Niagara Falls Reporter
Home | Archive/Search
July 29 - Aug 06, 2014

Walker’s Campaign Finances Cloudy;
A Reasonable Explanation to Come?

By Anna M. Howard

July 29, 2014

The explanation sounds reasonable enough. After all, he’s only been on the City Council for 17 years.

Word that Niagara Falls City Councilman Charles Walker has not filed campaign finance documents since January 2013, was met by the councilman with a fairly prosaic explanation from Walker himself; His campaign treasurer, Isaac Williams, had screwed things up.

Politicians running for political office are required under state and federal law to make full reports of campaign fund contributions and expenditures. New York State law requires those running for office to make filings several times each year, more during election years.

Walker, who ran for reelection last year, and failed to file a single report, said Williams had diligently tried to make each of the required filings electronically from his home computer, but received a response each time from the Board of Elections stating that the information didn’t go through.

“He couldn’t figure out how to get it into the system,” Walker said.

Reasonable enough. Almost as reasonable as the one he gave in May 2013, after using city Council letterhead to write a character reference for a convicted drug trafficker to the federal judge about to sentence him.

Walker penned a character reference letter for Wally Reynolds, a Niagara Falls man who plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy with intent to distribute marijuana in front of U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, on city letterhead.

"There's no attempt to use the stationary to influence anybody," Walker explained. "I apologize to the city as a whole."

First elected in 1998, Walker most certainly knows the ropes when it comes to campaign finance law. His failure to file at least five times over the past 18 months is perplexing.

“I have to sit down this week or next week to get that figured out,” Walker said of his oversight.

A July 28 story on the topic in the Niagara Gazette noted that Walker was questioned by the Gazette in July of 2013 with regard to the slow pace in forwarding his campaign reports.

In the July 2013 story and in the July 2014 story Walker’s explanation rang the same: he and his campaign finance person were having trouble with the electronic portion of the filing.

One would think that any electronic finance kinks in the Walker campaign could have been worked out in the approximate 12 months span. If not, why hasn’t the councilman asked for help or at least made his electronic copy available in hard copy to the media for inspection?

The term of non-filing covers Walker’s re-election effort last year. 2013 was a hotly contested council race in which the Hamister Hotel “project” took center stage and saw two-term councilman Sam Fruscione get shoved aside.

During that race councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti reported receiving a $1,000 campaign donation from Hamister.

Did Walker receive a similar contribution to his campaign last year as the Hamister project hung-fire and Fruscione was pilloried for his refusal to knuckle under to the Buffalo-Hamister interests?

How are we to know the answer to that or any other campaign finance questions if Walker refuses to do his duty as an office holder by revealing his campaign finances?

Can Walker simply decline or refuse to file these reports with no sanction from the New York State Board of Elections? Can Walker ignore the election laws that every other office holder from Long Island to Niagara Falls must adhere to?

Walker should immediately share copies of his campaign finance reports from January 2013 to July 2014 with the public and the media in the interest of transparency and full disclosure.

He can figure out his electronic filing problems later, but for now he owes the voting public a full accounting of his campaign activity.






Where Have all the Republicans Gone?
Forster likes Dems’ Chances in November
Mario Cuomo Defends Son as Moreland
Controversy Heats Up; Astorino
Likens Governor to Mafia Boss
Walker’s Campaign Finances Cloudy;
A Reasonable Explanation to Come?
Will Republican Legislature Again
Give Voting Booth Storage to Ulrich?
Touma Can Rescue Garbage Plan
Residents Entitled to More Than 64!
Marra’s Final Act:
‘Engineer Will Test Joe Davis Parking Lot’
Councilman’s Trash Bag Snatched
Johnny Rockets Waitress Victimized
By Poor Policy, Aretha’s Publicist?
Will Historic Hornblower Appeal
Finally Sink Glynn’s Maid of the Mist?
Are New Maid of the Mist Docks Just Tragedy Waiting to Happen?
Jury Nullification set Wild Bill Hickok Free Although He Killed a Man Illegally!
Former Council Secretary Receives
'Probable Cause' Determination in Age Discrimination 'Firing'
Reporter’s Role in Quashing Bridgewater Project Just a Part of What We Do Here
Free Idiot's Test
Racism By Any Other Name Stinks Just As Badly Online
Letters to the Editor
Did You Hear the One About Charlie Walker?

Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina