Federal Labor Union Endorses Stefanik

The National Treasury Employees Union 138 Chapter on Friday endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik’s push for a third term to the 21st congressional district in the North Country.

The labor group is the largest independent union of federal workers, representing more than 150,000 employees across 33 government agencies.

“It is a pleasure working with Elise,” said NTEU 138 Chapter President Jamey A. Goheens. “Through the relationship we have formed, there have been many legislative issues addressed that truly have had a positive effect on federal employees and their lives.”

Stefanik this year faces Democrat Tedra Cobb in the November general election. Stefanik is seeking a third term.

“I am honored to receive this crucial endorsement representing the hard working men and women of our nation’s largest independent federal employee union,” she said. “I want to thank every Border agent, every Federal law enforcement officer and every Federal Government employee serving across the District and across our nation for their support and I look forward to working with them to strengthen our nation’s borders.”

Gallivan Not Sold on Collins Re-elect

From the Morning Memo:

Add state Sen. Pat Gallivan’s name to the list of Western New York Republicans who aren’t thrilled with the idea of sending disgraced Rep. Chris Collins back to Washington as he’s battling charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI.

During a CapTon interview last night, Gallivan, who took himself out of the running early on as a potential replacement for Collins on the November ballot – back before the congressman decided he would seek re-elect despite his legal troubles after all – said he needs to be convinced to vote for Collins, though he didn’t express a preference for any other candidate.

“For me, I’m one of his constituents, my district – all but two or three towns – sit wholly within that 27th Congressional District, and I think that Congressman Collins has to make his case, make a case to his constituents – myself included – in order to be re-elected,” the senator said.

When pressed on whether that means he can’t be counted on to vote “yes” on Collins, Gallivan replied:

“I serve the citizens, and I try to be responsive to the citizens that I serve, and I think he needs to do the same. He has said publicly that he is innocent of these charges, and I think that what he needs to do tell us about it, tell us that he is innocent and convince us that he is.”

“And if he can successfully do that, then he can be re-elected. I think he owes that, he has said that publicly, he now owes that to his constituents.”

WNY GOP officials had been struggling to figure out how to get Collins off the general election ballot and replace him with someone else – all while Democrats threatened to challenge any such move in court.

But Collins this week made their decision for them, announcing that on the advice of his attorneys, he had decided to run for re-election, and subsequently has said he plans to actively campaign while also fighting to clear his name.

The Cook Political Report has moved the NY-27 race to “leans Republican” from “likely Republican,” saying Collins flip-flop on his re-election bid improves the chances of his Democratic opponent, Grand Island Town Supervisor Nate McMurray, despite the overwhelming GOP enrollment edge in the district.

Forbes Fundraises For Basile

Basile - Forbes Invite Business and Republican former presidential candidate Steve Forbes will headline a Sept. 28 fundraiser for GOP state Senate candidate Tom Basile.

Tickets to the event range from $250 to $5,000 in New York City.

Basile, a former executive director of the state Republican Committee, is running for the Hudson Valley Senate district being vacated by retiring Sen. Bill Larkin.

The district is one of several battleground races facing Republicans this fall in their effort to hold their narrow majority in the chamber.

Basile faces Democratic Assemblyman James Skoufis.

Basile has been lining up the support of prominent New York Republicans for his campaign, with events being hosted by former Rep. Chris Gibson this week and ex-White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer earlier in the summer.

Cuomo TV Ad Blasts Molinaro as ‘Trump Mini-Me’

From the Morning Memo:

It’s no secret that President Trump is the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s favorite punching bag and scapegoat for any and all problems plaguing New York.

Since winning the Democratic primary last week, Cuomo has continued to focus mainly on Trump, and also is stepping up his effort to link his general election opponent, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, to the president, who is deeply unpopular here in his home state.

In a new ad released yesterday by Team Cuomo, Molinaro is branded as Trump’s “mini-me” – a moniker the governor’s campaign has been employing for some time now.

The ad brands Molinaro as opposed to abortion rights, an assault weapons ban, affordable healthcare, and marriage equality. It also says he voted against equal pay while serving in the state Assembly and supported the federal government’s 2017 Tax and Jobs Act.

The tagline:

“A Trump mini me for governor? No way, no how.”

Molinaro has sought to explicitly run as a Trump opposite in both temperament and personality. Molinaro has noted repeatedly he did not vote for Trump in 2016, writing in Rep. Chris Gibson that year instead.

Prior to his significant win against his primary opponent, actree-turned-activist Cynthia Nixon, Cuomo and his campaign paid little attention to Molinaro, who is vastly underfund compared to the governor, and also is running an uphill battle in a Democrat-dominated, largely anti-Trump state.

Molinaro, meanwhile, is trying to capitalize on free media and has launched a so-called “Cuomo Corruption Tour.” He continues to hammer away at Cuomo’s alleged ties to Albany corruption – particularly the conviction on federal corruption charges of former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, who is scheduled to be sentenced today.

It remains to be seen whether this line of argument holds weight with voters, as a June Siena poll showed Cuomo has a nearly 20 percentage point lead over Molinaro.

“Andrew Cuomo’s corruption is eroding all public trust in government, and that cannot stand,” Molinaro said. “His administration acts like a corrupt enterprise operating beyond all bounds of normalcy and under strict and willful secrecy. Even his so-called ethics commission, JCOPE, appears to be inside the Cuomo cabal. We must find a way to get at the truth, and this bill will do it.”

In a statement released yesterday, referencing gun control comments Molinaro made at a campaign stop in Utica, Cuomo campaign spokeswoman Abbey Collins said:

“We knew that Trump mini-me Marc Molinaro is an NRA puppet, we just didn’t think he’d be so brazen about it. After a long career opposing common sense gun safety reform, ‘A’ rated Molinaro has made rolling back the toughest and smartest gun legislation in the nation – the SAFE Act – part of his campaign platform, threatening just yesterday to dismantle it piece by piece.”

“At a time when people of all ages across this country are crying out for increased gun safety measures, this latest move proves Trump mini-me Molinaro is in the iron grip of the gun lobby. His position is disturbing and dangerous, and the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers will remember Molinaro in their thoughts and prayers when he loses this election by a landslide.”

Molinaro has reiterated on multiple occasions that he did not cast a ballot for Trump in the 2016 election, instead writing in the name of former Rep. Chris Gibson from NY-19.

Also while in Utica, Molinaro picked up the endorsement of Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, a fellow Republican, who in the past crossed party lines to endorse Cuomo for re-election.

Basile Endorsed by Orange County Legislator

From the Morning Memo:

Orange County Legislator John Vero endorsed Republican Tom Basile in his bid for retiring GOP Sen. Bill Larkin’s seat in the 39th District – a key battleground in the ongoing fight for the majority.

Vero, a Republican, represents County District 10, which includes the town and village of Chester as well as parts of Warwick.

“Tom Basile has a plan that will encourage our local governments to be pro-active in ensuring that development takes place in a sustainable manner,” Vero said.

“His foresight and willingness to put forward substantive proposals that assist our communities with important issues is why I’m proud to support Tom to be our senator.”

The seat is one Democrats hope to flip this November, and also is one of five positions that are opening due to GOP retirements. Democratic voter enrollment in the district leans Republicans, and a sizable portion of so-called “blanks” – voters unaffiliated with any political party – exists as well.

Basile is a Stony Point councilman and former state GOP executive director, who also worked in former President George W. Bush’s administration. He faces a challenge from three-term Democratic Assemblyman James Skoufis.

Collins to Stay on November Ballot, Dems Crow

Democrats are thrilled that disgraced Rep. Chris Collins is remaining on the NY-27 ballot in the November general election despite the fact that he is fighting charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI and said – after initially insisting he intended to see the race through, that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election.

The Buffalo News reports that Collins “has heeded the advice of his criminal attorneys who fear the potential complications of protracted election law challenges almost sure to be initiated by Democrats if he removed his name from the congressional ballot.”

“In an attempt to end a devastating news cycle following Congressman Chris Collins’ indictment, Republicans immediately vowed that they would get their scandalized Congressman off the federal ballot, but we now know that this wasn’t true,” DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly said in a statement.

“In the most stark sign that House Republicans are a corrupt and unethical body only out to benefit themselves and their special interests, there are now two indicted Republicans on the ballot in November.”

“The voters of New York 27th Congressional District now have the clearest of choices between scandal-plagued Chris Collins and Nate McMurray, who will be a real fighter for the families of Western New York, and the stakes just got a whole lot higher on November 6th.”

The other indicted GOP congressman running in this cycle, to whom Kelly referred, is Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, who is facing criminal charges for allegedly using campaign funds on tequila shots, family trips to Hawaii and Italy, and other personal expenses.

Local Republicans, meanwhile, are not at all happy – Erie County GOP Chair Nick Langworthy told the paper he felt like “a groom jilted at the alter.” But the truth is they have been struggling for weeks now to figure out 1) how to get Collins off the ballot without facing a prolonged legal challenge from the Democrats, and 2) who to replace Collins with once he was gone, since the top contenders were state Senate Republicans, and taking them out of the mix would potentially further endanger the party’s already tenuous hold on the majority.

