented resurgence in the absentee count — capturing nearly 70 percent of all mail-in ballots — McMurray closed his election night gap to just 5.2 percent.

This result was nationally recognized as a harbinger for November, when the results of many elections, including the Presidential Election, are unlikely to be known on election night.

After a landmark ruling handed down last week in New York State to protect votes previously removed from official counts in the NY-12 primary, the McMurray campaign estimates that several hundred additional ballots will be counted in NY-27.

The ruling, in this case, argued by Arthur Schwartz, counsel to the McMurray campaign, ordered the NYS Board of Elections to direct all local boards to count all ballots received by June 24th, regardless of postmark, and all ballots received by June 25th with a timely postmark. 

“I applaud this ruling and continue this campaign’s fight to count every single vote. Even as Jacobs votes to gut healthcare protections for pre-existing conditions and continues to stand by Trump in Washington, more votes against him by the people of NY-27 continue to be counted,” McMurray added.

McMurray has previously called for New York State to take direct action to bolster the absentee voting process in November, including a simplified application, clearer ballot instructions, for ballots to be sent sooner, and for the realities of rural postal service to be recognized in setting postmark deadlines.

McMurray is now joining leaders across the country in calling for the Inspector General to investigate the recent actions of the Trump administration and Postmaster DeJoy, full funding of the USPS, and a legislative review of Bush-era law that has detrimentally constrained Post Service finances, growth, and innovation. 

McMurray concluded: “We know that the President himself votes by mail. We know that his attacks on mail-in voting are a sham, just partisan lies while he attempts to destabilize the electoral process and put party over country. Does Chris Jacobs stand with Trump on this as he does with the President on every other issue?

Extreme Republicans like Jacobs and Trump know that if every American has the chance to vote, they will lose. I will continue to defend our democracy, demand that every vote be counted now and in November, and defy any politician that calls for anything less.”

August 10, 2020 - 3:21pm
posted by Press Release in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Today, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer enthusiastically renewed his support for Nate McMurray in the Nov. 3rd election for Congress in NY-27. 

“I am eager to see Nate McMurray win this election so we can get to work on a shared agenda to expand access to affordable healthcare, strengthen the middle class, protect union rights, and preserve our farms," Senator Schumer said. "Nate is a fighter who will take on the damaging and dangerous Trump agenda and always champion the interests of the people of Western New York.” 

McMurray added: “I am proud to have Senator Schumer’s endorsement going into the most important election of our lifetimes. He and I are committed to defeating the Trump agenda and its supporters, like Chris Jacobs, in November. Not only has Chris Jacobs aligned himself with a failed President, but he has condemned Black Lives Matter, voted against a pay raise for our armed forces, and voted to kill the Affordable Care Act at the height of a pandemic that has killed 150,000 Americans.  

“Senator Schumer and I share many core values, like a Washington that delivers for working-class Americans, expanding healthcare, and protecting Social Security. I’m eager to get to work with him on behalf of NY-27 and all of Western New York.”

August 6, 2020 - 2:29pm
posted by Press Release in Nate McMurray, chris collins, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, congressional candidate in NY-27, released the following statement after former Congressman Chris Collins asked for a fourth delay in reporting to federal prison. 

After lying to the public, claiming that the charges were meritless, Collins pled guilty to insider trading in October of 2019. This unleashed a cascade of negative impacts on the people of WNY, especially the constituents of NY-27. Collins was set to report to prison on March 17th, which was delayed until April, and now Aug. 18th due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Collins is requesting that his report date be delayed again to Oct. 13th.  

“We have been here before. Hundreds of us wrote letters to implore the judge in Collins’ case to administer a fair sentence. We watched his tearful pleas; the hammer of justice raised, but not brought down. Chris Collins now unapologetically claims the pandemic threatens this life and should prevent him from serving his prison sentence — it’s a twisted irony that he was the first supporter of President Trump in Congress, the man who so horribly mishandled the pandemic, which led to so many avoidable deaths across our country and especially in New York State.

