2014 election

NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment

Reform groups are split over the merits of a November ballot item to change the way new legislative and congressional districts are drawn in New York.

Some groups see the amendment as an opportunity to finally end rampant gerrymandering of Senate and Assembly districts in New York.  Others fear it would just solidify legislative control of a process that allows legislative leaders to draw districts that suit their own political interests.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

State Democrats say their prime strategy to motivate voters this fall will be to paint Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Republican opponent as an ultra-conservative who has a negative view about New York.  

Kathy Hochul, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, went on the attack against Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino, saying the GOP opponent and his running mate are too conservative and his portrayal of the state as economically troubled and dysfunctional is too pessimistic.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Green Party's Howie Hawkins might be lagging in the race for New York state governor, but in Syracuse he's getting much higher poll numbers than the rest of the state.

According to a recently released Syracuse.com/Post-Standard,/Siena College Research Institute poll, Hawkins is supported by nearly one out of every four voters in the city of Syracuse.

Mercy Health / Flickr

The Syracuse.com/Post-Standard/Siena College poll shows 17 percent of potential voters surveyed say health care is the most important issue to them.  In recent interviews, the two candidates in the 24th Congressional District race say there are good things and bad things about it.  

Democrat two-term Rep. Dan Maffei voted for the Affordable Care Act back in 2010, and he says he still supports the reforms that came with it.  But he admits there are problems.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The 24th Congressional District race between Democrat Dan Maffei and Republican John Katko is very competitive according to the first public poll of this race released yesterday.  

The Syracuse.com/Post-Standard/Sienna College poll gives the incumbent Maffei an eight-point edge over his Republican challenger, former federal prosecutor John Katko. The poll shows that Maffei has a bigger edge with Democrats than Katko has with Republicans, but that Katko has a seven-point lead with independents.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The Republican candidate for governor temporarily upstaged incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when Rob Astorino appeared unexpectedly at the Business Council of New York State's annual meeting and attempted to talk to the governor.

Astorino addressed the Business Council Thursday night, in a speech scheduled months ago. Cuomo did not commit to speak to the group at its annual meeting on Lake George until the conference had already started, and Cuomo chose a Friday morning time slot.  

Rob Astorino for Governor

Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino received a mostly polite reception from the state’s biggest business lobby at their annual meeting in Lake George.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

This election season seems to feature more than the usual amount of negative ads, with television spots painting opponents in a dark light. But an ad that criticized a candidate’s choice of football team may have backfired when controversy arose over a picture that was altered to cut out his son.

Viewers of the most recent Buffalo Bills game saw an ad, sponsored by Erie County Democrats, that criticized Republican candidate Rob Astorino for being a Miami Dolphins fan.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has rejected a plan by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to raid the state’s clean water fund to help pay for the New York Thruway’s Tappan Zee bridge replacement.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

The issue of hydrofracking played a role in the recent Democratic primary for governor in New York, and those who oppose the gas drilling process hope it will influence the general election, as well.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, once on a fast track to begin the natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing in New York, has put his decision on hold while his administration is conducting a health review that began two years ago. Cuomo, asked about the future of fracking in the state one day after the Democratic primary, said he’s still reserving judgment.

Wallyg / via Flickr

The primaries are over and the focus now shifts to the general elections, which are a little over seven weeks away. Incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces Republican challenger Rob Astorino.

Cuomo made a rare campaign-style appearance in Buffalo with running mate Kathy Hochul just after winning the Democratic primary with 60 percent of the vote. Without mentioning him by name, he portrayed Republican opponent Rob Astorino as a hyper-conservative who was out of touch with New Yorkers.

Matt Ryan, New York Now

After winning Tuesday’s Democratic primary, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is now poised to run strongly against his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino. But will he have any lingering problems after more than one-third of primary voters rejected him for an obscure law professor?

Cuomo’s challenger, Fordham Law School Professor Zephyr Teachout, managed to win over one-third of the vote against the incumbent governor, despite Cuomo’s multi-million dollar war chest and near unanimous support from the state’s Democratic political establishment, from Hillary Clinton to local mayors.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor in New York state, likes the position he's in after looking at the results from this week’s gubernatorial primary.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo won with 60 percent of the Democrat vote, while a third of the vote went to liberal Fordham Law School Professor Zephyr Teachout. Hawkins figures that leaves him as the only option for progressives in the fall election.

A UPS worker from Syracuse, Hawkins believes the primary results highlight Cuomo’s weakness among progressive Democrats, saying it validates his reason to run this fall.

Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his running mate Kathy Hochul beat off a challenge from two law school professors in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. But, challenger Zephyr Teachout won over one-third of the vote, opening  a potential weakness for the incumbent governor among progressive voters.

MemphisCVB / Flickr

Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor cast their ballots Tuesday, and urged others to vote as well.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to win the primary, cast his ballot near his home in Westchester.

“I encourage people to vote,” Cuomo said. “You have no right to complain about who is in the office if you don’t actually exercise the franchise and go out and vote.”

On primary day, an argument for voting by mail

Sep 9, 2014
Columbia City Blog / Flickr

A central New York board of elections commissioner says switching to a vote-by-mail system would both increase turnout and save money.

