Politics

8:53am

Tue May 13, 2014
Politics

Democratic National Committee chairwoman stumps for Dan Maffei

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO

One of the Democratic Party’s top women visited Syracuse to stump for Rep. Dan Maffei, who is running for re-election to Congress.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat, is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She spoke a Laci’s Tapas Bar Monday, a women-owned restaurant in the city's Hawley Green neighborhood.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, Common Councilor Helen Hudson, and former Palmyra Mayor Vicky Daly all showered their praise as well.

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6:26am

Tue May 13, 2014
Politics

Major parties head to NYC suburbs for state conventions

The state’s Republican and Democratic Party conventions will be held over the next couple weeks. Both major parties have chosen to hold them in locations in the New York City suburbs.

The Republicans go first. They are meeting in Rye Brook in Westchester County May 14.  It makes sense for the GOP to hold their convention in a New York City suburb. There is still a small bastion of registered Republicans, and the Republican nominee for governor will be Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.  

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6:16am

Thu May 8, 2014
Politics

Onondaga County's Bob Antonacci running for NY comptroller

Onondaga County Republican Comptroller Bob Antonocci.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Onondaga County’s top financial officer will challenge his state-wide counterpart in the November election. Bob Antonacci says he can use the comptroller post to turn around New York.

Antonacci, the Republican Onondaga County comptroller, is a lawyer and certified public accountant. He says his background on the county level has prepared him for Albany.

He was asked last week by state GOP officials to challenge Democrat Thomas DiNapoli.

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6:38am

Wed May 7, 2014
Politics

Astorino: Binghamton could be Dallas of New York

Rob Astorino, Republican candidate for New York state governor, campaigned through the Southern Tier Tuesday.
WSKG

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino touted the benefits of hydrofracking during a series of stops in the Southern Tier yesterday. One of the stops was at a Vestal company that does roadwork for oil companies just across the border in Pennsylvania.

Astorino visited the Binghamton-area company Vestal Asphalt and linked upstate New York's declining population with a lack of jobs and high taxes. He pointed to fracking as a way to reverse that trend and transform the Southern Tier.

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4:31pm

Fri April 25, 2014
Politics

Maffei challenges Katko to "straightforward campaign"

Left: Rep. Dan Maffei (file photo); right: John Katko (provided photo).
Ryan Delaney/WRVO & Katko for Congress

Rep. Dan Maffei has called on his Republican challenger to sign a pledge vowing to run a "clean campaign." That challenger, John Katko, agrees with the notion, but has decided to raise Maffei's offer.

Maffei, D-Syracuse, sent the pledge to Katko this week, saying the two should reject campaign contributions from "shady" outside groups that hide their donors. They should run "an honest, straightforward campaign," Maffei wrote.

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3:59pm

Wed April 23, 2014
Politics

Miner says she's not involved in picking replacement for party co-chair

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says she's not involved in picking a replacement to help run the state Democratic Party. She stepped down from her role as co-chair of the party last week.

Miner had the job for two years, but left to, as she puts it, give someone else a chance.

Since taking the post, though, she publicly disagreed and had a falling out with the state's most powerful Democrat and person who appointed her to the post: Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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7:00am

Mon April 21, 2014
Politics

Gillibrand says she isn't giving up on military sexual assault bill

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) speaks with reporters during a Watertown event in late January. (file photo)
Joanna Richards WRVO

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) says in the next few months she is going to revive her military sexual assault bill, which changes how those types of crimes are prosecuted by the military. The legislation failed last month following a filibuster.

Gillibrand says her bill, which would allow military prosecutors to handle sexual assault cases instead of officers in the regular chain of command, still has the support of 55 senators, including Republicans.

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5:52am

Fri April 18, 2014
Politics

Rep. Hanna will not face a Democratic challenger this fall

Transportation for America/via flickr

Local Democrats failed to meet a filing deadline to run a candidate in this year’s race to represent the 22nd Congressional District, which covers an area from Binghamton to Utica and west to Pulaski. Republican incumbent Richard Hanna will only have to get past two Republican challengers in this June’s primary.