“Trump and his ilk are also demanding that our schools open immediately, but that elections be delayed, and now that justice be delayed too. If our kids can go back to school, Chris Collins can pay his debt to society. He denied this region representation, and he lied to secure power and privilege. Politicians like Trump yell ‘law and order,’ but when it comes to their buddies, it’s a different story: Manafort, Stone, Flynn, and yes, Collins. 

“I have always believed that justice must be balanced with mercy, but Chris Collins has seen more mercy than most. Justice delayed is justice denied — he needs to go to jail now."

August 3, 2020 - 2:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Democratic Congressional candidate Nate McMurray released the following statement after Republican Chris Jacobs voted against an amendment that would keep taxpayer dollars from funding the Trump administration’s lawsuits to strike down the Affordable Care Act:

“Let me be clear: Every American deserves healthcare, and that is exactly what I will fight for in Washington. To watch the Republican assault on affordable, accessible healthcare with no plan of their own is horrifying. But it is inhumane for Trump and his followers like Jacobs to continue their attacks while our country is ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic—using taxpayer dollars to strip protections for pre-existing conditions and sabotage a program that the majority of Americans support.

"Our country has seen over 150,000 deaths, an estimated 5.4 million Americans have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance, and after voting against sick pay for COVID-19 patients in Albany, Chris Jacobs is voting with Donald Trump to kill the Affordable Care Act.

“I have spent years in this district; the people from Canandaigua to Clarence, and everywhere in between, know that Nate McMurray fights for healthcare and the working class. The people of NY-27 are already up at night worrying about the pandemic, their jobs, schools reopening; and now, they have to worry about Jacobs taking away their healthcare.

“Thanks to House members of both parties in Western New York who voted ‘Yes,’ this amendment passed in spite of Jacobs and Trump. As he did on his first day, Jacobs stood alone again, hurting the people of NY-27.”

July 30, 2020 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, news, NY-27, Chris Jacobs.

Press release:

Yesterday, President Trump recommended that Americans listen to the advice of a doctor, Stella Immanuel, who claims to have a cure for COVID-19: hydroxychloroquine," said Nate McMurray, Democratic congressional candidate for NY-27.

"The medical community at large, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the FDA, and randomized experiments have all indicated that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective, and sometimes dangerous when used to treat COVID-19.

"But that has not stopped the President from promoting it. This supposed doctor has also advised against wearing masks and warned about some 'vaccine' that would make us less religious. Worse yet—she has a history of mixing complete conspiracy and mythology into her medical advice—talk of demons, witches, and aliens. Yet Trump still called her 'very impressive.' "

Chris Jacobs, after tightly tying himself to Trump, has remained silent on this and many other issues. Since the Special Election, Jacobs has remained mute on this and many other outrageous or offensive comments by the President, hiding behind a team of spokespeople.

“He’s practicing a sort of à la carte Trumpism," McMurray said. "He wants to take what benefits him politically and ignore the conspiracy, lies, and failures. Tens of thousands of people are dying. Americans are banned from traveling to most countries. Trump’s handling of the virus is a historic fiasco, and the people of Western New York want leadership, not some flip-flopper.”

McMurray has echoed the warnings of doctors and scientists since January and has offered recommendations for achieving best practices on testing and tracing for months. Unlike Jacobs, if elected McMurray would be advocating for a national testing plan, resources to stabilize and sustain NY-27’s rural hospitals, and responsible allocation of federal funds for state and local governments, families, and small businesses.

“The press, our campaign, and the voters will hold Jacobs accountable for his poor judgment and bad acts, like voting against sick pay for COVID-19 patients, spreading misinformation during the pandemic, and not holding the President accountable when Americans are dying,” McMurray continued. “The President claimed to have ‘researched’ my record before lying to the people of Western New York. For America’s sake, I wish he would research these quack doctors that are putting all of our lives at risk with their misinformation.

