Politics and Government

8:05am

Tue October 29, 2013
Politics and Government

Group urges anti-corruption commission to probe Big Pharma campaign donations

e-MagineArt.com Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission held another hearing Monday focusing on reforming the state’s campaign finance system.

Common Cause says the Moreland Commission should open a probe to see if there’s a link between around $5 million spent by major pharmaceutical companies on lobbying and campaign donations to New York state politicians, and the failure to pass major consumer-friendly bills regulating Big Pharma.

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7:55am

Tue October 29, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo, Duffy have nothing but praise for each other

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, offered high praise for one another during an event at the Capitol Monday. Their remarks come as questions are raised about Duffy's political future.

Some newspapers have called for an ethics probe after Duffy admitted he’s been interviewing for a job with the Rochester Business Alliance, a trade and lobby group, while serving on Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils. Duffy has now withdrawn from consideration for the job. He introduced Cuomo at a disaster preparedness forum.

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5:30pm

Sun October 27, 2013
Politics and Government

Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd on The Campbell Conversations

Some of the most difficult-to-enforce provisions from the New York SAFE Act will soon come online.  On this week’s edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd, who recently joined a constitutional challenge to the law filed by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.  Find out why the county’s top cop thinks the law misses its target, and why the controversies surroundi

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7:47am

Fri October 25, 2013
Politics and Government

Pro-casino coalition airs first ads

ChrisYunker via Flickr

The first ad is out promoting the ballot amendment to build new casinos in New York. It focuses on the benefits casinos might bring and not on actual gambling activity.

The ads, from a statewide coalition of business and labor groups, are currently aimed at downstate voters, where the New York City mayor’s race and county executive contest in Nassau County is expected to draw the greatest turn out on November 5.

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7:58am

Thu October 24, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo says state can afford tax cuts

File photo
Zack Seward WXXI

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he thinks the state can afford a tax cut next year, despite a projected $1 billion budget gap.

Cuomo says he’s been holding down spending during his first three years in office, with an average growth rate of two percent each year, compared to an annual 10 percent increase before he was governor. He says he expects enough money can be freed up to finance some kind of tax reductions during 2014.

“I believe we’re going to have revenue at the end of this year that we can be talking about a tax cut next year,” Cuomo said. “That’s very exciting.”

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7:49am

Thu October 24, 2013
Politics and Government

New York Jobs Now coalition rallies in support of casino referendum

New York Jobs Now suggests that the proposed casinos could bring 10,000 jobs to New York state.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Supporters of casino-style gambling are making themselves heard in central New York two weeks before Election Day. A coalition of economic development, labor leaders and politicians, called the New York Jobs Now coalition, is encouraging voters to support Proposal Number One, which would allow non-Indian casino gambling in upstate New York. Boosters say the whole state would benefit from this initiative in a couple of ways.

For State Senator Dave Valesky of Oneida, approving gambling upstate is a no-brainer.

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7:37am

Wed October 23, 2013
Politics and Government

Report shows DC dysfunction may decrease Wall Street profits

A report by the state’s comptroller finds that the dysfunction in Washington may take a bite out of Wall Street profits for the remainder of this year.

The analysis by New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli finds the recent gridlock in Congress, higher interest rates, and the JP Morgan $13 billion settlement over bad mortgages is contributing to lower earnings and profits for New York’s financial industry.

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10:20am

Tue October 22, 2013
Politics and Government

The Campbell Debates: NYS Casino Referendum

Ken Pokalsky speaks in favor of a casino referendum on the Nov. 5 ballot. Seated behind him (from L to R) are Dr. Stephen Shafer, David Blankenhorn and Marc Baez
via YouTube

Voters in the state will be faced with several ballot propositions this November 5th.  The proposition capturing the most attention—and controversy—is the proposal to expand casino gambling, which will appear as Proposition 1.  On October 16th, the Campbell Public Affairs Institute of Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs sponsored a debate on this referendum.  The debate was held in the Maxwell Auditorium on the Syracuse University

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8:14am

Tue October 22, 2013
Politics and Government

Moreland Commission co-chair not surprised by survey results

File photo
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.

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7:51am

Tue October 22, 2013
Politics and Government

Poll shows Cuomo poised for safe re-election, with some weaknesses

File photo
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A new poll finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo well positioned to win re-election next year, but there are some weaknesses in his generally positive numbers.

