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November 10, 2018 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, veterans, Veterans Day, news.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

 As we approach our nation’s observance of Veterans Day this Monday, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is urging his constituents and all New Yorkers to set time aside this weekend and thank a veteran or current service member for their dedication and sacrifice to preserving our way of life.

Hawley, the son of a veteran, served seven years in the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves and reached the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He has served on the Assembly’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee for more than a decade.

“Military service runs deep in my family and Veterans Day will always hold a special place in my heart,” Hawley said. “Whether it be my annual Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., to give back to local veterans or my efforts in Albany fighting for various tax credits, healthcare and education options available to our veterans, protecting those who have risked their lives to protect us will remain one of my top priorities.

"I encourage all my constituents and New Yorkers alike to take time this weekend to thank a veteran for their service and pray for those who are still fighting overseas.”

Hawley is a true champion in Albany for our current and retired military members, sponsoring several pieces of legislation to make the “Campaign Service Medal” more inclusive, help veterans start small businesses, and remove admission fees for veterans to state parks.

Hawley also played a pivotal role in ushering in the Veterans Buy-back Bill that allows vets to purchase up to three years of military service back from the state in exchange for a credit toward their public pension.

October 21, 2018 - 10:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Marc Molinaro, Larry Sharpe, news, notify, elba, steve hawley.

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When Larry Sharpe was last in Genesee County, speaking to the members of SCOPE, he rejected the idea that he's the spoiler candidate in New York's gubernatorial race.

He said he's got momentum, strong social media support (the mainstream media doesn't see him coming, just like Donald Trump, he said), and is drawing in not just Republican voters, but Democrats and Independents.

A Gravis Marketing poll from two weeks ago showed Sharpe drawing about 13 percent of the vote, or about 13 times more than any previous Libertarian candidate for governor.

Marc Molinaro, the Republican running for governor, Sharpe said, is the spoiler, not, this time, the Libertarian.

Asked about Sharpe's barb while in Elba on Friday, Molinaro sidestepped the question.

"Listen I don't know him," said Molinaro, who had just arrived at Oliver's Candies. "I've met him twice in my life. I'd venture to guess that most New Yorkers have just heard of him over the last year. I don't know. I'm sure there are plenty of people who want to support a Libertarian candidate and they have every right to do that. I'm not going to second-guess that. We're eating candy."

Combined, at 25 percent and 13 percent, Molinaro and Sharpe don't add up anywhere close to the 48 percent of New Yorkers who say they plan to vote for Cuomo. (Stephanie Minor, the mayor of Syracuse, is pulling 8 percent, and Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate, is at 6 percent.)

The controversy of the morning was a commitment by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to "debate" Molinaro on WCBS. Apparently, Cuomo had appeared on the show Friday and said he would clear his schedule Saturday morning to appear on air with Molinaro. Cuomo said he would phone it in.

"Listen, what was offered up this morning isn't a debate," Molinaro said. "It's a theater production."

He later added, "New Yorkers are being treated like they don't deserve or don't have any right to having two candidates come before them and answer questions. No, I'm sorry that's not a debate. It is a fraud."

The "two candidates" phrase wasn't Molinaro's statement during the short interview outside of Oliver's Candies in Elba that verbally excluded the other candidates in the race.

Pressed about his seeming exclusion of Sharpe from a debate, Molinaro said, "We've already agreed to debates that include all candidates. They need to include the Governor, too."

Molinaro was in town with Assemblyman Steve Hawley to tour small businesses, meet with small business owners, and then attend Hawley's 11th annual campaign fundraiser at Batavia Downs. The first stop was Oliver's Candies, which was celebrating Friday and Saturday the grand opening of its new production facility in Elba.

The local business tour included a stop at Post Farms, with Jeff Post, in Elba (bottom two photos), and Chapin Manufacturing in Batavia.

Molinaro said he understood how tough it is for small businesses to survive in New York.

"The seismic increases in the minimum wage over a short period time has cost money," Molinaro said. "The fact that property taxes continue to rise is a burden on small business owners so they get it regardless of what they're producing. But listen if you're going to visit a business it should be sweet."

