President-elect Donald Trump’s Campaign Manager-turned-Communications Counselor Kellyanne Conway will visit Buffalo this week for an exclusive fundraiser.
Conway will speak at a Thursday afternoon luncheon at the Westin Buffalo hotel. The $5000 per person event is intended to raise funds to cover the costs of Trump’s transition team, including their salaries.
“Mr. Trump held a fundraiser down in New York City a few weeks back and did raise some money, but they have – I would use the word – ‘struggled’ to raise the private funds needed to pay these individuals who are working on behalf of the taxpayers but not being paid by the government,” said Congressman Chris Collins, who has been an advocate for Trump since early in his presidential campaign.
Election campaign funds cannot be used to cover the expenses of the President-elect’s transition team.
Collins is joining business executives Jeremy Jacobs and Paul J. Harder in chairing the event. Planning began on Thursday, and Collins said he is pleased to lend a hand.
“President-elect Trump knows I am a true supporter,” said Collins. “I’m not asking for a job in the administration. I’m doing this because I want to help America move forward, make America great again. This is being done because we’re at a critical point in our country’s future and this, like I say, is a very important piece to him, personally.”
Collins mentioned that the event is considered to be rather exclusive, since it’s the only other fundraiser planned by the Trump camp outside of New York City. He went on to say that local organizers are excited about Conway being featured at the event.
"Let's face it, a lot of the women want to meet her just because she was the first female campaign manager that ever has elected a president. So I think we're going to get great attendance."
But not every political leader in Western New York is thrilled about the Conway’s appearance. In a statement released Saturday afternoon, Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner slammed the President-elect for the event.
"He hasn’t even taken the oath, and Donald Trump is already breaking his promises to the American people. After campaigning on ‘draining the swamp’ and a commitment to the working class, Trump is sending his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway to Buffalo to grab big money from the same elite he railed against for a year and a half,” said Zellner.
Zellner asked, “What is this money even for?” and criticized Trump for “putting [the system] to work for himself” after claiming he was self-funding his presidential bid.