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NY-26: Davis Investigation Politically Motivated?

by on August 18, 2008

The Niagara Falls Reporter has revealed that the paper “was hit with a subpoena last week ordering the paper to turn over any records in its possession relating to doing business with congressional candidate Jack Davis.” The story notes the following with regards to the timing of the subpoena:

The subpoena comes on the heels of a series of unfavorable articles relating to Dan Rivera, Niagara County’s unsavory Democratic Party chairman, and his employer, Buffalo attorney Marc Panepinto, a former organizer for Laborers Local 210 who has also been convicted of violating state election laws.

Both men are ardent supporters of Jon Powers, the former substitute schoolteacher and Iraq war veteran whose struggling, low-budget campaign has been rocked by a series of scandals in recent weeks. 

The Niagara Falls Reporter has now responded to the subpoena with an open letter to the U.S. Attorney’s office:

It is our belief that the New York State Board of Elections is currently involved in a concerted effort to interfere with a federal election, the Sept. 9 Democratic Primary between Jon Powers and Jack Davis for New York’s 26th District congressional seat. To that end, they have subpoenaed the Niagara Falls Reporter — we believe illegally — in an attempt to procure our business records.

Aside from the First Amendment issues raised by the subpoena, which are in themselves quite serious, it is obvious that its timing, less than one month before the election, was designed to cast suspicion on Davis and intimidate this newspaper at the same time. 

Powers does have the backing of Western New York’s Democratic machine, a corrupt cabal that rivals the Tammany Hall of old insofar as its use of official institutions such as the state Board of Elections to harass honest citizens and guarantee political outcomes. These influence peddlers, ward heelers and palm greasers can apparently count on appointed officials in Albany such as William J. McCann Jr., the Board of Elections’ special deputy counsel for enforcement, to do their dirty work for them.

As interest as all this is, I don’t see much coming out of it.


From → Campaign 2008, NY-26

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