"Jacobs’ father was a highly respected medical professional — head and shoulders above the likes of the strip mall snake oil salesmen that Trump promotes. I implore Jacobs, Trump, and all Americans to listen to the true experts and to reason. The real tragedy is that so many of the deaths occurring now are completely avoidable.

"We could manage this virus until there is a vaccine, but our President and Jacobs have abandoned science for party politics. They have chosen talk of aliens, witches, and demons, instead of leadership and solutions for the American people."

July 28, 2020 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, Nate McMurray.

Press release:

After an almost muted, secretive swearing-in ceremony and an election that still has not been certified, Chris Jacobs has begun his short term in Congress. His first big moment? A vote against our military and for the Confederacy.

Jacobs sided with Trump and voted against the National Defense Authorization Act, because it includes a provision to rename military bases that are currently named after Confederate Generals. The bill, H.R. 6395, passed the House easily with more than half the Republican caucus voting for it. Every other Congressperson from Western New York voted for it—even Trump extremists like Tom Reed and Elise Stefanik sided with Democrats Higgins and Morelle.

“Jacobs was alone on his first day of Congress, protecting dead traitors. I want to be shocked, but I’m not. Jacobs has sided with Trump over the people of NY-27 again and again, even supporting Trump’s failure during the pandemic and Trump’s advocacy for far-right conspiracy theories. This bill will give a pay raise to our troops, and provide the Pentagon with pandemic response funding—I’m glad it passed in spite of Chris Jacobs. We are going to watch him like a hawk watches a field mouse,” McMurray said.

Jacobs also voted against H.R. 1957, the Great American Outdoors Act, a vastly bipartisan bill to fund and restore our National Parks. The bill also funds state and local parks without using taxpayer dollars. The bill’s passage marks a once-in-a-generation win for environmentalists, for the President, and for bipartisanship, but Jacobs voted against it.

“Our national, state and local park system is second to none, and the question has to be asked: ‘Why would Jacobs vote against 94 percent of Americans that support preserving these natural wonders?’ His family’s business, Delaware North, has extensive business with the National Parks and has had a high-profile, coastline dispute with Parks Services over Yosemite. It’s fair to ask if Jacobs should be voting on such bills, given the potential conflicts.”

McMurray was most concerned, however, about Jacobs’ support for the confederacy.

“Jacobs said that Black Lives Matter is a radical ideology, but defending treasonous generals is OK? A man of wealth like him, a man whose family owns estates across New England, owns the Boston Bruins itself, cannot claim this has to do anything to do with ‘Southern Pride,’ ” McMurray continued.

“He is shamelessly indulging the racist agenda of our President, and it’s an insult to the Union soldiers from across NY-27 who fought the Confederacy. There are tributes to these soldiers everywhere — including the town square in Avon, before the courthouse in Warsaw, and in Geneseo where there stands an obelisk honoring the Union war dead. Geneseo is also home to a statue of General Wadsworth, who defended our nation’s capital, fought valiantly in Gettysburg, and died on the battlefield. The current Republican Town Supervisor is his descendant,” McMurray added.

McMurray is planning a tour to pay tribute to the men and women of the Genesee Valley and Niagara Frontier who confronted the tyranny of the Confederacy and fought for what was right at the most pivotal moment in our country’s history.

NOTE: The Batavian offered the Chris Jacobs campaign to respond and the campaign declined.

July 22, 2020 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Today Nate McMurray, the Democratic nominee in the 27th congressional district, held a press conference with supporters on the status of his race and his path to victory in November.

“I am amazed and grateful for the support, and especially blown away by our victory here in Ontario County. On Election Day we were down by 42 points across the district, and now we are down to a mere 5 points, maybe even less,” McMurray said. “Even though Jacobs received significant support from President Trump -- including numerous robocalls, tweets, and a live Town hall the night before Election Night -- even though he outspent us on commercials 10 to 1 and is able to privately fund his campaign, and even though we ran a progressive campaign in the reddest district in New York, Jacobs only won by a small margin.

