Exclusive: Steve Wells makes only appearance in Binghamton NY

Published at Binghamton Political Buzz on May 10, 2016. Written by Michael “Vass” Vasquez”.

On May 10, 2016, congressional candidate Steve Wells entered Broome County, to have his only public event in Binghamton, NY (according to his campaign literature). Mr. Wells, from Madison County, entered the New York 22nd congressional race on February 9, 2016 – as we reported at the time – just in time to get the local Republican Committee endorsement. But not much was known about him at that time. The trip to Binghamton did nothing to enlighten those few that got to meet him.

May 2016, Steve Wells in the corner, at Ross Park, Binghamton NY

The event, at the small pavilion in Ross Park next to the zoo, was scheduled to start at 5:30 PM. We arrived at 5:05 PM, to be able to speak with Mr. Wells prior to the event. Though Mr. Wells sent out several hundred if not several thousand invitations (there were over 16,000 votes in the NY Republican Presidential Primary in Broome County alone) only his staff and employees from his company American Vending were present. When we asked Mr. Wells for an interview, he declined. When advised we had been requesting an interview – at his company’s office, through his campaign, and publicly on Facebook – for the past 105 days, he remarked he was unaware of this. Our request to schedule an interview for the future was passed on to his staffer, Rebecca (no last name given to us) as Mr. Wells hastily left Ross Park within 3 minutes of our arrival. He would not return until 5:38 PM, after the event had officially begun.

The Wells Campaign staffer, Rebecca, declined any comment for the event. Though she did strongly request that no filming occur for the event after our video equipment was in place. When asked to confirm that this was an open event, in a public space, Rebecca became irritated and stated that the pavilion was rented and filming was thus prohibited as it was a private event. While the Wells Campaign was aggressive in preventing any filming, they did not request us to leave the event. They did ensure that neither they nor Steve Wells was within 15 feet of us throughout the event.

At 5:35 PM, attendees began to arrive, with a grand total of 30 people attending the event. For comparison, Mr. Wells garnered roughly just 165 petition signatures from all of Broome County after a month to do so. All but 2 of the attendees were apparently retirees/Senior Citizens. Most of those in attendance were treated to a 1 on 1 conversation (much in the manner of Rep. Richard Hanna). Mr. Wells ultimately declined to speak to all those gathered in a singular speech at any point in the event which had been hinted he might do earlier.

Of the 15% of attendees that we spoke to, we were given the same response about the sum of Mr. Wells conversations. We were told that Mr. Wells reiterated his campaign material, but failed to provide any answers to what he plans to do it if he were to be elected. Further, Mr. Wells promoted his claim of being a political outsider, while neglecting to mention his donations to Gov. Cuomo (who opposes the 2nd Amendment that Mr. Wells claims he supports), his volunteer position with the NY State GOP, or his influence with Republican candidates outside of Broome County. Those we spoke with, who were unaware of Mr. Wells prior to the event, stated they found his omissions curious.

Though the staff of Mr. Wells were busy taking promotional photos of Mr. Wells, attendees began leaving the event by 6:15 PM – halfway through the scheduled event. By 6:30 PM, the campaign began to pack up. The event was over early and attendees had left by 6:48 PM.

To our knowledge, there was no answer given to any questions about Mr. Wells or his candidacy. He did not discuss why he provided, via his company, support to one of the most powerful opponents of the 2nd Amendment. He did not discuss why he has largely avoided the public, providing 4 interviews only after the petition process with half the race over. He did not reveal why he has only spent a grand total of 19 days (according to campaign materials) meeting the public since entering the race, nor why his other time in Broome County was in the high Republican count region of Vestal NY on April 26th – when he needed signatures. He did not explain how he intends to win the support of voters who don’t know him except for the slew of promotional flyers, and support of a negative attack oriented PAC.

Most politicians and candidates seek out the news media to allow voters to be aware of who they are. The Wells Campaign appears to have a different strategy in place. If his apparent plan to use social media, flyers, and television ads is successful, Mr. Wells may well usher a new era of separation from voters for future elections throughout the NY-22. But only voters have that final decision.

** We have again sent another request to the Wells Campaign for an interview to the questions that have remained unanswered for the past 105 days. As always, and as done for 4 candidates in the NY-22 race already, any interview will be provided to the public without edit and verbatim. Binghamton Political Buzz endorses no candidate in the NY-22 race, and only seek to provide the public with information so that they can make an educated decision when they vote in this contested Primary. **

*** Additional note: There was an error in our count of visits to Broome County in the original publication. Mr. Wells previously visited Colesville on April 25th and Vestal on April 26th. We have corrected the article to reflect that error. The Wells Campaign did not contact us to make this correction. ***

About the Author

Michael Vass
Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

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