Politics and Government

3:29pm

Thu October 23, 2014
Politics and Government

Onondaga County asks state for help with jail overcrowding

The Onondaga County Justice Center in Syracuse. (file photo)
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Onondaga County says part of its jail overcrowding problem could be eased with a little help from New York State. Lawmakers are asking the state to make changes in a policy regarding state prisoners who’ve run afoul of their parole.

Right now, Onondaga County is forced to take state prisoners, who have violated parole, and keep them in the local jail while the justice system decides whether to send them back to state prison. County officials say that policy is squeezing an overcrowded county jail even more.  

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4:00pm

Sun October 19, 2014
Politics and Government

Rep. Dan Maffei and John Katko on the Campbell Conversations

Republican John Katko, left, and Rep. Dan Maffei, center, speak with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei and his Republican opponent John Katko appear together in their first debate of the campaign with Grant Reeher of the WRVO's Campbell Conversations. The two candidates for the 24th Congressional District have agreed to six debates before Election Day.

WRVO's debate will be broadcast in two parts. The first half includes a discussion on the campaign commercials for both candidates, as well as what the United States should do about the Islamic State (ISIS) and the spread of the Ebola virus. Part two will be broadcast Sunday, October 26 at 6 p.m.

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6:59am

Fri October 17, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo using a different approach in reelection bid

governorandrewcuomo Flickr

In the final weeks before elections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been promoting his memoir and announced travel plans to Puerto Rico. One thing he hasn’t been doing is running a typical campaign, and he’s said little about what he’ll do in the next four years.

Cuomo, who holds a double-digit lead over Republican candidate Rob Astorino, has more than $30 million in the bank. He has employed a rose garden strategy for much of the political season, and seldom holds campaign events.

He says he's simply letting his job speak for itself.

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6:42am

Fri October 17, 2014
Politics and Government

Maffei vs. Katko: In their first debate, candidates discuss negative ads

Incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei, left, and Republican John Katko, right, are running for N.Y.'s 24th Congressional District seat
Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

The race for the 24th Congressional District has been characterized by its negative campaign ads. Grant Reeher, host of WRVO's Campbell Conversations, moderated the first debate between incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei and Republican challenger John Katko. In this portion of the debate, Reeher asked each candidate about their use of negative ads.

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6:40am

Mon October 13, 2014
Politics and Government

Oswego plans for much quieter tax season compared to 2013

Oswego Common Coucil members talk during a meeting. (file photo)
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Property owners in the city of Oswego were hammered last year with a 43 percent property tax increase. But this year, the city's mayor says he expects a much more pleasant result for the city's taxpayers, citing several positive changes in the city.

Nearly one year ago, Mayor Tom Gillen and the Oswego Common Council were heavily criticized for their passage of the massive tax hike.

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4:00pm

Sun October 12, 2014
Politics and Government

Al Stirpe and Rob DeMarco on the Campbell Conversations

Republican candidate for state Assembly, Rob DeMarco, left, and incumbent Democrat Al Stirpe, center, talk with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

One of the most competitive state legislative races in this region is the contest for the 127th Assembly district seat, between incumbent Democrat Al Stirpe and Republican challenger Rob DeMarco.  DeMarco is a former prosecutor in the Onondaga County District Attorney's office.  In this conversation the two spar over whether the state provides a healthy climate for business development and how that relates to taxing and spending, the NY SAFE Act, and how much reform the state legislative process still needs.

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7:13am

Wed October 8, 2014
Politics and Government

Candidates for governor disagree on whether to ban flights from nations with Ebola outbreaks

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is calling on the FAA to ban flights to the United States from West African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak
Ellen Abbott WRVO file photo

The topic of preventing the Ebola virus in New York state became part of the governor’s race, when the Republican candidate proposed that flights be banned from countries with Ebola outbreaks.

Saying we should “err on the side of caution,” GOP candidate for governor Rob Astorino is calling for a ban on all flights from Ebola stricken countries in Africa to New York’s airports. He says the Ebola case in Texas, where the victim allegedly did not tell authorities that he had been in contact with someone with the disease, shows that the screening process is not adequate.