Top photo: Adaiden Hyman and his mother were visiting Oliver's on Friday as a treat for his birthday; Hawley and Molinaro stopped to wish him a happy birthday.

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October 10, 2018 - 3:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, 139th assembly district.

Press release:

In his bid for another term representing Genesee, Orleans and portions of Monroe counties in the 139th District of the state Assembly, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that he has received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association and the group’s endorsement for the 2018 general election.

Hawley, a consistent proponent of the right to bear arms sponsors several bills to repeal the NY SAFE-Act, has passed legislation authorizing big game hunting in Genesee and Orleans counties and has been an unwavering voice against New York’s left-wing extremist groups seeking to dissolve the Second Amendment and cut back the rights of law-abiding gun owners. 

“I am honored to once again have the endorsement and full confidence of the NRA,” Hawley said. "The fear tactics and subsequent extreme stances of some groups in our state are trying to severely roll back the rights of law-abiding firearm owners and undercut our constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and I will not stand idly by while that happens."

“Hunting and responsible firearm ownership is a tradition here in Western New York. We deserve the right to protect our home and family from danger and deserve to pass down the rewarding and special tradition of hunting that teaches valuable lessons of patience, responsibility and reward to so many. I will always stand for the Second Amendment and, rest assured, that will remain my duty as your representative in Albany.”

October 5, 2018 - 5:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, breast cancer awareness month, news.

Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

"Every October with Breast Cancer Awareness Month we are reminded of the fact that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during her life.

"I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to schedule their preventative screening. In fact, thanks to legislation I supported (A.5677 of 2017) women in New York have more options than ever before to get screened, including a 3-D mammography process known as tomosynthesis that is now covered by insurance companies.

"No matter which screening process you and your doctor decide is best for you, there is nothing more important than early detection. Please make an appointment to get screened today or for more resources, visit www.ny.gov/programs/get-screened-no-excuses.”

October 2, 2018 - 7:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, steve hawley, unshackle upstate, business.

Press release:

According to a leading taxpayer protection and small business group, Unshackle Upstate, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) was one of only two members of the entire Assembly to receive a 100-percent score based on a number of key legislative votes and sponsorship of bills during this year’s session.

The legislation considered covers a wide array of topics, including universal health care, business regulations, budgetary spending and environmental issues.

“I am honored to be named the state’s top assembly member when it comes to protecting taxpayer money, supporting small businesses and championing initiatives to grow the economy and create jobs,” Hawley said. “This is an issue dear to my heart and one I take seriously due to years spent operating our family farm and now my own small business.

“One thing has become abundantly clear over the past several years – Gov. Cuomo’s policies have yet to open New York for business and continue to drive too many residents to more tax-friendly states. Upstate businesses and tax dollars are the lifeblood of our state, and I will continue to fight against reckless spending, overregulation and oppressive taxes.”

September 26, 2018 - 3:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, I Love NY, news.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

As the Sept. 30 deadline for the removal of New York state’s illegal "I Love New York" signs approaches, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has called on Gov. Cuomo to obey federal requirements and follow through with eliminating the dangerous distraction before it is too late.

A failure to do so could result in New York’s loss of $14 million in federal highway funding at a steep cost to the state’s already overburdened taxpayers.

Federal highway officials have been pushing for the removal of the "I Love New York" signs for over a year, citing the location and amount of text on the signs as a distracting hazard to drivers.

Despite objections from Washington, more than 500 of these oversized signs were installed in 2017 at an $8.1 million cost to New York’s taxpayers. Now the campaign, meant to drive tourism across the Empire State, could result in an even greater cost to New York’s residents.

Hawley has been actively pushing for the signs’ timely removal in the interest of not only New York’s finances, but the safety of the state’s drivers.

“It is no secret that our governor is at odds with the federal government, and it is shameful for him to endanger our state’s drivers and allow this invaluable funding to hang in the balance due to this personal feud,” Hawley said.

