Politics and Government

5:30am

Tue June 10, 2014
Politics and Government

Women's equality supporters say fall elections are next battleground

Democrats and their allies in the legislature say there’s little chance anything major can be accomplished in the remaining days of the legislative session. Those pushing a Women’s Equality Act are already looking ahead to the fall campaigns as the next step.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is downplaying expectations for any major agreements in the final days of the legislative session.

“We have some clean up items,” Cuomo said. “I don’t expect us to do any major initiatives.”

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7:31am

Mon June 9, 2014
Politics and Government

Hanna will not debate primary opponent before primary day June 24

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford)
Credit Claudia Tenney for Congress / claudiatenney.com

As primary day quickly approaches, it looks like there will not be a debate in the 22nd Congressional District race between Republican opponents Rep. Richard Hanna and Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney.

Hanna, who currently represents the district which stretches from Binghamton to Utica to the eastern half of Oswego County, says challenger Tenney has been dishonest in her campaign.

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6:53am

Mon June 9, 2014
Politics and Government

Hanna not happy with deal that released Army sergeant in exchange for Taliban prisoners

Utica-area Rep. Richard Hanna (R)
house.gov

Days after the U.S government exchanged five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the American solider who reportedly left his post in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban, the decision doesn't sit well with Utica-area Rep. Richard Hanna. He says he's trying to make sense of the situation, but says it's difficult to understand the entire issue without all of the details.

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5:34am

Mon June 9, 2014
Politics and Government

Uncertainty over what legislature can accomplish with 8 days left

Wallyg via Flickr

The 2014 legislative session has just eight working days left to go, with the closing day scheduled for June 20. As lawmakers prepare to return for the final two weeks, there’s uncertainty whether anything will get done, now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has publicly vowed to try to oust the current Senate leadership. 

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7:17am

Thu June 5, 2014
Politics and Government

Wait for a pistol permit in Onondaga County drops

The wait for a pistol permit in Onondaga County has steadily gotten better since a logjam was created in the wake of the passage of the NY SAFE Act.

A year ago, it took 15 months get an appointment with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department simply to apply for a pistol permit.  

"We’ve been able to reduce the wait from over 15 months to three months.  That’s a tremendous improvement,” said Deputy Chief John Balloni.

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7:13am

Thu June 5, 2014
Politics and Government

Green Party candidate says his chances are improving

Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for governor, appears in Albany.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

The Green Party candidate for governor, making a statewide tour, says there’s always been an alternative, left-leaning candidate for governor and he says his chances to win votes are now better than ever.

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5:30am

Thu June 5, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo says he's proud of lack of partisanship in Albany

Wallyg via Flickr

In the aftermath of a political endorsement that has shaken up the Capitol, Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried to change the subject with two economic development appearances.

Cuomo has promised the Working Families Party that he would fight to take the Senate away from a coalition of Republicans and Independent Democrats, and give it to the mainstream Democrats. In a video he sent to the party’s convention, he condemned the state’s GOP.

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5:31am

Wed June 4, 2014
Politics and Government

Is Cuomo deal with Working Families Party good for upstate?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The fallout from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new alliance with the progressive Working Families Party continues at the state Capitol, with those who say they represent upstate interests dismayed at the development.

Brian Sampson, with the business friendly group Unshackle Upstate, had planned to begin his organization’s final push on several items they wanted to see passed in the legislature. But he arrived at the Capitol just after Cuomo struck a deal with the progressive Working Families Party to help Democrats take over the state Senate.

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5:34am

Tue June 3, 2014
Politics and Government

Democrats hopeful, Republicans dismayed over Cuomo's pledge to shake up state Senate

-JvL- Flickr

Democrats in the New York State Senate say they are taking Gov. Andrew Cuomo at his word to help them regain the majority, despite some indications that he might be walking back some of the promises he made at the Working Family Party’s convention Saturday night.

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says she’s holding Cuomo to the promise he made to the Working Families Party, to regain Democratic control of the state Senate.

“He has to,” Stewart-Cousins said.

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6:04am

Mon June 2, 2014
Politics and Government

State Senate will determine fate of medical marijuana

Brett Levin Flickr

The fate of a medical marijuana bill remains up in the air in New York state. The state Assembly has approved a version that would allow patients to obtain the drug for medical treatment, while a similar measure remains hung up in the state Senate.

Advocates cheered as the New York State Assembly approved a medical marijuana bill that would  permit patients to possess small amounts of marijuana to treat approved medical conditions. The legislation also sets up licensed dispensaries to grow and sell the drug to sick people.

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4:37pm

Fri May 30, 2014
Politics and Government

Veto override means Syracuse will get small property tax increase

A 1.5 percent property tax increase will stand in the City of Syracuse after the Common Council overrode Mayor Stephanie Miner’s budget veto today.

Finance Committee Chairwoman Kathleen Joy says the city can’t continue to cut it’s way out of yearly budget deficits, so lawmakers felt the time was right for this increase.

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7:05am

Fri May 30, 2014
Politics and Government

Working Families Party endorsement comes down to the wire

Gov. Andrew Cuomo already accepted the Democratic and Independence Party nominatons earlier this month. (file photo)
Matt Ryan, New York Now

It’s coming down to the wire for a decision on whether the Working Families Party endorses Gov. Andrew Cuomo for reelection or not. Talks are ongoing as the Saturday convention approaches.

The left-leaning minor party was angered when Cuomo failed to win a public campaign financing system for statewide offices in the budget. They were also annoyed by cuts to corporate taxes and wealthy estate owners that the governor championed.

Cuomo has faced opposition from Republicans in the state Senate, who rule in a coalition with a group of break-away Democrats.

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6:58am

Fri May 30, 2014
Politics and Government

Maffei and Hanna join calls for VA secretary's resignation

"Department of Veterans Affairs" by Adam Fagen via Flickr

Central New York’s two congressmen have joined in the calls for the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs to resign.

Pressure on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki is growing over long wait times for patients at VA hospitals. Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) and Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) have both called for Shinseki to step down as the secretary of Veterans Affairs.

They're part of a growing list of congressmen to do so.

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3:25pm

Thu May 29, 2014
Politics and Government

NOW president promotes Women's Equality Agenda

As the end of the state legislative session in Albany gets closer, one issue that hasn’t made many strides yet, for the second year in a row, is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed ten-point Women’s Equality Act, meant to end discrimination based on gender.

In a swing across Central New York today, Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, says it’s important that New York is be a leader by passing the agenda that ranges from health care to economic issues, because states are where women’s issues are languishing.

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8:02am

Thu May 29, 2014
Politics and Government

Astorino favors term limits but not public campaign finance

Rob Astorino attends an event in Syracuse. (file photo)
Ellen Abbott WRVO file photo

The GOP candidate for governor, Rob Astorino, tied the issue of lengthy terms in office to the controversy over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Moreland Act Commission, using it as an example of corruption that can happen after lawmakers spend decades in office. The Moreland Commission, which was investigating potential wrongdoing in the legislature, was closed down as part of a budget agreement in late March.

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6:59am

Thu May 29, 2014
Politics and Government

Senate leadership proposes bills to combat heroin epidemic

Wallyg via Flickr

A Republican-led Senate task force has released a package of bills aimed at combating the growing heroin addiction in New York.

The bills would require schools to carry supplies of Naloxone, the drug used to treat heroin overdoses and in many cases, prevent death. They would also require better management of patients treated for drug addiction, and  convert some recently closed state prisons to treatment centers.

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7:24am

Wed May 28, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo critic threatens primary run against Hochul for lieutenant governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to face a challenge from left-leaning members of his own party, which will play out at the end of the week during the Working Families Party convention. In addition, a progressive Democrat and wealthy businessman who’s been a harsh critic of Cuomo is threatening to try to get on the ballot for lieutenant governor.

Bill Samuels, a passionate oppponent of Cuomo, says he’s seriously thinking about challenging the governor’s hand-picked running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, in a Democratic primary.

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6:01am

Tue May 27, 2014
Politics and Government

Election year politics a factor in legislative session's final weeks

Zack Seward WXXI

Now that the major political party conventions are over, state officials are shifting their focus back to the remaining issues in the legislative session, which ends in four weeks. But politics are still front and center in the session's waning days.

The spotlight will continue to be on Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the final weeks of the session, and whether he achieves the three major items he laid out in his acceptance speech to delegates at the party convention.

“We must pass a Women’s Equality Act, public finance, and a Dream Act,” Cuomo told a cheering crowd. “And we will!”

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5:25pm

Sun May 25, 2014
Politics and Government

John Katko on The Campbell Conversations

John Katko, left, republican candidate for New York's 24th Congressional district seat, speaks with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

In one of his first extended public interviews, John Katko talks with Grant Reeher on the Campbell Conversations.  Katko is the former federal prosecutor challenging Dan Maffei for the 24th Congressional district seat this fall.  In a wide-ranging discussion, Katko addresses whether he’s a moderate or a conservative, how he thinks about entitlements and taxes, Obamacare, and the level of dysfunction in the current Congress.  He also discusses the role of money in the campaign.

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7:22am

Fri May 23, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo, Hochul accept nominations

Supporters hold signs for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his new running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul.
Matt Ryan, New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was nominated to run for a second term, along with his freshly chosen running mate, former western New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul.

Cuomo was nominated by a diverse group ranging from former President Bill Clinton, Harry Belafonte and union leaders via video, and ending with an endorsement by his daughters.

Cuomo, speaking to a packed and excited hall of delegates, recounted his accomplishments, including passing same sex marriage, rebuilding the Tappan Zee Bridge, and capping property taxes.

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8:10pm

Thu May 22, 2014
Obama in Cooperstown

Obama swings for tourism increase at baseball hall of fame

President Obama speaks about tourism at the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Thursday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

President Barack Obama wants to make it easier for foreigners to visit the United States so they can come and spend more money at tourist sites. The president visited the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown Thursday, where he pitched tourism as an economic asset.

