Zeller's Ad and the Reed Campaign's Response

This is Matt Zeller's most recent YouTube post, via the comments on the last post, and it concerns the Masonic Temple in Bath. Tim Kolpien from the Reed Campaign responded in the same comment thread, saying this:

Tom was a partner to raising more than $1 million in PRIVATE capital to restore this historic building and return it to productive use. The matching Restore New York grant has been consistently misrepresented as going to Tom personally. The grant money was applied for by the VILLAGE OF BATH, not Tom Reed. Further, the money has not even been disbursed yet.

Any assertions that Tom received any money are 100% false. This is public money and the records are public. As we have done for the last year, we challenge anyone to show one shred of evidence that this public money was disbursed to Tom. No one can produce any proof whatsoever that these allegations are true.


Often, red herrings are in ALL CAPS when a politician drags them into an argument. As was discussed in detail when this story first broke, it's pretty easy to get a group of "PRIVATE" investors put together some money to renovate a property when the state is matching their investment dollar for dollar. This isn't the same thing as you or me risking our own money without a state match. When the check comes from the state, it won't say "Tom Reed" on it, but at some point this investor group will make a profit, and a check with Tom's name will be cut. That's the fundamental truth of the matter of the Masonic Temple in Bath -- Reed is leveraging a government program for his own profit. It's perfectly legal and pretty common. But the fact that he'd deny the City of Corning the same benefit that he gives himself is a legitimate issue in this campaign.


I can't help but notice that even if he raised funds from private investors that the state matched, he still took taxpayer money to renovate the temple.....and has still done nothing to renovate the temple.

Doesn't really help the case that Tom Reed will be an effective Congressman that works tirelessly to get the job done.

Yes, and it's also true that if he's raised a million bucks from his investors, then he could have started on the renovation project even if the state hasn't sent him the check yet.

Go to Reed's Twitter page. The man does not even know how to spell Allegany County! If he knows so much about the district, I would hope he would know how to spell the counties he is running to represent!

"Tom Reed on twitterFollow Us Great time with all kinds of great volunteers today going door-to-door in Alleghany County: Cuba, Machias, and Yorkshire. Thanks #NY29


So what, twitter is a joke of a way to communicate anyways. Its designed 4 ppl wth shrt attion spns R U Cing wht im syng? a ms splng is no bg dl

Even if all is true the state program was there and anyone who could get a million together could take advantage. I did not see zeller or anyone else getting a million dollars together whether it was IN CAPS OR NOT. looks like we have to let the voters decide on this one. As boring as this campaign is, and with the fact I do not have a dog in this fight my money is on Reed.

Even if all is true the state program was there and anyone who could get a million together could take advantage. I did not see zeller or anyone else getting a million dollars together whether it was IN CAPS OR NOT.

Oh, spare me.

You want me to believe that you'd have no problem if a Democrat who was running for office bought a crappy old building in Bath and just happened to get a million dollars in matching grants to turn that junky old building into a marketable piece of property? You want me to buy that you'd say "the opportunity was open to anyone, and the voters should decide", and all that?

No, you wouldn't. You'd treat us to multiple posts on Monroe Rising about the terrible cronyism and socialism involved in a sweetheart deal.


You are spared, others at monroe rising might but not me. At Monroe Rising I had always tried to be objective. I really do not post that much there anymore anyways, not being a resident in the area I mainly comment on what others say like I do here. When I do post its not about area issues.

I did meet Tom Reed at a fundraiser last october and thought he was nothing more than boring white bread. Never met zeller but he seems like a sacrificial lamb with a side of white bread boring. ( I do like his mother though she has spunk) I think they are both nothing more than opportunistic politicians and thats ok. Sweeheart deals and cronyism, yeah maybe but even those are hard to get if you dont have some money initially, and then good luck proving it. Maybe after he get elected and is about to be redistricted if there is a Democrat Attorney General in NY they will investigate.

I do not have a dog in this fight, for me it's just interesting sport. I am hardly impressed with either, I honestly thought Massa would have made it interesting and still would have had to fight hard. Never saw the building in Bath, if all you say is true the Mr. Zeller Needs to pound it home and hope for luck. Because the democrats have done an excellent job of grave digging for themselves behind a circular firing squad.

If anyone want's to bet my money is on White Bread Tom Reed and I will give 3 to 1 odds. I am also happy I could help create a little interest in the blog. I do enjoy it.

