Posts containing facts about the race in the 29th.

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.

Reed/Volk Dust-Up

Commenter "I Still Hate Politics" sent in this item from the Hornell Evening Tribune, which details the disagreement between Reed and Volk over Reed's purported role in getting Volk's petition signatures invalidated.

As for the Volk campaign claim that she'll run on a third party line, here's a little snippet from a Huffington Post story on New York's third party mess:

To survive and prosper, a third party in New York needs only one thing - a gubernatorial candidate that can draw at least 50,000 votes. Get that, and the party has an automatic right to dole out its ballot line for every other state and local election for the next four years.

I don't know if there's another way for a third party to get a New York ballot line, but the Tea Party certainly hasn't gotten 50,000 votes in the last gubernatorial election, so I don't know how Volk is going to do what she claims, which is to run on the Tea Party line this Fall.

Update: Via the comments, Volk is going to try to get an "Independent" line on the ballot, which takes 3,500 signatures. Mike Arcuri, the incumbent Democrat in NY-24, and Ernest Bell, a libertarian candidate in NY-24, are doing the same thing, according to this story, which says:

The independent lines Arcuri and Bell are seeking are not to be confused with the Independence Party line that Hanna currently holds. The Independence Party is an actual political party, and the independent lines would be separate lines not affiliated with the major parties.

Arcuri and Bell must obtain 3,500 signatures on their petitions by Aug. 17 in order to gain independent spots on the ballot. Hanna’s press secretary Renee Gamela would not say whether Hanna plans to seek an independent spot on the ballot.

So, Volk has until next Tuesday to gather roughly three times the number of valid signatures that she tried and failed to gather for the primary.

Volk Is Out

The Hornell Tribune is reporting that 203 of Janice Volk's petition signatures are invalid, so she won't be on the primary ballot in September.

Volk Round-Up

In case you missed it in the last comments, here's here's some video of Janice Volk talking to what looks like the Elmira Star-Gazette editorial board.

And here's a press release from the Volk campaign that, like a lot of what comes from that group, is a little different from the norm:


Janice Volk's campaign manager has finally admitted to Sean Carroll that the charges of racism and sexism that he was complaining about occurred on only one Southern Tier blog and have since been removed. Sean Carroll adds this:

Cary also said that "if my candidate was a white male I wouldn't have felt the need to say" what he did in the press release.

I was told I should be pursuing all sorts of campaign issues and politely pointed out that I have yet to see a Volk press release, campaign speech, and/or media tour to raise any of the said issues.

I was also told by Cary that I'm the only reporter asking about this. At last check I believe he's the only person talking about this.

Volk Q&A

A couple of people have sent the following from the Volk campaign:

Over the past few months this campaign has been asked to answer a multitude of both questions and criticisms. Jan is committed to a transparent campaign that enables the voters to choose for themselves, unlike her opponent, she believes in straight forward to-the-point responses. Here are Jan’s answers to the most frequently asked questions:
Why haven’t you filed with the FEC?
The answer is simple; I am running a fiscally conservative campaign. The FEC requires a candidate to file upon expending or raising $5,000.00 in funds. I am not digging into my constituents’ wallets just so I can show up and vote in Washington for them. My goal is to win this race as cost effectively as possible. I hope that we do it for one quarter of a congressman’s salary.
My opponent, on the other hand, has raised over $700,000.00 for a job that pays $174,000.00 per year. I am about the people and for the people. How can someone represent their neighbor when the mortgage can be paid five times over by campaign contributions? My opponent is not concerned about your day to day life. It appears that he is concerned with taking your money and his personal rise to power.
Did your campaign challenge Tom Reed’s petitions?
NO, we did not challenge Tom Reed’s signatures for two reasons: first, this campaign believes in democracy; second, such a challenge would have been futile because we know that Jan is the best candidate. Jan is the people’s candidate and she will not allow technicalities to be the deciding factor in the election of our next congressman. When you vote for Jan you vote for yourself! A vote for Tom Reed is a vote for the establishment and a continued disregard for our rights as citizens.
Do you think Reed’s campaign will succeed in removing Jan from the ballot?
NO, Reed’s campaign will not succeed. If Jan is removed on technicalities, then the G.O.P. is ensuring a Democratic victory this November. The G.O.P. is ignoring the fact that they must ensure that Jan is both the General Election and the Special Election Candidate. Jan is doing something that no American has done before. She is running a Constitutional campaign. This requires putting the people first.
So what next?
All of this is to say that Jan is ensuring a victory for the people by minimizing expenses while enduring fruitless challenges against her petitions. It Tom Reed’s campaign believed in democracy then they would have welcomed Jan to the race with open arms.
Remember, all politics is local. Let’s start here at home and show Washington that we are going to send an everyday American to their stomping ground. Let’s show them that Jan is our choice. When you vote on September 14, be sure to pull the lever for Janice Volk.

My only comment to this is that the term "Constitutional" as used in this email is meaningless. When any candidate runs for office they're doing what the Constitution says they can do. No one candidate gets to wrap him or her self in the Constitution and thereby claim some special privilege.

Also, we're still waiting for evidence to back up the charges of racism and sexism directed at Volk made by her campaign manager. It's telling that we've heard nothing to back up that accusation.


Sean Carroll has some more information on the Reed effort to challenge Janice Volk's petitions. According to the Volk campaign, Janice collected just a few hundred more signatures than are needed to get on the ballot.

Commenter Down in Cuba points to this Hornell Evening Tribune story that prints Reed's claim that Volk may have as few as 50 more signatures than required to make the ballot.

In either case, it's pretty likely that the Reed campaign challenges will be successful and Volk will be knocked off the ballot.

In other news, Sean also reports claims of slurs against Volk in some right-wing blogs. I'll be the first to admit that I don't read many of those, but I haven't seen any slurs. Please drop me an email or report it in the comments if you have.

Volk Makes the Ballot

The Volk Campaign has sent out a press release announcing that they've collected "more than enough" signatures than the number needed for Janice Volk to appear on the Republican primary ballot. The release also says that the Reed campaign is "chomping at the bit" to challenge Volk's signatures.

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