Senator Tim Kennedy is rumored to be in a precarious legal predicament given his closeness to the indicted former Erie County Democratic Party Chairman G. Steven Pigeon. Such is why his harsh criticism of Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s budget process is raising the ire of local political operatives — many of whom have a deep affinity for the Governor’s unprecedented commitment to Western New York.
In public comments to a reporter with Capital Tonight, Kennedy calls the process “disgraceful” and “shameful,” before stating that “we’re reverting back to the bad old days.”
— Capital Tonight (@CapitalTonight) April 5, 2017
Kennedy is a subject of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman‘s probe into campaign coordination with WNY Progressive PAC, a fundraising vehicle created and run by Pigeon. Kennedy contributed $80,000 to the that entity, which was then used to smear his longtime political opponent, County Legislator Betty Jean Grant.
It is thought that the two men then coordinated activities between the independent expenditure committee and the Senator’s reelection campaign — including details relating to the production, content, and distribution of political mailers to frequent voters viciously disparaging Grant and her political allies, Tim Houges, Winnie Fisher, and Lynn Dearmeyer.
Schneiderman is an ambitious politician with his eye on the Governor’s mansion. Some operatives are wondering if Kennedy’s new adversarial tone towards the Governor is an effort to sway favor with the Attorney General.
It is unclear whether Kennedy will be in a position to seek reelection next year.