Ann Marie Buerkle

Last week, Democratic candidate Dan Maffei released the first television commercial in the highly contested 24th Congressional district. Now, the second ad for that race has come out, and it takes a decidedly different tone.

High speed rail has become a political issue across the country, including in upstate New York. Democratic Congressional hopeful Dan Maffei says the issue draws a distinction between him and his opponent in the race for the 24th Congressional district.

Two of the region's most hotly contested political races have taken to the airwaves with their first television commercials.

Representative Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) introduced legislation in Congress this week that puts the spotlight on autoimmune diseases. The Syracuse area congresswoman has a personal reason for wanting to boost awareness of these illnesses that range from multiple sclerosis to rheumatoid arthritis.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

While local governments, the state of New York, and the federal government continue to work to make the sale and possession of designer drugs like bath salts illegal, there's one politician who says this is the wrong way to deal with the crisis. The 24th congressional district Green Party candidate predicts the moves will all backfire.

There is a deadline looming in Washington, D.C. that many politicians are worried could have an effect on the economy -- including some local politicians who are worried it might hurt upstate New York in particular.  

Central New York Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle sponsored a bill in the House of Representatives that she hopes will close a tax loophole that benefits federal employees. The bill would make sure that retirement plans of federal workers are not taxed differently than those of private sector employees.  

The debate over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is very much an issue in the race for the 24th Congressional district.   Democrat Dan Maffei is criticizing incumbent Ann Marie Buerkle's support for keeping the tax cuts in place for everyone.

Republican Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle is going into the November election with Onondaga County veterans on her side.  

Congress took up more than one controversial measure this week before it goes on August recess today. One is the debate over extending the Bush-era tax rates. WRVO's Catherine Loper spoke with central New York Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle about the controversial policy.

Democrat Dan Maffei is using the 47th anniversary of Medicare to emphasize his support for the program that provides medical care for older Americans. 

Weekly political addresses feature local congresswoman

Jul 7, 2012

Every week, President Barack Obama and a designated Republican office-holder deliver a weekly address to the American public.

This week, central New York Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle was chosen to give the Republican's address.

The debate over Operation Fast and Furious is squeezing its way into the race for Congress in the new 24th Congressional District in central New York.

Buerkle town hall

Jul 2, 2012
Ellen Abbott / WRVO

A bit of bickering broke out among citizens at Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle's town hall meeting in DeWitt Monday. But it wasn't even the big issues that caused disagreement.

The Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act of course comes in an election year, and politicians around the country are trying to read the tea leaves about the political fallout.

After the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act, Republicans and Democrats alike have been trying to figure how to move forward in the fight over health care policy, including this regions's members of Congress.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Syracuse area Republican Ann Marie Buerkle is taking a leading role in a new caucus in the House of Representatives that focuses on women.

Buerkle will be a vice chair of the Women's Policy Committee, made up of female Republican representatives in the House.

Ryan Delane / WRVO file photo

The lawn signs started popping up a few weeks ago, but Dan Maffei didn't officially launch his campaign for Congress until this weekend.

In fact, Maffei said, the signs are from his previous campaigns. He hasn't printed the new ones yet.

Maffei met with several dozen supporters at his newly opened campaign headquarters on East Washington Street in downtown Syracuse Saturday afternoon.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

After opening with acknowledgement of the veterans present and the work she's done for them, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-Onondaga Hill) turned her focus to a flyer that was being distributed outside.

Buerkle held her 17th town hall since taking office in Cicero Friday morning. The flyer being handed out by the political advocacy group Citizens Action of New York discussed her "dangerous record" on social security and Medicare.

Buerkle told the crowd of mostly senior citizens that it wasn't true.

Buerkle on energy costs: "Let the free market work"

Apr 10, 2012
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-Onondaga Hill) wants the federal government to take a more hands-off approach when it comes to energy costs.

The congresswoman hosted about two-dozen central New York business leaders Tuesday morning at Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub in Syracuse.

Buerkle's main contention: The federal government should stop playing venture capitalist for startup energy companies. Deregulation is the best way to help small companies innovate and grow, Buerkle said.

"That's very different than saying, 'Here's money from the government. We're going to prop you up,' " said Buerkle. "That never works ... You've got to let the free market work."

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

U.S. Representative Ann Marie Buerkle will run for a second term in congress, but the day she made that official was marked with protest.

Staffers for the representative got in a brief scuffle with demonstrators at the event to kick-off the re-election campaign.

It became the buzz inside her christened campaign office on Erie Boulevard in Syracuse as dozens of supporters awaited her arrival Saturday afternoon.

It's an entirely political discussion on this week's Campbell Conversations, as Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle and political consultant Scott Armstrong consider the Republican presidential field in light of the Iowa Caucus results.  Among the questions they consider are:  What surprised them?  Is the party dangerously fractured as it heads toward the general election?  What could unite it?  Are the norms of the Republican Party changing in important ways?  Is Romney still the nominee apparent?  And what are the calculations about a vice presidential candidate at this point?

2011 has not been a good year for Congress. Just last week, the House narrowly passed an extension on a payroll tax cut. Earlier this year, a government shutdown was avoided after a battle over the debt ceiling. 

Most people do not have a positive view of Congress. A recent Gallup Poll shows Congress with just an 11% approval rating.

As 2011 comes to a close, WRVO spoke with central and northern New York's Congressional representatives.