The Republican Party primary for governor is less than a month away and one of the candidates, Carl Paladino, is seeing increased support in the weeks before the Sept. 14 primary.
As of Friday, he picked up two more endorsements when Cayuga County Republican Chairwoman Cherl Heary endorsed Paladino and earlier in the week, Genesee County Republican Chairman Richard Seibert backed the GOP hopeful.
While Paladino only has four county chair endorsements to date (he already had the backing of Republicans in Erie and Orleans counties), a spokeswoman for his campaign said Republican leaders are contacting the campaign daily and more endorsements could be on the way.
Why endorse Paladino? If you follow the mindset of Heary, it’s because, as she told me, he is the “only true conservative Republican in the race.” Heary has endorsed every Republican candidate except for the party’s nominee, Rick Lazio. Heary previously supported Myers Mermel, but he did not get nominated the convention and ended his bid. Heary’s first endorsement went to Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy.
Paladino’s surge is coming at the right time. This is the final stretch of the campaign leading into the primary and Lazio appears weakened. His fundraising numbers from January to July were average, but he was left with under $700,000 heading into the primary and general election. That opens the door for the wealthy Paladino, who pledged to spend $10 million on this campaign and looks to be saving most of that for the general election.
In July’s Siena poll, Lazio held a 40 percent to 20 percent lead in the primary against Paladino, with 40 percent undecided. Lazio is still the favorite, at least in the polls, but Paladino looks to make things interesting in this final month.
Hanna’s campaign tries to link Arcuri to indicted lobbyist
This won’t be the last time fact-checking will be in order for the hotly-contested 24th Congressional District race.
Republican candidate Richard Hanna’s campaign sent a press release this week to media outlets alleging indicted lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti contributed $17,500 to Democratic Rep. Michael Arcuri’s campaign.
“Michael Arcuri has accepted more than $17,000 from a man indicted last week for laundering illegal contributions to members of Congress,” the press release read. “(Magliocchetti), founder of the now-defunct PMA Group lobbying firm, donated $17,500 to Arcuri since 2006.
The PMA Group specialized in procuring spending earmarks for its clients, and went out of business in 2009 one month after being raided by federal agents.”
The problem? Magliocchetti never gave Arcuri money, according to Federal Elections Commission records available on OpenSecrets.org.
The same can be said for Magliocchetti’s lobbying firm, PMA Group. Records show PMA Group’s employees never gave any money to Arcuri.
Hanna’s campaign cited a Washington Examiner article about Magliocchetti’s contributions to members of Congress and his indictment. In that article, a spreadsheet credited to the Center for Responsive Politics showed contributions from PMA Group employees and clients. That list did include Arcuri and the $17,500 figure, but the amount came entirely from clients of the firm, which included big names like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
There is no question Magliocchetti and employees at PMA Group contributed money to several candidates and party committees, mostly Democrats. But Arcuri is not among the recipients.
For the full story, visit the Eye on Albany blog at auburnpub.com/eyeonalbany.
In other news:
• Hanna is on TV in the 24th Congressional District. This week, Hanna’s campaign unveiled the first television spot, which was a positive look at the candidate. You can see the ad on the Eye on Albany blog at auburnpub.com/eyeonalbany.
• The National Republican Congressional Committee is continuing its offensive on Rep. Dan Maffei, urging him to return contributions from Rep. Charles Rangel.
The NRCC sent several e-mails this week attacking Maffei for his ties to Rangel and for refusing to return money contributed to his campaign from Rangel.
• Maffei was named by Veterans Vision, a vets publication, as a “Champion for Veterans.”
• Ann Marie Buerkle, held four town hall meetings, including one in Cato, as she continues to campaign against Rep. Maffei in the 25th Congressional District. Buerkle also announced House Republican Leader John Boehner will be coming to the district for a fundraiser.
• The New York State Senate Republican Campaign Committee unveiled an ad attacking Senators Darrel Aubertine and David Valesky, both Democrats.
The TV spot, which has appeared on local networks because Valesky represents the 49th Senate District, criticizes the votes of Democrats for increasing spending and taxes.
Online producer Robert Harding’s Eye on Albany column appears Sundays in The Citizen. Head to auburnpub.com/eyeonalbany to read his blog online. Harding can be reached at 282-2220 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding