Dear Mr. Ricchiazzi:
I read your website every day and love how you are exposing political corruption around Erie County and WNY. I am very bothered by Frank Max’s Progressive Democrats of WNY group and their lack of accountability and thought this would make for a great story.
Every political action committee (which the Progressive Democrats are), must periodically file financial disclosure reports with the NYS Board of Elections. You can check this out on the http://www.elections.ny.gov/ and click on “Campaign Finance” and then “View Disclosure Reports”.
If you search for Progressive Democrats of Western New York Filer ID C26203 and Click on their January Filing report it may not look like anything at first glance, but there is a big problem there. http://www.elections.ny.gov:8080/plsql_browser/getfiler2_loaddates
You see the Progressive Democrats of WNY had a big Christmas party on December 22, 2014 with approximately 150 people, yet there is no mention of that party on the January disclosure report. No income, no expenses nothing. I have attached a copy of the invitation for the December party, along with pictures of the disclosure reports showing a $2.00 balance.
Now I received an invitation to the Progressive Democrats Annual Brunch for this Saturday, April 18. One needs to ask what happened to the money from the December 2014 Christmas party and what will happen to the money from this Spring brunch?
Why does Max feel he does not need to report any of this fundraising income to the state?
Frank Max is breaking the law!!!!
One also needs to ask why would any candidate, especially those running for an Erie County Judge seat, want to be seen at this Spring Brunch? The guy is a criminal and pocketing this money.
There have been rumors circulating all across Erie County, that Max pockets a majority of the cash. We need people like you to expose the truth. Thank you for your excellent reporting!!!
I’ve been wondering myself the same question Monday I sent a certified letter to NYS board of elections and the states taxation department. I will as well be at the next party with video being taken at each table so to know how many people were there? Also it will give a great idea of the Cheektowaga politicians backing Mr. Max.
The irony is no matter how much money Mr. Max has managed to raise and spend over the years for his candidates, he just does not know how to spend that money. In some instances, like the 2013 Cheektowaga Town Democratic primary for town council, the money raised actually benefitted Mr. Max’s rivals.
In other words, Mr. Max is more suited to be the town’s grand maître d’ rather then a political party boss. His flare for putting on a successful fundraiser is top notch, yet his political skills at winning critical elections has been disastrous and has resulted in a resurgent GOP in Cheektowaga.
Frank’s legacy will be putting on well-attended functions and then taking those proceeds and shooting himself in the foot with campaign literature than backfires and empowers those who are running against his endorsed candidates.
Nevertheless, the filing of campaign disclosure statements are among the top tests of any ethical political organization and candidate. So, naturally, Mr. Max should follow the law, and if he thumbs his nose at this basic ethical requirement, then the authorities should ‘follow the money’ in order to get to the bottom of all this.
As a reader here I look forward to the update over the weekend to see how this year’s spring brunch unfolds; even though whomever is the beneficiary of those proceeds will most-likely be affected by this tainted money.
Lol, it doesn’t stop. Listen, if you pay close attention, many FEC reports were incorrectly filed, or even filed late. In correct or late filing is not a crime. If one makes no attempt to correct a FEC report, or if incorrect/unalloyed expenditures are reported, or excluded from the report, with intent to defraud or embezzlement, that’s a crime. A late or incorrect report is rejected, and sent back to the committee for correlations, there is a fine associated with late filing($200 the first occurrence, I think).
But, I hope you all understand that the treasure is always responsible for the FEC report/reporting.
Save some credibility, wait to see the April 2015 report.
Example, Antoine Thompson had an incorrect FEC report. It had him in the negative, but you can’t go in the negative, because you can’t spend what you do not have. Even if a campaign borrows money, the borrowed money goes on a different line of the FEC report. It was clear to me that the funds that were borrowed was likely not added to the correct line on the report.
If you are going to tell it, tell the entire story, better yet, compare and contrast other reports. Somebody(treasurer) did not add the December fundraiser to the January report. This is a common error people.
Now if some of the good people of Cheektowaga don’t like Mr. Max for whatever reason, that’s fine, but the propaganda spin is getting old, and you are not helping your candidates with constant attacks on Mr. Max. Diane needs to get focused on running a campaign opposing her competition, because Mr. Max is not running for town supervisor. Can she please talk about what she is going to do for the people of Cheektowaga NY? It’s not fair that I haven’t had a chance to understand or figure out what value Diane will add to town government. This methodology is not helping her, but she has definitely formed a reputation for being divisive. We have a rapidly growing diverse community that needs to unite. How does such tactics achieve this goal?
The Progressive Democrat Cheektowaga fundraiser had over 400 people in attendance, no hidden cameras or photos needed. They raised money and that was clear. I hope all other democratic fundraisers do the same.
Just fight the good fight, this is unnecessary, we have got to do better…smh
Katrinna, there is a simple thing called an amendment that Max should have filed a long time ago with the State Board of Elections. It would’ve immediately been available on the website for people to see!
if you have something new on frank max I have a question for you.why are you so scared of mr max,and why not identify yourself,,how was his recent brunch? How was the wegner brunch?please come up with new things,getting very old
I wonder why others aren’t like mr max..i met him on occasion and he is a likable guy..these attacks seem to increase his support..people know hes a winner..if he wasn’t you wouldn’t be talking about him..his boe statements from what I can figure out go to a lot of candidates,including the same people who attack him..kind of interesting..check for yourself..