Andrew Cuomo

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The scandal over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs has led to more scrutiny of whether the projects are the best way to improve the state’s economy, and some watchdog groups are asking questions.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said much of the responsibility for the alleged corruption scandal touching his administration is on the state university system, specifically SUNY Polytechnic Institute, which oversaw many of the contracts.

But reform groups say the governor is not telling the whole story.

Cuomo has made a few public appearances since U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara issued criminal complaints against nine people, including several close to Cuomo and two major upstate real estate developers.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is distancing himself from the corruption scandal within his administration and placing the blame on others. But some say Cuomo might be better off making some changes instead.

Cuomo has made a number of public appearances across the state, continuing to promote economic development efforts, just as he did before U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara charged several of Cuomo’s former close associates and two major real estate developers with bribery and fraud in connection with the Buffalo Billion and other projects.

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It’s looking less likely that state lawmakers will be getting a long-awaited pay raise next year. A commission designed to take politics out of the issue is now coming under political pressure to not grant the salary increase.

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It’s been a week since a federal corruption investigation exploded in New York state, bringing fraud and bribery and charges against developers and state officials for allegedly running a pay-to-play scheme involving upstate economic development projects.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo admits it’s been an emotional time for him personally because one of the accused, Joseph Percoco, is a former top aide and a longtime Cuomo family friend.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making some changes to prevent any future bid-rigging in some of his major economic development projects. But critics on both the left and the right say Cuomo is failing to address the bigger picture — whether the $8.6 billion worth of programs are an effective use of public money.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

One top Republican New York state lawmaker doesn’t think there is any kind of new law that will end the public corruption in Albany.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse), who is deputy Senate majority leader, says he hears all the time from New Yorkers who say state laws should be changed to stop public corruption in Albany. But DeFrancisco notes that recent cases of corruption all involved elected officials or aides breaking the current laws.

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The criminal charges against nine of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s associates is the latest incident in a wave of corruption that has enveloped the state Capitol for the past several years.

When Cuomo first became governor in 2011, he promised to do something about it. So far, he has not been particularly successful.

Cuomo, in his inaugural speech as governor on Jan. 1, 2011, promised that corruption at the Capitol would end and public trust would be restored during his tenure in office.

NYS OPWDD

A class action lawsuit was filed in Buffalo against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the acting commissioner of the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). The litigation seeks to end what is considered a "moratorium" on more residential housing for thousands of adults.

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A group of state lawmakers is teaming up with environmental groups to ask Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration to ban the use of wastewater from hydrofracking and other oil and gas extraction from being spread on public roadways.

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On a state primary day, and during a hotly contested presidential campaign, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday issued a somewhat nonpartisan message to New Yorkers: Vote — or don’t complain about the results.

Cuomo did not address the latest controversies surrounding Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, nor did he advocate for more Democrats in the state Senate, as some Democrats have urged him to do.

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The New York State Fair broke attendance records this year, in the wake of a $50 million state-funded renovation of the Syracuse-area fairgrounds. Attendance for the 12-day fair was 1,117,630, according to fair officials -- up 23 percent over last year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state officials literally smashed the attendance record to the New York State Fair, taking an ice pick to a sculpture that had the former attendance records engraved on it.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said there is no political agenda behind a series of audits critical of some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs. The democrat said the auditors in his department are simply calling shots as they see them.

governorandrewcuomo / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo believes legislation signed last week meant to tighten campaign finance rules is a step towards fighting the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision, which has allowed political spending by groups like corporations and unions to grow dramatically. The new legislation includes restrictions on independent group expenditures, which Cuomo says cuts to the core of who’s giving money to what candidate.

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After cutting the ribbon yesterday to open this year’s edition of the New York State Fair, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the $50 million renovations that have gone into the New York State Fair this year is just the beginning. The Democrat says he will be asking state lawmakers to help with more changes at the more than century old fairgrounds.

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IndyCar racing will have a home at Watkins Glen International at least for the next two years. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a deal to return the open car racing to the famed speedway while visiting the New York State Fair Thursday.

