Published September 5, 2018
All three experts weighed in on the scandal surrounding Rep. Chris Collins' indictment on charges of insider trading shares of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech firm.
An article in Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald interviewed UB Distinguished Professor of Political Science James Campbell, who said many Republicans would link the charges against Collins to Trump's repeated claims of bias at the FBI and Department of Justice.
"His supporters will see this as an attempt to unfairly damage him just before an election," Campbell said.
An article on the front page of Sunday’s Buffalo News examining the highs and lows of Collins’ political career also quoted Prof. Campbell: "I don't think I've ever seen a picture of him smiling, even in his own ads," he said, commenting on people’s perception that Collins is chilly, even mean.
A story on WIVB-TV about Rep. Chris Collins’ indictment featured Jacob Neiheisel, associate professor of political science, who noted that if Collins wins reelection and is also convicted of federal charges, the House will probably take action.
"If he wins his seat I think that there would be internal pressure for him to step down. We saw that in the Senate with Al Franken, where there was quite a bit of pressure from within the party to step aside. If he refuses to do that, there are other mechanisms in place for expulsion of a member," Neiheisel said.
A story on Spectrum News about Collins’ indictment also interviewed Neiheisel, who discussed the congressman’s future in the House if he is reelected in November. “[Congress] could censure him,” he said. Or, “they could actually vote to remove him from the House.” A censure is “a slap on the wrist, ‘you shouldn’t have done that,’ and that’s about it,” he added. The story appeared on Spectrum stations about the state, including the Capital Region, Rochester, Central New York and the Southern Tier.
Neiheisel was also interviewed by City and State for an article about what the charges could mean to Collins' chances of reelection in his district, which Neiheisel described as “a deep red suburban ring surrounding a blue urban area.” “No doubt it’s going to be a much tighter race going forward,” he added. “I still wouldn’t put money on the Democrat pulling it out.”
Neiheisel was also interviewed in an additional Spectrum News story about the impact the indictment could have on Collins’ reelection chances. "It's going to make November tighter, that's for sure, but it's still a very red district," he said.
In addition, Neiheisel was interviewed on WKBW-TV about what the charges could mean to the campaign of Democratic challenger Nate McMurray. "We're in a climate where it can very easily be dismissed as partisan politicking," he said. "I think there are a number of folks who are going to justify pulling the lever for the Republican candidate, for Collins again, because it looks like a witch hunt. At least in their eyes."
An Associated Press article about the boost that the indictment has given to Democrats in his heavily Republican district interviews Harvey Palmer, associate professor of political science, who said that because of his close ties to Trump, Republicans may be willing to overlook the charges, especially since the outcome of the case likely is many months away.
“It’s not good news for Collins, but given the district, it may make the race more competitive but not a race you can count on swinging” to the Democrats, Palmer said, adding that Collins’ supporters may decide “even if Collins has done something wrong, he’s better than a Democrat.”
The article appeared in news outlets around the world, including England’s Daily Mail, Russia’s News-w, AT&T.com, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, San Francisco Chronicle, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, KSL-TV in Salt Lake City, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Seattle Times, Tampa Bay Times, WTOP-AM in Washington, D.C. and ABC News.