Politics

6:25am

Thu July 3, 2014
Politics

Katko calls out Maffei on gas and energy policies

John Katko says the middle class is getting squeezed by high gas prices.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

As central New Yorkers hop in their cars to head off for the holiday weekend, the 24th Congressional District race is focusing on gas prices and energy policy.

The Republican candidate in the race, former federal prosecutor John Katko, is calling on incumbent Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei to say no to what Katko calls a growing effort in Washington to raise the federal gas tax.

He says central New Yorkers just can’t afford it.

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6:38am

Wed July 2, 2014
Politics

North Country baker turned Green Party candidate "angry in a nice way"

Matt Funiciello is a long-time business owner and founder of the Rock Hill Bakehouse in Glens Falls.
Funiciello Campaign

It's just over four months before the November election and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello is making his first campaign stops around the 21st Congressional District.

Funiciello says he's running to win the North Country's House of Representative seat, hoping to follow in the footsteps of other maverick members of Congress.

A long-time business-owner and founder of the Rock Hill Bakehouse in Glens Falls, Funiciello says he hopes to peel away disgruntled voters who in the past might have backed Republican or Democratic candidates.

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5:34am

Mon June 30, 2014
Politics

GOP senators say Democrats will neglect upstate

Senate Republicans have a new strategy in what’s shaping up to be an election battle for control of the New York state Senate. They say now that a group of breakaway Democrats is abandoning them and rejoining the rest of the Democrats, the Senate will be dominated by New York City liberals who won’t care about upstate and Long Island.

The five-member Independent Democratic Conference  announced it would break its nearly two-year-old  alliance in ruling the Senate with the Republicans, and plans to join the Democrats in a coalition government after the November elections.

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6:23am

Fri June 27, 2014
Politics

DeFrancisco says upstate New York will suffer, following IDC decision

Durrie Bouscaren WRVO File

Upstate will be the big loser if a new power change in the state Senate goes through, according to one high ranking state Senate Republican.

Syracuse-area state Sen. John DeFrancisco says if history tells us anything, it’s that upstate New York doesn’t fare well when downstate Democrats control all branches of government in New York state.

"Upstate will be shafted, to put it in the vernacular, if New York City is running everything again," DeFrancisco said.

He says voters need to know how upstate will be affected by the power shift.

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3:49pm

Thu June 26, 2014
Politics

Kessner likely to drop challenge to Senator Valesky

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Jean Kessner has gotten her wish and will likely drop her challenge of state Sen. Dave Valesky in Democratic Party primary.

Kessner, a Democrat herself and Syracuse Common Councilor, was circulating petitions to challenge Valesky (D-Oneida), unless he rejoined the mainstream Democrats in the state Senate.

Valesky has been a member of the Independent Democratic Caucus, which controls the Senate along with the minority Republicans, since 2011.

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7:03am

Thu June 26, 2014
Politics

Schumer pushing legislation to increase political donation transparency

Sen. Charles Schumer. (File photo)
Ellen Abbott WRVO

With election season here, escaping the volley of political ads that are the hallmark of political campaigns will only get harder. In response, New York Democrat Charles Schumer is helping lead a fight in the Senate to force outside groups funding those ads to disclose their donors.

The Citizens United Supreme Court decision dismantled the campaign finance reform known as the McCain-Feingold Act. Wealthy donors, unions and corporations can now dump millions of dollars into political campaigns, seemingly in secret.

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3:39pm

Wed June 25, 2014
Politics

Kessner continues to pursue run against Valesky because of IDC alignment

Jean Kessner (far left), looks on as Assemblyman Sam Roberts discusses his support for her possible run against Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida)
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Syracuse Common Councilor Jean Kessner continues collecting petition signatures for a possible Democratic primary run for the state Senate seat held by Dave Valesky (D-Oneida). On Tuesday, Kessner supporters rallied in front of the State Office Building in Syracuse.

