Politics and Government

7:57am

Tue December 17, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo says hydrofracking decision may come after Election Day

File photo
Bosc d'Anjou Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he may not decide whether the state should go ahead with hydrofracking for natural gas until after the November 2014 election.

Cuomo, who previously said he’d decide on whether or not to okay the controversial drilling process known as fracking in New York before Election Day 2014, now says he wants to give his health commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah, all the time he needs to complete an ongoing health review, which began over a year ago.

“I don’t want to put any undue pressure on them that would artificially abbreviate what they’re doing,” said Cuomo.

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7:28am

Tue December 17, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo says reduced spending won't be needed to enact tax cuts

File photo
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget director outlined more details of the governor’s tax commission's proposal to cut property and business taxes in the state.

Cuomo is under pressure from Republicans to cut income taxes, and from New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio to raise income taxes on the rich. But he says the state, which already has a temporary income tax surcharge on the wealthy, needs to address its highest in the nation property taxes right now instead of personal income taxes, also known as the PIT.

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8:01am

Mon December 16, 2013
Politics and Government

IDC introduces its Affordable NY plan

Sen. Dave Valesky promotes the IDC's Affordable NY plan.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The independent group of Democrats in the state Senate says its 2014 legislative agenda will have a positive impact on the greatest number of New Yorkers.

Following state Republicans and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax commission, the Independent Democratic Conference has put forward its ideas on how to use the projected $2 billion budget surplus next year.

The IDC is calling its plan "Affordable NY." It targets middle class New Yorkers through extended maternity leave and allowing college students to lock in tuition rates at public universities.

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4:27pm

Sun December 15, 2013
Politics and Government

Madeleine Kunin on the Campbell Conversations

Madeleine Kunin
madeleinekunin.org

  On this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with former Vermont Governor and U.S.

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7:47am

Thu December 12, 2013
Politics and Government

Factions form over Cuomo's tax commission plan

Divisions are forming in the upcoming debate over tax cuts that’s likely to dominate the new legislative session.  

Business groups are largely supportive of the findings of a tax commission appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The commission recommends cuts to the corporate tax, faster phase out of an energy tax and easing of the estate tax. They also propose a reduction in property taxes by encouraging local governments and schools to cut spending and consolidate.

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7:33am

Wed December 11, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo tax commission would cut $2 billion in property, business taxes

File photo
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax commission is recommending a $2 billion package that includes a temporary freeze on property taxes, and a cut in corporate taxes to a 40 year low.  

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7:46am

Tue December 10, 2013
Politics and Government

Reform groups focus on state Board of Elections

Reform groups are focusing attention on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission’s recommendations to beef up the anemic state Board of Elections, but say they have not given up hope of public campaign financing for state wide races.

The reform groups say the state Board of Elections in its present form is useless and incompetent when it comes to enforcing campaign violations, and needs to be replaced.

Blair Horner is with the New York Public Interest Research Group.

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5:07pm

Mon December 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Maffei says partisan politics hurting Farm Bill legislation

Ian Lamont Flickr

Farmers aren't the only ones worrying about Congress' failure to come to an agreement on the Farm Bill. Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei says partisan politics have gotten in the way, and are hurting Congress' ability to move legislation forward.

Maffei says the Farm Bill, and the legislation connected to it, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, should be passed, though both Republicans and Democrats need to compromise on their positions.

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8:16am

Mon December 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo's tax commission report delayed

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s commission to study tax cuts has missed its December 6 deadline to report it’s findings, after facing controversy over former Gov. George Pataki’s desire to cut income taxes for all wage earners, including the wealthy.  

Although the tax commission has now bogged down over co-chairman George Pataki’s push to lower income tax rates, its original charge was to look at ways to lower New York’s highest in the nation property taxes, as well as find ways to reduce business taxes.

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8:12am

Thu December 5, 2013
Politics and Government

Future of public campaign finance uncertain

One of the most controversial recommendations in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission report released this week is to enact public financing of campaigns for statewide elections.

The majority of the 25 Moreland Act commissioners say a public campaign finance system modeled on New York City’s matching donor system is the only way to curb the undue influence of big money donors in state government.

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8:04am

Thu December 5, 2013
Government

Fire hydrants could have to be scrapped under new EPA rule

Sen. Charles Schumer (D - N.Y.) wants the EPA to exempt fire hydrants from lead requirements for drinking water products.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Water authorities are in danger of having to scrap thousands of brand new fire hydrants if a new federal environmental requirement is allowed to go through as written.

