When You Lie With Dogs: What Stefan's Friends Tell Us About His Character

Aesop famously said, “A man is known by the company he keeps.” Every single day, Stefan shows Erie County who he is by who he associates with. Here’s two ways  to know the content of Stefan’s character.

  1. His funders: Remember the Tonawanda Coke crisis? The one that left thousands of residents exposed to toxins over the course of years because of gross negligence? Well, their sister company, led by the same man, is Stefan’s largest campaign contributor. Can we trust him to stand up for us when a quarter of his contributions this year were paid for by this agent of so much ill in our community? And the others on the list? Ciminelli. Carl Paladino. Chris Collins. An oil pipeline. Michael Flaherty, the DA who would decline to prosecute him. Developers who pay for his campaign as he writes reports against affordable housing. All of these individuals and businesses that have backed his campaign represent potentials conflicts when it comes time for him to decide whether to serve their interests or the interests of Erie County taxpayers.

  2. His candidates and supporters: Trump, Collins, Caputo, and Grant. Remember when Stefan raced to Ohio to meet Trump, pledging that he was certain he could gain local support for him in Erie County. Or when he served as the spokesperson for Chris Collins? Or when Caputo and Grant took to Twitter to defend him using insulting, demeaning language, including sexist slurs? When Stefan appears on a Grant-sanctioned mailer attempting to drive fear and hate into our community, he’s showing us who he really is. He’s engaging in Trump-style politics in Western New York, complete with a colluding strategist for the Russian government.

It’s only fair to apply the same standard to myself. How can you better know me? What company am I keeping?

Well, first and foremost, I’m proud to have earned the endorsement of 12 labor unions, leaders from all over Western New York, the State Comptroller, and others. I’m known for my work in nonprofit organizations, and I deeply care for my church community, Lafayette Presbyterian Church. I stood with Michelle Schoeneman, and held the line with CWA. I’ve donated to the campaigns of April Baskin and Monica Wallace.

My campaign dollars came from community members like you. CPAs, accountants, and attorneys have all expressed their support. Local nonprofits and advocacy groups have shown up in full force. And committed groups of concerned citizens including retired teachers, mothers of young children, local pastors, and other democratic leaders have all shown their support.

I am grateful, and I am humbled. My allies and friends show me to be hardworking, transparent, and socially concerned. My funding sources show that I am beholden only to our community.

So please, come vote with me Tuesday. And stop Stefan from using his office to entertain favors and an agenda of hate. Let’s fight for fairness, kindness, honesty, and hard work.