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7:06am

Mon October 21, 2013
Politics and Government

Corruption commmission probes intensify

An anti-corruption commission appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo has deepened its investigations in recent days. The probes are intensifying as Cuomo comes increasingly under fire, accused of trying to control the panel and even suppress some subpoenas.

A corruption commission appointed by Cuomo has voted to send subpoenas to some key members of the legislature to find out more about their relationships with private law clients.

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6:57am

Thu October 17, 2013
Politics and Government

State Supreme Court rejects casino wording suit

ChrisYunker via Flickr

A state Supreme Court judge threw out a lawsuit challenging the wording of a November ballot amendment to expand gambling in New York. Opponents say they will appeal.

Judge Richard Platkin rejected a challenge from a Brooklyn attorney who said the wording of the November ballot amendment, to allow up to seven new gambling casinos in New York, is biased.

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11:00am

Wed October 16, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo's corruption commission will subpoena some lawmakers

A corruption commission appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo has voted to issue subpoenas to some members of the legislature to force them to disclose money paid to them by private law clients.

The Moreland Act commission wrote letters to state senators and assemblymembers who make more than $20,000 a year from outside legal clients, a figure that includes all of the major party legislative leaders. The legislature hired attorneys, who said no.

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6:55am

Wed October 16, 2013
Politics and Government

Anti-gambling advocates destroy slot machine during protest at State Capitol

Anti-gambling activists smash a slot machine during a protest in front of the State Capitol.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

Anti-gambling activists took a sledgehammer to a slot machine in front of the New York State Capitol to demonstrate their opposition to a ballot amendment to legalize gambling casinos in New York state.  

Wielding a sledgehammer, anti-gambling advocates took turns smashing up a Lucky 7 slot machine, at a park with the New York State Capitol in the background, as TV news cameras recorded the event.

David Blankenhorn, with the Institute for American Values, organized the event.

“It felt great,” Blankehorn said. “I’ve wanted to do this for a long time.”

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10:21am

Tue October 15, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo setting the stage for tax cuts

Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to be setting the stage for a tax cut next year. Recently, he’s appointed a new commission to look at cutting property and other taxes, and has said the state may have a budget surplus to pay for them.

The governor announced a new tax policy commission headed by former Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, and former state Comptroller Carl McCall, a Democrat. Both are past political rivals of Cuomo.

Cuomo charged the new panel with finding a way to cut taxes.

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8:50am

Mon October 14, 2013
Politics and Government

Judge will rule on casino amendment challenge

ChrisYunker via Flickr

A state Supreme Court judge heard arguments Friday in regards to whether the state Board of Elections should change the wording of a casino gambling amendment that critics say improperly advocates for the measure’s passage.

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7:33am

Fri October 11, 2013
Politics and Government

Green Party candidates offer voters another option in Syracuse elections

Green Party candidate Kevin Bott makes his announcement to run for mayor of Syracuse on September 11, 2013.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

This is turning out to be a quiet election season in Syracuse despite a race for mayor. Without a Republican running against Mayor Stephanie Miner, and with Democrats having with a stranglehold in most common council and school board races, Green Party candidates are emerging as alternatives for voters in a handful of races. All three Green Party hopefuls appeared on the Campbell Conversations with Grant Reeher.

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6:46am

Fri October 11, 2013
Politics and Government

Coalition promotes casino amendment, as judge set to hear lawsuit

The push for passage of a ballot amendment to allow up to seven new gambling casinos in New York has begun. A coalition of business leaders, labor unions, and local elected officials are holding press conferences across the state. They expect to run some TV ads, as well.

The name of the coalition says nothing about gambling casinos -- instead it’s called New York Jobs Now. Business Council President Heather Briccetti said the new resort-style casinos proposed will bring employment to economically depressed areas.

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10:15am

Thu October 10, 2013
Politics and Government

GOP continues search for Congressional candidate after Antonacci bows out

Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci will not be running for Congress next year. In a written statement released Wednesday, Antonacci said he can "serve the people of Onondaga County far better as their comptroller" than as a congressman. Antonacci also called the 24th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Syracuse, Auburn and Oswego, a winnable seat for the Republican Party.

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7:46am

Thu October 10, 2013
Politics and Government

Key assemblymember on fracking panel calls for health study do-over

WBFO

A Binghamton assemblywoman on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's hydrofracking advisory panel is asking for a do-over of an ongoing heath review, saying the secretive process has compromised public confidence.