Kessner says she only wants to run if Valesky stays aligned with the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of breakaway Democrats that, along with Republicans, control the state Senate.  

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1:31am

Wed June 25, 2014
Politics

Hanna defeats Tenney in GOP primary for 22nd District

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) won a Republican Party primary Tuesday for New York's 22nd Congressional District.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Rep. Richard Hanna is all but guaranteed a third term in the House of Representatives after he beat back a challenge from the political right in Tuesday's Republican Party primary.

Hanna, R-Barneveld, came out on top in a challenge from the more conservative Claudia Tenney, a state assemblywoman. She said Hanna was too moderate.

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12:52am

Wed June 25, 2014
Politics

Stefanik wins GOP 21st Congressional District primary

Republican Elise Stefanik declares victory in Glens Falls Tuesday night, with her family and GOP county leaders behind her.
Brian Mann NCPR

After entering the race as a complete unknown last year, Elise Stefanik won the Republican Party primary in New York's 21st Congressional District Tuesday night by a commanding margin over Matt Doheny.

Stefanik, a 29-year-old political analyst, overcame non-existent name recognition, opposition from some senior GOP leaders, and claims that she was a "carpetbagger" from outside the North Country district.

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10:47pm

Tue June 24, 2014
Politics

Primary results: Stefanik victorious in 21st Congressional District; Hanna wins in 22nd

11:05 pm: Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) declares victory over Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney in Republican primary in 22nd Congressional District. There is no Democrat running in the general election in November.

10:38 pm: Republican candidate Matt Doheny concedes to Elise Stefanik in the race to be the party's nominee for the 21st Congressional District in November.

The 21st district covers the North Country and is currently represented by Rep. Bill Owens (D), who announced his retirement earlier this year.

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6:16am

Tue June 24, 2014
Politics

Doheny, Stefanik take similar platforms to North Country voters

Republicans Elise Stefanik and Matt Doheny during a recent debate on WWNY in Watertown
WWNY-TV

For the past few months, North Country voters have heard a lot about the two Republican candidates running to represent the party in this fall's election for New York's 21st Congressional District. But the differences between Elise Stefanik and Matt Doheny aren't really that vast.

Both Stefanik and Doheny oppose the Affordable Care Act and want better care for military veterans. But while their national policies tow the Republican line, they have sparred some on the local level. For example, the two disagree on the I-98 "Rooftop Highway" project.

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7:46am

Wed June 18, 2014
Politics

Hanna invites Long Island congressman to upstate New York

Republican Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) says that while he's moderate, he's willing to listen and talk to more conservative politicians and citizens. Hanna is being challenged in a primary in New York's 22nd Congressional District, which represents an area from Binghamton to Utica, and westward to Pulaski.

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, who has tea party support, is hoping to unseat him, saying he's not conservative enough. But Hanna says he's always willing to listen, even if he doesn't always agree.

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2:18pm

Fri June 13, 2014
Politics

Maffei still concerned over handling of Bergdahl release

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse)
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) is still concerned over how the White House handled the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan, saying some things were done right, but others wrong.

Bergdahl was freed from five years of imprisonment under the Taliban in Afghanistan about two weeks ago. In exchange, five Taliban prisoners in American custody were released. 

Bergdahl returned to the United States early Friday morning to an Army medical center in San Antonio, Texas, after receiving treatment at a military medical facility in Germany. 

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6:14am

Fri June 13, 2014
Politics

Doheny, Stefanik debate local and national issues

Elise Stefanik and Matt Doheny during a debate on WWNY.
WWNY-TV

The two candidates vying for the Republican Party's nod in the 21st Congressional District showed a lot of similarities during an hour-long primary debate held Thursday in Watertown. The debate between Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik was broadcast on WWNY in Watertown and North Country Public Radio and public television.

Both candidates want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and repair the medical care system for veterans.