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6:47am

Wed October 8, 2014
Politics and Government

Wall Street profits down, but New York reaps benefits from bank settlements

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli
Ellen Abbott WRVO file photo

New York state has received a multi billion dollar windfall from bank settlements this year, but a new report from the state comptroller shows the settlement took a bite out of Wall Street profits in 2014, which could have repercussions for the state budget in the future.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli reports Wall Street profits are down by 13 percent so far in 2014, compared to the previous year, 2013, when profits had already shrunk by 30 percent.

“Certainly we’re seeing profits, but down from what we saw last year,” DiNapoli said.

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5:00pm

Sun October 5, 2014
Politics and Government

Candidates for Onondaga County Sheriff on the Campbell Conversations

Republican Gene Conway, left, and Democrat Toby Shelley are the candidates in the race for Onondaga County Sheriff. They spoke this week with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher.

This edition of the Campbell Conversations begins a series of joint conversations this fall with candidates in contested races for elected positions.  This week the two candidates for Onondaga County Sheriff join host Grant Reeher, in their first shared appearance.  Republican Gene Conway and Democrat Toby Shelley discuss their background and experience, the need to make changes at the sheriff's department, their vision for greater cooperation with other law enforcement agencies in the county, and just how vigorously they'll enforce the SAFE Act. 

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10:06am

Fri October 3, 2014
Politics and Government

Syracuse mayor: Maffei, Katko should focus on substance

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner. (file)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is one of the most influential Democrats in central New York, serving for a time as co-chair of the party's statewide operations. She's also one of the most outspoken. 

Miner sat down with WRVO Wednesday afternoon to discuss the city's loss of $3 million in federal funding for lead remediation from its aging homes. She discussed a number of other topics, including the increasing negativity of the race to represent the region in Congress. 

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5:30am

Fri October 3, 2014
Politics and Government

Is Cuomo trying to have it both ways in Senate races?

Kathy Hochul joins Gov. Andrew Cuomo to announce their candidacy during the Democratic state convention in May. (file photo)
Matt Ryan, New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has forged his public image as a bipartisan governor, working with both Democrats and Republicans. But the governor has also promised a left-leaning minor party that he would help shift control of the state Senate away from the GOP, and help Democrats regain control of the chamber. The governor has been walking a fine line between the two parties ever since.

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5:17am

Fri October 3, 2014
Government

Syracuse losing millions in federal funds for lead paint removal

Wayne Marshall via Flickr

Syracuse has lost out on federal funding for lead removal in city homes for the first time in two decades and will have to now rely on the county’s program.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, didn’t give any reason why Syracuse's application for $3 million was denied, the city said today.

"Our program funding will run out at the end of this year," said Mayor Stephanie Miner. "And then the program will be over."

HUD has given the city millions of dollars to inspect homes and remove lead every year since 1993.

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7:35am

Wed October 1, 2014
Politics and Government

Maffei announces last 30 days push against Katko

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) announced his "30 Days" plan to comapaign against Republican John Katko
Ellen Abbott WRVO

With five weeks until election day, Rep. Dan Maffei’s reelection campaign is embarking on a campaign strategy called “30 Days and 30 Ways John Katko is Too Reckless and Radical for Central New York.”

Maffei, a Democrat, is running for his third term in Congress, and says the idea is to outline differences between him, and Republican nominee John Katko. Week one focuses on the candidate’s jobs agenda.  Maffei says he has a record and accuses Katko of having nothing but a one-page jobs document.

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5:30am

Mon September 29, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo visits Afghanistan

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is greeted by Maj. Gen. Stephen Townsend, Regional Command-East Commander after arriving at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan
U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Kap Kim

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent the weekend in Afghanistan, as part of a contingent of four U.S. governors on a trip to learn about counterterrorism measures.

Cuomo and the other governors were invited by the Defense Department, to receive briefings on counterterrorism efforts and increasing global threats, and to meet with the troops, including 270 Members of the New York National Guard and 900 members of Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division.

