Politics and Government

Political news

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A new poll that finds Donald Trump badly trailing Hillary Clinton in the presidential race in New York could be good news for Democrats in the state Senate.

Trump’s supporters in New York had hoped that the state could be in play for the Queens native. But the latest poll from Siena College finds that Clinton, who has adopted New York as her home, is ahead of Trump by 30 points — 57 percent to 27 percent — in a two-way race.

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At its meeting Monday night, the Oswego Common Council revealed a much-awaited plan to address the city's controversial winter parking policy. The proposal would keep the overnight parking ban in place, extending it from 1 a.m.-6 a.m. to 12 a.m.-6 a.m., while allowing residents with inadequate parking space to apply for on-street parking permits. 

Councilor Nate Emmons said residents who are approved for the exemption would pay $125 for the annual permit, which would follow an odd-even side system. 

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Proposed legislation in central and northern New York would require inspections of rental units. Lawmakers are receiving pushback from landlords.

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The Syracuse Common Council is debating how it should or should not restrict the $1.5 million in the city’s current budget for the Syracuse Land Bank. The number of buildings the Syracuse Lank Bank should be required to demolish is being called into question.

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The New York State Senate is expected to soon announce a date for a hearing on how the Cuomo administration handled drinking water contamination in Hoosick Falls. It comes as new studies out this week show more harmful effects from exposure to the chemical PFOA, on mothers and their children.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated his positions on some major issues facing central New York while giving a speech in Syracuse on Thursday. Cuomo gave a positive outlook for upstate and double downed on his commitment to investing in the region.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not been getting along with other Democrats in the state this summer.

For some time, Cuomo has appeared to have a feud with the Democratic mayor of New York City, but in recent weeks, the governor has directed scathing comments toward state Assembly Democrats.

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The new head of Syracuse’s Citizen Review Board calls a recent win in court against the Syracuse Police Department a positive precedent in how the review board operates. The new administrator has a history of working with the Syracuse police chief which he hopes will help both the police department and the review board move forward.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo had harsh words for the state’s comptroller, a fellow Democrat, over questions about the value of the state’s economic development programs.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has conducted audits raising questions about the value of some of the programs, saying there’s not enough documentation in some cases that New Yorkers are getting their money’s worth.

Cuomo, speaking Tuesday in Buffalo, struck back when asked about DiNapoli and others who suggest the programs should be redesigned.

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  Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling on the Federal Highway Administration and the New York State Department of Transportation to unlock funds for the city of Utica to use in a new project. The funds were frozen because they were earmarked for a different project that never went through.

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Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is pushing for legislation that would ban 22 chemicals used for making synthetic drugs. The Upstate New York Poison Center reported 500 cases involving synthetic marijuana and similar drugs in 2015. The majority of those cases occurred in Onondaga County which also had six deaths in 2015 linked to synthetic drugs.

Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said some of the side effects include increased heart rate, respiratory failure, paranoia and bizarre behavior.  

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A commission is considering granting as much as a 47 percent pay raise for state lawmakers, and the proposal is generating some backlash, including from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The idea of raising state lawmakers pay by nearly 50 percent comes at a time when dozens of senators and assembly members have been indicted, arrested, and jailed for corruption, including the two former legislative leaders, who are both facing prison time.

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Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) visited New York Air Brake in Watertown Friday on a campaign stop. She spoke about how the Import-Export bank helps U.S. manufacturers compete internationally. Stefanik helped reform the bank.

“When American workers are able to compete on a level playing field there is no other country that is manufacturing the highest quality of products that the U.S. is,” said Stefanik.  

After her brief speech, the question and answer period turned to the presidential campaign.

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Complaints from Utica residents about the city's roads have reached a fever pitch. 

"It has been a long time since required paving has been increased and there is a big public outcry to fix the roads, it was blatantly apparent in the last campaign season," said Common Council President Michael Galime.

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A routine oversight hearing by the state Assembly turned testy when the state’s economic development czar endured over two hours of questions about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs, which are currently under federal investigation.

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While many cities in upstate New York have established a permanent winter parking policy, Oswego continually revisits the issue. 

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The Syracuse Common Council has authorized what the Syracuse Police Department would purchase if the city wins a U.S. Department of Justice grant for police body cameras.

The pilot program would include 10 body cameras, docking stations, a server and ballistic shields. They are asking for funds totaling more than $100,000, which the city would split evenly with Onondaga County. The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office would purchase their own equipment from their portion.

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The Syracuse Police Department is conducting an internal investigation into the arrest of a man who was recording video of police officers. The incident of an officer arresting the man and swearing at him prompted protests from Black Lives Matter.

Watch the video here.

Maurice Crawley, 52, was charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest after he recorded officers making a separate arrest from across the street.

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A judge has denied motions to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Onondaga County comptroller against the Onondaga County executive and legislature over pay raises. The defendants will now have to respond to the lawsuit by August 8.

Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci said the attorneys representing the county executive and legislature will now have to address whether the resolutions the legislature passed in December giving pay raises to themselves and the county executive were legal. The defendants said this has been done before. Antonacci said that is false.

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Foreign trade deals are a contentious issue at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), weighed in Wednesday, saying he’s against the Trans-Pacific Partnership proposal, known as the TPP.

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Disabled advocates in central New York are celebrating the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA. While that law has improved access for millions of disabled Americans, advocates say there are still issues that need to be faced.

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The House of Representative’s Science Committee has issued subpoenas to the state attorney generals of New York and Massachusetts over an investigation those offices are conducting into fossil fuel companies including ExxonMobil. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his investigation is an inquiry into whether Exxon is overstating the value of its assets and oil reserves and understating the risks of using fossil fuels.  

Karen DeWitt

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner join capitol correspondent Karen DeWitt and Casey Seiler of the Albany Times Union on today's "ConventionCast" to share their thoughts on the Democratic National Convention, the DNC email controversy, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio's relationship.

Find more from New York Now.

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New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced $13 million grants for communities to attack the problem of zombie properties. The funds come from a recent settlement that the state attorney general’s office and the U.S. Justice Department reached with investment bank Morgan Stanley.  

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The city of Syracuse has applied for a pilot program that would equip the Syracuse Police Department with 15 body cameras. Currently, the department does not have any officers with body cameras.

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Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) is calling on Congress to pass a bill to help address and reduce the links between firefighting and cancer.

At the Mexico Volunteer Fire Department Tuesday, Hanna said it's increasingly difficult to find men and women who are willing to risk their lives by becoming firefighters. The danger, long hours and cost of training involved can be an impediment for many, but he said even worse than that is the threat of cancer.

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Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters in Syracuse marched at two separate rallies throughout downtown Syracuse on Monday. Elected and law enforcement officials met with angry, yet peaceful demonstrators to listen and acknowledge injustice.

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Two separate Black Lives Matter protests are scheduled for Monday in downtown Syracuse. Some elected officials support the movement and are prepared to meet with demonstrators.

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As the Republican National Convention gets underway this week in Cleveland, one high-profile central New York Republican will be watching from afar.  Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) who is running for reelection in a highly competitive central New York district, continues to distance himself from the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

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A recent report from the New York State Financial Restructuring Board praised Utica officials for stabilizing the city's financial condition. The assessment came at the request of Utica's mayor and common council after they took painstaking steps to reverse an $8 million budget gap and depleted fund reserves in 2012.

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