Politics and Government

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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6:48am

Fri September 27, 2013
Politics and Government

State's Capital Plan needs more detail, says watchdog group

A budget watchdog group says New York’s new 10 year plan of how it will spend more than $174 billion in road, bridge and numerous other projects lacks transparency and needs more details on how it will all be paid for.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, for the first time, has compiled a list of all the state improvement projects anticipated for the next 10 years, for a total estimated cost of $174.4 billion.

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7:19am

Thu September 26, 2013
Politics and Government

GOP searching for candidate to run for 24th congressional district

Ellen Abbott WRVO

With former Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle out of the picture, Syracuse-area Republicans can concentrate on the search for a candidate to challenge Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei, who's expected to run for reelection in the 24th Congressional District. Buerkle announced on Wednesday that she wasn't interested in another race against Maffei, preferring to focus on her position on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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7:53am

Wed September 25, 2013
Politics and Government

Moreland hearing focuses on more alleged corruption

The second public hearing held by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s commission to probe public corruption featured testimony from long time government reform groups. Many brought more evidence that they say shows potential corruption involving money and politics.

Protesters outside the hearing were advocating for public campaign finance reform, chanting “money out, voters in,” and displaying a wall of shame, featuring pictures and likenesses of dozens of politicians who’ve been indicted, arrested, convicted or jailed in recent years.

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7:49am

Tue September 24, 2013
Politics and Government

Thruway will offer more places to pull over and text

Zack Seward WXXI

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state Thruway will offer more places to pull over and answer text messages or make cell phone calls, in an effort to prevent texting while driving incidents.

The New York state Thruway will now have 91 official sites designated as texting and calling areas, to reduce texting while driving. The governor, speaking at the New Baltimore rest stop on the Thruway just south of Albany, says statistics show distracted driving has now become more deadly than drunk driving. He says one out of five accidents today are attributed to distracted driving.

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7:38am

Tue September 24, 2013
Politics and Government

Syracuse mayoral candidate Kevin Bott challenges incumbent Stephanie Miner to debate

Syracuse's Green Party mayoral candidate Kevin Bott shakes hands with incumbent Democratic Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

Syracuse's Green Party mayoral candidate, Kevin Bott, met his opponent, current Mayor Stephanie Miner, for the first time Monday night and challenged her to a debate.

Miner said she was willing to listen to what he had to say and that her campaign manager would get back to him.

Bott says the people of Syracuse deserve to hear different viewpoints debate each other in a general election.

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7:19am

Mon September 23, 2013
Politics and Government

Second hearing Tuesday for Moreland corruption commission

The second hearing of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Moreland Act Commission, which is targeting corruption in the legislature, will be held Tuesday evening in Albany. Government reform groups are scheduled to testify, and some say the commission should be looking at some of the campaign contributions to the governor himself.

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6:30am

Fri September 20, 2013
Politics and Government

Casino referendum wording increases odds that amendment will pass, say critics

This November, voters in New York will decide whether the state will allow up to seven new resort-style gambling casinos, when they vote on a constitutional amendment. But the wording of the actual referendum on the ballot may increase the odds of the new casinos being approved.

Most ballot referendums proposing constitutional changes are written in very drab, and even confusing language. But the proposal to change the state’s constitution to allow up to seven new gambling casinos is different.

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4:31pm

Thu September 19, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo says Washington gridlock won't affect Obamacare in NY

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said threats in Congress to defund Obamacare won’t have any effect on the federal Affordable Health Care Act going forward in New York.

Cuomo said even if Congress is gridlocked over funding for the federal health care act, New York will still be going ahead on Oct. 1 with the required health care exchanges.

 “The health exchange is up and running,” Cuomo said on a trip to Niagara Falls. “I don’t believe there’s going to be any effect on the state.”

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6:47am

Thu September 19, 2013
Politics and Government

Corruption hearings continue in Moreland Act Commission meeting

A commission appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to investigate public corruption is holding its first series of hearings. At the kick-off event in New York City, a prominent figure in busting corruption in the legislature announced he’s found a back door way to confiscate the pensions of convicted state politicians.

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