Bob Howe, the Republican commissioner for elections in Cortland County, readily admits he may be the oddball with this thinking.

But with voting machines costing more than $11,000 each and the need to pay observers to staff polling places, Howe argues mail ballots would be much cheaper.

Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

Tuesday is primary day in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces a challenge from Democrat Zephyr Teachout, which he is expected to easily win, but the governor could face a headache when it comes to the race for his running mate for lieutenant governor.

Cuomo, known as a clever strategist who carefully maps out his political future, did not anticipate a primary challenge from obscure Fordham Law School professor Zephyr Teachout.

Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

Candidates running for the 24th Congressional District seat, which includes Syracuse, agree there’s no easy answer to the escalating violence in the Middle East.

Democratic Congressman Dan Maffei calls the murders of American reporters in Iraq international crimes and heinous acts. But he says figuring out how to stop the violence perpetrated by the Islamic militant group ISIS is not easy.

Jen Russo / Flickr

New York’s Sept. 9 primary highlights what one central New York election official sees as a weakness in state election law.

Onondaga County Democratic Election Commissioner Dustin Czarny says New York is one of only three states that uses what’s called fusion voting on Election Day, which allows people to run on multiple lines. Those votes are then combined, or fused, toward the grand total for a candidate.

Czarny says that leads to candidates' names in several places on the November ballot.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The images coming from Ferguson, Missouri, of police in riot gear facing protesters has some in Congress calling for changes to the way local police agencies are able to use cast off military equipment from the Department of Defense.

The two candidates for the 24th Congressional District seat, which covers all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the western half of Oswego County, have two different views of that.

Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei has already voted against the program that provides surplus military equipment to law enforcement agencies.

Thomas Altfather Good / via Flickr

Many teachers and educators have had a fractious relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his four years in office over a number of issues, including school funding, the Common Core curriculum; and teacher evaluations.

It’s no surprise then that many are throwing their support behind one of Cuomo's opponents in the September primary.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

John Cahill, the Republican candidate for New York state attorney general was in Syracuse Thursday to call on current Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to discuss his role in the now-defunct Moreland Act Commission and to return contributions he received from people and groups that were subpoenaed by the commission.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

New York state gubernatorial hopeful Zephyr Teachout wants the Time Warner-Comcast merger to be on the mind of Democratic primary voters when they go to the polls next month.

Teachout, the upstart Democratic candidate appealing to the more liberal wing of the party, was in Syracuse Thursday in the midst of a whistlestop campaign tour and accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of being subservient to the two cable giants because they’ve contributed heavily to his campaign.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Republican congressional candidate John Katko says he has no regrets about legally obtaining a gun to use for protection while he was a federal prosecutor in Syracuse.

He accuses political opponents of rehashing a 14-year-old story about  the theft of that gun, and its use in a robbery that ended with the shooting death of two men in Syracuse.

“Despite all the threats I’ve been through over 20 years, I still stuck with it, and went after the worst criminals, the most violence criminals in El Paso, in Puerto Rico and here in Syracuse," Katko said.

Zephyr Teachout is mounting a spirited challenge to Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign, running against the incumbent governor in this September’s Democratic Primary.  So far the governor has refused to debate her, but in this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Teachout sits down with host Grant Reeher to discuss political reform, state policy, her chances in September and possibly November, and even her curious name.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is non-committal about whether he’ll debate his Democratic and Republican opponents in the fall elections.

Cuomo, who spoke after an early morning stop at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, would not say whether he’ll debate Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino, or Democratic primary opponent Zephyr Teachout.

“I’ll leave that to the campaigns to talk through,” Cuomo said.

The governor was asked what he meant by the statement.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The Republican challenger in the race for New York attorney general has begun airing TV ads, and is making an issue of incumbent Eric Schneiderman’s role in a controversial ethics commission.

John Cahill, the Republican candidate for attorney general, has made several stops around the state in recent days, focusing on the controversial Moreland Act Commission on corruption.

Cahill says there are unanswered questions about how deeply involved current Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was with the commission. The commissions’s actions are now under federal investigation.

NYS Democratic Party

Aaron Woolf, the Democratic candidate in the North Country's 21st Congressional District, released his first television ad today.

Woolf, a documentary filmmaker, is running against Republican Elise Stefanik and Green Party candidate Matt Funicello to replace retiring Democratic Congressman Bill Owens. Woolf's television commercial says that if elected, he would be willing to work with Republicans to get legislation passed.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo/Flickr

Election Day is less than three months away, and despite a recent scandal that gained national media attention, Gov. Andrew Cuomo still is leading the race. That's according to the latest Siena college poll. WRVO's Catherine Loper spoke with pollster Steven Greenberg, who explained why. 

Catherine Loper: What are the main findings in this latest Siena poll about the governor’s race?

Michael Johnson / Flickr

An attempt by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's supporters to get his Democratic primary opponent, Zephyr Teachout, off of next month's ballot has been thwarted.

Teachout has been declared eligible to run on the ballot next month. A Brooklyn judge issued the decision Monday afternoon, quashing arguments made by Cuomo supporters who say Teachout did not met New York's five-year residency requirement. They argued that she had a Vermont driver's license until this spring and spent the majority of her time there.

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