The Onondaga County Water Authority keeps a stockpile of 200 fire hydrants on hand to replace broken or damaged ones. They cost $1,200 each.

The EPA is lowering the amount of lead that can be in things that touch drinking water, like sink faucets, but it could also render local water authority's stockpile of hydrants useless.

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7:40am

Wed December 4, 2013
Politics and Government

Moreland Commission report draws reaction from both sides

Matt Wade Flickr

Advocates and lawmakers at the New York Capitol are reacting to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission report. It offers scathing criticism of what the commission says is a corrupt culture in Albany, and recommends numerous reforms.

The Moreland Act Commissioners offer withering criticism of what they say is a pervasive culture of illegal corruption and what they call legalized bribery ingrained in a campaign finance system where large donors hold sway over which legislation gets approved, and which bills are suppressed.

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8:40am

Tue December 3, 2013
Politics and Government

Moreland Commission recommends public campaign financing, other reforms

Wallyg Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission issued a scathing report Monday evening that criticizes what the commission says is Albany’s culture of corruption and recommends numerous reforms.

The Moreland Act Commissioners describe their report as a blueprint to fix what they say is the pervasive dysfunction in Albany.

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9:20am

Mon December 2, 2013
Politics and Government

Southern Tier poised to provide exciting 2014 congressional race

Money is the lifeblood of any political campaign, especially in competitive races. And the race between Tom Reed and Martha Robertson is shaping up to be just that.

Steve Greenberg, a political pollster at Siena College, says it’s only recently that New York has seen truly competitive congressional races.

“We saw it five years ago, we saw it three years ago, we saw it last year and it seems almost certain that we are going to see it again next year,” Greenberg said.  

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8:53am

Fri November 29, 2013
Politics and Government

Senator DeFrancisco says Cuomo's Moreland Commission is a risky proposition

The commission that’s been delving into public corruption in New York state will release a preliminary report to Gov. Andrew Cuomo this weekend. The Moreland Commission, appointed by Cuomo, has held several hearings on the issue, and has been investigating the connection between private money and public officials, with an eye towards making policy proposals. One high ranking New York state senator has concerns though whether the commission’s work will be tangled in a question of separation of powers.

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6:27am

Tue November 26, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo criticizes state lawmakers fighting subpoenas on outside income

File photo
Zack Seward WXXI

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has some harsh words for state lawmakers who are fighting his commission in court regarding subpoenas that would force legislators to reveal their outside business with private legal clients.

Cuomo says state lawmakers fighting the subpoenas are acting like they are concealing something.

“Those that have nothing to hide, disclose,” Cuomo said. “Those that don’t, have an issue.”

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8:25am

Mon November 25, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo appears to distance himself from Common Core

James F Clay Flickr

Is Gov. Andrew Cuomo backing away from his support for the new Common Core curriculum in schools? In recent days, Cuomo seems to have cooled from his initial endorsement of the rapid transition to the adoption of the national education standards.  

Everywhere Cuomo goes these days, he’s dogged by questions from reporters about what’s widely perceived as a rocky start up for New York state’s adoption of the new national Common Core standards for school children.

Cuomo was asked essentially the same question in recent days in stops from Buffalo to Lake Placid.

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8:00am

Mon November 25, 2013
Politics and Government

State lawmakers fight Cuomo commission subpoenas in court

Leaders of the New York state legislature are in court fighting a request from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ethics commission that they turn over details about their private law clients.

Assembly Democrats and Senate Republicans are asking a state Supreme Court Judge to quash subpoenas from Cuomo’s Moreland Act Commission, demanding they reveal details of private law clients who pay them more than $20,000 a year. Their attorneys are arguing that it’s unconstitutional for the governor to directly investigate the legislature and it violates the separation of powers.

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7:14am

Wed November 20, 2013
Politics and Government

Progressive groups weigh in on tax reform

Taxes and tax reform are likely to be a major topic in the next legislative session, which begins in seven weeks. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is relying on two separate commissions for ideas about tax changes, while progressive groups and Republicans in the State Senate are also weighing in.

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3:01pm

Mon November 18, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo's job performance hits all-time low in poll

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating is the lowest it’s been since taking office, according to a new poll. The Siena College survey also finds many New Yorkers are split regarding the implementation of the new Common Core standards in schools.  