While this deal is legal, it goes against everything Tom Reed says he stands for. He is taking $1.18 million in taxpayer money for his own personal benefit. While the Restore NY may have been through the Village of Bath, take look at the company that is behind the entire deal Fritz-Klee. Fritz-Klee Holdings is one of Mr. Reed's businesses. All it takes is a simple call to the Steuben County to find this. The Masonic Temple went for about $29,000 - it was assessed at a much higher price. Tom Reed is a walking contradiction; he says one thing and does another. Once the voters are educated on this, I believe that Mr. Reed will have a hard time winning in November.

"Reed is currently the mayor of the City of Corning and has been an attorney in private practice in Corning for 10 years. He also owns four businesses: Fritz-Klee Holdings, LLC, Fritz-Klee Realty, CT Associates and the Windsor Heights Golf Course. Raised in Corning, Reed is a graduate of Horseheads High School, Alfred University and Ohio Northern University College of Law."

Thanks Janice (assuming its you)

I hope you keep at it, I wish you well and success.

Rotten Just to prove you are wrong :) nothing personal My last posts at Monroe Rising

Star Spangled banner

California Going Red?

This was prophetic that Obama wass losing the democrats

Heres one on Khalid Sheik Mohhamed Trial

here was a real partisan one on helping the Haitian People

Here was a controversial one on Everet Dirkson a Republican Civil Rights leader

This one was kind of political about asking Obama to live up to his promise of putting health care debates on c-span

it goes on like this So please now will you give me a break?

This Mason building horse has been beaten for months now. Anyone have anything new?


That is exactly the point. The building sits there with no construction or remodeling. Reed pockets the profit off the taxpayers of New York for his own self-interest and serve his rich business elites.
Reed = Greed

Maybe if Zeller could get some money to purchase strategically selected tv placement of his Masonic Temple claim, it could gain a bit of traction. But I agree: I miss Massa's spunk and energy and stick-to-it-ness. In that respect, I doubt we'll ever again see someone running for Congress locally who can hold a candle to him. I miss the man.

And meantime, I agree: This is one boring race!

The fact that we are blogging about the significance of ALL CAPS tells you this race is a flop in the public interest category. We need to find another contest to get excited about. Of course, that's the way Reed wants it -- his whole campaign strategy has been to keep anyone from noticing him, then slide in under the radar. He's in the boring and forgettable tradition of Amo and Kuhl.

Well, Amo Houghton was hardly "unforgettable." He had the remarkable resolve to differ with his party on the impeachment of Clinton, various war activity, and social issues such as gay civil rights. He served, and continues, as a giant.

Zeller - Old and Boring. No cash sent = no news.
Aren't you from the same Blades family that gets all the government highway work in the Southern Tier? Now that connection is interesting!!!!!
Talk about self interest.... you should do well with all the stimulus spending.... be careful where you throw the stones Matt, your kinda getting close to home!

Sounds to me, "Anonymous," as if Zeller has found a sensitive area with you and "the Reeders"!!

You do realize the Blades family sold the company several months ago.

Why pick the less of two evils?

You can always choose Janice Volk. All you have to do in November is write-in her name at the bottom of the ballot.

Think about it!


Oh, come on Anonymous (whichever you are, you chicken!) - that is such a cheap shot! Shows your ignorance...don't you know that any government (state or federal) highway work is not just doled out? It's a bidding process - all very up and above board. Any construction company that is capable of the job submits a bid and the lowest bidder wins...straightforward and upright. The smart companies are very good at figuring costs and win the bids without losing their shirts. No favoritism, no Matt Zeller connection.

Oh, and, by the way - you should do a better job at following the news. The Blades company was sold to some big international firm last spring...........

Guess you'll have to try harder to slam Matt Zeller and a special interest connection.
Reed, on the other hand....as hard as he back-pedals, he is his own worst enemy.....

Threed things I know about zeller so far:
1. He is playing from the Massa playbook - this is old news
2. He lives in his aunt and uncles house - make the comiitment and buy something in the district matt if you really feel that attached to the 29th. - That way, you would actually being paying the ny and local property taxes that you talk about.
3. This is just a younger version of Massa, lots and lots of talk.

"Anonymous"--This will give you a hoot or several but in many respects we should HOPE Zeller is a younger Massa. Massa, prior to his publicized alleged highjinks, was incredibly energetic...seemingly everywhere inthe district...steely enough to buck his own party's leadership...and the type of "talking head" regularly given national airtime. I'm chuckling by the ever-so-slightly growing number of anti-Zeller personal comments as it suggests someone's...a bit worried.

Another post displaying "Anonymous"= Ignorance. I am in agreement with upinprattsburgh.

