Dana Balter versus Citizens United

Dana v Katko

It turns out that I was wrong about Dana Balter when I called out to find a billionaire Democrat to assist in financing her campaign.


Dana Balter does not want to be beholden to any special interests. She wants to be beholden to we the people. She is a principled candidate and would like a grassroots funded campaign.

Democrats, for the most part, feel that the Supremes made a bad call when they decided on behalf of Citizen’s United over the Federal Election Commission. The original beef was about whether a film slanted against Hillary Clinton could be aired during a Presidential campaign and yet the way the case was framed it ended up as a decision that granted “personhood” to corporations. The court decided that this was a first amendment case and in their decision they extended first amendment rights to nonprofits, corporations, and unions.

“In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, however, the majority argued that the First Amendment purposefully keeps the government from interfering in the “marketplace of ideas” and “rationing” speech, and it is not up to the legislatures or the courts to create a sense of “fairness” by restricting speech.” Wikipedia

By extension “money is speech” is a concept that resulted from this court decision in 2010. Since then feelings about this equivalency have polarized American politics. Many, mostly Democrats, were aghast at a law that equated votes and money, giving public organizations essentially more than one vote, because of the ways powerful groups with access to beaucoup dollars could influence public opinion through spending. The main objection is that this removes elections even further from the sphere of we the people. It makes our Democracy even less representative than it already is (because of the Electoral College and things like Superdelegates). But Conservatives, currently beloved by a number of billionaires and courted by corporations because of their stand on issues like fossil fuels and environmentalism, rejoiced when the court’s ruling went “their” way. Since then the money we see in local elections has risen precipitously.

Can David win once again over Goliath? Can Dana Balter use small donations to triumph against John Katko who shows no compunctions about accepting and using dollars from big donors and Conservative PACs? We already know that Katko has a campaign war chest in the low 7 figures and Dana’s is in the low 6 figures. Dana not only has the money obstacle to climb over; she has the matter of incumbency to deal with. To beat an incumbent takes even more momentum and support than to compete against another “newbie”.


But we could use some politicians with principles in Washington, we could use some new energy and we could use someone who sees their loyalty as belonging to we the people rather than the party that places her on the ballot. If you want to watch a fighter with a very laid-back style and fine intellectual skills take on someone like Rep. Jim Jordan vote for vote with civility then you need to support Dana Balter, and not just with your words. You need to prove that politicians can indeed win without contributions from special interests with their quid pro quo strings attached. You need to send Dana’s campaign some of your hard-earned dollars. You need to vote for her in November. She, in turn, will truly represent the needs and rights of all of her constituents and of the towns, cities, and villages of New York District 24.



Appeal to Democrats – New York 24th



Democrats, we need some star action here in Syracuse, New York. If you don’t have some big name people arrive soon to lavish some support on Dana Balter you will lose this seat in the House of Representatives. Some funding is also desperately needed. Aren’t there any billionaire Democrats in New York?

Dana Balter  wants to replace John Katko as the Representative holding the  New York 24thDistrict seat in the House of Representatives and many of us would like that very much. Dana Balter certainly has the intelligence for the job. There is also evidence, in terms of her take on the issues and her close relationship with her brother who has some hereditary challenges, that she exhibits the compassion for others that seems to be missing in the 115thCongress and, to some degree, in her opponent John Katko, who seems to be a more “tough love” kind of person.

Katko can see that there are people in his district who disapprove of some of the policies coming out of Washington, but he refuses to give them a face-to-face listen. He seems fearful of dissent and unwilling to entertain any views other than those he has arrived at through his own experiences. He has essentially disenfranchised a fairly large share of his constituency. But John Katko is the incumbent and incumbents have an enormous edge against new political candidates.

Clearly, Conservatives in Washington want John Katko to retain his seat in the 116thCongress when it convenes after the election.

That’s why Mike Pence and his wife came to Syracuse in June.


Mike Pence visits Syracuse today to raise money, tout Trump tax overhaul

By Mark Weiner, , mweiner@syracuse.com. Syracuse.com

“Vice President Mike Pence plans to spend four hours in the Syracuse area today, promoting the Republican tax overhaul and raising money for Rep. John Katko’s reelection campaign.

Mike Pence will be the featured speaker at a $1,000-per-plate fundraiser for Katko at noon at the Embassy Suites hotel next to Destiny USA in Syracuse. The White House said the event will be closed to the public, and no press will be allowed inside the banquet facility.”


Then Ivanka made her way to Syracuse, not exactly a fashion-forward destination, to announce her father’s new job’s training initiative and to bring three deserving Syracuse student to Washington to sign the bill. I don’t want to be cynical because Syracuse needs these kinds of programs, but the timing also could not hurt in John Katko’s campaign as the incumbent for the 24thDistrict seat.

Ivanka Trump tells execs at White House: Syracuse tech students an inspiration


President Donald Trump signs an executive order on job training as three Syracuse high school graduates, from left, William DeJesus, Robert Felder and Lilly La, watch in the East Room of the White House. Ivanka Trump, fourth from left, invited the students to the ceremony on Thursday, July 19, 2018, in Washington.  (Andrew Harnik | AP Photo)

By Mark Weiner, , mweiner@syracuse.com. Syracuse.com

“Last week in Syracuse, New York, I met several recent high school graduates who join us today,” Ivanka Trump told the executives. “Through the Pathways to Technology Program they each graduated with more than 20 college credits and experienced interning in fields such as science, manufacturing and electrical engineering.”


Dems please note the large election fund gap between John Katko and your candidate, Dana Balter. If you want to win this seat you need to find some more dollars for Ms. Balter.

John Katko has $1.2M edge over Dana Balter in NY-24 campaign for Congress


By Mark Weiner, , mweiner@syracuse.com. Syracuse.com

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. John Katko begins his reelection bid against Democrat Dana Balter with a $1.2 million advantage over his opponent in available campaign funds, federal records show.

Katko, R-Camillus, had $1.3 million in cash in his campaign account, while Balter had $101,112 as of June 6, according to reports the campaigns filed with the Federal Election Commission in Washington.

Balter had to burn through some of that cash as she battled to win a Democratic primary campaign on Tuesday against Juanita Perez Williams in the 24th Congressional District.

That leaves Katko with a lopsided advantage that will allow him to outspend Balter on campaign advertising.



Please do not let John Katko represent us again, at least without putting up a fierce though fair fight.