Zeller Commercial

Here's Matt Zeller's first ad for broadcast, via the comments:

It's a good "get acquainted" ad. I've yet to see a Reed ad for broadcast.

The Key Finding In the Siena Poll

Thanks to the commenters who pointed out that there's a new Siena poll out showing Reed leading Zeller by 14 points. Here's the important part:

A majority of district residents said they aren’t familiar with either candidate. A total of 57 percent of responders said they don’t know or have no opinion of Reed, while 82 percent of those polled either don’t know have no opinion of Zeller.

It's hard to poll a race where over half of those polled don't know either candidate, and a race where nobody knows either candidate can be influenced by advertisements from one or the other. If Zeller had the money for a big media campaign, he'd be able to acquaint some of that 82% with his candidacy, and I'd wager that the gap would close. The same is true, to a lesser extent, for Reed.

It's also true that a big negative media story could sink Reed's or Zeller's boat.

Stating The Obvious

Given Paladino's crushing defeat of Lazio, Janice Volk really missed an opportunity when she missed the ballot. She coulda been a contender, at minimum.

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.

Pre-Primary Fundraising

The pre-primary FEC reports are in. They cover the roughly 8 week time period between July 1 and August 25. During that time, Reed raised $123K and spent $99K. He has $361K in the bank. Zeller raised $94K, spent $130K and has $50K in the bank.

The anonymous commenter who pointed this out says that Zeller is "hemorrhaging cash", but keep in mind that he's only been raising cash for a few months. It's just tough to get a campaign off the ground -- Reed's been raising money for more than a year, so he's got a good head start.

Reed's fundraising is unimpressive. By this time in the last cycle, Massa had raised $1.3 million, twice Reed's total, and he had $180K more in the bank than Reed.

Actual News About Real Candidates

The Corning Leader has a story about Reed and Zeller's views of Iraq. Reed says the surge in Iraq was "successful", which is true if you look at Iraq with blinders on.


Thanks, commenters, for reminding me that Janice Volk's persecution continues:

Allegany County Tea Party write-in congressional candidate Janice Volk has been on the reieving end of some harrassment, since her campaign for Congress started up. "This race is getting nasty," Mrs. Volk said at last night's Tea Party get-together in Olean. "My grandbaby's asking me, 'Mama, what's a nig---? Because they're going by my house, calling me names."

Mrs. Volk also claims that she was run off the road while driving, and that gunshots were fired in the air near her, and that since she's been campaigning for Congress, members of her family have been harrassed as well.

On The Trail of the Elusive Zeller

Reader qka wrote to say that Matt Zeller was in Penn Yan with Andrew Cuomo on Thursday. The Finger Lakes Times mentions Zeller's name, but the Penn Yan Chronicle-Express story doesn't. Similarly, the Corning Leader's story on Cuomo's appearance in Hornell, which was also attended by Zeller, doesn't mention him.

This is a small example, but in general, Zeller just isn't getting any media coverage. The Massa media operation would crank out press releases almost daily, while the Zeller campaign has pushed out a couple in the whole month of August. I don't understand it.

For Volk, Second Time Not Charming

As commenter TDS and Sean Carroll at 13-WHAM have both noted, the Volk campaign again failed to gain the requisite number of signatures to make the ballot.

This means that Volk's last serious chance at election just went out the window, and the race in the 29th is between Matt Zeller and Tom Reed.

Ballot Updates

The Corning Leader reports that Tom Reed is back on the Independence Party line. Reed had been off while some petition signatures were challenged.

Sean Carroll has a 29th roundup that notes that today is Janice Volk's last day to file signatures for an independent line on the ballot. And he also reports that the Zeller campaign has been issuing almost no press releases.

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