Cuomo held a conference call with reporters while in Afghanistan.

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5:42pm

Sun September 28, 2014
Politics and Government

Pavel Baev on the Campbell Conversations

Pavel Baev, an international expert on Russian foreign and security policy

Pavel Baev is a leading international expert on Russian foreign and security policy.  He grew up and studied in the former Soviet Union, worked in the Soviet Ministry of Defense, and is now a professor at Oslo's Peace Research Institute, as well as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.  In this conversation with host Grant Reeher, Baev discusses what's motivating Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine, and what's at stake for the West in the conflict there.  He compares Russia's involvement to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, and argues that Russia is "experimenting" in

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4:36pm

Fri September 26, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo ahead in governor's race, but new poll shows weakness

The New York state Capitol building.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

A new poll finds that six weeks before elections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo maintains a double-digit lead against his Republican opponent, but the governor’s job performance rating has hit an all-time low.

The Siena Research Institute poll finds Cuomo continues to be around 30 points ahead of Republican challenger Rob Astorino, leading 56 to 27 percent. Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins received seven percent.

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2:56pm

Wed September 24, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Schumer pushing for more high-skilled training

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer is pushing for federal grants to create a new training program to ease the shortage of high-skilled jobs in central New York.

If the $15 million federal grant comes through, Onondaga Community College will be able to partner with local businesses and place graduates in a job and train local residents in the growing field of mechatronics.

Mechatronics requires students to be skilled in engineering, mechanics, electronics and other technical skills. Potential jobs in the field range from maintenance and repair workers, to industrial machinery mechanics.

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5:03am

Wed September 24, 2014
Politics and Government

Is the November redistricting amendment a reform or step backward?

A map of upstate New York's Assembly districts.
NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment

Reform groups are split over the merits of a November ballot item to change the way new legislative and congressional districts are drawn in New York.

Some groups see the amendment as an opportunity to finally end rampant gerrymandering of Senate and Assembly districts in New York.  Others fear it would just solidify legislative control of a process that allows legislative leaders to draw districts that suit their own political interests.

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6:24am

Tue September 23, 2014
Politics and Government

At fall meeting, Dems focus on portraying GOP opponents in a negative light

Kathy Hochul, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, speaks at the fall meeting of the New York State Democratic Committee.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

State Democrats say their prime strategy to motivate voters this fall will be to paint Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Republican opponent as an ultra-conservative who has a negative view about New York.  

Kathy Hochul, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, went on the attack against Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino, saying the GOP opponent and his running mate are too conservative and his portrayal of the state as economically troubled and dysfunctional is too pessimistic.

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3:43pm

Fri September 19, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo, Astorino have rare encounter at business conference

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the Business Council of New York State's annual meeting Friday.
governorandrewcuomo Flickr

The Republican candidate for governor temporarily upstaged incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when Rob Astorino appeared unexpectedly at the Business Council of New York State's annual meeting and attempted to talk to the governor.

Astorino addressed the Business Council Thursday night, in a speech scheduled months ago. Cuomo did not commit to speak to the group at its annual meeting on Lake George until the conference had already started, and Cuomo chose a Friday morning time slot.  

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6:44am

Thu September 18, 2014
Politics and Government

Judge says redistricting proposal cannot be described on ballot as independent

New York state's 2012 Assembly map.
New York State Board of Elections

A judge has ruled that the wording on a November ballot item making changes to New York‘s redistricting process is biased and must be altered before Election Day.

The Supreme Court judge ruled that language describing a new board created to oversee redistricting in New York as independent is misleading and must be struck from the amendment’s description.

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6:24am

Wed September 17, 2014
Politics and Government

Future of fracking will influence November election for governor

A fracking well in northern Pennsylvania
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

The issue of hydrofracking played a role in the recent Democratic primary for governor in New York, and those who oppose the gas drilling process hope it will influence the general election, as well.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, once on a fast track to begin the natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing in New York, has put his decision on hold while his administration is conducting a health review that began two years ago. Cuomo, asked about the future of fracking in the state one day after the Democratic primary, said he’s still reserving judgment.

