As written on March 4, 2016, at Binghamton Political Buzz Examiner.com by Michael “Vass” Vasquez
On March 3, 2016, Broome County Legislator Kim Myers filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and announced her intent to run for the NY 22nd Congressional District seat left open with the retirement of Rep. Richard Hanna. The announcement was timed to coincide with several endorsements by regional Democratic County Committees. But both the announcement, and the nature or the sudden entry, create questions for the public about this new challenger.
Legislator Myers, who won the Oneida Democratic endorsement among others, has certain aspects of her political position and history are known. Prior to her election to the Broome County Legislature in 2014, Mrs. Myers was a member of the Vestal School Board of Education for 18 years. In addition she stated in her 2014 campaign website that she was the owner of Kidz Korner, a franchise day care center that records show Tim Myers as the actual owner, but no longer exists. Of course the single thing that Legislator Myers is best known for is the connection to Dick’s Sporting Goods, the formerly family owned business.
Dick’s Sporting Goods is a well known national business that was created in 1948 in Binghamton, NY, part of the Southern Tier of New York. It is the sponsor of the Dick’s Open (formerly the BC Open) of golf. The formerly family owned business (went public in 2002) that has stores in 47 States is also notable for their move out of New York State in 1994 when it had only 12 stores. It is due to this post-New York growth, that Mrs. Myers is estimated to have a net worth in the range of some $70 million based on the 1.8 million shares she was reported to own as of 2014.
That kind of wealth raises several questions about Legislator Myers run for office. According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing, Myers will contribute $0 to her campaign – above the limit of $350,000. But that does not resolve if donations from Dick’s, or other companies she owns, will be donating in her place. Or will she rely solely on the donations from the public – and more than a few PAC’s well connected to D.C. and Democrats.
Equally of interest when considering the D.C. connection, there have been claims made of a link between Kim Myers and Democrat Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi just a week ago. While the claim by Chris Pack of the NRCC is unclear on details, he alleges a meeting in D.C. on February 24, 2016.
We sought comment for this article, and an interview, with Kim Myers as part of our comprehensive coverage of the NY-22 race. We were contacted on March 4, 2016, by Brian Lenzmier, who declined to state his position in the Myers campaign (and is unclear if he was responsible for the failed congressional campaign of Roxanne Lara of New Mexico in 2014 and /or was the DCCC researcher in 2010), who said that the campaign had no comment at this time beyond the press release issued on March 3, 2016. Mr. Lenzmier stated that the campaign would notify us when Kim Myers would be available for an interview to answer our questions at some point in the indeterminate future. As of the time of this article we have not received a copy of the press release Mr. Lenzmier stated would be sent.
It would seem that Legislator Myers purchased her website – MyersforCongress.com – back on February 16, 2016. But at that time public statements were that she was only considering a run for office. Even so, as of March 3, 2016, when the Myers campaign filed with the FEC, the website went live, but lacks any information except a bio, a request for donations, and the following quote,
“I’ve lived in Broome County my whole life. Around here we care about each other. We don’t really care that much about party or politics, just about helping our neighbors out and making communities strong.”
This seems to be a trend among several candidates for the New York 22nd congressional race, failing to provide the public with clear indications of why a candidate is running and what political positions they stand for. The 2014 campaign website for Myers was equally devoid of any statement on her political positions or issues she champions. Thus the public is in the dark.
But Kim Myers has a bit more in common with at least one of the Republicans running in the NY-22 race. Much as the history of donations by Steve Wells has caused some controversy, with his donations to many Democrats and Gov. Cuomo, there is the question of the donations made in 2014 to Rep. Richard Hanna. To be clear this was done by Tim Myers, the husband of the Legislator, but it does stand out. Still there is no lack of direct questions on the Myers campaign itself.
Does Kim Myers support the 2nd Amendment or the NY SAFE Act? She has made no public statement. But it would be curious if Legislator Myers supports the position of Gov. Cuomo and the Executive Orders of President Obama, but at the same time the source of her expansive wealth, Dick’s Sporting Goods, sells firearms in its stores.
Does Kim Myers stand by the drive to tax the “rich”? It would be curious if she does support the drive to increase taxes, especially that derived from investments, as that would include herself in that target group. Considering she has never voluntarily made a payment to the IRS she is definitely not leading by example. It should be noted that the Shamrock Five foundation, (incorporated in Pennington, NJ) a 503c charity, listed Mr. and Mrs. Myers as employees and offsets some of their income.
Looking more closely to the realm of experience that Legislator Myers is known for, education, where does she stand on Common Core? There appears to be no direct comments that can be found from her on the subject. In November 2013, she is on record as stating in the Vestal School Board minutes,
“The School Board continues discussion with regard to the Common Core standards. Vestal has been very proactive and had been working on this for years.”
Perhaps the most simple question could be first. Will Kim Myers resign from the Legislature? Will she campaign for her legislative seat as well as for Congress? So far there is no comment.
These are just a few of the questions that remain unanswered about Kim Myers at this time. Apparently the Myers campaign is in no rush to speak with news media on any specific and detailed questions about the issues facing Congress and the nation. While this may have worked for the Legislative campaign, it normally would be unlikely to win the congressional campaign. But it would appear that the approach that some Republicans and Democrats feel is essential to win the 2016 NY 22nd congressional race is to obscure facts and highlight 30 second soundbites. Whether that strategy will be successful remains unknown at this time.