Jim Testani is the chairman for the Broome County Democrats. He says the fact there isn’t a Democratic challenger isn’t from a lack of effort. Testani says he met with several potential candidates but says the rising cost of campaigning scared them all away.

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7:15am

Fri April 11, 2014
Politics

Cuomo to local governments: Cut spending

The governor lauded four years of on-time budgets in Irondequoit Thursday.
MIchelle Faust WXXI

During a speech in Irondequoit Thursday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo kept up pressure on local governments to cut their budgets. 

Cuomo touted four consecutive fiscal years of on-time budgets, something he says hasn't happened since the Rockefeller era. He calls it his "grand slam" budget.

The governor highlighted state efforts to cut taxes, but focused on what he called "unsustainable property taxes" levied by municipalities.

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6:44am

Fri April 11, 2014
Politics

NY Legislature approves "National Popular Vote" bill

Credit National Popular Vote

New York lawmakers have approved a bill that would enter the state in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement to award electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the majority of the popular vote.

Proponents of the National Popular Vote initiative believe that the Electoral College, in place since the first days of the nation, is not the best way to elect a president.

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7:13am

Thu April 10, 2014
Politics

New York State Gaming Commission hears testimony on problem gambling

Viri G Flickr

The New York State Gaming Commission is holding hearings on the issue of gambling addiction. It’s part of a process that will allow the building of up to seven new casino gambling resorts in the state over the next several years.

Among those testifying was James Maney, the executive director of the New York Council on Problem Gambling.

Maney, who’s organization is neither for or against gambling, says there’s no doubt the new casinos will increase the number of problem gamblers in New York.   

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7:48am

Wed April 9, 2014
Politics

Howie Hawkins begins second run for governor

Howie Hawkins, from Syracuse, is running for governor again as a Green Party candidate.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Howie Hawkins, a longtime member of the Green Party, has kicked off another campaign for governor of New York, this time with a goal to win four times as many votes as he did four years ago.

Hawkins lives on Syracuse’s south side and works for UPS. Over the years, he’s run for everything from Common Council to Congress.

In 2010, he notched just shy of 60,000 votes and raised $45,000 in his bid for governor. That was more votes than any other third party candidate. He’s hoping to quadruple both those numbers in November.

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3:02pm

Mon March 31, 2014
Politics

Comptroller says public financing plan has serious flaws

New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the public financing plan in the budget has serious flaws.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The state’s top accountant says a test public campaign finance plan that would apply only to his office is seriously flawed, and might even be unworkable. 

The budget provision, which first surfaced late Friday, would enact a pilot public campaign finance program limited to the comptroller’s office.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a long time supporter of public finance, says this plan comes too late in the election cycle, and relies on the State Board of Elections, a board widely viewed as incompetent, to set up the program.

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5:35pm

Tue March 25, 2014
Politics

Duffy says he's "in sync" with Cuomo, not planning resignation

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney talks with Gov. Andrew Cuomo (file photo).
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy says there’s no truth to rumors he will not be campaigning with the governor this fall. 

Wait for the facts to come out about him and the governor’s (both Democrats) political plans, Duffy said Tuesday in Buffalo.

Last year Duffy interviewed to become leader of the Rochester Business Alliance – the city he was once mayor of. He withdrew about a week later.

He's not being asked to step aside, he said.

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6:19am

Mon March 17, 2014
Politics

New York GOP has sights set on winning four key Congressional contests

NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment

Republican party leaders are bullish when it comes to New York state's congressional elections this November.

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5:39am

Fri March 14, 2014
Politics

Gillibrand wants higher tax write-off for child care

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) at a pre-kindergarten classroom in Herkimer County earlier this year.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wants to double the tax write-off for child care expenses, saying it will benefit working mothers and families.

Right now 35 percent of a child’s daycare – or up to about $1,000 – can be written off on annual tax filings. Gillibrand’s bill would raise that to half of the expenses, or $3,000. She says making child care more affordable will allow more parents to work full time and bring home more money.