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6:31am

Tue September 16, 2014
Politics and Government

Green Party candidate for governor wants to be involved in debates

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins says he should be involved in this fall's debates because he is the only progressive running.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

The Green Party candidate for governor wants to be included in any upcoming debates. Howie Hawkins says he is the only candidate left in the race to represent the state’s progressives.

Hawkins, a Syracuse-area UPS worker and Teamsters union member, says by any reasonable standard he should be included in any debates for the governor’s race that feature major party candidates, Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo and Republican Rob Astorino.

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5:30am

Fri September 12, 2014
Politics and Government

Attention now on Cuomo-Astorino gubernatorial contest

The New York state Capitol building.
Wallyg via Flickr

The primaries are over and the focus now shifts to the general elections, which are a little over seven weeks away. Incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces Republican challenger Rob Astorino.

Cuomo made a rare campaign-style appearance in Buffalo with running mate Kathy Hochul just after winning the Democratic primary with 60 percent of the vote. Without mentioning him by name, he portrayed Republican opponent Rob Astorino as a hyper-conservative who was out of touch with New Yorkers.

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3:16pm

Thu September 11, 2014
Politics and Government

Hanna shows support for president's plan to fight ISIS

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) on primary night earlier in June.
Ryan Delaney WRVO file photo

Rep. Richard Hanna, a Republican, is backing the president’s plan to try to root out an Islamic extremist group in the Middle East.

"I think there are some things in life you don’t have a choice," he said. "These people have declared what they mean, what they intend to do, through many different type of media and I think we have to take it very seriously."

Hanna, a moderate conservative from the Utica area, says the fight against the Islamic State militant group, or ISIS, should be taken to them, before it comes here.

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9:08am

Thu September 11, 2014
Politics and Government

Secrecy surrounds the use of 'franked mail' in Congress

Matt Churchill/flickr

Watchdog groups say upstate New York lawmakers, along with lawmakers nationwide, are blurring the line between their campaigns and official duties as representatives.

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4:58am

Thu September 11, 2014
Politics and Government

After primary, focus shifts to general election

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul during the Democratic Party's nomination convention. (file photo)
Matt Ryan, New York Now

After winning Tuesday’s Democratic primary, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is now poised to run strongly against his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino. But will he have any lingering problems after more than one-third of primary voters rejected him for an obscure law professor?

Cuomo’s challenger, Fordham Law School Professor Zephyr Teachout, managed to win over one-third of the vote against the incumbent governor, despite Cuomo’s multi-million dollar war chest and near unanimous support from the state’s Democratic political establishment, from Hillary Clinton to local mayors.

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5:48pm

Tue September 9, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo, Teachout cast primary day votes

MemphisCVB Flickr

Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor cast their ballots Tuesday, and urged others to vote as well.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to win the primary, cast his ballot near his home in Westchester.

“I encourage people to vote,” Cuomo said. “You have no right to complain about who is in the office if you don’t actually exercise the franchise and go out and vote.”

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5:30am

Tue September 9, 2014
Politics and Government

Tuesday's primary gives Cuomo unexpected challenge

Governor Andrew Cuomo Flickr

Tuesday is primary day in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces a challenge from Democrat Zephyr Teachout, which he is expected to easily win, but the governor could face a headache when it comes to the race for his running mate for lieutenant governor.

Cuomo, known as a clever strategist who carefully maps out his political future, did not anticipate a primary challenge from obscure Fordham Law School professor Zephyr Teachout.

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5:34am

Tue August 26, 2014
Politics and Government

GOP continutes to wait for a viable GOP option to the Affordable Care Act

During the last two elections New York and Pennsylvania Republicans campaigned on repealing and replacing so-called Obamacare – but House Republicans have yet to vote on a replacement plan.

Remember “repeal and replace”? It’s the campaign slogan that helped Republicans gain control of the House in 2010 and keep that majority in 2012. House leaders have done what they can to repeal the law – the GOP has cast more than 40 votes to scrap or defund all or part of the Affordable Care Act. But where’s the replacement?

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