My fellow Western New Yorkers, as predicted, the local GOP has been polling Stefan Mychajliw’s name to replace Chris Collins on the ballot. At this point, it’s not clear whether the Republicans will be successful in replacing Collins, but this scenario is so extremely alarming scenario that I have to discuss it now.
Just like Collins (you know...that guy who helped his family members save close to $1 million, while average Americans lost 92% of the value of their stock), Stefan has proven time and again that he does not serve the public. Let’s review:
He has been happy to take donations from Tonawanda Coke, a company that was ordered to pay over $24 million dollars in fines for violations of the Clean Air and Resource Conservation and Recovery Acts after polluting Tonawanda airways and soil with known carcinogens;
He solicited donations from Erie County vendors to attend a weekend seminar at Hardvard, earning himself an ethics violation ;
He has used the authority of his office to attack libraries and non-profit organizations, while ignoring compliance issues in the Republican-led Erie County Sheriff’s office (many of which were recently criticized in the NYS Commission on Corrections investigative report issued in response to the death of India Cummings;
He has continually hired political operatives instead of skilled individuals to oversee a $1.7 billion budget;
His time swipe records indicate that he spends more time out of the office than actually doing his job; and
This is the same man that the Buffalo news acknowledged as a poor fit for the Comptroller position he has held for the last five years.
Stefan has shown his true colors. If elected to a seat in Congress, we have every reason to believe exactly what he’s shown us—Stefan cannot be trusted.
Personally, I find it offensive that the local GOP would put forth a candidate that so blatantly lacks the integrity required for any public office, much less the United States Congress. This is one of the highest offices in our country, responsible for creating laws that affect every aspect of our lives (including the Clean Air Act that was used to protect Tonawanda residents).
As the electorate, we really must insist that more than name recognition is considered before putting forth someone for public office. To do otherwise, assumes we are nothing but a herd of mindless sheep, waiting to be directed.
And we are not sheep. Our history tells us so. “No taxation without representation.” That was the call that led us to battle for our independence. We did not fight for that principle only to willingly give up that right by putting people like Stefan in office. We must do better, Western New York.