“I call on Governor Cuomo to do what’s right for the people of New York and remove these ill-advised and distracting road signs before our taxpayers are left to quite literally pay the consequences.”

September 20, 2018 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, patriot trip, news.

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley helps Bill Wakeman with his bag as he prepares to board the Trailways bus for Hawley's 11th Annual Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C.

The trip is a chance for veterans to visit war memorials in the nation's capitol. Each year, Hawley hosts two busloads of veterans on the trip.

In a statement issued after the departure, Hawley said: “Each of us owes our local veterans a tremendous debt of gratitude for their service and sacrifice to defend the values and freedoms we hold dear.

"I am so grateful to be able to share the unforgettable experience of visiting our nation’s capital with these brave men and women each year on our Patriot Trip, and look forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come.”

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September 17, 2018 - 6:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in NY27, steve hawley, news.
Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

 

“I look forward to continuing my dedicated service representing Genesee, Orleans and Monroe counties in the State Assembly. It was a privilege to be considered a top candidate for congress and I am humbled at the outpouring of grassroots and party support I received across Western New York.

"I will continue to travel my Assembly District this fall, listening to the needs and concerns of residents as I make my case for reelection. Tax relief, economic vitality and job growth, providing assistance for our veterans and halting Gov. Cuomo’s radical and dangerous agenda will remain my top priorities.”

September 7, 2018 - 1:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in opioids, steve hawley, GCASA.

Press release:

The Finger Lakes region will be among 35 statewide recipients of federal funding through the Opioid State Target Response Grant, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced Thursday.

The initiative, which will appropriate $25.2 million in grants across the state to aid in the fight against substance abuse, provides assistance to programs that offer prevention, treatment and recovery services, increasing access to treatment for individuals in high-need areas in an effort to combat this statewide crisis.

The Opioid State Target Response Grant program, currently in its second year, announced Genesee County will be among 19 new counties that will receive funding to assist in the fight against opioid abuse this year. The Genesee Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) will directly benefit from this support, receiving a $650,000 grant through the program.

Additional programs throughout the Finger Lakes region will receive grants through this federally-funded program, including the Delphi Drug and Alcohol Council Inc.

“The far-reaching effects of the heroin and opioid epidemic are well documented, not only here in our community, but across our state and nation,” Hawley said. “As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to pursue any and all opportunities to secure support, at both the state and federal level, to assist the dedicated programs providing recovery and addiction treatment to the individuals affected by this statewide crisis.

"I am thrilled to see our community among the recipients of these grants and will remain committed to protecting our local families from the dangers of opioid abuse.”

To discuss the ongoing work being done to fight heroin and opioid abuse in our community, or any additional state matters, please contact Hawley’s district office at 585-589-5780. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, assistance can be found by calling state's toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).

August 28, 2018 - 6:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, NY-27, news, notify.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is doing pretty much what the rest of us in the 27th Congressional District are doing -- waiting to see if the regional GOP leadership can come up with a plan to remove the name of Chris Collins from the November general election ballot.

If that happens, he hopes the GOP chairs will select him as the Republican candidate for Congress to replace Collins, currently under federal indictment on counts of securities fraud and lying to the FBI about an alleged insider trading scheme.

"I know nothing more than when we met last Tuesday," Hawley said, referring to a confab of GOP chairs from the eight counties in the NY-27 at Batavia Downs. At the gathering, the candidates hoping to replace Collins on the ballot were interviewed. "We each gave a presentation. We talked about how each of us viewed what a congressman should be, we reviewed backgrounds, reviewed finances, reviewed whether we’re ready to go or not, which I am, and I haven’t heard anything since then."

David Bellavia, the other Batavia resident who considered a run for Congress if the GOP chairs could get the Collins name off the ballot, withdrew his name before Tuesday's meeting. Mike Ranzenhofer, the state senator for Genesee County, withdrew his name yesterday.

Hawley is by no means certain the county chairs have figured out a plan for getting the current congressman's name off the ballot.

