Politics and Government

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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6:42am

Thu May 15, 2014
Government

Miner vetoes council's tax increase in Syracuse budget

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has vetoed a last-minute property tax hike the Common Council added to the city's spending plan because she says councilors didn't bring it up for public discussion first.

"When you don’t allow that process to happen, you create cynicism and you allow people to get turned off from the process," Miner said Wednesday.

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7:42am

Tue May 13, 2014
Politics and Government

GOP candidate for AG launches campaign; stops in Syracuse

Republican John Cahill is running for New York state attorney general.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The Republican who wants to be New York state’s attorney general says he’ll be the people’s advocate if elected. John Cahill, an aide to former Gov. George Pataki, made several campaign stops across the state Monday, including Syracuse.

Cahill says education, economic development and integrity in government are top issues he promises to advocate for if he is elected as attorney general.

As far as education goes, he’s a proponent of school choice. But how does the attorney general fit into that issue?

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6:52am

Mon May 12, 2014
Politics and Government

Public campaign finance showing signs of life

Gov. Cuomo is facing pressure to revive an issue that failed in state budget negotiations -- enacting a public campaign financing system for statewide elections.

In the final budget deal, Cuomo agreed with legislative leaders to a pared-down public campaign finance system that would apply only to the state comptroller’s race, and sunset after this year.

The governor was immediately condemned by government reform groups who said the pilot program was cynically designed to fail. But Cuomo defended the deal, saying advocates were looking at the glass half empty.

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3:17pm

Sun May 11, 2014
Politics and Government

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee on The Campbell Conversations (Pt 2)

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, left, speaks with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher continues the discussion with Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee.  The governor frankly describes the political challenges he's encountered as governor, and the effects of his party switch after being elected.  He also discussed his state's relatively smooth roll-out of Obamacare, and his political future. 

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7:06am

Fri May 9, 2014
Politics and Government

Duffy's decision not to seek re-election no surprise

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy will continue to crisscross the state over the next few weeks arguing for his boss's mandate relief plan. He held a press conference with Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and the mayor of Syracuse in January.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy has informed Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a letter that he is not running for a second term, and Cuomo has accepted his resignation from the ticket. Duffy will serve out the rest of his term, which ends in December.

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12:16pm

Thu May 8, 2014
Politics and Government

Duffy decides not to run again for lieutenant governor

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy. (file photo)
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will have to pick a new running mate now that Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy has announced he won't seek a second term.

Duffy notified Cuomo of his intentions in a letter first reported by the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester. The 59-year-old former Rochester mayor cites the travel demands of his current job and a desire to spend more time with his family.

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6:15am

Thu May 8, 2014
Politics and Government

Reports say Duffy won't run for re-election

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy speaks during an event in Onondaga County. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York state Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy spoke at a police memorial service this week, in what may be one of his last official acts in his role before Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces a new running mate for the 2014 elections.

Several Rochester news outlets are reporting that Duffy has already submitted notice to Cuomo, and will not run on the ticket in this year's election. Duffy, who’s publicly been Cuomo’s biggest cheerleader, privately may have become disenchanted with the job as New York’s number two elected official.

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6:13am

Wed May 7, 2014
Politics and Government

Onondaga County to help pave over potholes in Syracuse

As the snow melted after the hard winter, many central New York roads were left with lots of potholes.
Gino Geruntino WRVO file photo

Onondaga County will be helping out some local governments, including the city of Syracuse, re-pave roads ravaged by a bad winter.  

It wasn’t as much as originally offered by Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, but Onondaga County lawmakers did agree yesterday to foot the bill for paving two major roads in the city of Syracuse.  

Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon says the county will spend a half a million dollars to re-pave Adams and Harrison Streets.

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5:34am

Wed May 7, 2014
Politics and Government

Senate Democrats say more reasons than ever to adopt their reform bills

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Democratic colleagues and government reform advocates announce package of anti-corruption bills at the state Capitol.
Karen DeWitt/WRVO News

Democrats pressing for bills to reform the state’s campaign finance system say the U.S. Attorney’s investigations into a panel controlled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo might help spur action on their measures.

Democrats in the state Senate introduced a package of bills that they say would lessen special interest influences in politics and curb some on going abuses.

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2:25pm

Tue May 6, 2014
Financial Stress

Your town or school's fiscal stress score, mapped

How stressed out is the checkbook in your hometown or school district? The New York comptroller's office recently finished scoring nearly 2,300 governments and school districts and tabulated their fiscal stress levels.