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8:08am

Thu March 13, 2014
Politics

North Country Congressional candidate Aaron Woolf speaks on the issues

Aaron Woolf, Democratic candidate for the 21st Congressional District
NYS Democratic Party

The endorsed Democratic candidate for Bill Owens' seat in Congress finally broke his media silence Wednesday, speaking with several North Country media outlets. Aaron Woolf spoke with North Country Public Radio's David Sommerstein on a range of issues, from gun control and health care to why a political rookie wants to represent the region. Democratic county chairs chose Woolf to run a month ago, but he had declined interviews until now.

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9:42pm

Tue March 11, 2014
Politics

Donald Trump rallies Republicans, saying party can win New York

Donald Trump speaking at a Republican Party fundraiser in Syracuse Tuesday night.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

In the words of the infamous Donald Trump, upstate New York has been "abandoned," the state's gun control laws were a "catastrophe" and its pro-business television campaign is "egregious."

Those were some of the colorful adjectives Trump, a real estate tycoon and reality TV star, used at a Republican Party fundraiser Tuesday night in Syracuse.

Trump has flirted with a run for governor of New York for a few months, but his speech in front of more than 300 people was to raise money for the party, not announce a bid for governor. He did say that decision is coming soon.

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3:51pm

Fri March 7, 2014
Politics

Republican Astorino takes new campaign for governor to Syracuse

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (R) visits Syracuse as part of his new campaign for governor.
Ellen Abbott WRVO file photo

Two days  after becoming the first Republican to announce a campaign to run for governor, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino spent Friday crisscrossing upstate New York from Rochester and Syracuse to Albany, and his message was the same in each city. He believes he can beat a popular Democrat in an election where Democrats hold an overwhelming voter registration advantage.

Astorino says he did it in Westchester County, where he has twice won the office of county executive.  

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2:36pm

Thu March 6, 2014
Politics

North Country candidate Democrat Aaron Woolf says media silence is not inaction

Aaron Woolf, Democratic candidate for the 21st Congressional District
Martha Foley/NCPR

The elusive Democrat who's running for Bill Owens' seat is meeting privately with local leaders across the 21st Congressional District. Documentary filmmaker Aaron Woolf met with Warren County Democrats in Lake George Wednesday night after visiting the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce in Canton.

It's been more than three weeks since party leaders endorsed Woolf. Even though he's barely spoken with the media, Woolf says he's been busy.

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8:14pm

Wed March 5, 2014
Politics

Astorino makes it official, via YouTube announcement

Rob Astorino
Karen DeWitt/WXXI

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced on YouTube his candidacy to run as a Republican against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Astorino, a Republican who has won the county executive seat twice in the Democratically dominated Westchester County, painted a grim picture of New York under Cuomo, saying the state is “dying” from the highest taxes in the nation and is one of the poorest business climates in the country.

“Is New York winning? Or are we losing?” Astorino asks.

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7:58am

Tue March 4, 2014
Politics

DeFrancisco says pre-K funding battle could complicate state budget talks

John DeFrancisco says he doesn't believe the pre-K debate will hurt the chances of another on time budget. (file photo)
Durrie Bouscaren WRVO File

The debate over pre-K funding in New York has pit Gov. Andrew Cuomo against New York City area politicians. But one influential Syracuse-area state politician is hoping it doesn’t get in the way of successful budget negotiations, which ramp up this month.

New York state has had an on time budget each year since Cuomo took office four years ago. Sen. John DeFrancisco hopes the pre-K debate doesn’t break that streak.

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7:46am

Mon March 3, 2014
Politics

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand proposes new military sexual assault bill

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaks with reporters following an event in upstate New York. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is on a personal crusade to change the military culture that’s allowed sexual assaults to go unpunished, and is attempting to push a bill through the Senate.

Gillibrand remembers when the issue of sexual assaults in the military really got on her radar. It was while watching a 2012 documentary called The Invisible War.

