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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 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 - 7:17pm
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 8, 2020 - 1:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Stefan Mychajliw, news.

Press release:

Following the arrest of two Buffalo Police Officers now facing felony charges, Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw sent letters to the Buffalo Police Union President John Evans and Commissioner Byron Lockwood of the Buffalo Police Department pledging support for the two officers and all those that wear the badge.

In addition to letters of support for the Buffalo Police Department, Comptroller Mychajliw sent correspondence to more than 60 police agencies across NY-27, stating his support for law enforcement facing increased pressure and scrutiny in these trying times.

“The officers need to know we have their back,” said Comptroller Mychajliw. “Violent rioters and protestors attack police and have no respect for the rule of law. Their jobs have been made more difficult than ever. Police deserve the public’s praise, not political prosecution. Law enforcement is trying to maintain law and order and peace during this period of civil unrest.”

Comptroller Mychajliw wrote to the police agencies that there should be zero tolerance for lawbreakers who attack police, and he stands with them.

“The recent arrests of two Buffalo Police Officers during these unsettling times is a travesty,” added Comptroller Mychajliw. “Criminals should be places in cuffs, not cops. Members of law enforcement protect our community. They put their own lives at risk every day to keep us safe.”

Comptroller Mychajliw added that New York State’s bail reform legislation creates even more problems for law enforcement already facing many challenges.

“The rare times rioters and looters are arrested, they’re put right back out on the street to create more mayhem. Backward state laws protect criminals and give them more support than law-abiding taxpayers,” said Mychajliw.

Comptroller Mychajliw concluded his letter to police agencies and unions by offering his support in any way needed.

“These attacks on law enforcement have to end,” Mychajliw said.

June 8, 2020 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Stefan Mychajliw.

Press release:

Republican candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr. released a new television commercial focused on the need for strong leadership to build a better America while lawlessness reigns here at home and across the country.

The new “Stefan for Congress” television commercial titled “Leadership” stresses the need to restore law and order on our streets, offers support for police, while at the same time promises to lead our nation to a better place.

“Taxpayers deserve better leadership now more than ever. People want strong and calming leaders who will work together to build a better America. I stand with law enforcement. We can have zero tolerance for lawbreakers attacking cops. Bad actors can’t justify assaults on law enforcement by wrapping themselves in a cloud of so-called social justice,” said Mychajliw.

Chaos and riots still plague communities across the NY-27 Congressional District. Businesses burned in Buffalo and Rochester, criminals were charged with running over three members of law enforcement, curfews are in place and protests take place daily.

“Rioters attacking police and looters destroying businesses need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. This lawlessness crippling our communities must end. Once we rebuild, it’s time to restore America to a land of equal opportunity, respect for police and our neighbors. I’ll be the leader in Congress that families need in these trying times,” added Mychajliw.

“I’m Stefan Mychajliw. Like you, I’m worried about America. Rioters are attacking police and destroying businesses. We cannot sit back and let these bad actors go unpunished. It's why I’m running for Congress. Because we need strong leaders who will listen, find solutions and lead our country to a better place. In Congress I will do just that, and deliver a brighter future for my family and yours. I’m Stefan Mychajliw and I approve this message.”

June 2, 2020 - 10:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stefan Mychajliw, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Republican candidate for New York's 27th Congressional District Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr. released a television commercial with a positive message, focusing on being the son of legal immigrants, and how his record of results as Erie County Comptroller will help him deliver a conservative agenda for President Trump in Washington.

“I’m the son of a typewriter repairman and a factory worker. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I’m living the 'American Dream’ because of my immigrant family. It is my mission to honor their legacy by working hard to serve others. I have a strong record of results for Conservatives. Republicans can trust me to deliver for them and President Trump, like I always have,” Mychajliw said.

The positive television campaign commercial focuses on a strong level of trust built by the Erie County Comptroller in his current role as the Taxpayer’s Watchdog and a long career holding politicians accountable as an investigative journalist.

“I’m not trying to be something I am not to win this election," added Mychajliw. "Taxpayers have known me a long time. I’ve fought for families for many years. They know I am a true conservative that stood strong with President Trump from ‘Day One.' "

The Stefan for Congress campaign commercial, titled “Results Matter,” is now running on broadcast and cable television outlets, as well as digital social media platforms.

Results matter. As Erie County Comptroller I kept my promise to taxpayers. Like President Trump, I’m delivering results for Conservatives. As the son of blue-collar immigrants, I’ve lived the ‘American Dream.’ The drive of my family’s sacrifices motivates me today. Unlike Albany moderates, I supported President Trump from ‘Day One.’ I’m running for Congress to work with President Trump, and deliver for Conservatives, just like I always have. I’m Stefan Mychajliw. And I approve this message.”

May 12, 2020 - 6:28pm

When she first jumped into the race for the NY-27 congressional seat, Darien resident Beth Parlato got off to a fast start in fundraising from individual donors.

She raised $271,000 in eight weeks. Her campaign coffers now stand at $554,153.62, which includes some PAC money and a personal loan but so far that isn't half of the $1,253,465.46 Chris Jacobs has in his campaign account.

Parlato said she knows what she's up against in trying to win a congressional seat against a candidate who can afford to drop $446,000 of his own money into his quest for a seat in D.C. So when the novel coronavirus swept through New York and she was forced to cancel five fundraisers, Parlato took what she thought was the next most sensible route to keep her effort financed. She borrowed $150,000 against her property on Seven Day Road.

That loan, which she turned around and loaned to her campaign, promoted a reader to contact The Batavian and suggest the loan violated Federal Election Commission rules.

At first blush, based on language on the FEC site, that might seem true.

When a candidate obtains a bank loan for use in connection with his or her campaign, the loan is considered to be from the bank and not from the candidate's personal funds.

However, two experts in campaign finance interviewed by The Batavian for this story said Parlato's use of money obtained from a second mortgage to make a personal campaign loan is legal.

"It's her personal money," said Paul Cole, a Republican who was once heavily involved in WNY politics, working for Tom Reynolds and Chris Lee before running David Bellavia's 2012 primary campaign. He is not currently involved with any congressional campaign.

"She's going to be personally responsible for paying back that banknote regardless of what happens in terms of the campaign," Cole said. "She's going to have to pay back that loan."

While the campaign, if it raises enough money, can repay the loan to Parlato, if the campaign for any reason can't raise enough money to pay back the loan, Cole said Parlato is still personally responsible to repay the money to the bank.

Michael E. Toner, an election law attorney in Washington, D.C., also said it is legal for a candidate to take out a second mortgage on his or her own property and then loan that money for a loan to his or her campaign.

A footnote on the FEC site also indicates such a loan is permissible:

The personal funds of a candidate include: Assets which the candidate has a legal right of access to or control over, and which he or she has legal title to or an equitable interest in, at the time of candidacy ...

Parlato, who is endorsed by the Conservative Party and is running the GOP primary, has raised $376,691 from individual contributors. She collected another $11,000 from political action committees.

Jacobs, the endorsed Republican in the special election and also a candidate in the primary, has raised $720,856 from individual contributors. He's also raised -- from PACs, other congressional campaigns, and corporations -- $85,699.

The other Republican in the race is Stefan Mychajliw, who has raised $75,576. He's loaned his campaign $465.

Democrat Nate McMurray, running in both the special election and unopposed in the Democratic primary, has raised $527,886. He's received more than $30,000 from PACs and has not loaned his campaign any money.

The Libertarian candidate is Duane Whitmer, who has raised more than $20,000, half of which comes from a loan from himself to his campaign.

CORRECTION:  Parlato is not a candidate in the special election, as previously stated.

April 16, 2020 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Stefan Mychajliw.

Press release:

At this time Michael Caputo is not able to discuss his appointment by President Trump just yet. He has asked his friend and NY-27 Congressional candidate Stefan I. Mychajliw to speak for his family. The following statement from Mychajliw concerns Caputo’s White House appointment as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services for Public Affairs.

“The Caputo family remains in East Aurora, as Michael and Maryna have decided it’s safer for them to stay here. Unfortunately, that also means Michael won’t see them for a long time, since he cannot move back and forth safely from Washington.

"Michael told me it wasn’t a hard decision. When the President called him, he saluted and packed up his things. Those of us who are close to his family know this is a huge sacrifice for them. They’re very close, having lived through the abuse of Russia investigations, surviving all the hardships, getting stronger together. His little girls are the most affected.

"Before he left, Michael and I talked often. He’s as worried as all of us are about the pandemic, but he’s been deeply affected by what he saw in East Aurora: local businesses closed, shopkeepers concerned for their survival, so many neighbors out of work. He called it a ghost town; it really spooked him.

"I’ve worked side by side with Michael on many campaigns, including President Trump’s victorious election in 2016. He is one of the best communications specialists in the country. Those of us who know him best know he’ll do well.

"We need measured leadership in Washington to help clearly communicate the hard work President Trump is putting in flattening the coronavirus curve and getting our economy back on track. Michael will be a strong asset for the President in delivering that message.”

February 3, 2020 - 12:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Stefan Mychajliw, Chris Jacobs.

Press release from Stefan I. Mychajliw:

In light of United States, Senator Mitt Romney voting against Donald Trump and in favor of witnesses in the impeachment trial of the President, the Stefan for Congress campaign released Chris Jacobs’ financial support for Romney and fellow moderate Republicans that previously opposed President Trump. The American Conservative Union CPAC conference also refused to invite Romney to their national 2020 gathering.

Chris Jacobs has consistently been on the wrong side of Donald Trump by making numerous political contributions to moderates that opposed the President.

“Chris Jacobs is NY27’s version of Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. He is an Albany moderate that hurt conservatives by giving to those that opposed President Trump. Chris Jacobs, Mitt Romney, and Jeb Bush are kindred spirits. They’re establishment Republican insiders that cave when asked to stand up for President Trump,” said NY27 Congressional candidate Stefan I. Mychajliw.

According to the Federal Election Commission records below, Chris Jacobs donated the following amount to moderate Republicans that opposed President Trump: Mitt Romney: $5,000, Jeb Bush: $2,700 and Marco Rubio: $2,400.

“Chris Jacobs supports fellow moderates that opposed President Trump. He never gave to Donald Trump. I question the judgment of someone that even donated to disgraced Governor Eliot Spitzer but not President Trump. Jacobs gave to Jeb Bush, but never to Donald Trump. I was proud to volunteer on the Trump campaign in 2016 when it wasn’t popular. I’m a consistent conservative that isn’t claiming to support President Trump just because I want to climb the ladder to a higher elected office,” concluded Mychajliw.

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