"I have to say, the longer this goes on the chances of A) getting his name off B) having the court challenges, which there will be, makes me more and more happy that I’m running for reelection to the state Assembly," Hawley said. "If the process doesn’t heat up here pretty quickly, I’m going to be serving, hopefully, another term in the state Assembly."

That isn't to be read, apparently, that Hawley has any intention anytime soon of withdrawing his name from consideration. He wouldn't say that when pressed on the question, or at what point he might decide to withdraw.

"We'll play it by ear," he said.

Hawley said residents of the 139th Assembly District have been wholly supportive of his request to be considered for the Republican line on the November ballot in the congressional race.

"I’ve received nothing but encouragement from the moment Mr. Collins suspended his campaign and, as I mentioned before, all kinds of emails, all kinds of Facebook posts, all kinds of personal visits from constituents," Hawley said. "This is all about people I’ve been able to serve the past 12 and a half years. They’re the ones who encouraged me to look at it and that’s what I try to model myself after, what people want."

August 28, 2018 - 3:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, I Love NY, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is again calling on Gov. Cuomo to remove the illegal blue I Love NY Thruway signs before the state loses the ability to recoup the $14 million it was fined this winter. The Cuomo administration previously installed the signs despite knowing they were against federal highway codes. New York has until Sept. 30 to remove all the signs.

“This charade has gone on far too long. New York taxpayers are already down over $8 million for these bogus signs, and if the governor doesn’t accept reality and take them down by the Sept. 30 deadline, taxpayers will be down another $14 million,” Hawley said.

“The governor can put up all the signs he wants but the reality is that his policies have perpetuated the highest taxes in the nation and are rotting Upstate New York from the inside out. That is why no one wants to move here,” Hawley continued.

“It is bad enough that many of these signs were not even built in our state, using our tax money to bolster jobs in Arkansas, but the fact is that the governor knew these signs were illegal and he put them up anyway. We have about four weeks to comply, but if he takes them down with the same urgency as he did to put them up, there shouldn’t be any problems.” 

August 18, 2018 - 6:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, andrew young, batavia, news, NY-27.

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley's pitch to the committee of eight selecting the possible GOP candidate to replace Rep. Chris Collins on the November ballot got the support of Andrew Young today.

Young grabbed a couple of Hawley signs from his garage and replaced "Assembly" with "Congress" and stuck the signs in front of his business, Reliant Reality, on West Main.

Young said he made the signs on his own with "no input or awareness on Steve's part. I did it because I think he is the best man for the job. He has proven to be an effective advocate for our community and he has lived up to the highest level of integrity. Perhaps more important than anything right now, we could use some old-fashioned integrity."

UPDATE: Michael Pullinzi did it first out on Route 98, which Young noted when we spoke about his signs.

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Young submitted the top photo, Pullinzi​ the bottom photo.

August 16, 2018 - 8:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, David Bellavia, news, NY-27, notify.

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The eight men who met with GOP party leaders in Geneseo yesterday to discuss their interest in replacing Chris Collins as the Republican nominee in the 27th Congressional District were met by a group of reporters as they walked into the meeting, including two hopefuls from Batavia, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, and Iraq War veteran David Bellavia.

Both Hawley and Bellavia stuck to an upbeat message about serving the district and noting the voters in the 27th are perhaps a little tired of scandal from their representative in Washington.

"We got to bring dignity back," Bellavia said. "These people (in the NY-27) have been through a lot. I mean, it's our second time around."

Bellavia was referring to Rep. Chris Lee, who was accused of posting shirtless pictures of himself on Craigslist while looking for transexual dates, and Rep. Chris Collins, currently under indictment on charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and lying to the FBI.

"We've got to put that behind us and get a candidate that the people can get behind," Bellavia said. "Vitality is important and the Republican Party needs to bring energy back. You start by registering more Republicans and get more people to join the committees. That's the kind of a model that I'm bringing to the table and that's what I'm proud to represent."

Collins has bowed out of the race for 2018 -- a critical mid-term election for the GOP to try and retain a majority in the House of Representatives -- and now the Republicans are scrambling to figure out a legal way to get Collins off the November ballot, pick a new candidate and get that candidate's campaign up and running. All under the assumption that after the Collins fiasco, the Democrats are coming hard after this seat, fully funding Nate McMurray's effort to switch the 27th from red to blue.

Under the circumstances, Hawley suggested, the voters of the NY-27 are ready for an experienced representative with the maturity to handle the job.

"They've had a long, long road over the past eight to 10 years," Hawley said. "This is about representing people and having a feel for what it is they need and I think what they need is a calm, steady, firm hand and the ability to be able to listen to what their needs, wants and desires."

With a short campaign window, Hawley said he can raise the funds needed for the campaign, and though he can't afford to self-fund, he can make a contribution.

"I am a prolific fundraiser and the vice chairman of the Republican Campaign Committee and I have a healthy amount in my Friends of Steve Hawley account," Hawley said. "Where we should be looking is for small donations and contributions from people who think you would be able to do the job for them. Whether it's 10 dollars, 25 dollars, 50 bucks, that's really what America is all about."

Fundraising will be a challenge, Bellavia said but he also said it's going to take a lot of hard work to win the race.

"It's an 80-day election cycle," Bellavia said. "Everyone's worried about funding. The D Triple C is going to put in a lot of money into this campaign and you've got a guy out there in Grand Island -- who ... he's going to need a real estate agent to be your congressman -- but he's working his tail off. He's a good guy who's out there working hard and it's going to take a lot of elbow grease to be able to defeat him."

Hawley and Bellavia were showing up for kind of a candidates forum with 17 party leaders from the NY-27. This wasn't the formal interview with the eight county chairs nor were any decisions made about who to support as the party's nominee.

Also attending were Erie County Legislator Ed Rath, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, Assemblyman Ray Walter, State Senator Robert Ortt, former gubernatorial candidate and former Buffalo school board member Carl Paladino, and State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer.

Bellavia said the party bosses should pick the right person for the job, not somebody who just wants the title of congressman.

"My whole life has been about service," Bellavia said. "I mean, we were electing a congressman. Why are we doing this? Are we doing this for ourselves? Are we doing this because we're bored? Or are we doing this because it's our time and you know we held the position before but this one's really super juicy? Are we doing this because we want to serve our country? I believe that this country is worthy of any sacrifice and if I'm called to duty I'm going answer that duty you know."

Hawley also said the short election time frame will mean he needs to work hard if he's selected to represent the party but, he said, that isn't any different than what he does every election cycle.

"I have campaigned door-to-door in this Assembly District and before that for the county legislature, door-to-door all of the time," Hawley said. "Last time I didn't have an opponent. I didn't like that. I think people deserve a choice. And even though I had no opponent I still went door-to-door. Some people would say, 'What the heck you're doing here?' And I said, 'I'm here to ask for your support and listen to those questions you might have.' So, whether we've got an opponent or not, whether they're well-financed, whether they're well known, it's all about the people."

Top composite photo: Steve Hawley on the left, and David Bellavia.

Audio and images provided by our news partner, 13WHAM. For their story about the event, click here.

August 15, 2018 - 7:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chapin International, news, business, steve hawley.

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Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, a Democrat from the Bronx, joined Assemblyman Steve Hawley on a tour of Hawley's 139th District, which included a stop late in the afternoon yesterday at Chapin Manufacturing International Inc, in Batavia.

The tour started in Lyndonville and included a couple of farms in the area, continued through Medina, and then stopped at LandPro Equipment in Oakfield, Genesee Community College, and then Chapin before a visit to Batavia Downs Gamiong & Hotel before dinner at Alex's Place.

Hawley has been conducting these tours for Downstate colleagues now for a few years and they are reciprocal. Hawley will visit Benedetto's district. It's a chance, Hawley said, for representatives from two halves of the state to get to know the whole state better and the unique issues faced in different parts of the state.

At Chapin, Benedetto was given a presentation on the company by CEO Jim Campbell before a tour of the factory.

Chapin employees 300 people at its U.S. locations, which now includes a plant in Ohio. It makes sprayers and spreaders, primarily, but also has a line of bird feed made in Michigan.

