Last Friday, Howard Owens from The Batavian published proof beyond a doubt that Erie County GOP Chairman, Republican rent-a hack Michael Hook, and congressional primary candidate Chris Collins were righteously pissed about the political activities of Michelle McCulloch.
McCulloch was employed as an outreach worker in State Senator Mike Ranzenhofer's district office until her employment was terminated. The firing came a day after she reported to her boss that she had introduced David Bellavia to possible primary supporters at a meet and greet in Wyoming County where she resides and serves as a GOP Committeewoman. She was fired despite having been a good soldier. She passed Conservative Party petitions for Chris Collins presumably at the behest of Ranzenhofer and reported her outside political activity to her boss as instructed.
Today, Ranzenhofer told the Batavia Daily News that he is remaining neutral in the GOP primary between Collins and Bellavia and that he won't be endorsing a candidate.
That was the point where my bullshit detector exploded. Here's what we know for sure:
Ranzenhofer's office staff, a small army of Republicans who also happen to be notaries public, passed Conservative Party designating petitions for Chris Collins. This is not an act of neutrality and although Ranzenhofer has denied that he directed his staff to pass the petitions, no one with a drop of common sense believes him. Here's a link to all the Conservative Party petitions turned in by Ranz's staff notaries. That's an impressive coordinated effort by a bunch of people who weren't directed to act....
According to Ms. McCulloch's text message records which she shared with The Batavian, Chris Collins' political consultant, Michael Hook, called Ranzenhofer after the Collins campaign found out about McCulloch's membership on the Bellavia Steering Committee. Here is the warning from her friend courtesy of The Batavian:
Image Courtesy of The Batavian
That wasn't the only text message she received. ECGOP Chairman Nick Langworthy sent a few rage texts to McCulloch about her support of Bellavia.
Image Courtesy of The Batavian
After the texts came a warning to McCulloch that she must report any political activity to her boss. She followed orders and a day later she was fired.
Ranzenhofer insists that the firing wasn't politically motivated, but all of the evidence points in the other direction.
Enter the Republican version of the circular firing squad.
Wyoming County GOP Chairman Gordon Brown told the paper:
“I am not pleased with Sen. Ranzenhofer’s response,” Brown said. “He claims neutrality, but I don’t think that neutrality is accurate.”
For those of you unfamiliar with political language, that statement translates roughly into English as: "Ranz is a fucking liar. Liar, liar, pants on fire."
He also seemed underwhelmed by Chris Collins' ability to build bridges, saying, “You have to be able to build coalitions and consensus, with Collins, the question is does he have the right personality?”
That one doesn't require any translation, we all know nobody can stand Chris Collins on a personal level.
This congressional campaign is quickly turning into another case of how badly can the ECGOP squander its chances of winning this seat. NY-27 should be a slam dunk for the Republicans after redistricting turned it from an R+6 district to an R+7. Of course, it should have been a slam dunk for them last year as well, but Democrat Kathy Hochul stomped all over them even in some of the reddest parts of the district.
Republican leadership in Erie County has been running the same campaign for years and everyone has finally caught on to the strategy. Pick a wealthy candidate, hide him/her in a bunker somewhere so they don't have to answer policy questions, feed the public talking points, keep the GLOW countys in line, win.
David Bellavia has thrown a serious wrench in their gears these last two election cycles, but Bellavia isn't the man to blame for the ECGOP's woes; Nick Langworthy is. Langworthy paid lip service to Bellavia in 2008 when he asked the Iraq War veteran to step aside for tranny-chaser Christopher Lee. Langworthy then promised Bellavia that when Lee vacated the seat, it would be Bellavia's turn to go to Washington.
Bellavia accepted Langworthy's word and stepped aside for the team, but when the time came for Langworthy to pay up, wealthy dilettante Jane Corwin was called off the bench instead. We all know how that turned out for the Republicans. Bellavia is doing the right thing running this primary. The ECGOP has proved to everyone exactly what their word is worth and Bellavia is providing Republican voters an opportunity to step away from the status quo.
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