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January 18, 2020 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Rob Ortt, news.

Press release:

“The constituents of NY-27 deserve better, and today provides us the opportunity to close this disappointing chapter and start fresh," said NY-27 candidate Rob Ortt. "This district deserves a faithful and hardworking conservative representing them in Congress, putting the needs of Western New York and America first. I believe I am the candidate best qualified to do so and it is my sincere hope that I’m afforded the opportunity to once again serve my country.”

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

Press release:

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

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

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

January 17, 2020 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, notify.

For Rep. Chris Collins sobbed in court, the Washington Post reports, while his attorneys argued for leniency, before a Federal judge sentenced Collins to 26 months in prison for engaging in insider trading and lying to the FBI.

“I have no excuse," Collins said sobbing. "I tarnished my reputation."

The prosecution sought a sentence of 46 to 57 months in a Federal penitentiary.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Max Nicholas argued that Collins deserved prison time because he organized the conspiracy among his family members to help them avoid losing money on the stock, lied to federal agents about it and then announced he would seek re-election to his seat. His attorneys pointed to Collins’ record of public service and said the crime was an isolated decision made in the heat of the moment.

The Post reports: “I cannot face my constituents. What I have done has marked me for life," Collins said.

The NY-27 has been without representation in Washington since Collins resigned in September, after winning re-election while proclaiming his innocence and vowing to "clear my name."

There will likely be a special election to fill the seat April 29, a little more than two months before the scheduled 2020 primary for the office.

January 16, 2020 - 5:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, notify.

Richard Siebert, chairman of the Genesee County Republican Party, has straightforward opinions about how he will go about deciding who to back for the GOP nod in the NY-27 special election on April 29.

Finding somebody who can self-fund is not a top priority.

He won't want to back a candidate who might turn around and run in a primary against the GOP-endorsed candidate in June.

He was all in for Steve Hawley until Hawley this afternoon withdrew his name from consideration.

"Steve Hawley is my man," Siebert said last night. "Unless Steve tells me he's no longer interested, I'm backing Steve."

Well, Steve is no longer interested, and that leaves six or seven other potential candidates, including three -- Sen. Rob Ortt, Sen. Chris Jacobs, and Darien resident Beth Parlato -- who have been campaigning the past several months as if they expect a primary rather than a special election. 

It's expected that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will call for a special election next month and set the date for April 28, the same day there will be a New York primary for the Democratic presidential primary.

The special election is necessary because Chris Collins, who will be sentenced tomorrow on his insider trading conviction, resigned in September.

In special elections, the chairs of the counties for the political parties select a candidate to represent the party.  

Siebert said he expects the process will go much as it did in 2018, after Collins was arrested by the FBI, and initially said he didn't plan to run for re-election. 

When it looked like there would be a special election previously, the eight county chairs in the NY-27 District met at least twice, interviewed candidates and deliberated their choices. Before a decision was reached, Collins changed his mind about not running and vowed that he would clear his name.

The process gives county chairs weighted votes, which in the past has meant that Erie County and Niagara County chairs essentially picked the candidate and everybody else fell in line. 

Erie County has favored candidates who can self-fund their campaigns. Siebert said he's not in favor of taking that same approach again.

"I have to be candid," Siebert said. "I speak the way I feel. Several of the last candidates we've had -- Jane Corwin, Chris Lee, and Chris Collins -- have self-funded. Our track record with that is not very good so I'm not looking for a self-funded candidate. They're out there, but obviously we know some are wealthy and some are not. That's not my criteria. I'm not looking at 'who can afford it.' I'm not looking for somebody who can afford to win. I'm looking for somebody who is qualified to win."

Considering that Ortt, Jacobs, and Parlato have all been raising funds, gathering endorsements, and sending out press releases, it might appear that any of them might still run in a June primary even if they don't get the GOP endorsement for the April special election.

Siebert said he expects an expression of party loyalty before the special election endorsement is issued.

"The first thing I always ask any candidate, and I'm not secret about this, is 'will you support the candidate that we nominate?' " Siebert said. "I need to hear them say, number one, they're not going to primary the nominee regardless. In my count, I have a strong and deep feeling about this, that if you're not part of our system (I'm not going to back you).