Campbell described its bird feed as tasty and nutritious to help birds in the Northeast store energy to make it through winter.

One of the biggest challenges for the company right now is finding qualified workers, Campbell said.

"If you want a job in our area today, you can work, absolutely," Campbell said.

The tight labor market is requiring Chapin to change its approach to recruiting employees.

"We used to use the temp-to-permanent model but the people you have out there in temps today are not the people you’re after," Campbell said. "The people you’re after are now working for somebody else. They’re not going to leave a full-time job without a good opportunity to work for us."

Benedetto said he often hears on the floor of the Assembly that New York is not a business-friendly state. He asked Campbell if that was his experience in dealing with New York.

Campbell said if his company were to look at building a 100,000-square-foot addition to its facility it would cost in New York $7 million.

"I can build it in Ohio for $1 million," Campbell said. "It's a huge difference."

Campbell's other concern is the skyrocketing costs of New York's workers' compensation insurance, which is now the highest in the United States.

In photos below, William Kegler, director of operations, is conducting the tour.

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August 11, 2018 - 1:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins, David Bellavia, steve hawley, news, crime, notify.

The tweet that changed the complexion of the NY-27 congressional race had barely reached all of the followers of @repchriscollins before Republicans with aspirations to serve in Congress started declaring their interest in replacing Rep. Chris Collins on the GOP line of the November ballot.

Dick Siebert, chair of the GOP in Genesee County, said he's already heard from three candidates, including two from Batavia -- Steve Hawley and David Bellavia.

It will be up to the county chairs in the NY-27 -- given that the primary season is already past and it's less than three months to Election Day -- to pick whose name goes on the R line instead of Collins.

That is if a legal way can be found to get the incumbent's name off the ballot. Possibilities include, or so we are told, finding another elected office to appoint Collins to, such as a judgeship, or having Collins declare permanent residency in Florida.

"My reaction?" Siebert said when asked for his reaction to Collins suspending his campaign. "I was relieved that he did it. It was the right thing to do."

This morning, well before Collins announced he was getting out of the race, The Batavian interviewed Michael Caputo, a GOP political consultant from Buffalo and a close ally of President Donald Trump. Caputo talked at length about all the ways Collins staying in the race harmed Republicans and threatened the very survival of Trump's presidency.

"The scandal and prosecution are in small but profound ways a bad reflection on the president," Caputo said. "I don't think Chris Collins will ever darken the doorstep of the Oval Office again."

The president, Caputo said, learned a powerful lesson when he looked past allegations against Judge Roy Moore in the run-up to his Alabama Senate race about the Republican candidate's reputation for chasing teenage girls. 

Caputo said the closer he gets to Collins at this point, the greater the risk it will blow back in his face and he doesn't want a repeat of the Roy Moore fiasco.

"The president is inclined to look past mere partisan allegations because he weathers so many of those himself, but this 30-page indictment of the wealthy trying to preserve their wealth, it's a terrible look in the New York 27th, where the vast majority of voters are low to middle class on the economic scale," Caputo said.

It was Caputo who first introduced Trump to Collins in 2014 when Trump was considering a run for governor. Collins endeared himself to Trump during the 2016 campaign by being such a strong defender of Trump in television appearances but all that goodwill evaporated when Collins was arrested.

Then Collins became a liability, both because of the perception of his close proximity to the president, and because there is a recognizable danger of Republicans losing control of the House in the midterms.

"It may boil down to one or two seats," Caputo said before we knew Collins was dropping out of the race. "It may boil down to Nate McMurray and Chris Collins. If we lose control of the house, there will be impeachment proceedings, no doubt about it."

In an analysis of data about scandal-plagued incumbents running for reelection, the political prognostication site 538 gives Collins a slender 2 or 3 percentage point chance of winning the election in November.

With the race potentially cut down to a margin of two or three points, Caputo thought it would be a hard race for Collins to win without an energized base. He was already seeing rank-and-file party leadership peeling away from Collins since his arrest.