"All things considered, he should’ve maintained his 42-point lead from election night. Make no mistake, while my opponent has claimed victory time and again prior to tens of thousands of votes being counted, attempting to silence countless voices of people in this district, he knows, and Trump knows, Jacobs is limping into Washington. This is the foreshadowing of our clear path to victory three months from now, when an additional 150,000 or more people will be casting their ballots.

“While Jacobs is about to serve one of the shortest congressional terms ever, the next three months are critical. Now Jacobs must address the critical issues facing our region that he avoided on the campaign trail. Will Jacobs continue to defend President Trump and how he has handled COVID-19? Will Jacobs continue to claim Trump is doing a great job for our region when Western New York has one of the worst job markets in the country? It is our job to hold them both accountable. It is our job to continue to stand against the daily lies being told and to fight for our democracy.

“A critical part of our fight is to ensure that when 150,000 additional people cast their ballot this November, every vote is counted. Due to massive confusion during this Special Election, people struggled to receive their ballots in time to no fault of their own, and as a result, thousands of ballots were thrown away and not counted. This is unacceptable. We must do better.

"It is imperative we make this process simpler, more accessible and more transparent and get county boards of elections the critical resources they need to process a growing number of unprecedented absentee ballots. Trump and Jacobs are already trying to suppress our votes and silence our voices, but we will continue to advocate for truth and to fight like hell for the people of the 27th."

July 9, 2020 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, NY-27, news, Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, Jacqualine Berger.

Not all the votes are counted yet -- delayed by the massive number of mail-in ballots filed -- but some candidates from the June 23 election are sounding confident of the outcome.

Chris Jacobs seems to believe he's won the NY-27 while Nate McMurray seems sure he's lost and Jacqualine Berger has declared victory in the Democratic primary for the 61st State Senate District.

Richard Siebert, the Republican commissioner for the Genesee County Board of Elections, said it will be 24 to 48 hours before local unofficial results will be released.

That said, based on what he's seen so far, it looks like McMurray will have 400 more votes locally from mail-in ballots than Jacobs in the special election to fill the unexpired term of convicted criminal Chris Collins. 

Siebert believes McMurray won every precinct in the City of Batavia.

Still, that won't be enough for McMurray to close the gap on in-person voting on June 23, when McMurray polled only 1,565 votes in Genesee County to 4,536 to Jacobs.

Results also aren't released yet for other counties but the campaigns typically have poll watchers in place during vote counting so they have some idea what to expect when tallies are released.

Last night, Jacobs released this statement:

"With the counting completed today and the outcome reaffirmed, I’m eager to get to work for the people of Western New York as their representative in Congress. I care deeply about this community and I will do all I can to serve it with honesty and integrity. I would also like to personally thank each Board of Election member and employee who worked tirelessly throughout this process and the entire election season. Conducting an election under these circumstances was challenging for all involved and I appreciate the sacrifices made.”

McMurray has not released a statement but he did tweet about the election outcome.

In the State Senate primary, Democrat Jan Berger released this statement:

Educator Jacqualine Berger has declared victory in the Democratic Primary Election to run for the New York State Senate seat vacated by longtime Republican State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer. Berger was victorious against Kim Smith, formerly of the Monroe County Department of Public Health, and Joan Elizabeth Seamans, a small-business owner. 

The race was too-close-to-call on the night of the election. After all the votes were tallied, Berger edged Smith by 141 votes. Berger received 9,246 votes (39%), while Smith earned 9,105 (38%) and Seamans received 5,475 votes (23%).  

“I am honored to have won this close election against two outstanding candidates. I congratulate both of my opponents for running strong campaigns under challenging circumstances,” said State Senate candidate Jacqualine Berger. “I am looking forward to the general election campaign, where we can work together to give the district the representation it deserves.”

Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner said, “We endorsed Jacqualine Berger because she understands the needs of the 61st State Senate district. I am proud of her victory in the Primary Election and look forward to supporting her this fall. The Democratic Party is united like never before, and ready to take on the Republican extremists.”   

Jacqualine Berger is the Deputy Supervisor in the Town of Amherst and an educator at Empire State College. Berger has a master’s degree in Early Childhood and Special Education from Tulane University. She is a lifelong advocate for individuals with special needs, running a local Challenger Baseball program for children and adults with disabilities since 1991. In 2019, Empire State College awarded Berger the Altes Prize for Exemplary Community Service.

Berger will face politician Ed Rath in the election this fall.

June 24, 2020 - 7:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, Beth Parlato, Stefan Mychajliw.

In walk-in voting on Election Day in Genesee County, Chris Jacobs far outpolled his opponents in the special election race to fill the vacant NY-27 race, getting 4,536 votes in the unofficial tally to 1,565 for Nate McMurray and 155 for Duane Whitmer.

Jacobs has declared victory in the NY-27 race and McMurray has said that with far more absentee ballots to be counted than were cast on election day it's premature to say who won and who lost the race.

In the GOP primary for the same seat, Jacobs received 2,473 votes from Genesee County residents to 1,099 for Darien resident Beth Parlato and 340 votes for Stefan Mychajliw.

Districtwide, the Buffalo News reports that Jacobs garnered 70 percent of the walk-in votes to 28 percent for McMurray and has a 30,639 vote lead with 65,509 absentee ballots to be counted.

That count could take a week or more but the Jacobs campaign contends it is mathematically impossible for McMurray to close the gap.

In the GOP primary, Jacobs currently has 25,668 votes to 8,644 for Parlato and 7,190 votes for Mychajliw.

Jacobs, McMurray, and Mychajliw have all issued statements about the election results. We've not received a statement yet from Parlato nor Whitmer.

Jacobs:

Chris Jacobs has declared victory in the Special and Republican Primary for New York’s 27th Congressional District and is releasing the following statement: 

“We did it, it has been a long, challenging and ever-changing election, nevertheless the people of Western New York made their voices heard overwhelmingly for strong, conservative leadership! With the commanding lead I have amassed; I am confident in declaring victory in both the Special and Primary elections.

"Now I am looking forward to getting to Congress and getting right to work fighting alongside our great President for the people of Western New York. I would like to thank all the volunteers, supporters, party leaders, and elected officials who have worked so hard to make this happen, and I would especially like to thank President Trump for his early and consistent support throughout this entire election, I am deeply grateful.”

McMurray:

Tonight, with thousands of ballots left unopened across the 27th Congressional District, millionaire Chris Jacobs declared a premature victory. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a historic number of absentee and mail-in ballots still need to be counted. Absentee counting in most counties will not start until July 1st, and likely won't be completed for at least two weeks. 

 “How can you declare victory before the ballots are counted?” Nate McMurray said on Tuesday night. “There are more ballots still out there, uncounted, than people that voted in-person today. As we have always said, we will fight for every single vote. Chris always wanted to be crowned. The coronation will have to wait. They had to bring the whole Trump family into this to help drag him across the finish line. He can peacock. We will talk in two weeks.”

Mychajliw:

Congressional candidate Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr. released the following statement on the New York 27th Congressional District election results:

“I called Chris Jacobs a few minutes ago to congratulate him on his victory in the Republican Primary. I’m thankful for the support I’ve received in this race. We said it was important to let voters decide, and they have. While not victorious, I’m proud of the race we ran. We stayed above the fray, and ran a positive campaign on the issues. I’m a loyal Republican – always have been, always will be. Just like I have in the past, I will work hard to keep NY-27 in Republican hands in November."