That "living with his aunt and uncle" is so, so lame, just like the "carpetbagger" claims. Everyone knows that - catch up with the times before you post another asinine, unsubstantiated accusation.

Exactly what IS the Massa "playbook"? Describe, explain (if you can?) Far as I know, the guy was wildly popular and had a huge majority. Sounds like Tom Reed (by the way - are you one of his staff members?) would love to have such a playbook.

Zeller has absolutely nothing to hide - nothing. Zilch. He has top-security clearance (something I don't believe Massa ever had) and has been checked and rechecked - no skeletons in the closet, no weird behaviors to cover up.

Reed should be so lucky.....he has more than enough things to cover up and hide.

"He has top-security clearance" - actually it should read "had a top security clearance" Once you no longer have the "need to know" your security clearance is yanked. If it was really anything important he would have had a "top secret" security clearance.

I had my top secret security clearance in the Navy and knew literally hundreds of others that had one. Most of them would have sucked at being a member of the house.

I guess you don't really know Matt at all since he is still in the Army he still has his clearances. So the comment is HAS a security clearance and continues to have one as long as he remains in the Army doing his job! All this means to us is that we are getting someone who has no skeletons and can be trusted with our nations secrets and integrity to stand up for what is best for his people, us.

Zeller has a nice blog post reflecting on 9/11. A quick and interesting read:


//not a zeller supporter

Thanks, "Starting to like politics" for passing that blog along. Considering that Zeller wrote it 2 years ago from his Army post in Afghanistan (long before this congressional race, when he had nothing to gain but expressing his true story and feelings), it truly hits home.

I dare any of you cynics on this site to counter his words or his intentions...... and just how true his reflections are about being "just another LAWYER making a lot of money" without any personal sacrifice....

Rational Thinker? Are You Matts Mother?? I notice you both use the term cynics and your comment sounds kind of Motherly.

Rather than attack his mom, why don't you tell us all why you hate Zeller so much...other than he's not a Republican...

Sure Dad,

Hate is a strong word that liberals throw out easily when trying to demonize their opponents, you have followed the playbook congrats. I do not like being called names like cynic or hater and am going to push back when it is done.

In Matt Zeller I see someone who is a good American that has perfomed a duty to our country and I admire that very much, I myself am a veteran (non combat) I would not expect someone to vote for me because of a relatively small militray resume. If Matt had chosen to start out at a town/county council level then move on to Mayor or County Supervisor I would have much more respect for his political abilities. I see someone who if he was fortunate enough to win would be a tool of the democratic party and be forced to do their bidding. If he did not, the democrats would pull a Massa on him and exploit a skeleton. I did not have like Eric Massa at first, but when I saw him in action I started to see a person who wanted to do the right thing by his constituents and someone who had core values.

I wish Matt Zeller well, I just do not wish him success.

So S Dogoode I hope that helps.

And yet here you sit commenting online rather than running for something yourself...Zeller is infinitely more brave than you'll ever be. Son.

One more thing, since you cannot actually vote for Reed or Zeller as you don't even live in the district it strikes me as rather odd that you're so heavily interested in this race and going out of your way to do anything to help Reed (i.e. by attacking Zeller and his family). How much is Reed and the RNC paying you?

Oh I do live in the district. ( I have explained this before but will do again for your benefit) I still have a house and business connections. I live here about a week a month sometimes more because I still have about 30 percent of my clients up here. I own a home and are registered to vote in Texas 14 (Ron Paul). I am a wealthy Republican :) originally from Texas who came up here while my wife was attending U of R. I started a business up here and it did well until recently. Many of my clients are based in the Houston area and I looked at tax adavantages of moving the family back. We are once again flourishing but I still need to maintain up here. Don't fret within 6 months I will have trained a local office and be a complete Texan again. I will have gone from 20 small manufacturing employees that received health care in NY to two contract sales reps. New York pushed too hard and I had the capabilities to leave so I did.

As a New Yorker you will never understand, do you know Texas has a surplus of over 100 million dollars? With extrememly low taxes, we also have a very efficient government. When they say the are going to build a road or building it usually happens right away with open bidding. We do not get many of the situations like what you have in Bath and Tom Reed who you dislike so much.

Fact of the matter is I paid Tom Reed not the other way around. I donated to his campaign and have asked for nothing in return but to hope he wins. Personally I do not think he is too exciting, he is kind of bland which makes him fit right in an area that klings to its guns and bibles. (sarcasm) I want to see democrats lose just like you want to see Republicans lose! Thats America and thats OK. I did not think it could get much worse than in 2008 but it has. You had a democrat Massa who did ok and the democrats screwed him as soon as he didn't do thier bidding. I do not want to see that again with Matt Zeller. As his father you should warn him, after he loses, talk him into changing parties.

