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Money In Politics:

Campaign cash from the Williams brothers

Published November 17, 2020

Brothers Jon, Jerome and Jeffrey Williams are prolific donors to political campaigns, and both have good reasons to give.

Jon Williams, an Amherst resident and owner of Ontario Speciality Contracting and South Buffalo Development LLC, is in the business of redeveloping contaminated industrial sites, including the former Tonawanda Coke and American Axle. It’s a business that requires political influence.

Jerome Williams, of Niagara Falls, owns several companies, including TAM Ceramics. Jeffrey Williams, of Lewiston, is in the real estate business and active in Niagara County Republican politics.

Donations below are for the past five years primarily include those made in Jon, Jerome and Jeff’s names, or, in a few instances, their companies.

Ken Kruly, Investigative Post researcher and publisher of Politics and Other Stuff, researched the numbers.


The numbers: Campaign contributions

Recipient Office Party Donor Amount
Donald Trump (Trump Victory) President Republican Jon $ 35,000
Republican National Committee Party Republican Jon $ 29,400
Republican Assembly Campaign Com. Party Republican Jerome $ 25,000
NY Republican Federal Campaign Com. Party Republican Jeffrey $ 11,000
NY Republican Federal Campaign Com. Party Republican Jerome $ 10,000
Winred Party Republican Jerome $ 10,000
Tim Kennedy State Senate Democrat Jon $ 9,992
Byron Brown Buffalo Mayor Democrat Jon $ 8,150
Tom Reed Congress Republican Jon $ 7,400
Donald Trump President Republican Jon $ 6,600
NYS Republican State Committee Party Republican Jeffrey $ 6,000
Chris Jacobs Congress Republican Jeffrey $ 5,800
Crystal Peoples-Stokes State Assembly Democrat Jon $ 5,250
Angello Morinello State Assembly Republican Jerome $ 4,500
Paul Ryan Congress Republican Jeffrey $ 4,000
Lynne Dixon Erie County Executive Republican Jerome $ 3,000
Chris Jacobs Congress Republican Jon $ 2,800
Brian Higgins Congress Democrat Jeffrey $ 2,700
Deborah Givens Erie County Court Democrat Jon $ 2,500
Tom Reed Congress Republican Jeffrey $ 2,500
Lynn Dixon Erie County Executive Democrat Jeffrey $ 2,500
Chris Collins Congress Republican Jon $ 2,000
Acea Mosey Erie County Surrogate Democrat Jeffrey $ 2,000
Ray Walter State Assembly Republican Jeffrey $ 1,966
Chris Collins Congress Republican Jeffrey $ 1,500
Angelo Morinello State Assembly Republican Jeffrey $ 1,200
Sean Ryan State Assembly Democrat Jon $ 1,099
Lewiston Republican Committee Party Republican Jeffrey $ 1,075
Chris Jacobs Erie County Clerk Republican Jon $ 1,000
Acea Mosey Erie County Surrogate Democrat Jon $ 1,000
Ulysess Wingo Buffalo Council Democrat Jon $ 1,000
Kyle Andrews Niagara Co. Treasuer Democrat Jeffrey $ 1,000
David DiPietro State Assembly Republican Jerome $ 1,000
Source: New York State Board of Elections, Federal Elections Commission.

Talking Points

  • Over the past five years Jon, Jeffrey and Jerome Williams have made 106 donations to candidates or committees totalling $217,257.
  • Of the donations of $1,000 or more, 17 of the recipients were Republican candidates or party committees; nine were Democratic candidates.
  • Republican donations totaled  $179,866, with the majority of the funds for federal candidates and committees; $73,366 of that total amount went to state or local Republicans.
  • Jon was the largest of the donors, giving $113,691, followed by Jerome, $54,975, and Jeffrey,  $48,591.
  • Democratic donations, which mostly came from Jon Williams, totaled $37,391; Brian Higgins was the only Democratic candidate for federal office to receive money from the Williams family.
  • Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee, which helped fund his recent presidential campaign, directly received $64,400 from Jon Williams. Jerome Williams donated a total of $20,000 to organizations related to the 2020 Republican campaign.
  • The Democratic candidates who received the largest amount of contributions were State Sen. Tim Kennedy ($9,992) and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown ($8,150).

 


Podcast

Geoff and Ken discuss the brothers’ campaign contributions, which reflect a pragmatism reminiscent of their uncle, Harry Williams, who built a family fortune in waste management, including the CECOS Landfill in Niagara Falls.

Listen to Podcast

Week of November 30: Contributions to judicial candidates.