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Poloncarz-Collins Debate Followup

Filed under: Erie County, Local Politics

Yesterday, at the St. Joe’s debate between county executive candidates Mark Poloncarz and Chris Collins, one of the students asked Collins the same question Buffalo News reporter Bob McCarthy asked last week, but more pointedly: Didn’t Collins think that the massive contributions to his campaign by the Harris Beach law firm, and that firm subsequently winning the lucrative contract to perform legal work for ECIDA, presented at least the appearance that Collins played the political games from which he claimed immunity.

Collins said no, it dd not, followed by a version of the “Anybody who knows me…” response that he also used in last week’s debate. In his 30-second rebuttal, Poloncarz called Collins a “hypocrite,” noting that the vendors on a lucrative, no-bid contract to reconstruct Eden-Evas Center Road are both big Collins donors. “If you’re going to do it, do it,” Poloncarz said, referring to collecting campaign contributions in exchange for county contracts, “but don’t do it and say you don’t.”

Poloncarz specfically mentioned Amherst Paving. That company and its principals have donated $4,500 to Collins for Our Future in 2011. The other vendor is All American Companies of WNY, which has donated $5,000 to Collins for Our Future in 2011.