"I don't like primaries. That is my personal feeling and I would have a hard time supporting anybody who would primary the nominee."

We've attempted to get a comment from Ortt, Jacobs, and Parlato and have yet to receive a response. (Ortt did respond just before publication but his response was ambiguous. We're holding it for a possible follow-up story.)

"Everybody has the opportunity to run, whoever doesn't get it, can run in the primary," Siebert said. "That's your choice and it's there. That's the way it is. I respect that. But as chairman, I don't like primaries. I like to be unified. Now, that's their right. That's their constitutional right but that's the way I feel, so that is how we've done things in Genesee County."

With the special election being held on the same day as the Democratic presidential primary, some political observers speculate that if there is high Democratic turnout, it might favor the Democratic candidate in the NY-27 -- most likely, Nate McMurray, who narrowly lost in 2018 to Chris Collins. Siebert isn't buying it. He doesn't think the chairs need to find a moderate Republican who will distance him or herself from President Donald Trump.

"This is a Trump county right here," Siebert said. "He got 72 percent of the vote in the last election. Anyone who is going to run for an office in my county who is not a Trump supporter, well, they're not going to do well. It is what it is. He did get 72 percent of the vote. This is a very conservative county. We support the Second Amendment. I can tell you, if you're not a Trump supporter in my county, you're not going to do well."

Siebert, who is also the Republican elections commissioner, and Lorie Longhany, Democratic commissioner, met with the Ways and Means Committee yesterday to get authorization to lease 10 new ballot readers at a cost of $19,000 a year. The new readers are easier to use and faster but the election equipment upgrade needs to be expedited because of the probable special election on the same day as a presidential primary. 

The funds for the machines in the first year will come from grant money already received by the county.  The multi-year lease will also put the county on a replacement schedule for ballot readers that will help the Elections Commission keep technology current and machines reliable.

As for who might represent the GOP in April, Siebert offered no predictions on who the chairs might support but he did say he's not happy the chairs have to make the selection.

"I don't like this whole process, to be honest with you, because we're in a situation now where eight Republican chairmen have to get together and tell our voting public who we want them to vote for, who's going to be on the ballot on April 28," Siebert said. "You get the feeling it is eight men in a room  -- there are women involved, too -- with you always being criticized for smoking cigars or whatever but it is the eight of us telling the public who's going to be the candidate.

"I don't like that at all. But the law is the law. We have no choice because of the election law that we have to do it this way."

January 16, 2020 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley said, “After much consideration with my friends and family, I have decided not to seek the Republican nomination for the open 27th Congressional seat in Congress at this time.

“Serving the residents of the 139th District in the State Assembly has been one of the highest honors of my life and our state faces a host of pressing challenges that cannot be ignored.

"Thus, my friends and neighbors deserve a full-time Assemblyman and someone who is laser-focused on meeting those challenges and moving our state forward.

“While it would be an extreme honor to serve as a member of the House of Representatives and serve with honesty and integrity as exemplified by our family’s close friend, former Congressman Barber B. Conable Jr., I am confident that whoever is chosen to run will exhibit these attributes.

“It is crucial for the fate of our state and our country that this Congressional seat remains in Republican hands and I am confident that whoever should be elected this April will do a tremendous job representing us in Washington."

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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 14, 2020 - 6:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rob Ortt, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Today, New York State Senator Rob Ortt, Army combat veteran, and candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District released a new radio ad highlighting his record as a battle-tested patriot who, like President Trump, has successfully fought back against false liberal attacks.

The advertisement, released in both Buffalo and Rochester, focuses on Ortt’s successful fight against partisan attacks from corrupt former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. As he did to President Trump, Schneiderman falsely accused Ortt of politically motivated charges. Those charges were quickly laughed out of court by a Democrat judge. Meanwhile, Schneiderman resigned in disgrace after his history of abusive behavior toward women was exposed. 

“President Trump has faced false attacks from the radical left since he first announced his campaign for President," Ortt said. "Since taking office, the President has had to fight back against countless liberal regressive witch hunts. I know what that’s like because those same crooked politicians attacked me for my conservative values.

"I stood up to politically motivated attacks from the disgraced Eric Schneiderman and I won -- just as President Trump has done. Now, I want to go to Washington to fight by his side against this impeachment sham and help him advance the conservative agenda he was elected to enact.”

Beginning on Jan. 13th the radio campaign highlighting Ortt’s record as a battle-tested patriot will air on talk radio across the 27th Congressional District.

The radio advertisement can be heard here.

January 14, 2020 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, notify, chris collins, NY-27.


The man who proclaimed his innocence for months, even while running for re-election to Congress, only to eventually plead guilty to insider trading charges, should spend up to five years in prison, according to his prosecutors.

The Washington Post reports that Manhatten U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman is asking a judge to send Chris Collins, now residing in Florida, to federal prison for an extended sentence "to promote respect for the law" and "to provide just punishment."

Collins will be sentenced on Friday.

The former NY-27 representative got into trouble after regulators realized his son Cameron Collins dumped more than $700,000 in stock in an Australian company, Innate Immunotherapeutics, just before news went public of a failed clinical trial.

Cameron's now-former future father-in-law also engaged in a sell-off of the stock at the same time.

An investigation by the FBI revealed that Chris Collins, the first congressman to endorse Donald Trump for president, called Cameron from the White House lawn minutes after receiving news of the failed trial from the company CEO. Chris Collins was one of the company's largest shareholders and served on the board of directors.

Collins later lied to the FBI about his involvement in the insider trading scheme.

After campaigning with a promise that he would be fully exonerated, and refusing public appearances and interview requests throughout much of the 27th District, the multimillionaire pled guilty in Federal Court in September.

Both Cameron and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron's one-time fiancée, have also entered guilty pleas.

In a prior court filing, attorneys for Chris Collins pleaded for leniency from the judge, stating Collins “has paid a heavy price for his crimes. He is, and will forever be, tortured with the knowledge that his actions have caused his son, to whom he always aspired to be a role model, to live with the stain of a felony conviction, and perhaps serve time in prison."

Berman doesn't think Collins has had paid a sufficient price for his crimes.

“As a member of Congress at the time that he committed the offenses in this case … Collins was better situated than almost anyone else to understand the societal importance of following the law,” the prosecutor said his filing. "Collins came to embody the cynical idea that those in power who make the laws are not required to follow them.”

Photo: File photo of Chris Collins and his wife, Mary Sue, at an August 2018 press conference in Buffalo where Collins proclaimed his innocence following his arrest in New York City and then refused to take questions from reporters.

January 13, 2020 - 3:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Chris Jacobs, news.

Press release:

"Make no mistake, this special election will be a tough race and by holding it on the day of the Democratic Presidential Primary, Governor Cuomo is doing everything he can to rig it for the Democrats. That’s why it is critical that Republicans have a nominee with a proven track record of winning tough races and the financial resources to run and win under the toughest circumstances.

"I’ve proven I can win tough races, by winning three races that few other Republicans could have and I’ve already raised more than $1 million for this special election race. It is essential that we have a candidate and a campaign that is fully funded and prepared to win against an onslaught of Democratic attacks so we can send a conservative Republican to Washington who can get results and actually help deliver on the President Trump’s agenda."

NOTE: A judge rejected a plea by state Republicans to force Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call a special election immediately setting the stage for a presumed special election in April. Cuomo cannot legally set the election date until next month if that's going to be the date of the election.

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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 7, 2020 - 10:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Rob Ortt.

Press release:

Today, New York State Senator Rob Ortt, Army combat veteran and candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District, is calling for the State Legislature to take action on Senate Bill 5156, which would amend and strengthen the 2012 passage of the state’s Iran Divestment Act. This legislation would amend the current language of the Iran Divestment Act, conforming current definitions to fit state law.

"New York shouldn't be investing in a country in the business of killing American citizens and military personnel or support a fundamentalist regime committed to wiping Israel off the map,” Ortt said. “Rather than condemning the legitimate use of force in killing one of the leading architects of terrorism across the Middle East (Qasem Soleimani), Senate Democrats should send an unequivocal message that Iran's disturbing past and current aggression is wholly unacceptable.

"Senate Republicans prioritized and passed this important legislation for several years and it is time for Democrats to get on board and condemn this terror-sponsoring, American-killing, the anti-Semitic Iranian regime."

Ortt believes that Iran’s mounting aggression and recent threats necessitate immediate action by New York lawmakers. Senate Republicans successfully passed this bill from 2015-2018, but Senate Democrats have yet to take it up for a vote. The bill memo and justification notes that Iranian leaders have repeatedly sought to target New York City should they acquire a nuclear weapon, putting at risk the health and safety of New Yorkers.

Ortt also contrasted the inaction on Iran with state and national Democrat calls to divest from Israel.

January 7, 2020 - 6:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressional Candidate (NY-27) and State Senator Chris Jacobs announced if elected to Congress he will reintroduce legislation sponsored by former Congressman Chris Collins. The legislation would eliminate New York’s Scaffold Law for federally funded projects in the State and protect taxpayers.

“New York is the last state in the country that still has the outdated Scaffold Law, which was enacted in the 1800s when there were very little regulations on the construction industry," Jacobs said. "The law imposes absolute liability on the owner or contractor if a worker is injured in a fall, no matter how irresponsible the worker’s actions.

"For instance, a worker could be completely drunk and if he fell off even a stepladder, the owner would be completely liable in a lawsuit.”

Due to the Scaffold Law, New York State is home to many more frivolous lawsuits at construction sites and workplaces, and consequently, New York has some of the highest insurance costs.

In New York State a typical single-family home can cost up to $10,000 more as a result of the Scaffold Law. The taxpayer-funded new Tappan Zee Bridge project paid $200 million more in insurance costs due to New York’s Scaffold Law.

“This all translates into construction projects costing more and inevitably taxpayers paying more,” Jacobs said. He continued, “in a state that already has a $6.1 billion budget deficit, we can not afford to put more wasteful costs on the backs of taxpayers.”

The legislation Jacobs will reintroduce –called the Infrastructure Expansion Act— requires that states receiving federal money for projects will not be able to use the Scaffold Law absolute liability standard due to the unnecessary increases it causes in project costs.

“We are no longer going to waste taxpayer money on an outdated law that every other state except New York has eliminated long ago,” Jacobs said. "Hopefully passage of this legislation and the risk of losing federal money will cause state leaders to finally eliminate the Scaffold Law, saving New York taxpayers millions.”

January 6, 2020 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Chris Jacobs.

Press release:

Congressional Candidate (NY-27) and State Senator Chris Jacobs announced a congressional endorsement from the New York Young Republican Club. The club made the decision to endorse Jacobs recently after Jacobs delivered the keynote address at their annual holiday gathering.

“This endorsement is a large honor for me as I continue to build my Congressional Campaign to represent the State of New York," Jacobs said. "Young Republicans are the future of this party and their support makes me confident that we can work together to build a party that is strong and vibrant for future generations.

"In a time where Republicans, especially younger ones, are vilified it is inspiring to see so many individuals confident and energized to stand up for their beliefs. I look forward to working with The New York Young Republican Club, and other organizations alike, in Congress to bring our message of solutions, innovation, and conservative values to the nation.”

The New York Young Republican Club was established in 1911. They are the oldest and largest Young Republican club in the United States. The Club is affiliated with and officially recognized by the New York State Young Republicans and the Young Republican National Federation, as well as the county, state and national Republican committees.

NYYRC President Gavin Wax said, “I am proud to announce that our organization has endorsed Chris Jacobs in his Congressional Campaign. Our Club represents the future of the Republican Party and we believe that Chris Jacobs is the best candidate to go down to Washington to represent the conservative values that both the people of Western New York and the youth movement within our party holds dear.”

January 3, 2020 - 2:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Chris Jacobs, Rob Ortt, news, Charles Schumer.

Statement from State Sen. Rob Ortt, candidate for NY-27:

“Soleimani and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force has long been a terrorist organization. They are directly responsible for hundreds of U.S. servicemember deaths in Iraq. Iran’s goal has always been to destabilize Iraq and exert its influence in the Middle East. This strike eliminates one of the masterminds of those efforts.”

Statement from State Sen. Chris Jacobs, candidate for NY-27:

“I applaud President Trump for taking decisive action yesterday to neutralize a long-standing terrorist threat - Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force. Soleimani was responsible for killing hundreds of American Soldiers and injuring countless more. The organization which he headed up (Quds Force) has been designated as a terror group since 2007 and this past spring Sec. Pompeo designated him a terrorist. The airstrike which killed him is another example of President Trump’s strong leadership in confronting Iran’s continued perpetration of state-sponsored terrorism and President Trump continues to stand for freedom and justice on the global stage.”

Statement from Sen. Chuck Schumer:

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the airstrike in Iraq against Major General Qasem Soleimani. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

Last night, the United States conducted a military operation designed to kill Major General Qasem Soleimani, a notorious terrorist. No one should shed a tear over his death.

The operation against Soleimani in Iraq was conducted, however, without specific authorization and any advance notification or consultation with Congress. I am a member of the Gang of Eight, which is typically briefed in advance of operations of this level of significance. We were not.

The lack of advanced consultation and transparency with Congress was put in the Constitution, or rather the need for advanced consultation and transparency with Congress, was put in the Constitution for a reason: because the lack of advanced consultation and transparency with Congress can lead to hasty and ill-considered decisions. When the security of the nation is at stake, decisions must not be made in a vacuum. The framers of the Constitution gave war powers to the legislature and made the executive the commander-in-chief for the precise reason of forcing the two branches of government to consult with one another when it came to matters of war and of peace.

It is paramount for administrations to get an outside view to prevent groupthink and rash action—to be asked probing questions, not from your inner and often insulated circle but from others, particularly Congress, which forces an administration, before it acts, to answer very serious questions.

The administration did not consult in this case, and I fear that those very serious questions have not been answered and may not be fully considered.

Among those questions:

  • What was the legal basis for conducting this operation? And how far does that legal basis extend?
  • Iran has many dangerous surrogates in the region and a whole range of possible responses. Which response do we expect? Which are most likely?
  • Do we have plans to counter all of the possible responses? How effective will our counters be?
  • What does this action mean for the long-term stability of Iraq and the trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives sacrificed there?
  • How does the administration plan to manage an escalation of hostilities? And how does the administration plan to avoid a larger and potentially endless conflagration in the Middle East?

These are questions that must be answered.

It is my view that the president does not have the authority for a war with Iran. If he plans a large increase in troops and potential hostility over a longer time, the administration will require Congressional approval and the approval of the American people.

The president’s decision may add to an already dangerous and difficult situation in the Middle East.

The risk of a much longer military engagement in the Middle East is acute and immediate. This action may well have brought our nation closer to another endless war, exactly the kind of endless war the president promised he would not drag us into.

As our citizens and those of our allies evacuate Iraq and troops prepare for retaliatory action, Congress needs answers, to these questions and others, from the administration immediately. 

And the American people need answers as well.

December 30, 2019 - 2:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Beth Parlato, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Beth Parlato, Republican candidate for Congress in NY-27, has received the endorsement of powerful Republican women’s group VIEW PAC following a successful meeting in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. In addition to a formal endorsement, Parlato has also received the maximum financial support allowed from VIEW PAC.

Julie Conway, an influential GOP operative and executive director of VIEW PAC, said “Beth Parlato is not only what the Republican Party needs – an outspoken woman on the right side of the issues, but also what voters want – a fresh-faced political outsider determined to do right by her constituents rather than build a political future for herself.

"In a district that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump, Beth’s unapologetically conservative message and life resume as a business owner and judge make her a clear favorite in this Primary and someone who will ensure that New York’s 27th District remains in Republican hands.”

Parlato, a first-time candidate for political office, was humbled by Conway’s words.

