Niagara Gazette

Local News

September 6, 2013

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


Niagara Gazette — “It wasn’t Niagara County people,” Gallagher said. “It was a different group of people. I don’t know why they do it. They just asked me to print this. I am not on anybody’s side. That’s what I do because that’s my business. If that’s what they tell me to do, I have to respect their wishes.” 

The postcard does not contain information about the individual or committee that paid for its production. State election law requires no such disclosure. 

The postcard’s delivery follows weeks of discussion about the terms of the proposed hotel agreement. In July, Fruscione, Choolokian and Anderson moved to table the deal amid concerns about the process that led to Hamister’s selection as preferred developer and the $100,000 asking price for the Rainbow Boulevard parcel involved. 

Mayor Paul Dyster, an advocate for the Hamister project, said he doesn’t understand why anyone would want to anonymously attack through the mail a developer that is looking to invest in a $25 million hotel proposal in the heart of a city in need of development. Dyster noted that under normal circumstances political mailers target candidates involved in elections, not private businessmen. 

“I’d say the more light shed on this the better,” Dyster said. “There are a whole lot of moneyed political interests out there that are trying to influence this election.” 

Reports on file with the New York State Board of Elections shows six instances between Jan. 1 and Sept. 5 in which campaign committees documented payments for services through Gallagher Printing, including $2,706 for the Friends of Binghamton mayor candidate Douglas Walter Drazen, $146.81 for the “Friends” of Buffalo Mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez, $1,435.50 for Cheektowaga Democrats 2013, $1,424.04 for the Niagara County Republican Committee and two payments ($573.11 and $190.31) from the WNY Progressive Caucus. 

Niagara County Republican Party Chairman Scott Kiedrowski said Thursday his committee had no involvement in the mailer’s creation or delivery. He added that he believes the Hamister proposal is a good one and it would be another “tragedy” for Niagara Falls if it were to be scuttled.

“We had absolutely nothing do with it,” Kiedrowski said. “I find no good reason why this project should not move forward.” 

Dyster viewed additional information about the source of the Hamister mailer as a welcome sign. 

“We’re celebrating the fact that this mailer hasn’t killed the project,” Dyster said. “This is what we call a victory around here.” 

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