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Letter: Ranzenhofer must stop protecting LLC loophole

Ranzenhofer must stop protecting LLC loophole

At the heart of the state influence-peddling scandal playing out in the courts is the pay-to-play culture that exists in our political system.

The Buffalo News is correct to call for closing the LLC loophole. A practice that allows developers and others to skirt the campaign donation maximums and mask the contribution’s genesis so as to conceal the outright purchase of favorable political decisions. Quid pro quo. Legally.

What The News missed in Sunday’s editorial was fingering the state representative solely responsible for the continuation of this outrageous practice by highlighting the largess this unnamed elected official has amassed as a result of the LLC loophole remaining on the books. It’s just south of $1 million by last count. Mostly from New York City developers. Huge.

Such a discussion is particularly compelling when considered in the context of this mystery man’s accomplishments on behalf of the communities he represents. Zilch.

Elected officials are temporary holders of a position of trust and are expected to undertake their duties in an open, transparent, manner, mindful of the views of the governed, for the benefit of their constituents and the good of the community as a whole. Those who fail to adhere to these basic tenets should suffer the wrath of the electorate.

The Assembly approved legislation closing the LLC loophole in each of the past three years. Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer, an Amherst Republican and chairman of the Senate committee with jurisdiction, has single-handedly held the bill in his committee each time, refusing to report it to the Senate floor. There is no benefit that inures to the residents of Amherst for this action. Zero.

Rather, the beneficiary is Ranzenhofer himself. Senator, report the bill. Now.

Michele F. Marconi


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