Another problem NY-27 GOP officials faced was the lack of enthusiasm among local electeds about the idea of stepping aside to give Collins somewhere to drop down to in order to get out of running for Congress.

The Democratic candidate in NY-27. Nate McMurray, learned of the news regarding his opponent’s status while hosting DNC Chairman (and Buffalo native) Tom Perez at a campaign HQ opening. In a statement, McMurray said it’s “nice to finally know who I’m running against,” but also insisted he “always knew” he would end up facing off against the congressman.

“There are laws for a reason. There is accountability in our society for a reason,” McMurray said. “And in the greatest democracy in the world, voters weren’t going to take this kind of sham switching around names on a ballot at the whims of local party bosses.”

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

McMurray said he believes NY-27 voters “like that I’m an underdog” and expressed excitement about the remaining 50 days of the campaign.

For the record, says Collins has a one in five shot at winning in November.

PBA Of New York Endorses Murray

The Police Benevolent Association of New York State on Monday endorsed Republican state Senate candidate Dean Murray, who is running for an open district on Long Island.

“The PBA of New York State, a union representing nearly 1,200 state agency police officers, proudly endorses Dean Murray in his bid for the 3rd Senate District,” said PBA President & University Police Officers Director Peter Barry. “Dean has been a strong supporter of the PBA and other law enforcement officers throughout his career including during his time in the Assembly and that is why we are endorsing his candidacy.

Murray, a member of the state Assembly, is running for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Tom Croci. Murray faces Democrat Monica Martinez, a Suffolk County lawmaker, in the November general election.

“Our law enforcement officers deserve our respect and our support not only home in our districts, but when we legislate in Albany. Those who risk their lives for public safety know that they can count on me to continue to be a voice for them in the legislature,” Murray said.

Murray was previously endorsed by the Public Employees Federation and the Civil Service Employees Association.

PBA Of New York Endorses Basile

The Police Benevolent Association of New York State on Friday endorsed state Senate candidate Tom Basile, the Republican running to retain the district represented by outgoing GOP Sen. Bill Larkin.

The PBA represents SUNY police officers, environmental conservation police, park police and forest rangers.

“After careful consideration, the union representing nearly 1,200 state agency police officers proudly endorses Tom Basile in the election for the 39th Senate District,” said PBA President & University Police Officers Director Peter Barry.

“Our officers face unique challenges on the job, and we need individuals like Tom Basile in the State Senate to help our officers better serve the people who live, work and visit New York State. Tom has demonstrated a commitment to the law enforcement community and that is why we are endorsing his candidacy.”

Basile faces Democratic Assemblyman James Skoufis in November.

PEF Endorses Murray For Senate

Republican Dean Murray’s campaign for the state Senate has been endorsed by the Public Employees Federation, the state’s second-largest public workers union.

“We know that you appreciate and value the work performed by public employees in your district and around the state. You also understand the needs of working men and women and their families and support the programs and services that address these needs,” said PEF President Wayne Spence.

Murray is running for the open seat on Long Island that is being vacated by Republican Tom Croci.

He was previously endorsed by the Civil a Service Employees Association, the largest public employees union in the state.

“There’s no better time to receive PEF’s endorsement than on Labor Day weekend,” Murray said. “The hardworking men and women of Long Island and beyond know not only that they can count on me to support them, but to get things done.”

CSEA Endorses Antonacci For Senate

The state’s largest public-sector labor union on Friday endorsed Republican Senate candidate Bob Antonacci to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. John DeFrancisco.

“My father was a UAW electrician and I learned early on the importance of working men and women to creating stronger communities, and I recognize the many positive contributions that labor makes in Onondaga and Cayuga counties, and throughout our entire state,” said Antonacci, the Onondaga County comptroller.

“As Comptroller, I have been the taxpayer’s watchdog, but I have also had the honor and privilege of working directly with members of CSEA. I am pleased and proud to receive their endorsement for State Senate.”

The union this year also endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat seeking a third term, ahead of his Sept. 13 primary. CSEA has often spread its endorsements out in the Senate, backing a mix of Republican and Democratic candidates.

Antonacci faces Democrat John Mannion, a former president of a local teachers union, in November.

“Now more than ever it is important to have friends and allies in the state Senate defending the rights of working men and women. Bob Antonacci has been resolute in his support for CSEA in local government and we are proud to endorse Bob in his campaign for state Senate,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue.