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City Hallways (Aug. 16) Campaign finance review gets to Mayor Brown

Money Matters - Mayor Brown

Our review of political money brings us to Mayor Byron Brown, whose "Brown for Buffalo" campaign fund raises and spends a lot of money.

Over six months, from January to July 2016, the fund raised $149,435 and spent $141,779.

Over the past year, Brown of Buffalo raised about $240,880 and spent $261,816, according to reports filed with the state Board of Elections.

The campaign started out with almost $400,000 in July 2015, and ended up with almost $400,000 left- $370,417 - as of md-July 2016.

Brown's biggest donors over the 12-month period included the law firms of Barclay Damon, which contributed $6,500; and Hodgson Russ, which contributed $5,250.

Brown received $5,500 from John DiDonato and another $3,000 from the DiDonato engineering and architecture firm.

R&P Oak Hill Development also donated $5,000.

On the expense side, some of  Brown's largest expenses are now built into his mayoral calendar.

One of the biggest was $16,700 paid to the Buffalo Convention Center, where Brown held a holiday party and fundraiser.

Another $10,400 went for Thanksgiving meals. That's an annual holiday event held in the mayor's office, when needy residents are invited to City Hall and given a grocery bag filled with all the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner, including a turkey.

Another $4,000 was spent at what's become the mayor's annual St.Patrick's Day catered brunch, held in City Hall for parade organizers, dignitaries, some parade participants and others.

Brown's reports also show his campaign spent about $4,000 on computer tablets, which were donated or given as gifts to young people, including participants in the mayor's summer reading  program.

Brown spent another $700 on Universoul Circus tickets for Buffalo public school students; and another $1,000 on tickets for Buffalo school tickets to attend Explore 'N More's Touch a Truck event.

The campaign fund also made political donations to candidates, including $2,750 to Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes; $2,000 to Sen. Chuck Schumer, and $1,000 each to Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, Delaware Councilman Joel Feroleto and Masten Councilman Ulysees Wingo.

In today's Buffalo News and, I have story on City Hall backing away from its plan to expand parking meters in the Hertel Avenue business district.

Today's Calendar Items

A town hall-style meeting bringing local residents and Buffalo law enforcement together is scheduled for 6 o'clock tonight at Burgard High School, 400 Kensington Ave.

The meeting is called “Can you hear me now 716” and is being hosted by Masten Councilman Wingo and Franchelle Hart, executive director of Open Buffalo.

The purpose of the meeting, Wingo said, is to have an open dialogue, with the goal of building  trust between law enforcement and Buffalo residents.

Bookkeeping: City Hallways is taking some time off. Be back in a couple weeks.

Sailors enjoy the warm weather on the Buffalo waterfront at sunset Thursday evening, November 6, 2008. Photo by Derek Gee

(Buffalo News Photo by Derek Gee)

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