Track President Michael Printup says this is a landmark moment for the famed track.

"We now host every racing series in the country,” said Printup. “So it’s great to bring it back to the fans. It’s the pinnacle of racing. These are rockets on wheels.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

An ethics reform measure approved by the New York State Legislature at the end of the legislative session still hasn’t been signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. And some good-government groups say it shouldn’t.

During a year where both former leaders of the legislature were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for corruption after they abused their sources of outside income, Cuomo said he would seek to strictly limit lawmakers’ ability to earn extra pay.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated his positions on some major issues facing central New York while giving a speech in Syracuse on Thursday. Cuomo gave a positive outlook for upstate and double downed on his commitment to investing in the region.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not been getting along with other Democrats in the state this summer.

For some time, Cuomo has appeared to have a feud with the Democratic mayor of New York City, but in recent weeks, the governor has directed scathing comments toward state Assembly Democrats.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo had harsh words for the state’s comptroller, a fellow Democrat, over questions about the value of the state’s economic development programs.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has conducted audits raising questions about the value of some of the programs, saying there’s not enough documentation in some cases that New Yorkers are getting their money’s worth.

Cuomo, speaking Tuesday in Buffalo, struck back when asked about DiNapoli and others who suggest the programs should be redesigned.

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Tuesday's announcement that a new company has agreed to take over the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County -- and keep it running -- was cheered in central New York for the jobs and tax revenue it will keep in the region. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo says it is part of his goal for 50 percent of the state’s power to come from renewable energy by 2030.

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Nine months after Entergy said it would close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, the company announced it would be selling the financially struggling plant to Exelon instead. The sale saves more than 600 high-paying jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy.
 

The Mexico Middle School marching band played songs at a FitzPatrick rally with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday celebrating the announcement.

Exelon agrees to buy FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant

Aug 9, 2016
Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Exelon has agreed to assume ownership and management of operations of FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in Scriba, the company announced this morning. The statement came just prior to a scheduled rally in support of the plant, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to attend.

-JvL- / Flickr

A commission is considering granting as much as a 47 percent pay raise for state lawmakers, and the proposal is generating some backlash, including from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The idea of raising state lawmakers pay by nearly 50 percent comes at a time when dozens of senators and assembly members have been indicted, arrested, and jailed for corruption, including the two former legislative leaders, who are both facing prison time.

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A routine oversight hearing by the state Assembly turned testy when the state’s economic development czar endured over two hours of questions about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs, which are currently under federal investigation.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has adopted a 12-year plan to support the state's financially impaired nuclear power plants. The Clean Energy Standard (CES), a component of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's initiative to double the state's renewable energy providers and cut carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030, was approved unanimously at a meeting in Albany Monday.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The fate of upstate New York's nuclear power plants could be decided today. The state's Public Service Commission (PSC) will vote on a massive nuclear power subsidy program that several plant owners say they need to survive and what anti-nuclear forces call a wasteful investment in a dangerous power source.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo got his moment on the convention stage Thursday night before Hillary Clinton’s speech.

Cuomo delivered his speech before the prime time program began, around 7:30 p.m., and he started the speech by mentioning his father, and Mario Cuomo’s famous 1984 Tale of Two Cities speech at the San Francisco convention 32 years ago.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

New York State Senate Democrats hope to take leadership of their house away from Republicans in the 2016 elections — and many believe the candidates at the top of the ticket will help them do that.

The leader of the Senate Democrats, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, is at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to witness the historic nomination of the first female candidate for president in a major political party. She said she hopes to break some barriers of her own later this year by becoming the first woman, and female African-American, to be Senate majority leader.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it’s a “sign of respect” for New York state that he’s been asked to speak on the final evening of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

He said he plans to mention his father, Mario Cuomo, the former governor who gave the memorable “Tale of Two Cities” speech at the 1984 Democratic convention. Andrew Cuomo said it’s the first national convention that he’s attended without his father, who died on New Year’s Day 2015.

Cuomo said he plans to touch on the larger theme of the two conventions: fear versus hope.

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