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Money and politics in WNY

A few things you need to know about politics around here:

• For the first time, Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy is sporting a political committee to raise and spend funds for his own campaign purposes.

What campaign purposes? Maybe, say many around New York, a future run for state chairman.

Langworthy isn’t talking about his new campaign fund, which is not yet required to file reports, but it’s exactly what he would need for an expensive statewide effort.

Nobody, by the way, expects current Chairman Ed Cox to go anywhere soon. But he has guided the state party for eight years – a long run for any statewide party chief. Should Cox ever decide to hang it up, the bet here is that Langworthy or possibly Onondaga County Chairman Tom Dadey would enter the successor mix.

• Democratic State Senate candidate Amber Small lists about $55,000 in her campaign account (about half stemming from loans to herself). But that total may increase following a Manhattan fundraiser slated for Sept. 8 sponsored by State Sen. Liz Kreuger at the home of Bill Samuels, a veteran Democratic insider.

• Endorsed Democrat Monica Wallace, running to replace Republican Angela Wozniak for the Cheektowaga/Lancaster Assembly seat, is expected to sweeten her $49,000 campaign account following a downtown fundraiser a few days ago.

• Still on fundraisers, friends of Hillary Clinton are beginning to plan for another local event after last November’s Hyatt Regency Buffalo soiree that netted more than $350,000. Watch for attorney Margaret Murphy to again be part of the planning committee.

As usual, New York will experience little of the 2016 presidential campaign as a state firmly entrenched in the Democratic column. But the candidates still make their way here – especially to Manhattan – to replenish campaign coffers.

Still, one insider says Clinton would like to visit Buffalo to discuss her economic development plans and highlight her role in burgeoning local projects like the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

• Thursday’s story in The News reporting the lack of financial support in Western New York for Donald Trump underscores a unique situation. Indeed, even though New York rarely merits campaign visits for the general election, Republicans like John McCain and Mitt Romney managed to find their way here for big-time fundraisers. Not this year. No such invitations extended to Trump.

• Still speaking of fundraisers (is that really what politics is all about?), House Speaker Paul Ryan visits Buffalo on Monday and Rochester on Tuesday for a pair of congressional cash collections. That’s how speakers of the House spend their August “vacations,” and probably one of the reasons Ryan proved so reticent in taking the job in the first place.

• Some interesting strategy meetings must take place over at Democrat John Flynn’s district attorney campaign headquarters. Flynn so far has backing from both the Conservative and Women’s Equality parties. Given their polar opposite platforms on some issues, do the leaders of those parties really sit peacefully at the same table? And who is the Women’s Equality leader anyway?

• Still on minor parties and the DA’s contest, one of the most interesting primary elections slated for Sept. 13 is the Conservative face-off between Flynn and Joe Treanor, who is running as the GOP candidate.

Democrat Flynn has the endorsement of Conservative leaders. But Treanor is registered in the party and will make sure every one of Erie County’s 13,434 Conservatives knows it.

The minor party line often supplies the crucial difference in close elections, and the DA contest may very well qualify as an official close election.

• Word leaking out of Conservative lairs is that the weekly Saturday morning breakfast for political junkies at Daisies in Lackawanna – a local institution for almost two decades – is moving to Christies in West Seneca.

Is nothing sacred?


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