UPDATE: Statement from Parlato:

"I got in this race to give every voter in NY-27 a choice, and that is exactly what we did. Although not victorious, I am grateful for each and every vote, prayer and supporter. We ran a tough campaign, and I’m proud of all that were involved. I look forward to campaigning for President Trump as we fight harder than ever to protect our freedoms and conservative values."

June 21, 2020 - 7:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Nate McMurray, Chris Jacobs.

Press release:

Politifact, a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and candidates, announced today that Chris Jacobs’ most recent TV ad is entirely false. The ad repeats a set of lies first put forward by Chris Collins about Nate McMurray. In particular, the ad claims that McMurray sent American jobs to Asia and China, which is entirely not true.

“I can’t believe this man has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this false message, the same false message first put forward by Chris Collins. He’s doubling down on those dated lies. This ad must be effective, but what does it say about Jacobs’ judgment that he would so openly lie to get elected?” McMurray said.

Instead of talking about the critical issues that matter, like creating jobs, Jacobs seems concerned with only one issue: lying about and slandering his opponent. Instead of lies, McMurray has talked throughout this campaign season about expanding healthcare and protecting Social Security and Medicare.

McMurray's press release did not contain a link to the fact-checking site. Below are links to pages fact-checking both McMurray and Jacobs, finding a mixture of false and true statements for both candidates.

June 19, 2020 - 11:29pm

During a press conference in Buffalo today, while announcing he was not pursuing criminal charges against congressional candidate Chris Jacobs, Erie County DA John Flynn "called out" the anonymous person who filed a complaint against Jacobs for alleged "voter fraud."

"There is no doubt that I'm being used here to a certain extent," Flynn said. "I didn't just fall off the turnip truck, you know. I've been around for a long time. I've seen a lot of things. When I feel like I'm being used, I feel like someone is, put John Flynn aside, someone is using the District Attorney of Erie County and that bothers me a lot."

Flynn declined to name the complainant but said the complainant's failure to identify him or herself is once the complaint was made public -- through an anonymous tip to a Buffalo TV station -- didn't sit well with him.

"I think it's pretty weak that you won't let anyone know who you are," Flynn said. "I'm going to say that publicly and I know the person won't want to hear it and I say, 'too bad.'"

The person who made the complaint called Flynn directly, he said, and then Flynn's staff and that person's attorney exchanged emails about the allegations.

After reviewing the allegations, Flynn decided not to file charges against Jacobs.

The person making the complaint alleged that Jacobs circulated petitions last summer using an address for an Orchard Park house he had made a deposit on but had not yet purchased. If that were a crime, Flynn said, it would be offering a false instrument for filing. And if it were a crime, Flynn said, it would be outside his jurisdiction because the petitions were filed in Albany.

The two other allegations against Jacobs were that he registered to vote at the Orchard Park address on Sept. 3 but didn't close escrow on the property until the end of September. Then, he used that address as his voting address on Nov. 5 while maintaining another residence in Buffalo.

Flynn said Jacobs came into Flynn's office voluntarily and shared with the DA paperwork and information about maintaining two households. He purchased the house in Orchard Park and invested a substantial amount of money in renovations while also continuing to pay utilities on that residence. Meanwhile, after the pandemic hit, Jacobs decided to spend more time in Buffalo where he could be closer to his mother and assist her during the pandemic lockdown.

He said the evidence undercuts any claim that Jacobs might have had an intent to defraud anybody therefore his actions were not criminal.

"Under election law, it is legal to have two residences," Flynn said. "It was Jacobs who voluntarily came into my office and voluntarily gave me the whole story, he readily admitted he owns two homes, readily admitted during COVID-19 crisis he lived more so at home in Buffalo because his mother lives near him and he wanted to stay close by and help his mother

"He readily admitted he spent more time at his buffalo address," Flynn added. "That is not a crime. It is not a crime to have two residences. There is nothing the in law that says you have to live at one resident X-number of days or X-number of hours to have that declared as your residence."