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5:00pm

Wed October 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Senate IDC leader slammed by environmental group

An environmental group has given Senate Independent Democratic Leader Jeff Klein its 2013 "Oil Slick Award," claiming the Senate co-leader has done more than any other state legislator to harm the environment.

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7:56am

Wed October 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Onondaga County legislature, sheriff's department at odds over budget

Onondaga County lawmakers discuss the county budget Tuesday. It passed by a 15-1 vote.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Onondaga County lawmakers are putting a tighter reign on spending at the sheriff's department. The legislature approved the county's 2014 $1.2 billion budget Tuesday night. It included a budget maneuver that give's lawmakers more control over department spending that has come in substantially over budget the last few years, according to legislature chairman Ryan McMahon.

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7:50am

Wed October 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Is Cuomo's corruption commission going off the rails?

News reports in recent days portray Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Moreland Act Commission on corruption as possibly going off the rails. Government reform groups say they are concerned and want some answers.

Cuomo appointed the Moreland Act Commission at the close of a legislative session that saw numerous lawmakers arrested, indicted and jailed for corruption, and with no agreement on any reform measures. Cuomo said at the time that he wanted wrongdoers punished, and commission co-chair, Syracuse area District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, described how that would be accomplished.

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4:27pm

Mon October 7, 2013
Politics and Government

Syracuse lawmakers will rewrite drone ban language

Joe Kummer, president of Propulsive Wing in Elbridge, N.Y. demonstrates his prototype unmanned aerial vehicle.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse lawmakers are re-working their proposed ban on the use of surveillance drones over city skies.

A draft of regulations were introduced on the council agenda at a study session last week, but were quickly withdrawn.

New draft federal guidelines out on drone use prompted the re-write. The federal rules will be incorporated into the city's, according to councilor Jake Barrett, who chairs the public safety committee.

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7:44am

Fri October 4, 2013
Politics and Government

Land Bank law amended, counties can now buy vacant properties

A new state law amends New York's land bank legislation introduced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration in 2011. Land banks are mechanisms for acquiring or demolishing abandoned properties that are delinquent on their taxes. The bill removes previous barriers that restricted counties and municipalities from purchasing properties without judicial authorization, allowing them to bid at public sales. Republican state Sen. Mark Grisanti sponsored the legislation.

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7:51am

Thu October 3, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo looks to former rivals to head tax cutting commission

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is appointing a new tax cutting commission that he has charged with finding ways of slicing state revenues by $2 to $3 billion next year.

Cuomo turned to the man who beat his father in the 1994 governor’s race, George Pataki, to co-chair the commission. Pataki, a Republican, defeated Mario Cuomo on a platform that included tax cuts.

Pataki, who says the state spends too much and costs too much, says he’s happy to serve on the commission, but at first thought a mistake had been made.

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9:34pm

Tue October 1, 2013
Politics and Government

"Disgusted" over shutdown, Maffei says he's working with both sides

Rep. Dan Maffei, D-Syracuse, says he's dissapointed and shares in the fustration over the federal shutdown.
Ryan Delaney WRVO file photo

Rep. Dan Maffei told constituents Tuesday evening he shares in their frustration over the federal government's shutdown, saying there will be serious consequences if it drags on.

The Democrat from Syracuse even agreed with one caller's claim that Congress' inability to act was "disgusting."

Maffei voted with House Republicans late Monday night for a spending plan that would have, if the Senate had approved it, delayed the individual mandate portion of Obamacare for a year. While trying to strike a bipartisan note, Maffei laid more blame on the G.O.P. than his own party.

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4:14pm

Mon September 30, 2013
Politics and Government

Poll finds support for pro-gambling language in ballot amendment

ChrisYunker via Flickr

A new poll finds language on a referendum on New York state's November ballot to portray the expansion of casino gambling in a positive light is working, and gaining support among potential voters.  

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7:49am

Mon September 30, 2013
Politics and Government

Opposition to gambling amendment heats up

Another anti-gambling group has released a study debunking Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature’s claims about the benefits of permitting more casino gambling in New York.  So far opponents have been more vocal than supporters about the November 5 ballot referendum.

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11:49am

Fri September 27, 2013
Politics and Government

Thomas Mann on The Campbell Conversations

Thomas Mann
Brookings Institution

What's the problem with Congress?  Why can't it find compromises on the most basic issues?  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher explores those questions with Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the co-author of "It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional Syst

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