Karen DeWitt

Albany Reporter

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Local
6:00 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Cuomo won't commit to debate

Governor Cuomo is non-committal about whether he’ll debate his Democratic and Republican opponents in the fall elections.

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Local
8:24 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Business group ranks legislative voting records

An upstate pro business group is out with ratings for the Senate and Assembly, and finds, not surprisingly, that more liberal Democrats are at odds with the group’s agenda than conservative leaning Republicans.

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Local
6:46 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Reform groups split on ballot amendment

Government reform groups are split over whether an amendment on the November ballot to change the way legislative district lines are drawn is an improvement, or will only make gerrymandering worse.

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Focus on Education
9:20 am
Fri August 8, 2014

State surplus could provide billions to education

Billy Easton, with Alliance for Quality Education, explains report showing schools are underfunded by billions of dollars.
Credit Photo by Karen DeWitt

Education funding advocates say they have a use for the recently announced $4.2 billion state surplus. They say schools in New York, particularly the state’s poorest schools, could really use  the money.

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Local
8:03 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Comptroller candidate using public finance program

Republican comptroller candidate Bob Antonacci.
Credit Photo from bobantonacci.com

The only statewide candidate who is participating in a pilot public campaign finance program says it’s been slow going, but Republican candidate for Comptroller Bob Antonacci expects to collect enough individual donors to qualify for the state matching funds.

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Local
7:28 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Governor uses campaign funds for defense attorney

Governor Cuomo is using money from his $35 million campaign war chest to pay for a criminal defense lawyer in a federal probe of his office. Critics say while it’s legal to do so, it’s not an appropriate use of campaign money.

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Governor's Race
8:00 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Gubernatorial candidate Teachout faces eligibility test

The challenger to Governor Andrew Cuomo for the state’s Democratic primary for governor, Zephyr Teachout, is facing a challenge of her own from the Cuomo campaign. Teachout will be asked in court to prove that she’s really been a resident of the state for the past five years.

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Local
8:13 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Redistricting amendment draws criticism

Redistricting remains a hot political topic across New York.
Credit WBFO File Photo

The state board of elections has approved the language for a ballot amendment that would change the way redistricting  is done in New York. But not everyone is happy with the wording, or the amendment.

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Local
11:49 am
Fri August 1, 2014

U.S. Attorney issues warning letter to Governor Cuomo

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo explained his administration's dealings with the Moreland Commission. The appearance may have only fueled the controversy.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO news

Governor Cuomo confirms that the US Attorney investigating possible interference by Governor Cuomo’s aides in an ethics probe has sent a warning letter to the governor.

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Politics
6:00 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Long-term effects of Moreland controversy on Cuomo unknown

Credit File photo

WBFO Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt reports

Governor Cuomo has not held any public appearances since a potentially damaging New York Times story that says his top aide interfered in a corruption probe when it focused on Cuomo donors.

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Local
9:26 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Moreland controversy raises questions over AG's role

Attorney General Eric Schniederman and Governor Andrew Cuomo were on hand last year to discuss the formation of the Moreland Commission.
Credit Photo by Karen DeWitt

The fallout continues over whether Governor Cuomo’s top aid interfered with an ethics commission probe, with some now saying that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman could have done more to protect the integrity of the investigations and whether any actual crimes were committed.

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Local
8:56 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Cuomo Administration accused of meddling in corruption investigation

One of Governor Cuomo’ s political opponents is calling on Governor Cuomo to hold an explanatory press conference, and  another is demanding that Cuomo to resign after an in depth account in the New York Times reports that the governor’s top staff repeatedly interfered in an ethics commission investigation.

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Governor's Race
6:38 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Poll shows wide gap in Governor's race

A new poll shows Republican Rob Astorino trailing in the Governor's race by 37 points.
Credit WBFO File Photo

A poll conducted fifteen weeks before Election Day shows incumbent New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is maintaining a wide lead over his nearest challenger.

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Local
7:50 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Teachers give failing grade to education commissioner

State Education Commissioner John King remains a target of criticism.
Credit WBFO File Photo

The President of the state’s teachers’ union says members aren’t yet ready to rescind a vote of no confidence in state Education Commissioner John King, despite improved relations in recent months.

