Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A Siena College poll this week shows that most New Yorkers don't know about the Moreland Commission, a panel of district attorneys and law enforcement officials investigating public corruption in Albany.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the Moreland Commission, says it doesn't bother him that many New Yorkers are unaware of the group's probes into public corruption. But he expects that'll change December 1, when the Moreland Commission releases it's report.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse’s Green Party office seekers want to see state aid return to historic levels and a new scaled local income tax on city residents and those that work in it.

Mayoral candidate Kevin Bott and Common Council hopeful Howie Hawkins say that will help solve the city’s fiscal problems.

Low wage earners would pay less than a percent on their income and it would work up to a few percentage points for higher earners, they propose.

Joanna Richards

Most people have heard of “navigators” for the new health insurance exchanges. They're the trained, impartial guides funded by the federal government to help people make more informed choices as they shop for policies. And then there are private insurance brokers...there's been less talk about it, but they, too, can help consumers sign up for plans.

On the exchanges' first days, both kinds of guides were busy on the front lines of this major policy shift.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Hillary Clinton seamlessly weaved local politics and foreign affairs in a speech to a packed house at Hamilton College Friday evening.

The former first lady, U.S. senator, presidential candidate and secretary of state had plenty of experience to dip into as she talked about current issues facing the nation like the government shutdown and U.S. foreign policy in Asia.

About 6,000 people packed into the field house at the small college, some sporting old campaign buttons and signs. Applause was boisterous anytime she mentioned youth or shared a local story.

Joanna Richards

Farmers and agricultural industry leaders in the North Country had the ears of state lawmakers yesterday in Watertown. The forum, hosted by State Senator Patty Ritchie, was one of 10 being held throughout the state on the topic of regulatory reform in a variety of industries.

Watertown meets primary candidates for City Council

Sep 6, 2013
Joanna Richards

Watertown is holding a primary election next Tuesday for two seats on the City Council. The election is non-partisan, so all six candidates are running for the chance to move on to the general election in November. A Meet-the-Candidates event was held Thursday at the city's Italian-American Civic Association.


The candidates weighed in on issues ranging from economic development, to fluoride in the water supply, to making Watertown a more welcoming place for dogs during the two-hour question-and-answer session. Several dozen people came to listen.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse Common Councilor Pat Hogan unveiled the final platform of his campaign challenge to unseat Mayor Stephanie Miner on Monday with his neighborhood agenda.

The Democratic challenger says he wants to put a new focus on the city’s diverse neighborhoods by promoting local businesses and supporting neighborhood associations.

Hogan is challenging current mayor Miner as well as Alfonso Davis in a party primary.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

As the sun heated up the parking lot outside Henninger High School this morning, umbrellas and other makeshift sources of shade began to replace pillows and blankets.

Some people had been in line since 7 p.m. Monday, shortly after details of President Barack Obama's visit to Syracuse were released, in hopes of getting tickets to see him give a speech at the high school Thursday evening about making education more affordable.


President Barack Obama will visit the Syracuse area this week, giving a speech at Henninger High School on the importance of an affordable education. The president's speech is expected to begin at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday.

NYS Governor's Office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s name is frequently mentioned as a possible presidential contender in 2016 -- that is if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run. But first, the governor has to think about  his 2014 re-election race and how to shore up his support in upstate, where he’s been flagging in the polls.   

During the past several weeks, Cuomo has spent much of his time in upstate New York.

He paddled in a whitewater rafting contest he organized in the Adirondacks, to boost tourism.

Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

Johan Jelsma is taking me on a tour of his garden on the West Side of Binghamton. He rattles off the names of plants in just one small patch of his yard:

“Eggplants, Brussels sprouts, a little bit of remnants of peas left and cucumber, melon.”

Jelsma's entire yard is taken over by a garden of vegetables, fruit trees and flowers. He says some passersby describe it as the wild yard.

“I didn’t like grass per se. I mean I like laying on it, I like running but I definitely don’t enjoy mowing.”

Protesters pressure Watertown Walmart on animal welfare

Jul 9, 2013
Joanna Richards / WRVO

Animal welfare demonstrators caught motorists' and shoppers' attention Monday morning along Watertown's busy Arsenal Street. A giant balloon showed a bruised and wounded pig confined to a tiny metal crate, and two activists held a sign reading, “Walmart tortures pigs” on the grassy median in front of Watertown's Walmart store.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There are only four days left in the legislative session, and so far no agreements have been reached between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature on major issues like campaign finance reform or a women’s equality act.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO File

As a recent poll shows his approval rating continuing to slide, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a trip through upstate New York Wednesday with a stop in Syracuse to push for his newly released campaign reform package.

With just over a week left in the legislative session, Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his bill to extend public financing of political campaigns to statewide races. But he still faces resistance from some factions in the legislature.

Cuomo’s talked of his support for a public campaign finance system for statewide races based on the New York City model, but this is the first time that he’s revealed the details of the actual legislation.

Women’s groups are putting pressure on the state Senate’s ruling coalition to take up Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, which includes  an abortion rights provision.

Zack Seward / WXXI

Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces perhaps his biggest challenge yet as the end of his third legislative session rapidly approaches. His poll numbers are falling, and his agenda is in danger.

When Cuomo began the session, back in early January, his poll numbers were soaring. His approval rating, following a fall that was spent cleaning up the damage from Hurricane Sandy, was at an almost unheard of 74 percent. A confident Cuomo embarked on an ambitious progressive leaning agenda.

Audio Pending...

Anti-cancer groups are seeking to ban the sale of fruit and chocolate flavored cigars in New York state that they say are target to children.

The products include chocolate, strawberry and grape flavored cigars, which sell for under a dollar at common convenience stores. Also available on line are gummy bear and cookie dough flavored chewing tobacco and other related products.

ChrisYunker / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have tried to jump start negotiations over siting several new gambling casinos in New York. But they also conceded that the plans might be delayed for another year.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer is continuing his assault on the misuse of prescription drugs with a proposal to tighten control over the painkiller hydrocodone.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

When philosophy professor Mike Gorr and his wife were looking for a place to retire, they took a trip from Illinois to the Finger Lakes region.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s is proposing a border crossing fee for those traveling into the country from Canada. So far the idea is drawing opposition from representatives across New York state.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s is proposing a border crossing fee for those traveling into the country from Canada. So far the idea is drawing opposition from representatives across New York state.

New York state lawmakers returned to work after a two-week spring break. It’s their first meeting since two lawmakers have been charged with bribery in separate corruption scandals.

The scandal around state Sen. Malcolm Smith is continuing to have repercussions in both political parties and in every level of the state’s government. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on an upstate tour to promote the recently passed state budget, has been dogged by questions about the scandal instead.

City of Watertown

The Watertown City Council has received a lot of pushback and even ridicule in the media recently for passing what's being referred to as a “roommate ban.” Last month, in response to a neighbor dispute, the City Council removed language from the zoning code that allowed the renting out of rooms in single-family homes. But city planning officials say the regulatory change is completely unenforceable.

U.S. Army

The federal government's across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester are set to kick in Friday, barring an agreement between Congress and the president. That means a big impact for defense spending, including for Fort Drum, an important regional economic driver.  

Sidsel Overgaard/WRVO

In March, many places in central and northern New York will hold local elections. Among them is the village of Dresden on Seneca Lake, where residents will vote in a new mayor.  But, there’s just one problem: no one’s running.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced yesterday that in line with the repeal of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, some spousal benefits will be given to same-sex service members and their partners. The federal law known as the Defense of Marriage Act still prohibits many of the major spousal benefits, like housing and health care, from being extended to same-sex couples. But Panetta's announcement still had advocates for gay service members cheering.   

This edition of the Campbell Conversations offers a wide-ranging discussion with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner that covers both local and national political issues, and which includes discussions of the pension problem, ideas voiced in her recent state of the city address, and reflections on the conflicts within the city’s criminal justice system.