Politics and Government

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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8:18am

Thu November 7, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo touts casino amendment win

Patja Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not lose any time in publicizing a win on a gambling expansion amendment in Tuesday’s voting. The governor made two public appearances in regions that are now authorized to build resort style casinos.

In what amounted to a post election victory lap, Cuomo celebrated the passage of the casino gambling amendment in the Catskills with a crowd of business, labor and local government officials. He called it a huge win.

“This is a game changer,” Cuomo said. “It means jobs. It means business. It means getting the economy running.”

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8:26am

Wed November 6, 2013
Politics and Government

Casino referendum fails in Monroe County, still passes in N.Y.

Benketaro Flickr

New Yorkers voted yes to Proposition 1 on ballots yesterday, authorizing seven non-Indian casinos to be built, mostly in the upstate region.

The amendment to the state constitution, approved 57 percent to 43 percent Tuesday, was proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration as a way to boost economic and job growth.

In Monroe County, the proposition was narrowly beaten by 460 votes.

Bill Reilich, chairman of the county’s GOP committee, voted no. He says gambling will not bring the economic development promised.

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8:22am

Wed November 6, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo wins on casino and judge retirement age ballot amendments

The success of Proposition 1, the ballot amendment to expand casino gambling, and the failure of the last amendment, to allow judges to serve until age 80, are both wins for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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8:20am

Wed November 6, 2013
Politics and Government

Miner wins reelection in Syracuse, Greens say party shows strength

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner addresses the crowd following the announcement of her re-election victory.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Syracuse and Onondaga County's local political landscape remains pretty much intact after yesterday's election. Republicans rule the suburbs and County government; while democrats maintain a stranglehold over Syracuse city hall. Mayor Stephanie Miner won re-election easily with 68 percent of the vote against two third-party challengers, and got a surprise congratulations call from Washington.

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8:04am

Tue November 5, 2013
Politics and Government

Two Adirondack land swap proposals on ballot

Two of the six amendments on Tuesday’s ballot deal with land swaps in New York’s Adirondack Park. One of the proposals has split environmental groups.

Proposition 4 would clear up some land disputes for property owners on Raquette Lake, in Hamilton County. It would allow the state to give clear titles to around 200 homes along the lake. In exchange, the landowners would contribute to a fund to buy alternative land for the Adirondack forest preserve. There is no organized opposition to that land swap.

But Proposition 5 is more controversial.

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7:54am

Tue November 5, 2013
Politics and Government

Voters get last word on passage of six state amendments

License Some rights reserved by Håkan Dahlström Creative Commons License

There are six amendments on Tuesday’s ballot, ranging from whether New York should allow seven resort-style gambling casinos, to whether judges should be allowed to serve on the bench until the age of 80. Here’s a rundown:

Proposition 1 has received the most attention. It would amend the state’s constitution to change the prohibition on gambling casinos, allowing up to seven resort style gambling centers to be built. A coalition of business and labor groups has been mailing brochures out to voters, and running ads.

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8:15am

Mon November 4, 2013
Politics and Government

Onondaga County Elections Commissioners struggle to get people to polls

Polling machines like this one will be used throughout Onondaga County for Tuesday's elections.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Elections officials in Onondaga County aren't counting on a busy day tomorrow, as they're predicting record low turnout rates.

Republican Elections Commissioner Helen Kiggens Walsh thinks it'll be a struggle to get more voters out this year than two years ago, which was the lowest turnout ever.

"Our record low is 25 percent," Kiggens Walsh said. "I think we're going to go below that this year. I'm guessing the low 20s."

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6:15pm

Sun November 3, 2013
Politics and Government

No consensus on amendment to raise judge retirement age to 80

A proposal on the November ballot to allow some state judges to serve until they are 80 years old is not drawing a lot of support, and one court expert says that’s a shame.

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8:09am

Fri November 1, 2013
Politics and Government

Commercial gambling's history moves from underground to mainstream

ChrisYunker via Flickr

If voters on Tuesday pass the proposed amendment to the state constitution to allow casino gambling, New York will become the 21st state to have commercial, Las Vegas-style casinos. Across much of the country nowadays, gambling seems like the natural state of things. But it wasn’t always that way.

If you’re a person of a certain age -- say about 50 -- you’ll remember when going to the casino meant a trip all the way to Las Vegas. It seems almost quaint now, but just a generation ago casinos were outlawed in 49 of 50 states. Only Nevada allowed legalized gambling.

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8:19am

Thu October 31, 2013
Politics and Government

State Senate Republicans respond to Moreland Commission subpoenas

-JvL- Flickr

Republicans in the New York Senate, who are targets of subpoenas by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption Moreland Act Commission, are fighting back in court.

The subpoenas were sent by the Moreland Commission to the Republican Senate Campaign Committee, as well as the campaign committees of Democrats, seeking internal documents and emails. The Senate GOP has filed a challenge in Supreme Court, claiming that it’s not fair to compel Republicans to hand over documents that outline their political campaign strategies to a commission appointed by a Democratic governor.

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8:11am

Wed October 30, 2013
Politics and Government

State Board of Elections officials grilled at corruption commission hearing

New York State Board of Elections officials received a verbal drubbing from commissioners on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission, during a lengthy hearing over their failure to pursue complaints about campaign violations during the past several years.

During intense questioning by the commissioners, Board of Elections officials admitted that they failed to follow up on hundreds of complaints and potential election law violations over the past several years. And when they did pursue a very small number of cases, they appeared to bungle the probes.  

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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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