Oh let me add one more thing 8 of my employees agreed and moved with me. Especially the 4 of Mexican heritage, they were gleeful about it.

For the record I'm not Matt Zeller's father. I don't know why you think that. Thanks for the explanation.

S Dogoode,

I was having fun with you I really do not know if Rational Thinker is his mother either. The commentor used the same rhetoric as someone who claimed to be Matts mother earlier.

I am happy with letting the voters of the 29th decide, As like with Matt I also wish you well.

Apparently Tiberious is ready to suspect any Zeller supporter to be a family member!

Like S Dogoode, I am not his mother - not even the right gender to be!

And Tiberious, you have so much to say about this particular race, but you're not even a NY resident? You vote in Texas? You're a wealthy Republican? And just because you own property and a business here (and apparently can't wait to get back to Texas, land of arrogance) you think you have the right to make judgments on a race that you really could care less about? No wonder you want Reed to win - middle-aged, boring, wealthy lawyer/debt collector fat-cat, no real service to his country or even much of a political career (he didn't even fulfill his term as a so-called mayor, which is only ceremonial in Corning - there is a City Manager who runs the day-to-day municipal details....). And just because you are of his "class" and type, you think he should represent the 29th in the House of Representatives?

You have totally discredited yourself.....

Nice, this little pissing match is more interesting than any news on the race. Just for the record, I too am not related to either candidate and truthfully, I still have not made up my mind on who to support.

Wow Rational Thinker, You sure you are not Matts mother? Thanks for the laugh. It's obvious you have a problem reading as, I own a house up here, pay property taxes on it but I already moved my business to Texas, just keeping a branch office up here to service my good clients who often tell me they would like to make the move as well because they are over taxed and over regulated.

Have you ever been to Texas? I hear the same thing many times down there about Yankees up here, that they are arrogant. I tell them "No they are good people, just over taxed and over regulated and over governed" they just don't know any better.

New York is a beautiful place, I enjoyed being a resident here and loved taking my boat out on Canadagua Lake. I also liked the people even though they did not realize that they are over taxed and over regulated. You know Texas is going to pick up maybe as many as three electorial votes? The congressman from the 29th be it Tom Reed or Matt Zeller (if some incredible good fortune happens) will most likely be redistricted. New York will lose one or maybe two congressional seats. Why do you think that is? Our legislature will not meet again until 2012. Up here the circus in Albany could not get a budget together until August, they increased spending and the deficeit. New York is what 8 billion dollars in debt? Texas has a surplus.

I am curious what class and type are you of? My wealth comes from very hard work, love of family and country. I really don't much care whether you think I have any credibility or not. I can call Tom Reed tommorow but I have no reason to, again all I ask from Tom for my contibution and support is that he wins and then represents the people of the 29th.

My advice to I sort of like politics on who to vote for is simple. Vote for whoever will do the most for you, its alright to be selfish when voting because everyone gets one. Both candidates are good decent Americans, do you want someone who will be in the majority in a position to bring home the bacon or someone who will make a statement that will be ignored. And yes this is more fun than the race.

I'm a small businessman and I look at the NY taxes differently. I don't have to sent my kid to private school, I don't have to worry about snow removal, street paving, etc. Our community has a great ambulance and fire department. I'm sure my taxes could be better spent, but I get great government services at reasonable prices (which is all that taxes are -- a price for government service).

As far as regulation goes, I think NY could do with fewer laws, but I don't see how those laws impinge on my business.

I really think it's what you choose to focus on. A small businessman has a million things that can put him out of business. If you decide taxes and regulation are the enemy, I guess they'll be that.


You are ok with paying taxes, good for you. Each business is different, my accountant and lawyers helped in making the decision. Taxes were not the only reason I left. As I stated most of my clients are in the Houston area. When I started my business in a new area I began by calling on the people I knew, so logistics were a component. My wife and I had missed our families as well. The point of taxes being brought up were just that, a point about taxes. In my case it justified hiring a few more people. When it comes to taxes and regulations the bigger the business or pot of money gets the more it becomes a relevant matter. Tom Golisano is a perfect point, he saves $13k+ a day by just moving his residence to Florida and probably spend more time up here than me, sadly many other businesses have done the same.