Cooperstown Bats is a store that has a symbiotic relationship with the National Baseball Hall of Fame across the street. Thursday morning, a high school baseball team was in town for a game at the hall’s Doubleday Field, but the players bought some souvenir bats first.

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7:26am

Thu May 22, 2014
Politics and Government

Schneiderman, DiNapoli earn Democratic Party nod for fall races

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli poses with a supporter during the Democratic Party convention.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was nominated for a second term at the Democratic Party convention on Long Island Wednesday.

Schneiderman touted his record, which he says includes getting back pay owed to fast food workers, cracking down on opioid and heroin abuse, and convincing gun show operators to voluntarily close legal loopholes and require background checks for purchases.

“It all is summed up in the notion of equal justice under law,” Schneiderman said.  

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6:48am

Thu May 22, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo chooses Hochul as running mate, still faces potential trouble from the left

Kathy Hochul/Facebook

Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed his choice for lieutenant governor via a video address to delegates at the state Democratic Party convention on Long Island. The announcement of former western New York Rep. Kathy Hochul comes at the same time a new poll shows Cuomo continuing to face a threat from some in the left wing of his party.

Cuomo will not actually attend the convention until the day of his own nomination, but he did record a message announcing his choice of Hochul as his running mate.

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7:45am

Tue May 20, 2014
Politics and Government

Hanna says he wants to rebuild New York's economy, bring people back

The race for central New York's 22nd Congressional District, which spans from Binghamton to Utica, is heating up. Incumbent Richard Hanna and Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney are competing for the Republican Party's nod in June's primary election. Monica Sandreczki speaks with Hanna about his congressional record and working in Washington.

Morning Edition: This is your second time up for reelection. Why should you be reelected?

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6:33am

Tue May 20, 2014
Politics and Government

New York Democrats poised to renominate Cuomo

Patja Flickr

Later this week, Democrats will meet at their state party convention, where they will nominate incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo for reelection.

Nearly three and half years into his first term, Cuomo remains relatively popular with New York voters, after governing in a style that’s been a mix of fiscal conservatism and social progressivism.

Cuomo championed same sex marriage, which became legal during his first year in office, in 2011, and stricter gun control laws in 2013, when the governor spoke passionately in favor of the proposal during his State of the State speech.

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6:06am

Mon May 19, 2014
Politics and Government

Tenney says gun rights support will help her in primary race against Hanna

The race for central New York's 22nd Congressional District, which spans from Binghamton to Utica, is heating up. Incumbent Rep. Richard Hanna and Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney are competing head-to-head for the Republican Party's nod in June's primary election. WRVO's Gino Geruntino recently spoke with Tenney to learn about why she's decided to challenge Hanna.

GG: Why is it that now is a good time to run for Congress?

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4:44pm

Sun May 18, 2014
Politics and Government

'Elect Her' panel on The Campbell Conversations

Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher speaks with Syracuse University senior Alexandra Curtis (left), a particpant in the Elect Her initiative and Kathleen Gore (right) with the American Association of University Women, a sponsor of Elect Her

Elect Her is an initiative co-sponsored by the American Association of University Women.  It involves trainings held at universities and colleges to support and recruit more young women to pursue leadership positions on campus, as well as future political office.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher speaks with a local director of the Association, and a recent student participant in the initiative, about the problem of under-representation of

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7:18am

Fri May 16, 2014
Politics and Government

Skelos says no contradictions with candidate using public campaign finance

The leader of the state Senate Republicans offered some hope that New York’s public campaign finance system could be expanded before the session is over.  

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos says talks are ongoing about expanding public campaign finance to more statewide races in New York. Skelos, who’s said a plan pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo would be a waste of the taxpayers’ money, says he’s open to other means of funding, like a voluntary tax form check off.

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6:58am

Fri May 16, 2014
Politics and Government

Astorino accepts GOP nomination for governor, Moss gets lieutenant governor nod

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino delivers his acceptance speech.
Matt Ryan, New York Now

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino accepted the Republican nomination for governor at the state party convention in Westchester, saying Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t lived up to his promises to improve the state.

Astorino painted a grim picture of the state, saying New York is 50th out of the 50 states in high taxes, economic outlook, and corruption. And he blames it all on bad government.

“What have our politicians done? They’ve nearly ruined a once great state,” Astorino said. “The statistics scream incompetence.”

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7:13am

Thu May 15, 2014
Politics and Government

State GOP selects candidates for comptroller and attorney general

State Republicans have picked their candidate for comptroller, Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci. He will be the first statewide candidate in New York to rely on public financing to pay for his campaign.

Antonacci has been comptroller for Onondaga County, which includes Syracuse, since 2007, and says he would use his skills as a certified public accountant and attorney to scrutinize state spending by the governor and the legislature, and speak out when he sees waste.

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