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Poloncarz blasts Collins for 'pay to play'

Democrat Mark Poloncarz's campaign for county executive Tuesday criticized Republican opponent Chris Collins for "lining his rich friends' pockets" after a Sunday story in The Buffalo News revealed a politically connected law firm collected more than $740,000 as counsel to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency while contributing more than $60,000 into Collins' campaign coffers.

“Chris Collins has used the ECIDA as his own political playground, allowing his wealthy friends to pay and play,” said campaign spokesman Peter Anderson. “The process by which Harris Beach was 'chosen' was shameful and disrespectful to the taxpayers of this county. His 'pay-to-play' ways don’t work for Erie County; the only people he's concerned about are himself and his big campaign donors.”

Anderson said Poloncarz has proposed consolidating all of the county IDAs into a "one-stop-shop" for economic development that would encourage development.

The Collins team last week said it sees no problem with the spike in IDA legal costs with Harris Beach.

"The county executive believes Harris Beach is a tremendous value, and we are pleased they are doing more work, because it's a sign that we are making real strides rebuilding the local economy," said Grant Loomis, a Collins spokesman.

— Robert J. McCarthy

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

[email protected]


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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