I am back on the jet to my beloved Texas again tommorow morning so this will be my last comment here for a while. Texans love a good natured fight and it has been fun. I was not really in a good position to argue the issues, but a ridiculous pissing match over the dullness of the campaign was fun. I wish everyone in the district all the best nothing personal and my best wishes to the victor in November.

Last comment for a while...no internet in Texas?

Ha Ha Ha Ha good one I sort of like politics. I guess if they have internet here in the luxury lounge at the airport they can have it in Texas. I will get down there and get into a Texas mindset. Next week I will be hitting a fundraiser for my guy Ron Paul and will be focusing on Business and Texas politics. If it makes you happy I will check in. I get the feeling that there are some that would just as soon I did not.

Enjoy and remember, you get the government you vote for, so be happy with it.


You stated that you support Ron Paul. How in God's name can you support Tom Reed? Tom is nothing like Ron Paul. I find this to be very hyporcritical. And, yes if you vote for Tom Reed, I hope you are happy with broken promises, lies and contradictions.

I will provide you with one example. According to Ron Paul's website, it says that he is for low taxes. But, again you say you will support Tom Reed. In 2007 Tom Reed campaigned for the mayor of Corning. In 2008, Tom Reed voted to raise property taxes 3%.

There are other examples that you can find. You need to do your homework and vet Mr. Reed more than you have. In your research, you will find more contradictions and anti-Conservative stances Mr. Reed has taken.

You know, if Volk had pulled off those signatures then today would be a very interesting and different day for both the blog and the district.

From a recent letter to the editor in the Corning Leader:

"If the truth be told, several comments made recently to local reporters (The Leader, Sept. 10, 2010) by political wannabe, ex-Mayor Tom Reed of Corning, must be clarified.

First of all, Reed's declaration that the Village of Bath applied for his grant from "Restore N.Y." to rehabilitate his Masonic Temple on Pulteney Square is patently false. The individual(s) must or the organization must apply. Then, the village has the capacity as the "lead agency" to sign its approval. In the case of the Masonic Temple vs. the Save-the-Lyons Commision (for the old historic school), the STLC received a unanimous Resolution from Bath's Mayor Wallace and Trustees Skelly, Glass, Simonson, and Sears to be the organization to be awarded the grant.

All of this was done at a regularly-scheduled public meeting.

At this aforementioned meeting, ex-Mayor Tom Reed was observed signaling to Mayor Wallace that "he would call him."

Well, call him he did; because on Wednesday, two days following, the Bath mayor called a hastily convened meeting at the village board (1/2 hour's notice) and it re-voted (3-2) with the mayor casting the deciding vote to see that "Restore New York" grant was instead given to Reed and his associates, Fritz Klee. All of these shenanigans were illegal. There was no notice given to the public at all, in clear defiance of the Open Meetings Law. The resolution (unanimous) taken on behalf of the Save the Lyon Comm., Inc. was never actually undone. The STLC has, in its possession, and taken from the Internet, clear-cut evidence that, in the past three years, Klee had 9 outstanding judgments for thousands of dollars against him.

The "Restore N.Y." grant, according to local newspapers, was in the arena of $1.2 million. Shortly after the granting of this award, these same tabloids reported that Reed had deposited $100,000 "of his own money" into his campaign fund. I suppose, as a New York state taxpayer of many years, I (like Cuba Gooding Jr.) just want Reed to "show me the money." For ex-Mayor Reed to claim that he has received no seed money at all from this grant in the past year-and-a-half since its announcement, is ludicrous. These grants posses time limits and he and his business partner Klee have submitted no plans whatsoever for the preservation of the Bath Masonic Temple.

Candidate Matt Zeller (29th District) is right to challenge reed on the steps of the temple (TV spot) about the use of the grant funds, and we taxpayers in N.Y. state have every right to be shown exactly where those monies have gone.

Rosalie Niemczyk
Bath, NY"

According to an article in today's Corning Leader, the grant money goes to the Village and has not yet been sent by NYS, so the letter to the editor above and Zeller's video are both incorrect.


S Dogoode - Any person that has ever looked at a history book (or watched "National Treasure") knows that "Silence Dogoode" was the pen name that Benjamin Franklin gave himself while an apprentice working for his brother's newspaper. Knowing that and by past posts; I can only suspect you are Matt or, probably more likely, his mother. We are $13 trillion in the hole - Let's focus on real issues instead of rumor mongering. prove your accusations or move on.

Anon, apparently you're irony-impaired, or maybe there's some other reason that you don't see how dumb it is for one anonymous commenter to accuse another of being some kind of plant, especially on such flimsy grounds.