Niagara Gazette

Local News

September 6, 2013

Group with ties to WNY Democratic Party figures financed mailer focusing on Hamister deal


Niagara Gazette — When asked if Fruscione knew the group was supporting his candidacy, Jones replied: “I can’t answer that question,” before declining further comment. 

On Wednesday, Fruscione denied knowing the identity of the individuals involved in the distribution of the postcard and said it had absolutely nothing to do with him. He also said he did not condone some of the language appearing on the postcard, including references to Hamister’s so-called “con game.”

Fruscione said on Thursday that while he agreed with some of the information on the mailer he disagreed with the characterization of Hamister as a criminal.

Fruscione was the subject of an anonymous attack mailer in August bashing him for selling merchandise with the pictures of former Western New York crime boss Steffano Maggadino in his Falls Street souvenir shop.

Both mailers were regrettable, he said.

“It should have never happened,” Fruscione said.

The WNY Progressive Caucus hired Gallagher Printing of Clarence to develop the postcard. 

The campaign mailer, which was delivered to households in Niagara Falls in recent days, calls into question aspects of the Hamister agreement and is critical of Hamister Group and Hamister himself, suggesting the developer’s project is not in the best interests of the city’s residents. It was delivered using a bulk postage permit that the U.S. Postal Service has previously confirmed belongs to Gallagher Printing, one of several firms in Western New York that provide print and mail services to local campaign committees. 

Earlier in the day, Dennis Gallagher, one of the owners of company, declined to disclose the identity of the group. He said the people who financed the mailer asked that their identity not be publicly disclosed when they came in to arrange for the print job. Gallagher did insist that the people who financed the work were not from Niagara County, but were instead from the Buffalo area. 

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