Politics

4:55pm

Mon September 15, 2014
Politics

Gillibrand says she supports action against ISIS, wants reform in NFL

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Senate Democrats Flickr

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says she supports President Barack Obama's call for airstrikes in Syria. During a weekend appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation," Gillibrand said the United States needs to take action against the militant group known as ISIS in Syria, but the U.S. needs to make intelligent decisions about how to do that.

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9:51am

Fri September 12, 2014
Politics

Poll shows Republican Stefanik with 13 point lead in North Country congressional race

NCPR

A new poll in New York's North Country's Congressional race finds Republican Elise Stefanik leading Democrat Aaron Woolf 46 to 33 percent. Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello is favored by 10 percent of those polled.

The poll was conducted independent of the candidates by WWNY-TV 7 News in Watertown and Siena College. It has a four point margin of error.

The poll also finds North Country voters deeply dissatisfied with their state and federal leaders, with more than 10 percent of voters saying they're unsure how to vote.

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4:58am

Thu September 11, 2014
Politics

Green Party gubernatorial candidate says primary results could help his campaign

Howie Hawkins is running for governor this fall as a Green Party candidate.
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.

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9:54am

Wed September 10, 2014
Politics

Cuomo-Hochul win primary, but challengers get surprising number of votes

Tim Wu and Zephyr Teachout address supporters at Hudson Terrace in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan
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.

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6:42am

Tue September 9, 2014
Elections

On primary day, an argument for voting by mail

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.

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6:25am

Fri September 5, 2014
Politics

Maffei, Katko take sides in ISIS debate

Democratic Congressman Dan Maffei (left) and Republican John Katko (right) are running to represent the 24th Congressional District, which includes four counties, including Onondaga County.
Ryan Delaney/WRVO & 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.

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5:52am

Thu September 4, 2014
Politics

Upcoming gubernatorial primary could expose problems with fusion voting

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.

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6:50pm

Wed September 3, 2014
Politics

Schumer weighs in on ISIS, Russia situations

Sen. Charles Schumer walks with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner. (File photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says he believes President Barack Obama would get bipartisan support if he comes up with a strong plan to deal with the militant Islamic group ISIS, which has taken responsibility for beheading two American journalists.

While in Plattsburgh Wednesday, Schumer said the execution of the second journalist sent shockwaves around the world.

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5:57am

Wed September 3, 2014
Politics

Maffei, Katko discuss the role of military surplus program

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse), while visiting the New York State Fair in Syracuse
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.

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2:56pm

Tue September 2, 2014
Politics

Educators show Teachout support, NYSUT doesn't endorse Cuomo

Zephyr Teachout is running for the Democratic nomination in this fall's gubernatorial race.
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.

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7:43am

Mon September 1, 2014
Politics

Cahill calls on Schneiderman to return contributions tied to Moreland probe

John Cahill says Attorney General Eric Schneiderman should return some of the contributions given to himby donors who were targeted by the Moreland Comission's subpoenas.
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.

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6:43am

Fri August 29, 2014
Politics

Teachout blasts Time Warner-Comcast merger, says she would stop it if elected

Zephyr Teachout says the Time Warner-Comcast merger would result in higher monthly bills for users.
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.

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6:42am

Fri August 29, 2014
Politics

Katko addresses 14-year-old gun theft that resulted in double homicide

John Katko, republican candidate for New York's 24th Congressional district seat, at the New York State Fair on Thursday
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.

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11:24am

Tue August 26, 2014
Politics

Syracuse Common Council considers Ban the Box legislation

Syracuse lawmakers are making more changes to the proposed Ban the Box legislation. A scheduled vote has been put off until after another committee meeting, to discuss the latest iteration of the civil rights legislation.

Ban the Box legislation is meant to get rid of the check box on a hiring application that asks if applicants have a criminal history. For Brian Johnson of Syracuse, that box is keeping him from getting a job, even though it’s been seven years since his encounter with the law.

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8:10am

Fri August 22, 2014
Politics

Cuomo won't say whether he'll debate Teachout, Astorino

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino visits the New York State Fair in Syracuse Thursday.
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.

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5:35am

Fri August 22, 2014
Politics

Challenger in New York's attorney general race focuses on corruption commission

John Cahill says Attorney General Eric Schneiderman can discuss some aspects of the now defunct Moreland Commission. (file photo)
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.

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5:30am

Thu August 21, 2014
Politics

Poll shows Cuomo still popular, but shows weakness on corruption issue

Diana Robinson Flickr

A Quinnipiac University poll shows the race for governor is virtually unchanged since the spring, with incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo far ahead of his Republican and Democratic challengers. 

The favorable ratings for Cuomo come after weeks of negative news stories about the governor’s alleged interference in an ethics panel and an ongoing federal investigation.

The Quinnipiac poll is the third in recent weeks that show the governor’s race in New York remains stagnant, with Cuomo ahead of Republican challenger Rob Astorino by nearly 25 percentage points.

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4:13pm

Wed August 20, 2014
Politics

Maffei says Katko crossed the line by talking about Democrat's wife, child

Dan Maffei and his wife, Abby, hold hands while walking to where Maffei held his press conference Wednesday.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The issue of central New York Congressman Dan Maffei's connections to Washington, D.C. has once again come up as a campaign issue. But it's the mention of his wife and newborn daughter that has the Democrat steaming.

Maffei called a news conference Wednesday, telling reporters that Republican candidate John Katko crossed the line when mentioning the fact that Maffei’s wife works in Washington, D.C, and his baby was born in a Washington, D.C. area hospital earlier this summer

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5:40pm

Mon August 18, 2014
Politics

Utica councilman calls for public safety review

At least one member of Utica's Common Council is calling for the city's public safety commissioner to perform a top-down review of the city's safety policies, saying a rise in gun crime and the heroic actions of two residents are a call for change.

Councilman Joe Marino presented his request during a meeting last week and is calling on Mayor Robert Palmieri, who also serves as the city's public safety commissioner, to provide the council with a full review.

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8:11am

Wed August 13, 2014
Politics

GOP candidates file for new "Stop Common Core" ballot line

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the GOP candidate for governor.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Republican candidate for governor and other state-wide conservative candidates have submitted their names for a new “Stop Common Core” party ballot line.

The campaign of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino says they collected about four-times as many signatures as the 15,000 needed to apply to create a new ballot line.

Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci, who is running for state comptroller as a Republican, is also applying for the line. He says they hope to win votes on the line from liberals and conservatives.

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4:26pm

Tue August 12, 2014
Politics

North Country Democratic congressional candidate launches first TV ad

Aaron Woolf (file photo)
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.

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10:24am

Tue August 12, 2014
Politics

Cuomo's poll numbers still high, despite Moreland Commission controversy

Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a recent visit to Syracuse (file photo)
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?

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5:06pm

Mon August 11, 2014
Politics

Judge rules Teachout eligible to run in Democratic primary against Cuomo

Zephyr Teachout.
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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6:41am

Thu August 7, 2014
Politics

Katko wins a disputed labor endorsement

John Katko, the Republican candidate for New York's 24th Congressional District.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Republican candidate for the Syracuse-area's congressional seat has won the endorsement of one labor union leader, but other area labor unions are saying they're still strongly behind the Democrat in the race.

Tim Hogan, the former president of the now dissolved Teamsters 182 says he endorsed long-time friend John Katko's effort to unseat Rep. Dan Maffei back in April, before his union chapter merged with a Teamsters chapter based in Albany.

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6:39am

Thu August 7, 2014
Politics

State's sole participant in public campaign finance program admits it's a challenge

Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci is running for the state comptroller position against Democratic incumbent Tom DiNapoli. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The only statewide candidate participating in the pilot public campaign finance program says it’s been slow going. But Republican comptroller candidate Bob Antonacci expects to collect enough individual donors to qualify for the state's matching funds.

Antonacci has to convince 2,000 people to donate small amounts of money to his campaign by September 10, and raise $200,000 from them, in order to qualify for a grant that will give him six times the amount of money he raises by that date.

“It has been tedious at times,” Antonacci admits. “It’s been a lot of work.”

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4:27pm

Fri August 1, 2014
Politics

Proposed changes to Cooperstown accommodation law target nuisance B&Bs

Ken Curtis Flickr

The village of Cooperstown is floating the idea of changing its tourism accommodation law, targeting nine businesses that it says were grandfathered into the village's current rule.

Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz says the law requires people renting out their homes to visitors to stay on site so that the property is monitored. But the nine businesses don't have to follow the law.

Recently, Katz says disturbances at several of those non-conforming businesses have caused year-round residents to complain.

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5:35am

Wed July 30, 2014
Politics

Cuomo's GOP challenger gains from ethics commission controversy

GOP candidate Rob Astorino discusses his campaign plans during an Albany press conference.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

The little known and underfunded Republican challenger for New York governor has been getting a boost from incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s troubles over alleged interference in an ethics panel. Rob Astorino has been doing his best to keep the controversy, first reported in an in-depth story in the New York Times, alive.

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6:45am

Tue July 29, 2014
Politics

Oswego, Oneida counties receive additional family court judges

Brian Turner Flickr

Twenty-five family court judges will be added statewide by the end of 2015 to help reduce a backlog of cases and streamline the family court process. It's the first major addition of judges in New York in more than three decades.

Last year, there were more than 7,200 family court petitions filed in Oswego County, resulting in nearly 3,500 cases that needed to be handled by a judge. That equates to about 20 to 40 cases each day that are handled by either the county's elected family court judge, or another county judge as needed.

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3:23pm

Mon July 28, 2014
Politics

Astorino likens Cuomo to mob boss over Moreland Commission

Rob Astorino, the Republican nominee for governor, holds a can of Lysol, saying Albany needs to disinfected.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Rob Astorino is working to keep heat on Gov. Andrew Cuomo over reporting the governor interfered with an Albany ethics panel.

Astorino, the Republican candidate for governor, made several stops across upstate New York Monday, as Cuomo made his first public comments since The New York Times reported Cuomo and his office tried to influence an independent commission set up by the governor to investigate corruption.

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1:45pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Politics

Green Party gubernatorial candidate wants to debate Cuomo, Astorino

Howie Hawkins speaks to the press in front of the Jerry's Rescue statue in downtown Syracuse.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor, called for a series of debates with Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo and  Republican candidate Rob Astorino on a range of issues Wednesday, including job creation. Hawkins was critical of both Republican and Democratic economic policies.

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