Collins would not be able to run an effective campaign without squarely addressing the allegations, which at his Wednesday press conference he was unwilling to do, Caputo said. Every time he appeared in public, the press would be there and the lasting image, if Collins wouldn't answer questions, would be of him running away from reporters.

And his own supporters wouldn't have been willing to defend him, then, in their neighbor-to-neighbor conversations.

"One by one, they (would) drop away and in the end, he (wouldn't) have the people to mount an effective get-out-the-vote effort," Caputo said.

That is the kind of tough-love analysis Collins probably heeded when he said in his withdrawal statement, "After extensive discussions with my family and my friends over the last few days, I have decided that it is in the best interests of the constituents of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Trump’s agenda for me to suspend my campaign for reelection to Congress."

The process for picking GOP congressional candidates for the GLOW region is heavily weighted toward Erie County and that process over the past decades has given us: Tom Reynolds, who retired under a cloud of scandals involving Rep. Mark Foley and the treasurer of National Republican Congressional Committee while Reynolds was chair; Chris Lee, who resigned after he was reportedly trolling for transgender women on Craigslist; and now, Chris Collins, accused of insider trading.

It's too soon to know if there are other GLOW-based candidates who might be interested in the seat beside Hawley and Bellavia, but there are Hawley and Bellavia. 

Steve Hawley, a six-term member of the state Assembly, was born and raised in Batavia, is a farmer, local business owner and was a member of the Ohio Army National Guard and the United States Army Reserves.

"Collins has suspended his campaign, whatever that means, but it's not clear if that means his name stays on the ballot or there may be some way to get his name off the ballot," Hawley said. "If that were to occur, I am proud to continue serving and helping people at any level of government and this is something I will look at if it comes up and certainly make a strong push for it."

David Bellavia was born and raised in Buffalo but is a longtime resident of Batavia. He is an American Iraq War veteran who was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the Second Battle of Fallujah, along with other military awards and honors. He is currently a talk show cohost on WBEN. He lost a 2012 primary race to Collins, though he beat Collins in every county but Erie and Niagara.

"This is something I've dedicated 10 years of my life to doing," Bellavia said. "I'm committed myself since 2012  to correct my deficiencies in Erie and Niagara counties. I'm ready to run."

Previously:

July 25, 2018 - 4:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, patriot trip, veterans.

Submitted photo: Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) [center] poses with veterans of the Air Force at a memorial honoring Air Force veterans during last year’s Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C.

Press release:
 
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced there is still room available to sign up for this year’s Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., from Sept. 20 – 23.
 
Veterans who have attended a previous year’s trip or live outside the 139th Assembly District are now welcome to sign up.
 
*Veterans who are first-time attendees to the trip will still receive first priority.
 
Hawley is a longtime supporter of veterans and has served on the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee since 2006.
 
“The Patriot Trip is one of my favorite events throughout the year,” Hawley said. “This trip was inspired by Mike Paduzak, a World War Two veteran, who asked me to come together with local veterans and host a trip to Washington, D.C.
 
"Through the experiences of my father, veterans I have met during previous year’s trips, and my own service in the military, I have gained a tremendous understanding and admiration for the sacrifices endured by our veterans. It is for these reasons that I continue the Patriot Trip each year and have solidified it as one of the staples of my service to our community.”

Attractions Hawley plans to visit this year on the trip include:

  • U.S. Capitol  
  • World War II Memorial
  • Gettysburg 
  • Korean War Memorial
  • Vietnam War Memorial
  • Iwo Jima – The Marine Corps Memorial
  • American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial
  • Air Force Memorial
  • 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon
  • Arlington National Cemetery, including the Changing of the Guard
  • Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns

If you or a veteran you know wants more information about this year’s Patriot Trip XI, please call 585-589-5780 or email [email protected].

To view photos from previous years, use the following link: http://vetsdctrip2008.shutterfly.com/

July 24, 2018 - 4:42pm

Press release: 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is pleased to announce several town hall meetings on Saturday, Aug. 4. All are welcome to attend to discuss local issues and express any questions or concerns they might have.