The Siena College poll finds only 44% of voters like the job that Cuomo is doing as governor. A small majority, 56 percent, say he’s doing a fair or poor job. Siena’s Steve Greenberg says it’s the first time the governor’s approval rating has dipped below 50 percent.  

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8:25am

Mon November 18, 2013
Politics and Government

Landowners to file lawsuit against hydrofracking delays

File Photo
WBFO

A landowners group says it intends to file a lawsuit before the end of the year against what it says are the Cuomo administration’s unreasonable delays on hydrofracking.

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6:39am

Fri November 15, 2013
Politics and Government

Schumer says he supports Obama's Affordable Care Act promise

file photo
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer says he is glad President Barack Obama is keeping his promise to Americans by allowing them to keep insurance plans that would have been canceled for an extra year. The president announced yesterday that even if insurances plans do not comply with the Affordable Care Act, policyholders are now able to keep those plans through 2014.

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6:20am

Fri November 15, 2013
Politics and Government

Groups call for ban on standardized testing for young children

Katie Keier Flickr

A coalition of unions and government reform groups are calling for a ban on standardized testing for New York’s school children in second grade and younger.

In a teleconference, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said it’s absurd that the groups are even in the position of calling for a ban on standardized testing for children in pre-kindergarten through the second grade. Mulgrew and others say the tests are inappropriate for four to seven year olds, and should never have been implemented in the first place.

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8:16am

Thu November 14, 2013
Politics and Government

Senators hear more complaints about Common Core

New York state’s Teacher of the Year testified at a state Senate hearing that even she could not receive high marks in her teacher evaluation process, due to what she and others say is the dysfunctional implementation of the new Common Core standards.

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7:23am

Wed November 13, 2013
Politics and Government

Calls for public campaign finance system include a Moreland Commission co-chairman

Advocacy groups are encouraged by recent statements made by the co-chairman of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission, who says he now favors public financing of political campaigns.

Syracuse-area Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick is the co-chairman of Cuomo’s Moreland Act Commission, and says he has become a convert to using public funds to finance political campaigns.

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9:30am

Tue November 12, 2013
Politics and Government

Cokie Roberts: Women's impact on America from Sewards to senators

NPR political analyst Cokie Roberts is also an author of historical non-fiction books. And she will be speaking in central New York Thursday evening at the Seward House in Auburn. WRVO's Catherine Loper spoke with Roberts from her home in the Washington, D.C. area about the role of women in American history and in politics today.

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8:02am

Tue November 12, 2013
Politics and Government

Nearing start of 2014 campaign season, Cuomo yet to have an announced opponent

File photo
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Now that this year’s elections are over, the political world is gearing up for the 2014 contests. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to seek another term, and so far no one has officially said they will run against him.  

Cuomo sounded like he was in campaign mode the day after Election Day, when he celebrated the passage of a casino gambling amendment that he pushed.

“Are we fired up?” Cuomo asked a cheering crowd.

Cuomo focused on an important issue for any candidate - economic development - which he says the new casinos will bring.

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7:37am

Mon November 11, 2013
Politics and Government

Despite projected budget gap, Cuomo seeking tax cuts

401(K) 2012 Flickr

Now that the elections are over, state budget deadlines are rapidly approaching. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has released a largely positive budget outlook for the new year, though he warns of some uncertainties.

Under reforms adopted a few years ago, state officials including the  comptroller, are required to start the budget process, which ends in late March, even earlier.

DiNapoli is out with his report, and he says the state budget is largely in balance.

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4:55pm

Sun November 10, 2013
Politics and Government

Bill Fitzpatrick on The Campbell Conversations

Onondaga County DA and Moreland Commission Co-chair Bill Fitzpatrick (left) speaking with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher.

  The Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption is already making waves in Albany, as the media and the public react to what's coming out at its public hearings.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with the Commission's Co-chair, Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick, about the Commission's work and its possible impact on the state's politics.  He also addresses the charge that the Governor Andrew Cuomo is meddling in the Commission's affairs.

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8:12am

Fri November 8, 2013
Politics and Government

Women's Equality Act campaign restarts for 2014

The 2013 legislative session ended in June.
Wallyg Flickr

A coalition of women’s groups is relaunching the Women’s Equality Act, which failed in the legislature earlier this year, with a new strategy that they say could help them win passage in 2014.

The Women’s Equality Act coalition has a new website and are organizing through social media. It's also produced a video using humor to connect with supporters.

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