There are 142 municipalities in some level of fiscal stress, according to Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The comptroller says the percentage score, with 100 percent being as stressed out as a municipality can get, is an "early warning system."

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7:01am

Tue May 6, 2014
Politics and Government

State Capitol celebrates Earth Day, activists call for environmental change

Katherine Murphy of Adirondack Wildlife, with a short eared owl, which is endangered in New York.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

Earth Day was celebrated at the state Capitol, with a tribute to the late Pete Seeger and a display of live owls.

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5:03pm

Sun May 4, 2014
Politics and Government

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee on The Campbell Conversations (Pt 1)

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, left, speaks with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

In the first of two-part interview, Grant Reeher discusses the current level of conflict and polarization between the two parties with Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee.  Chafee is particularly well-suited as an observer of this problem--when in the U.S. Senate he was known as a moderate Republican.  He left the party following his service there, and successfully ran for governor as an independent.  He's now a Democrat.

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6:24am

Fri May 2, 2014
Politics and Government

New York's race for governor heats up

Zack Seward WXXI

The campaign for governor in New York is heating up. The state Democratic Party is running attack ads against the Republican candidate for governor, while the GOP candidate is fighting back in an internet video.

Just two weeks before the party conventions, Democrats are airing negative attack ads targeting incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Republican opponent, Rob Astorino.

“Rob Astorino, so far right he’s wrong for New York,” a narrator intones, over a background of ominous music.

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6:22am

Thu May 1, 2014
Politics and Government

Prospective casino operators attend mandatory question session

The New York State Gaming Commission's Ed Berns listens to questions from prospective casino operators.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

Prospective casino operators got a chance to ask the Cuomo administration questions about the process for choosing licensees for four upstate casinos. But they won’t get answers for several days.

The structure of the event was a bit awkward. Gambling conglomerates and other developers, who have all paid $1 million each for the privilege of being considered for a casino site, attended a mandatory session held by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York State Gaming Commission.

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5:51am

Thu May 1, 2014
Politics and Government

US Attorney supbeonas documents from state ethics panel

Published reports in the New York Post and New York Daily News say U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has subpoenaed records from a state ethics panel created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature.

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6:01am

Wed April 30, 2014
Politics and Government

Drug legalization and abuse topics in Albany

Brett Levin Flickr

It was a day of drug policy discussion in Albany, as lawmakers held a forum on legalizing marijuana, proposed bills to combat heroin addiction and overdoses and made progress toward a medical marijuana program.

Sponsors of a bill to legalize marijuana held a forum that in part focused on the nuts and bolts of how to implement a system that would permit sales and impose taxes on the drug.

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6:57am

Tue April 29, 2014
Politics and Government

Unfinished business in legislative session

-JvL- Flickr

There’s about two months left in the legislative session and a number of issues are still left on the agenda. But it’s uncertain how many of them will actually become law.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who’s failed to achieve a number of progressive items over the last two years, including public campaign finance reform and a Women’s Equality Act, told the Democratic Rural Conference that he’ll try to get them passed in the state legislature in the next eight weeks, before the session ends in June.

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5:49am

Mon April 28, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo defends progressive record

Ryan Delaney WRVO File

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is responding to a recent poll that finds support for a third party candidate from the left running against him for governor.  Cuomo says he has a progressive track record, and blames Republicans in the state Senate for stalling his agenda.

The Siena poll found that dissatisfaction among left-leaning Democrats in New York could cost Cuomo 15 points on election day, if the progressive  Working Families Party  put up its own candidate in the governor’s race.

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5:49am

Mon April 28, 2014
Politics and Government

State Senate is sticking point for legalizing medical marijuana

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse)
Durrie Bouscaren WRVO File

State lawmakers go back to work in Albany this week as the second half of the legislative session gets underway. The debate over legalization of medical marijuana could become one of the high profile issues lawmakers tackle.

At this point the closest plan to legalizing medical marijuana in the state is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to use executive power to  allow doctors to prescribe it in 20 hospitals across the state to patients with certain conditions.

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6:00pm

Sun April 27, 2014
Politics and Government

Stephen Zunes on The Campbell Conversations

Stephen Zunes, left, speaking with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

Over the past 40 years, the world has witnessed a wave of democratization.  Why have so many dictatorships fallen?  This week on the Campbell Conversations, University of San Francisco professor Stephen Zunes argues that it’s largely because of strategic non-violent movements.  Zunes also specializes in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and there he argues that the U.S. enables Israeli policies that give it little incentive to compromise, making the peace process difficult. 

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