“I always try to stay as aware as possible about the concerns and issues important to my neighbors, and to achieve this, I’m going to be hosting several town hall meetings in the near future,” Hawley said. “I encourage everyone to attend at least one of the meetings in Alexander, Oakfield, Byron or Elba. I’m looking forward to seeing you all there.” 

TOWN HALL MEETING SCHEDULE

  • Town of Alexander/Village of Alexander: 9:30 - 10:15 a.m., Village of Alexander Hall, 3350 Church St., Alexander
  • Town of Oakfield/Village of Oakfield: 10:45 - 11:30 a.m., Oakfield Town Hall, 3219 Drake St., Oakfield
  • Town of Byron: 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Byron Town Hall, 7028 Byron Holley Road, Byron
  • Town of Elba/Village of Elba: 12:45 - 1:30 p.m., Elba Town Hall, 7 Maple Ave., Elba
July 3, 2018 - 6:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, Independence Day, FOURTH OF JULY.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“As we wade into the dog days of summer, Independence Day is a cherished reminder that the American Dream is alive and well and the right of any nation and its people to live free should not be infringed upon.

“Our founding fathers, the patriots who forged our nation through a crucible of revolution, knew that the will of men and women to live free, govern themselves and choose their own destiny was undeniable and worth any sacrifice they may endure.

“The strength and courage of our founders to break from the tyranny of Great Britain, their home country, ultimately gave rise to the greatest military, economic and social power in world history, the United States of America.

“It is a true gift to have a sense of patriotism and it will forever be our responsibility to remember the brave men and women who made our country what it is today. The fight for liberty and justice is never complete; and as Americans it is our duty to remember and cherish our independence.

"It is a day to celebrate our freedom, our country, our triumphs and to remember all those men and women who have served our nation and who have made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of those ideals.

“Although this holiday is a joyous occasion, I encourage everyone to stay safe and to celebrate responsibly with family and friends. Happy Independence Day!”

June 27, 2018 - 9:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, illegal immigrants, politics, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today condemned the Cuomo administration’s recent announcement that more taxpayer-funded resources across a wide array of departments will be available to illegal immigrants in New York state.

The announcement is another staple in Gov. Cuomo’s recent history of sparring with the federal government on a host of policy issues.

“While I believe it is always the best policy to keep families together, I am concerned about continual use of taxpayer-funded resources being dolled out by the Cuomo administration to individuals here illegally,” Hawley said.

“Instead of state leaders engaging in useless political quarreling and grandstanding we should be using those resources to better empower Child Protective Services and the Department of Social Services to protect the needy and less fortunate children that have already suffered in our state.”

Gov. Cuomo has recently called himself “undocumented” in recent weeks and boasted about the success of his signature Liberty Defense Project, a multimillion dollar taxpayer-funded program, signed into law last year, which offers legal defense and counsel for illegals facing deportation.

“Our state agencies and departments are already working at full capacity to help law-abiding citizens and to think Gov. Cuomo is pushing them to the wayside to help illegals is deeply regrettable,” Hawley continued.

“We need to end the billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses forced upon local governments so agencies working at the local level can realize more resources to care for our children. The priorities of this administration are extremely out of control and continue to endanger middle-class New York by the day.”

June 27, 2018 - 9:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in transportation, infrastructure, steve hawley, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that millions in transportation upgrades have been awarded to the 139th Assembly District. Funding will improve operating assistance, transit buses, facilities and services in Genesee, Orleans and Monroe counties.

This includes funds to replace three transit buses and one bus shelter in Genesee County, improve operating functionality in Monroe County and the purchase of a new bus facility in Orleans County.

“Our local public transportation system is crucial to maintaining a strong and bustling community for all walks of life,” Hawley said. “With all the difficulties of traffic, parking and expenses of commuting for oneself, public transportation is extremely important to many residents of Western New York.

"Thousands of people rely on our buses to travel to work, go shopping and travel around the district, and many school age and college students need reliable transportation to and from campus. I am pleased to announce that this funding will be injected into our local transportation system and look forward to a more seamless commute for our residents.”

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

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