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Local
7:55 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Cuomo Tappan Zee plan earns approval

After a lengthy session, the panel approved a controversial loan for the Tappan Zee Bridge.
Credit Photo by Karen DeWitt

A key oversight board approved half of the amount Governor Cuomo had sought for a loan from a clean water fund to help pay for the construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

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Local
8:12 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Group urges no vote on Cuomo proposal

Peter Iwanowicz of Environmental Advocates explains his opposition to Tappan Zee proposal.
Credit Photo by Karen DeWitt

Environmentalists are urging a key review board to vote no on a request from the Cuomo Administration to help rebuild the Tappan Zee Bridge.

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Politics
3:17 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

LG candidate Kathy Hochul keeping a low profile

Running mates Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul, from the Democratic State Convention in May
Credit Matt Ryan, New York Now

WBFO's Karen DeWitt reports

Governor Cuomo’s running mate, Lieutenant Governor nominee Kathy Hochul, is keeping an unusually low profile during the first months of the election campaign. The lack of public campaigning by Hochul is starting to raise some questions.

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Local
7:54 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Senate leader pledges bipartisan cooperation

Senate Independent Conference Leader Jeff Klein says even though his group now plans to realign with the Democrats in the Senate, he won’t rule out working with Republicans in the future.

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Local
5:05 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Senate factions will form Democratic coalition

State Senator Jeff Klein says Senate Democrats have agreed to form a new majority in Albany.
Credit WBFO News File Photo

Two Democratic factions in the State Senate say they are joining to form what could be a strong Democratic Majority in the Senate, leaving Republicans, who up until now have ruled the chamber in a coalition government, out of power.

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Focus on Education
7:56 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Few districts embracing Pre-Kindergarten expansion

Credit WBFO News file photo

Fewer than 20 percent of school districts outside of New York City have expressed interest in expanding their pre-kindergarten programs. Critics say that falls far short of the goals of a program billed in the state budget as  "universal pre-K."

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Local
8:13 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Reformers blast referendum on redistricting

Government reform groups are beginning their push early to convince voters to reject an amendment on redistricting on the state’s November ballot. They say it’s a sham that does not offer the changes that it promises.

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Local
8:54 am
Thu June 19, 2014

New laws look to curb heroin use

The final days of the legislative session have produced anti-heroin measures, but no movement on medical marijuana.
Credit WBFO File Photo

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders have agreed to a package of bills to combat heroin addiction. The movement comes as the legislative session draws to a close.

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Local
4:41 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Medical marijuana meetings continue in Albany

State Senator Jeff Klein thinks negotiations over medical marijuana could end on a "high."
Credit Photo by Karen DeWitt

Sponsors of a medical marijuana bill continued to negotiate with Governor Cuomo over the Governor’s objections to many of the measure’s provisions, but say they are hopeful that a deal can be reached in the next couple of days.

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Local
8:22 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Possible primary challenge emerges for Cuomo

Zephyr Teachout says she is looking to get on the ballot for the September primary.
Credit Photo by Karen DeWitt

Governor Cuomo might have a primary challenger. Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University law professor and activist, announced she’s collecting signatures to be on the September Democratic primary ballot.

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Local
8:17 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Legislative session could end in a whimper

The Senate may not address some of the hot political issues before the end of the legislative session.

The legislative session is scheduled to end on Thursday, and many issues remain unresolved. But a low-key end of session might not matter much to New York’s top political figures.

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Local
5:39 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Legislature not moving on Women's Equality Act

Democrats and their allies in the legislature say there’s little chance any major issues can be accomplished in the remaining days of the legislative session. Those pushing for a Women’s Equality Act are already looking ahead to the fall campaigns as the next step.

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Local
8:47 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Democrats preparing to control State Senate

State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins

The leader of the Senate Democrats says if Governor Cuomo is successful in helping retake the chamber for Democrats in the fall elections, she expects the Senate to be much more functional than it was the last time the Democrats were in power.

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Local
8:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Cuomo dodges political controversy

Controversy emerged following the endorsement of Governor Cuomo by the Working Families Party

Governor Cuomo tried to change the subject with two economic development appearances, in the aftermath of a political endorsement that has shaken up the Capitol.

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Local
9:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Upstate business group concerned over governor's shifting politics

The fallout from Governor Cuomo’s new alliance with the progressive Working Families Party continues at the Capitol, with those who say they represent upstate interests dismayed at the development.

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Local
4:48 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Cuomo promises to shake up Senate leadership

Credit WBFO News File Photo

Democrats in the Senate say they are taking Governor Andrew Cuomo at his word to help them regain the majority in the Senate, despite some indications that the governor might be walking back some of the promises he made at the Working Family Party’s  convention Saturday night.

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