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Modified: December 15, 2020 1:26pm
Created: December 15, 2020 1:55am

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December 15, 2020

Colleen Heidinger
1 West Seneca Street, Floor 24
Buffalo, New York 14203

Dear President Heidinger:

The Office of Erie County Comptroller expressed serious concern that 43North has “awarded” $10,000 in business grant money, funded by taxpayer dollars, to a left-wing blogger that has used vile, racist, vulgar, and offensive rhetoric when attacking Republicans and even cultural institutions in Erie County.  Just as alarming is the fact that WNYMedia is on the political payrolls of Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, the Erie County Democratic Committee and Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner. 

According to public records from the New York State Board of Elections, the political committee for Mark Poloncarz paid WNY Media $10,176.50.  The Erie County Democratic Committee (ECDC) paid WNYMedia $9,837.65 and the Jeremy Zellner for ECDC Chair paid WNY Media $2,000.  It is highly suspicious that tax dollars are being given to a paid political operative for the Erie County Executive.

Your agency rejected numerous businesses for grants, including a veteran owned restaurant located in the Village of Hamburg.  Why did a left-wing blogger paid by Mark Poloncarz and the local Democratic Party be awarded a $10,000 publicly funded grant, while other businesses were denied?

Even more alarming is that taxpayer dollars is given to a left-wing blogger that has viciously attacked Republicans and even cherished institutions like Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and its CEO Candace Johnson. I take personal offense to his attacks on Roswell Park, considering my wife just underwent cancer treatment there, and my mom was a patient prior to her death. WNYMedia even discouraged people from donating to the charitable event “Ride for Roswell.”

Included are screen captures of numerous tweets by the left-wing blogger to whom you just awarded $10,000. These offensive tweets include but are not limited to: demanding the resignation of Roswell Park CEO Candance Johnson; doctored photos of a member of the Jacobs family, now Congressman Chris Jacobs, with a Nazi Swastika behind him; calling the Jacobs family “White Pride;” comparing statewide County Clerks to being members of the KKK; referring to Bronze Star recipient and war veteran State Senator Rob Ortt “wretched hive of scum;” calling Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik “trashy;” describing community website Step Out Buffalo as “whiter than f------ wonder bread;” and even calling me a racist and a “Jewish bigot.”

Please review the attached tweets from WNYMedia. We only archived some going back to the beginning of 2019. Many more exist.  The continued public attacks on Republican officials at the local, state, and national levels is something you will be supporting by granting this left-wing blogger $10,000 in taxpayer money.  Not only attacks on Republicans, but also institutional treasures like Roswell Park, the Ride for Roswell, their CEO Candace Johnson, the Jacobs family, and many others.

Being a recipient of this information, is your awarding them $10,000 the best use of taxpayer dollars, considering so many businesses were rejected from receiving publicly funded grants? I also renew my request for a list of all businesses that were rejected for funding.  The best way to maintain a transparent process is to share this information publicly.  Thank you for your prompt attention to this profoundly serious matter.






Stefan I. Mychajliw, Jr.
Erie County Comptroller


CC: Chairman Jeremy M. Jacobs, Delaware North

Mr. Lou Jacobs, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Delaware North

Mr. Jerry Jacobs Jr., Co-Chief Executive Officer, Delaware North

Mr. Charlie Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer, Delaware North’s Boston Holdings

Dr. Candace Johnson, President/CEO, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Mr. Bryan Sidorowicz, Director of Ride for Roswell

Hon. Chris Jacobs, Congressman, District NY27

Hon. April N.M. Baskin, Erie County Legislature Chairwoman

Hon. Joseph Lorigo, Erie County Legislature Minority Leader


For pdf of letter, click HERE

For examples of the offensive tweets, click HERE