2014 election

Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

The race for the 24th Congressional District has been characterized by its negative campaign ads. Grant Reeher, host of WRVO's Campbell Conversations, moderated the first debate between incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei and Republican challenger John Katko. In this portion of the debate, Reeher asked each candidate about their use of negative ads.

Greg Cotterill / WEOS Geneva

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making women’s rights a pillar of his campaign and is focusing on an abortion rights provision. The issue serves multiple purposes for the governor.

Twice now, Cuomo has boarded a bus with his running mate Kathy Hochul, and several other leading female politicians, and rode to rallies for women's equality upstate and in New York City and Long Island.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Republican Congressional candidate John Katko is trying to hold Rep. Dan Maffei to a clean campaign pledge the congressman proposed early in the campaign.

To flash back to April, Congressman Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) called on Katko, the former federal prosecutor trying to unseat him in the 24th Congressional District, to run a straight forward, issued-based campaign.

Maffei, Katko talk environment, but in typical tone

Oct 15, 2014
Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

The candidates for a central New York congressional seat are talking about their environmental platforms, but as with much of the campaign recently, it’s come in the form of barbs.

Rep. Dan Maffei, the Democrat trying to hold onto the 24th Congressional District against Republican John Katko, says Katko has environmental views that are dangerous for central New York. Maffei charges Katko doesn’t believe in climate change.

"He’s putting politics and this campaign ahead of public safety," Maffei said at press event in Syracuse's Thorndon Park Tuesday.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he plans to visit Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic before Election Day.

Cuomo, speaking after marching in the Columbus Day parade, says he wants to make a trip to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in the next couple of weeks.

“I’d like to get there before Election Day,” Cuomo said. “As a sign of respect to those two communities that I’ve worked with for a very long time.”

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei and his Republican challenger John Katko are locked into a tight race that will determine who represents the Syracuse-area's 24th Congressional District in Congress.

Maffei says he knew the race would be close.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Both candidates running to represent the 24th Congressional District want to prevent heroin and synthetic drug use in New York, but have different ways of doing it.

Republican candidate John Katko says he has a twofold approach to address the issue.

"It's targeted enforcement, beefed up targeted enforcement about the heroin and synthetic drug problem, through the enhancement of task forces," Katko said. "So that's basically what this plan is about."

Katko proposes to increase law enforcement funding and manpower, and expand treatment options.

Rob DeMarco Campaign / Al Stirpe Campaign / Facebook

One of the most hotly contested races on Election Day in central New York is for the 127th state Assembly seat. Democrat incumbent Al Stirpe faces Republican Rob DeMarco in the fight for the district that runs along the eastern end of Onondaga County, from Clay to Tully.

During a debate on WRVO’s Campbell Conversations, DeMarco suggests New York’s business climate is poor and it’s time for a change.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Oswego Common Council Vice President Eric Van Buren has switched parties, and is endorsing Republican congressional candidate John Katko in his race against incumbent Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei.

Van Buren, the former Oswego City Democratic Committee chairman, released a statement Wednesday morning saying he made the decision after much thought and consideration.

Katko says he's happy to receive Van Buren's support, and that it's a sign of ongoing change in the region.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been endorsed by the state’s largest business lobby for his reelection bid. The New York State Business Council made the announcement Wednesday at the Plug Power energy manufacturing company near Albany.

Business Council President Heather Briccetti says her group is endorsing Cuomo over his GOP challenger Rob Astorino because of the governor’s record on achieving four on-time budgets, enacting business tax cuts and holding the increase in state spending and property taxes to two percent each year. She also praised Cuomo’s bi-partisan governing style.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

The topic of preventing the Ebola virus in New York state became part of the governor’s race, when the Republican candidate proposed that flights be banned from countries with Ebola outbreaks.

Saying we should “err on the side of caution,” GOP candidate for governor Rob Astorino is calling for a ban on all flights from Ebola stricken countries in Africa to New York’s airports. He says the Ebola case in Texas, where the victim allegedly did not tell authorities that he had been in contact with someone with the disease, shows that the screening process is not adequate.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

New York state has received a multi billion dollar windfall from bank settlements this year, but a new report from the state comptroller shows the settlement took a bite out of Wall Street profits in 2014, which could have repercussions for the state budget in the future.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli reports Wall Street profits are down by 13 percent so far in 2014, compared to the previous year, 2013, when profits had already shrunk by 30 percent.

“Certainly we’re seeing profits, but down from what we saw last year,” DiNapoli said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has the support of several high profile Republicans, including Larry Rockefeller. But in a newly released campaign ad that started airing Tuesday, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is publicly giving the governor her endorsement for reelection.

"I'm a Republican and I'm supporting Gov. Cuomo," Mahoney said in the 30 second commercial. "We can't afford to go back to the way things were. Let's keep New York moving forward with Andrew Cuomo."

Julia Botero / WRVO

Aaron Woolf, the Democratic candidate running to represent the North Country's 21st Congressional District, says he plans to show the divide between himself and his Republican opponent Elise Stefanik during Wednesday night's debate.

"The very fact that she has been less forthcoming with the press, to put it mildly, lately, means that this is really a very crucial opportunity for us to make sure she's on the record and being as specific as we've asked her to be," Woolf explained to reporters during a conference call Tuesday.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Republican congressional hopeful John Katko is criticizing Democratic incumbent Rep. Dan Maffei’s legislative record from his two terms in Congress as part of the latest salvo in a race that is getting tighter, according to some national political pundits.