Because Jacobs invested a substantial amount of money in the other house and because he has continued to pay the utility bills there, there is no "aura of a sham," which would be necessary, he said, to prove an election fraud case.

Jacobs issued the following statement following the announcement:

Chris Jacobs is releasing the following statement in response to DA Flynn’s dropping of the false complaint.

“I want to thank D.A. Flynn for his swift dismissal of Beth Parlato’s phony complaint. And I further want to thank D.A. Flynn for allowing me to come in of my own volition and present him with complete documentation that completely disproves these attacks from Beth Parlato.” 

“It’s now clear Beth Parlato orchestrated this stunt and abused the justice system solely as a political attack and to run a negative television attack ad. It’s shameful, but not surprising. Beth Parlato must immediately take down her false, negative ads. The voters of Western New York are a lot smarter than Beth Parlato thinks and I suspect they will reject her and her nasty, negative campaign on Tuesday.” 

The Batavian offered Beth Parlato a chance to respond to the Jacobs' allegation that she was behind the complaint and got no response to our email request.

Hours after news of a complaint was filed, Parlato released a campaign commercial that accused Jacobs was the subject of a criminal investigation. She also included the same accusation in a press release sent to The Batavian yesterday. There was no criminal investigation, as Flynn revealed today.

Parlato has not issued a statement regarding Flynn's decision to drop the complaint.

Stefan Mychajliw:

“My initial statement on this matter is just as relevant Thursday as it is today: the District Attorney and voters will pass final judgment on Chris Jacobs. Judgment has been passed by the District Attorney. Now, voters will decide for themselves who will be the Republican nominee for New York’s 27th Congressional District in November. Nevertheless, it is troubling to just now find out from the District Attorney that Chris Jacobs admittedly does not live in the 27th Congressional District."

Nate McMurray:

“It is concerning that in a day a complaint of voter and election fraud of a Congressional candidate and State Senator can be dropped, so quickly. No one knew about this until the local news reported it yesterday. Yet here we are, everything resolved with a 5:00 p.m. press conference on a Friday the weekend before an election--just hours after a visit from Jacobs and his attorneys,” said McMurray. 

“If only justice worked so swiftly for regular people, and not just people who can afford the best attorneys. I will tell you this, regardless of what loophole he used, what he did was meant to mislead. He knows. But the people of Western New York, most of us never get a break. Chris? He gets all the breaks,” said McMurray.

Speaking of misleading, McMurray posted this tweet this evening:

Jacobs did not refuse an interview with The Batavian. Jacobs, like McMurray, Parlato, Duane Whitmer, and Mychajliw, all participated in interviews.

June 18, 2020 - 7:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Nate McMurray, video.
Video Sponsor

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

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

With that in mind, we interviewed McMurray in February at the Richmond Memorial Library. Then the pandemic hit before we could schedule the next interviews. We were unable to return to the project until late May, early June, at a time when interviews could only be conducted remotely.

Outside of this different setting, we strove to conduct the interviews in a similar style. The goal of the interviews is to try and uncover the political philosophies of the candidates and how that affects their thinking on some big issues.

This is the interview with Nate McMurray.

June 18, 2020 - 7:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, news, NY-27, Beth Parlato, Stefan Mychajliw.

Opponents of Chris Jacobs, the state senator from Erie County running for the vacated NY-27 congressional seat in a special election Tuesday, and in a GOP primary for the same seat on the same day, have jumped on news reports accusing Jacobs of registering to vote and voting at a residence in Orchard Park that he did not own and was not living in at the time.

The house is his current residence.

A spokeswoman for the Erie County District Attorney's Office confirmed this evening that the office did receive a complaint about Jacobs but said, in reference to a FOIL request for documents, the office had "no documents responsive to the request."

While one of Jacobs' opponents said Jacobs was now the subject of a "criminal investigation," the spokeswoman indicated there was no such investigation currently but that the matter was "under review."