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3:19pm

Thu June 12, 2014
Politics

Cuomo says medical marijuana bill isn't dead yet

Brett Levin Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today that there's still a chance the state legislature could pass a medical marijuana bill that he would sign.

Only five days remain in this year's session, and the governor had previously said that he it was unlikely any major issues would pass by then. But in an interview today with the public radio show "Capitol Pressroom," Cuomo declared that medical marijuana legislation is not dead.

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7:05am

Wed June 11, 2014
Politics

'Erin's Law' faces hurdles to passing in New York state

Erin Merryn is pushing for sexual abuse education in schools, but is facing opposition in New York.
Office of Dave Valesky

For the third year in a row, the New York State Senate passed "Erin's Law," a bill requiring schools to teach age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness to children in pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Erin Merryn, a victim of sexual assault, has come up against some hurdles in her campaign to make it a law in New York state.

When Merryn was six years old she was sexually abused by a neighbor. When she was eleven she was sexually abused again by a cousin for two years. She stayed silent for years.

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10:31am

Fri June 6, 2014
Politics

Maffei withholding judgment on Bergdahl prisoner swap

Rep. Dan Maffei, D-Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO file photo

Rep. Dan Maffei is taking a wait-and-see approach on his opinion over the release of U.S. Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan.

Bergdahl's freedom was negotiated in exchange for five suspected terrorists in American custody. It's drawn sharp criticism from members of Congress, particularly over their lack of prior knowledge. There are also questions over the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture and nearly five year detainment.

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6:44am

Fri June 6, 2014
Politics

Valesky says Senate leadership coalition is successful in Albany

Dave Valesky is one of members in the state Senate's Independent Democratic Conference.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Democrats in New York state are vowing to take control of the Senate from the coalition leading it now, made up of Republicans and five breakaway Democrats.

Oneida’s Sen. Dave Valesky, a founding member of the Independent Democratic Conference, says he’s staying committed to the power sharing structure, even as some Democrats are calling on him to leave it.

Many members in the more progressive wing of the Democratic party, like Blue Carreker, campaign manager of Citizen Action of New York, wants Valesky to caucus with fellow Democrats.

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3:53pm

Thu June 5, 2014
Politics

As Primary Day approaches, Tenney continues calls for debate

MemphisCVB Flickr

There are less than three weeks to go until primary day, and Claudia Tenney, who is running for Congress in a Republican primary against 22nd Congressional District Republican Richard Hanna, continues to push for a debate with her opponent.

In Vestal and Clinton Wednesday afternoon, Tenney, who currently serves as a state assemblywoman, says she has challenged Hanna to several debates in recent weeks throughout the district, which stretches from the Mohawk Valley to Pulaski and from Binghamton to Utica.

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4:22pm

Wed June 4, 2014
Politics

Doheny says attack ad launched againgst him crosses a line

The primary race between Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik to represent the North Country's 21st Congressional District continues to draw national attention. On Tuesday, GOP Super PAC American Crossroads joined the fray by running a television ad against Doheny in Albany, Watertown and Plattsburgh, which attacks the Watertown businessman's political and personal record.

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3:36pm

Wed June 4, 2014
Politics

Howie Hawkins says Green Party has a shot at victory

Howie Hawkins, from Syracuse, is running for governor again as a Green Party candidate.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Green Party politician Howie Hawkins says a third party candidate has a chance to win the governorship.

The left-leaning Working Families Party has endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Democrat running for reelection, but some members of the party weren’t happy with the choice.

Hawkins, a perennial progressive candidate for office, sees that as an opportunity.

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7:08am

Mon June 2, 2014
Politics

Pelosi kicks off bus tour on women's issues in Seneca Falls

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on a stop in Albany during her bus tour on women's issues.
Dave Lucas WAMC

House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi kicked off a multi-state bus tour in upstate New York in an appeal to women to vote for Democrats in November's election.