During a news conference this week, Katko, a former prosecutor, pointed to a list of legislation Maffei has introduced in the 113th Congress.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, his democratic running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, and other women’s rights advocates spoke to a cheering crowd of union members and local elected officials as part of an upstate bus tour to promote a 10-point women’s rights plan.

Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act failed in the state Senate, when neither party could muster enough votes for an abortion rights provision. Now Cuomo and Hochul are making it a campaign issue.

This edition of the Campbell Conversations begins a series of joint conversations this fall with candidates in contested races for elected positions.  This week the two candidates for Onondaga County Sheriff join host Grant Reeher, in their first shared appearance.  Republican Gene Conway and Democrat Toby Shelley discuss their background and experience, the need to make changes at the sheriff's department, their vision for greater cooperation with other law enforcement agencies in the county, and just how vigorously they'll enforce the SAFE Act. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Since its passage in January 2013, the New York SAFE Act has been a topic of discussion for law enforcement officials across the state, including the two candidates running to replace outgoing Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh.

While speaking with Grant Reeher on WRVO's Campbell Conversations, Republican Gene Conway and Democrat Toby Shelley expressed concerns with the gun control law, and neither threw their full support behind it.

Matt Ryan, New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has forged his public image as a bipartisan governor, working with both Democrats and Republicans. But the governor has also promised a left-leaning minor party that he would help shift control of the state Senate away from the GOP, and help Democrats regain control of the chamber. The governor has been walking a fine line between the two parties ever since.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has accepted two debate offers from media outlets, but neither format includes a one-on-one televised contest between the incumbent Democrat and his Republican opponent. GOP candidate Rob Astorino is objecting.

One of the debates would take place in Buffalo, sponsored by the Buffalo News, and public television and radio stations WNED and WBFO. It would include Cuomo, Astorino, the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins and Libertarian candidate Michael McDermott.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reaching out to moderate Republicans to try to win over their vote in next month’s elections, and his efforts have been bolstered by a new ad featuring Larry Rockefeller.

Rockefeller, the nephew of former Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, says in the spot that GOP candidate Rob Astorino is too conservative for New York, and that he favors the mainstream Cuomo in the election.

“I’m a lifelong Republican," says Rockefeller in the ad. “But I cannot support the ultra-conservative Rob Astorino.”

Maffei continues attacks on opponent John Katko

Oct 2, 2014
Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

Rep. Dan Maffei is again hitting his opponent Republican John Katko for things that happened when Katko was a federal prosecutor.

Maffei, a Democrat from Syracuse, says while Katko worked for the Justice Department, he let former Oswego mayor John Gosek off easy because he was a fellow Republican.

Gosek was arrested by the FBI in 2005 for soliciting sex from underage girls. In a plea deal, he served 33 months in prison, below the mandatory minimum for the crime, and was listed as a sex offender.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

With five weeks until election day, Rep. Dan Maffei’s reelection campaign is embarking on a campaign strategy called “30 Days and 30 Ways John Katko is Too Reckless and Radical for Central New York.”

Maffei, a Democrat, is running for his third term in Congress, and says the idea is to outline differences between him, and Republican nominee John Katko. Week one focuses on the candidate’s jobs agenda.  Maffei says he has a record and accuses Katko of having nothing but a one-page jobs document.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins says every debate leading up to the fall election should be televised statewide and that he should be included.

During a teleconference with reporters Tuesday morning, Hawkins said his poll numbers make him a credible candidate.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino is far behind in the polls and in fundraising, compared to incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo. But Astorino is making the most of his campaign and is quick to improvise or bend a situation to his advantage. He also maintains that he expects to win.

Since last winter, Astorino, who currently serves as Westchester County executive, has been determinedly traveling the state and expounding on a core message that he lays out in an introductory video.

“As a state, are we winning or are we losing?” Astorino asks.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not running the typical campaign. In fact, it could be called the Zen campaign.

The incumbent governor with a $35 million war chest who is well ahead in the polls, is employing a classic Rose Garden strategy. He seldom holds an overtly political event, and his limited public schedule often includes a carefully stage managed  economic development announcement.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO (file photo)

Incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s agreed to two debates with his opponents, both on public broadcasting. But his GOP challenger is angered because the formats do not include a televised contest between the Democratic and Republican candidates.

Cuomo says he’s accepted an invitation to debate on television in Buffalo, along with GOP candidate Rob Astorino, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and the Libertarian Party’s Michael McDermott.

The governor has also agreed to a radio debate in New York City. It will be a one-on-one between Cuomo and Astorino.  

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

A new poll finds that six weeks before elections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo maintains a double-digit lead against his Republican opponent, but the governor’s job performance rating has hit an all-time low.

The Siena Research Institute poll finds Cuomo continues to be around 30 points ahead of Republican challenger Rob Astorino, leading 56 to 27 percent. Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins received seven percent.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino has been traveling the state criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's attempts to invest money in parts of New York to spur economic development. During a recent interview with Utica radio station WIBX, Astorino called the Mohawk Valley's $1.5 billion Nano Utica project "smoke and mirrors." Astorino also said the Mohawk Valley is not really experiencing an economic recovery.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Republican John Cahill is asking the state’s top prosecutor to debate him multiple times, but so far, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman hasn’t agreed to anything.

Cahill wants to take on Schneiderman, a Democrat, in every region of the state.

"It’s a long process to convince voters and to talk to voters about the issues that they face, the roll of the attorney general," he said in an interview.

Cahill wants ten regional debates and one statewide.