Nate McMurray, running against Jacobs in the NY-27 special election, and Beth Parlato and Stefan Mychajliw., running against Jacobs in the GOP primary, all issued statements attacking Jacobs for "voter fraud."

Jacobs, in turn, called the attacks, "a desperate political stunt."  

Here are his statement and the statements of the other three candidates.

Jacobs:

"This is nothing more than a desperate political stunt made by someone who is about to lose an election. My wife and I went under contract to purchase our home in Orchard Park on June 17th of 2019 and closed on our home on September 30 of 2019.

Desperate attacks by political opponents are not surprising – sadly they have become a standard part of politics.

We are grateful to the thousands of volunteers and supporters who have helped put us in position for a victory on Tuesday and we are looking forward to getting to work for the people of Western New York.”

Mychajliw:

“Chris Jacobs said Chris Collins would be ineffective due to the criminal investigation hanging over him. With a pending investigation by the Erie County District Attorney into potential criminal misconduct, Chris Jacobs should apply his own standard to himself. The District Attorney will pass judgement upon Chris Jacobs, and so will voters in Tuesday's Primary Election."

Parlato:

"I got in this race 11 months ago because we cannot trust career politicians.

Chris Lee resigned in disgrace. Chris Collins resigned in disgrace and is heading to prison. Now, Chris Jacobs has not even made it to Congress yet, and he is under criminal investigation.

The last thing we need is another career politician embarrassing our district and bringing shame to the hardworking, honorable people of NY-27. We deserve better.

We need to bring integrity back to this seat.

I am calling on Chris to put the people first, to do what is right, and remove his name from both the special election and primary ballots."

McMurray:

Western New Yorkers were shocked to learn endorsed Republican candidate for the NY- 27 Congressional District Chris Jacobs was called out for alleged voter and election fraud.

The Erie County District Attorney received a complaint against Jacobs including the following allegations: that Jacobs was registered to vote in the Orchard Park District before owning his home, that he voted from the newly registered home less than 30 days before owning the home, and that he filed primary residence documents that he lived within the 27th District before doing so.

Democratic congressional candidate Nate McMurray joined Republican candidate Beth Parlato in calling for Jacobs to pull out of the race.

“After so much corruption here on the 27th, we now have another endorsed Republican candidate who appears to be lying to the voters already. He has high paid consultants. This was no accident. It’s fraud.

The people of this district cannot afford another entitled and detached millionaire. He’s proving he’s nothing more than that, and he shouldn’t be in office. I call on Chris Jacobs to do the right thing and drop out of this race,” said Nate McMurray.

June 17, 2020 - 4:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, Chris Jacobs, news, NY-27.

Press release:

“Jacobs' new ad tries to portray me as some outsourcing tycoon when his previous ads tried to portray me as a socialist," McMurray said. "Chris is confused. Which am I? I guess we should just accept that Chris — as a Democrat who became a Trump-loving Republican — overnight, is always confused."

The McMurray team points out that Jacobs, despite having spent over a million dollars already on his campaign, has never talked about expanding healthcare, protecting social security, or building our infrastructure in any of his ads.

He is not interested in improving the lives of Western New Yorkers. He’s interested in lying about McMurray, calling Beth Parlato “nasty,” and trying to scare people about foreigners — first Mexicans now Asians, just like Chris Collins did.

What we should really be scared about is Jacobs' record.

“Jacobs has done nothing, despite years in office, to help working people," McMurray said. "He has been a shill going so far to hide campaign funds on the state level, paving the way for companies like Delaware North to fund these political aspirations.

"And who is Delaware North? His family's company. A company that really has outsourced thousands and thousands of jobs to Asia by cutting staff in Buffalo and hiring people in India for a fraction of the price. Look it up. Don’t be fooled."

June 15, 2020 - 9:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, news, NY-27.
Video Sponsor

Nate McMurray notified supporters in Genesee County that he would be at City Hall this afternoon for a get out the vote rally. A reporter and photographer from The New York Times were there to cover it.

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