Pelosi was joined by various New York Democratic Congresswomen and female candidates for the house of representatives. The bus tour started Sunday in Seneca Falls, where Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-Rochester) and the Democrat candidate from the 23rd district in the Finger Lakes area, Martha Robertson, joined the minority leader.

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6:14am

Mon June 2, 2014
Politics

Cuomo happy to gain Working Families Party endorsement

Zack Seward WXXI

Gov. Andrew Cuomo won the endorsement of the state’s left-leaning Working Families Party in a messy convention vote that stretched to nearly midnight on Saturday night.

Some members of the party have been upset because they believe the governor has not been progressive enough and they're unhappy with Cuomo's support for business-friendly tax cuts and charter schools.

Cuomo did not attend the contentious meeting, but he did send a pre-produced video, and some of the party members booed when he later phoned in some comments.

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5:42am

Mon May 26, 2014
Politics

Cuomo quietly accepts Independence Party endorsement

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has quietly accepted the endorsement of the state’s Independence Party, after the party met with no public notice in Albany on Friday morning.

The Democrat governor did not attend the brief Independence Party meeting in Albany, but speaking in Buffalo later, acknowledged the endorsement.

“I’ve accepted the endorsement and I’ll be running on their line,” Cuomo said. “I’m pleased with their endorsement.”

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3:43pm

Thu May 15, 2014
Politics

Astorino claims Cuomo aide made him sit in the back during president's speech

GOP nominee for governor Rob Astorino speaks to reporters on the first night of the Republican convention in Westchester
Karen DeWitt/WRVO News

The Republican candidate for governor, Rob Astorino, claims an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo made him sit in the back during President Barack Obama’s visit to New York City's Tappan Zee Bridge Wednesday, a charge Cuomo’s spokesman denies.

President Obama spoke near the bridge in Westchester County on the opening day of the state Republican Party convention, held just a few miles away nearby.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who is also the GOP nominee for governor, attended the event, along with his opponent, incumbent Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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3:25pm

Thu May 15, 2014
Politics

DiNapoli says he's doing more than other comptrollers to fight graft

New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli at a rally with the SEIU union in Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York's top fiscal watchdog says he has been directly involved in fighting political corruption in the state. His opponent for state comptroller in November's election says otherwise.

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6:17am

Wed May 14, 2014
Politics

GOP lieutenant governor choice is SAFE Act opponent

Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss
Chemung County

GOP candidate for governor Rob Astorino says his choice for a lieutenant governor running mate will be Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss, an avid opponent of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s gun control laws.

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5:56am

Wed May 14, 2014
Politics

Astorino the underdog in the governor's race

Ellen Abbott WRVO file photo

Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, faces a steep challenge. He’s 30 points behind the well-known incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the polls, and has only a fraction of Cuomo’s record $33 million campaign war chest.  

Astorino is a Republican in a state where Democrats now dominate and independents, not registered in either major party, are gaining ground. But the 47-year-old married father of three says he’s used to being a long shot.

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8:53am

Tue May 13, 2014
Politics

Democratic National Committee chairwoman stumps for Dan Maffei

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO

One of the Democratic Party’s top women visited Syracuse to stump for Rep. Dan Maffei, who is running for re-election to Congress.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat, is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She spoke a Laci’s Tapas Bar Monday, a women-owned restaurant in the city's Hawley Green neighborhood.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, Common Councilor Helen Hudson, and former Palmyra Mayor Vicky Daly all showered their praise as well.

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6:26am

Tue May 13, 2014
Politics

Major parties head to NYC suburbs for state conventions

The state’s Republican and Democratic Party conventions will be held over the next couple weeks. Both major parties have chosen to hold them in locations in the New York City suburbs.

The Republicans go first. They are meeting in Rye Brook in Westchester County May 14.  It makes sense for the GOP to hold their convention in a New York City suburb. There is still a small bastion of registered Republicans, and the Republican nominee for governor will be Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.  

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