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3:02pm

Sat March 1, 2014
Politics

GOP nominates candidate to challenge Maffei

John Katko (far right) at a Conservative Party event
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Former federal prosecutor John Katko has won the endorsement of the Republican Party in the race for the 24th Congressional District.  He garnered enough votes out of a field of seven candidates, to get the nomination on one ballot at a GOP convention in Syracuse Saturday.  

At least one candidate who lost the party nod, Ian Hunter, says  will begin the process of challenging Katko in a June primary.  Three others candidates haven’t ruled out that possibility.  Republicans are hoping to wrest the seat from incumbent Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei.

3:18pm

Tue February 25, 2014
Politics

Hanna prepares for primary day challengers

Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

Rep. Richard Hanna recently made the announcement that he will be running for a third term in Congress. But the Republican, who represents the 22nd Congressional District, covering all or part of eight counties stretching from Utica to Binghamton, will have at least two primary opponents to deal with before November's general election.

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1:35pm

Mon February 24, 2014
Politics

Donald Trump coming to Syracuse for GOP fundraiser

Donald Trump, a real estate mogul and reality TV star, will appear at a Republican Party event in Syracuse next month.
Gage Skidmore via Flickr

  Real estate developer, television personality and possible gubernatorial candidate Donald Trump will be in Syracuse next month as part of a fundraiser hosted by the Onondaga County Republican Committee.

Committee Chairman Tom Dadey says he hopes Trump's visit will provide a boost to local candidates, while raising money for local candidates and party operations.

"This is not Donald Trump coming to raise money for Donald Trump," Dadey said. "This is Donald Trump coming to raise money for the local Onondaga County Republican Committee, and we appreciate him doing that."

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3:07pm

Wed February 19, 2014
Politics

Doheny will be on the ballot again for the 21st District

Matt Doheny waving to onlookers at a local parade during one of his previous runs for Congress.
Credit Doheny4Congress.com

Matt Doheny is again adding his name to the 2014 ballot for northern New York's 21st Congressional District. Doheny, the owner of a private investment firm in Watertown, ran for the seat in 2010 and 2012, but lost both races to Democrat Bill Owens. Owens announced last month that he will retire after his term ends at the end of this year.

Doheny announced his candidacy less than two weeks after the district's 12 county Republican chairs endorsed Elise Stefanik as their candidate. Stefanik worked for former President George W. Bush and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

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3:24pm

Thu February 13, 2014
Politics

Maffei co-sponsors new public campaign finance push

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) is among the co-sponsors of a new public campaign finance law.
Ryan Delaney WRVO file photo

A new public campaign finance bill introduced in Congress is gaining support, including from Syracuse Rep. Dan Maffei.

Maffei, a Democrat, is among 130 co-sponsors of the Government by the People Act. It looks to amplify small campaign contributions from individuals.

Donations of up to $150 would be matched by a new federal fund. The match would be six times as much as the original, so a $100 donation would turn into $700. That’s if the candidate agrees to turn away money from political action groups, or PACs.

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6:20am

Thu February 13, 2014
Politics

Hawkins running for governor again

Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins will run for governor in November

Howie Hawkins, a perennial Green Party Candidate for office in central New York, is expected to officially jump into the race for governor.

Four years ago, Hawkins, a UPS worker who lives on Syracuse’s South Side, was one of seven candidates for governor, in a race that ultimately put Andrew Cuomo in the governor’s mansion and Hawkins in third. He wants to run again, and is hoping to get a little more respect this time after his showing in 2010.

“Last time I think, especially New York City media, said, 'oh he's  an upstate hick' and they totally ignored me," he said.

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9:14am

Wed January 22, 2014
Politics

Group calls on New York state to formally oppose Citizens United

Four years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations could spend unlimited amounts of money on politics, a central New York group is calling on New York state to stand up to the ruling.

Members of Move to Amend are lobbying state officials to pass a resolution opposing the Citizens United case. Michael Messina-Yauchzy says a constitutional amendment is the ultimate solution.

"Corporations need to be limited," he said Tuesday. "It’s 'we the people,' the corporations need to be controlled by the people. We establish the legal framework."

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