The racist massacre at a convenience store in Kathy Hochul’s hometown of Buffalo on May 14 did nothing to slow the governor’s furious campaign pace — she raised $1.19 million in days when she took time to reflect on the then Elementary school focus, show records and schedules.
Gubernatorial schedules shared with The Post showed Hochul spent at least 14 hours between Monday May 16 and May 19 on “private” tasks that appear to be fundraisers, donor calls and meetings that were focused on the largely uncompetitive elementary school and the November 8 general election held in place of the deadliest racist rampage in the state’s history.
“To make fundraiser calls after such a horrific mass shooting is almost contrary to faith,” GOP political strategist William O’Reilly told The Post.
Accused mass murderer Payton Gendron drove 200 miles from his home in Southern Tier in Conkiln, NY to attack shoppers at Tops supermarket in Buffalo whom he had reportedly located in advance. The avowed white supremacist is accused of opening fire on the stores with a Bushmaster XM rifle, targeting black shoppers and store employees because of their race.
He is currently jailed on federal terrorism charges after allegedly killing 10 people and injuring several others.
While Hochul canceled campaign events on the day of the Buffalo attack and the following three days, she made up for lost time by collecting 178 gifts worth $1,000 or more over the following four days.
A total of 13 fundraising-related events are on her schedule ahead of the Democratic primary in June, where she had an overwhelming monetary advantage over her opponents before her landslide victory.
“Hochul haters are going to have a great day,” political adviser Hank Sheinkopf said. “Smart Poles will say she’s a tough Pole – maybe with bad timing.”
Listed stops along the campaign trail included a visit to a home in Central Park West that is reportedly owned by Janice Shorenstein, a nonprofit executive who supported her campaign on 24, urging supporters to donate online through several Facebook ads.
Then, hours after Hochul announced a package of gun control bills in response to the May 18 shooting, she showed up for another secret event at the Midtown offices of real estate firm Jack Resnick & Sons, given by its president, Jonathan Resnick Campaign $50,000 earlier.
Six days later, he reached the maximum contribution limit of $69,700 by giving Hochul another $19,700, records show.
Other alleged campaign events include additional stops at private homes, an appearance at the law firm of Herrick Feinstein LLP, and a Zoom appearance that was scheduled to require preparation time by campaign workers.
Asked for comment, Hochul spokeswoman Hazel Crampton-Hays said: “This is an inaccurate representation of the governor’s actual timetable and does not even include publicly recommended events such as national television interviews.”
But Crampton-Hays didn’t deny that Hochul was attending a baker’s dozen’s worth of events in the Big Apple after she added another taxpayer-funded flight to her growing flight logs on May 18 — hours after she appeared alongside President Biden in Buffalo.
“In the immediate aftermath of the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, Governor Hochul halted all campaign activity and went straight to the scene to coordinate with law enforcement, support local leaders, and comfort her grieving neighbors. In the days that followed, the governor was focused on delivering results to prevent future tragedy and to help her community heal,” Crampton-Hays said.
The Hochul revelations come as the Democratic incumbent faces scathing criticism, including from her opponent, Republican gubernatorial nominee Rep. Lee Zeldin of Long Island, for her fundraising practices since succeeding the disgraced ex-gov. Andrew Cuomo last August.
Much of that money was provided by four- and five-figure contributions from those with businesses before the state, leading to pay-to-play policy allegations that Hochul denies — including $637 million in government payments for COVID-19 -Rapid tests that went to a company tied to $300,000 in contributions.
“‘Kickback Kathy’ is shameless and it should come as no surprise to anyone that she spends all her time blackmailing people and selling off the state government,” Republican State Party Chairman Nick Langworthy said in a statement.
The Hochul campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
Some longtime political hands say that balancing government work and campaigning is only part of a governor’s job, and their schedules show that she has meetings on topics as diverse as fighting anti-Semitism and meeting the Goldman Sachs boss under brings a hat.
“She’s multitasking,” said Democratic policy adviser Camille Rivera.
“Yes, she has a large war chest. I don’t always agree with the people she gets money from. At the same time, she is running for New York State’s next governor,” Rivera added.
But some Buffalo residents give Hochul mixed marks when it comes to how she responded to the racist attack.
Local activist Jalonda Hill, founder of the nonprofit organization Colored Girls Bike Too, said Hochul deserves credit for going to Buffalo and for a $50 million funding package Hochul announced in June to fight poverty while helping residents of Buffalo’s East Side recover from the tragedy.
But even there, Hill noted, bureaucracy has prevented much of that aid from reaching the people who really need it, and Hill wondered what a big difference people like Hochul would have made by focusing a little more on theirs Problems would have focused community.
Hill said, “I always find it very interesting how you can raise tons of money for certain things – but for other things it takes a while.”
https://nypost.com/2022/09/15/docs-show-hochul-milking-donors-days-after-buffalo-shooting/ Documents show Hochul milking donors days after the buffalo shooting