“VIEW PAC has done incredible work getting strong Republicans elected and I am honored that they have chosen to endorse me," Parlato said. "I won’t disappoint them just like I won’t disappoint the voters in my district.”

Beth adds this latest endorsement to her list of supporters, which include other conservative groups as well as beloved Hall of Fame Quarterback for the Buffalo Bills' Jim Kelly and more. Additional endorsements of Parlato’s candidacy are slated for the coming months.

December 20, 2019 - 6:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Melodie Baker, NY-27, news.

Press release from Melodie Baker:

“I am beyond grateful for all of the support and encouragement I have received from residents throughout New York’s 27th Congressional District and beyond," Baker said. "It has been an honor and a privilege to have met so many wonderful people through the process of exploring a run for Congress and I’m excited for the friendships that have been formed with Democratic leaders, community activists, and members of the Labor movement.  

"For me, this year will not be the time for a campaign for Congress and while I appreciate the encouragement to run for Senate District 61, I am planning to support another Democrat for that office. 

"My motivation to serve and make change on issues like education, health care, and economic opportunity has not changed and I’ll continue my work to improve policies as an advocate through the nonprofit organizations I’ve worked with for the past 14 years. 

"Thank you to everyone who supported me, encouraged me, and listened to me. And thank you to all who step up to run for office and serve. Our part of New York needs more voices to bring change.”

December 20, 2019 - 3:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Rob Ortt.

Press release:

Today, New York State Senator Rob Ortt, Army combat veteran, and candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District criticized the New York State Working Families Party for calling on candidates to “stop defending taxpayers.” Ortt called on Nate McMurray and all Democrats running for office to publicly declare that they will not seek the Working Families Party line in an election, and to publicly denounce this ridiculous statement.

“New York’s 27th Congressional District is home to hundreds of thousands of ‘taxpayers’ who work hard every day to support their families,” Ortt said. “In fact, these taxpayers pay the highest taxes in the country and are forced to fund the radical proposals from groups like the Working Families Party including free college tuition and driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.

"Any politician who can’t speak out in opposition to these absurd comments from the Working Families Party does not deserve to represent the hardworking taxpayers in any elected position.”

The Working Families Party, backed by progressive donors, often aligns itself with candidates running as Democrats. In the party’s 2020 questionnaire, they state: 

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

The New York State Working Families Party has already endorsed several candidates for 2020, including for U.S. President (Elizabeth Warren), U.S. Congress (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), and Democratic candidates for the New York State Legislature. In 2018, Nate McMurray ran for Congress on the Working Families Party line. Ortt called on all candidates running for office to denounce the Working Families Party and refuse their support.

“This is an absolute insult to every overtaxed working family throughout New York,” Ortt said. “Anyone who seeks the Working Families Party support is clearly stating that they do not work for the men and women they are elected to represent, but rather a political party tasked with fulfilling the agenda of out-of-touch special interest groups and extreme regressive advocates.”

December 19, 2019 - 3:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Rob Ortt.

Press release:

Today, New York State Senator Rob Ortt, Army combat veteran, and candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District announced that he has received the endorsement of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the more than 20,000 hardworking men and women represented by the Associated Builders and Contractors,” Ortt said. “I am proud to have had the support of this organization in the past, and I have always believed that America is a nation of builders.

"During my time in the New York State Senate, I have worked diligently to support pro-business, worker-friendly policies that make construction projects safer and less costly, and I will continue to do so when serving the hardworking men and women of New York’s 27th Congressional District in Washington. The American economy is working when these men and women are working.” 

ABC represents more than 20,000 members of the national construction trade industry, helping individuals win work and deliver work safely, ethically, and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they are located.

“The Empire Chapter supports fair and open competition, not politicians who favor rewarding campaign donors at the expense of every day New Yorkers,” said Brian Sampson, president of Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter. “Rob Ortt not only understands the importance of free enterprise and job creation but is a leader on the issue.

"He has seen first-hand the negative impact of tax burdens and poor regulatory policy decisions. ABC is proud to stand with Rob and share his vision to bring jobs and opportunity to hardworking families throughout our great nation.”

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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press release:

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

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