BY TONY FARINA
CAPUTO MAY HAVE ACTED TOO SOON
In case you didn’t notice, veteran political consultant Michael Caputo who lives in East Aurora resigned a top position with Team Trump this week when he celebrated a little too much over the decision by the Trump camp to fire controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
Caputo tweeted “Ding Dong the witch is dead” after Lewandowski got dumped but then decided he had made a mistake and would be forced to resign his role as media chief for Trump at the GOP convention next month in Cleveland. Erie County Conservative Chairman Ralph Lorigo, the longest serving party chairman in the county and a strong Trump supporter, says that Caputo may have jumped ship too soon and hopes he reconsiders.
“I think very highly of his (Caputo) capability in this type of situation,” said Lorigo after Caputo resigned. “He may have acted too quickly and I wish he was still there. I feel strongly he is very capable and they need him.”
Caputo could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but sources close to him tell me he had been very happy about Lewandowski’s departure and had been looking forward to working with Trump’s new campaign manager Paul Manafort before he celebrated too soon and too publicly with the “witch is dead” tweet. As of press time, he was still sidelined but still supporting Trump. We’ll see what happens.
SCHROEDER FUNDRAISER A SUCCESS
Buffalo City Comptroller Mark Schroeder tells us that his high-end fundraiser last week at Phillips Lytle was a big success with a crowd of more than 100 turning out to support him and shake hands with State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli who was the special guest for the event.
“We’ll have the numbers next week,” said Schroeder when asked how much money he raised.
As we have previously reported, Schroeder is eyeing a possible mayoral run next year against Byron Brown, if he’s still there, or against whomever is holding the office in case Brown finds another job and leaves early, a rumor that has circulated for the last several years.
Schroeder says he has about $100,000 in his campaign chest at the moment, but it is clear from last week’s event that he’s capable of raising money in a hurry and he has said he will decide what he’s going to do after the November elections. The betting here is that he’s running.
LATEST HIGGINS’ RUMOR
Speaking of rumors, the latest surrounding Rep. Brian Higgins is that he may be looking to get out of Washington and find another job in the very near future, particularly if Hillary Clinton wins the White House.
So what would South Buffalo’s Higgins like as his next challenge? We hear from the political circle around town that Brian’s dream job would be ambassador to Ireland, a dream that could come true with a Clinton victory in November. The Higgins team always throws water on rumors about the congressman, but they persist and it seems a question of when, not if, he will leave Washington for greener pastures, possibly in Ireland.
If Higgins were to leave for his dream job or something else, County Executive Mark Poloncarz would seem the likely choice of local Democrats to leave town for Washington and the halls of Congress. Stay tuned.
BRING THE GOLDEN BEAR TO BUFFALO
In what can only be described as one of the most exciting ideas to come to Buffalo in years, community activist Keven Guaghan has pitched the great Jack Nicklaus and his Golf Design team to come to town and re-design the 18-hole golf course in Olmsted’s Delaware Park and design a second 9-hole course on the Hopkins Street parcel adjacent to Olmsted’s South Park.
And guess what? Nicklaus and his team are very interested and according to Gaughan it would not cost taxpayers a red cent.
Here’s what Nicklaus had to say in a letter to Gaughan earlier this month:
“I have always dreamed that at the foundation of golf course design is the mission to create something beautiful where people can congregate and recreate. In many ways, playing golf is like a walk in the park. That is why our discussions and your ideas concerning the City of Buffalo and a proposal to marry my golf course design with your mission to preserve and celebrate the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted, is an idea that personally and professional excites me, and should do the same for the leaders, decision-makers and good people of Buffalo. That is why I am pleased to enthusiastically reinforce my commitment to making your vision a reality.”
Now that’s coming from the golfer who won a record 18 major tournaments and has built golf courses around the world. Gaughan is pushing for all he’s worth to make this dream come true. Gaughan tells me he’s grateful for the enthusiastic support his idea has received and plans to continue meeting with community groups and leaders to further improve and shape his plan.
All we can add is full speed ahead. What a wonderful idea and to have Nicklaus put his design footprint in Buffalo would be almost like winning a championship. Let’s hope folks get behind this plan and make it a reality.