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JERRY KASSAR
JERRY KASSAR

The New York Times is acting like the Donald Trump, Jr. emails relating to a research package on Hillary Clinton are the second coming of the Pentagon papers. I have sad news for them. There is no Pulitzer in this story.

Regardless, they are expending a great deal of ink. Their first day story was marquee on the cover and continued onto a full page. Yet, as the full story appeared on the pages of the Times and many other newspapers, as well as on television and countless mainstream and alternative media sites, it became clear that nothing actually happened — nothing beyond the son of a presidential candidate accepting a meeting in which supposedly negative information on his father’s opponent would be provided.

We cannot read Trump, Jr.’s mind, but it does not appear that he or those who accompanied him thought they were dealing with a Russian government source. And as so often happens, nothing came of the meeting. The go-between who set up the meeting was lobbying for a foreign business. The Trump group did not bite and the meeting ended. No smoking gun here.

Of course, if the New York Times’s purpose with this reporting was to manufacture a scandal around the president, they gave it their best shot.  Given the reporting by the Times over the past 18 months, I think it is safe to conclude that the “Paper of Record” is out to get the president.

As much as I believe that the Russian government unsuccessfully attempted to influence the outcome of the presidential election (you can blame the FBI for effectively influencing it), I have not yet seen any evidence that their efforts were coordinated with the Trump campaign.

I hope the special prosecutor and congressional investigative committees will get on with their business, issue their reports and allow the United States to move on.

***

To the surprise of many Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis outraised Mayor de Blasio for the last filing period ending July 11 if the effects of public financing are taken into account.

As Politico reported, this came about from the nature of each candidate’s contributions.  de Blasio would appear from the report to have raised a bit more than Nicole, but Nicole had many more contributors than de Blasio, each of whom contributed a smaller matchable amount.

The mayor’s contributions were few in nature, but large and unmatchable. The end result will be that Nicole will receive a larger match and is on her way to a well-funded campaign as long as the contributions continue to come in over the next four months.

***

Last week, countless candidates for public office filed their nominating petitions.  This involved hundreds of hours of work by volunteers who went door to door to get a certain number of their party members to sign the long sheets.

Now, the real fun begins with the efforts of individual campaigns to bring their message to the voters. All this is being done in order to give the citizens a choice. Take advantage of the choices by learning about the candidates and making a commitment to vote.

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