Politics and Government

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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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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