Karen DeWitt

Albany Reporter

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.

DeWitt is a past recipient of the prestigious Walter T. Brown Memorial award for excellence in journalism, from the Legislative Correspondents Association, and was named Media Person of the Year by the Women’s Press Club of New York State.

DeWitt has served as a panelist for numerous political debates, including the 2014 gubernatorial debate sponsored by WNED|WBFO

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It looks like U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer will be re-elected to a fourth term on Nov. 8, barring any major turn of events. He’s about 40 points ahead of his nearest opponent in the polls, and the bigger question now is: Will Schumer be the next Senate minority leader or majority leader?

Governor Andrew Cuomo took a step deeper into the partisan politics of the state Senate on Tuesday night, telling two Democratic factions that they’ll have to work together if the November elections go their way.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says his office needs better oversight of state economic development contracts, in light of a corruption scandal that has led to criminal charges against Governor Cuomo’s former top aide, other Cuomo Administration associates and two major upstate developers. Karen DeWitt sat down with DiNapoli this week to talk about that and other topics, including  a drop in state revenues of nearly three quarter of a billion dollars so far this year, and his predictions for the elections.

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After several years of budget surpluses, New York state tax revenue is coming in at a lower-than-expected rate.

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With less than three weeks before Election Day, Hillary Clinton is even further ahead of Donald Trump in New York state, and that could affect down-ballot races, including seats for the state Senate. 

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Pipeline companies are not having a lot of success in New York so far in 2016. Opponents say they are dirty and continue New York’s over reliance on fossil fuels. Two projects have already been canceled.  A pipeline company representative says the projects are not as harmful as opponents say and, in fact, essential  for the state’s current electric needs.

Karen Dewitt

State lawmakers with disabled children, along with people with developmental disabilities and their caregivers, rallied Monday at the State Capitol for more money in the budget to pay caregivers a living wage.

Reform groups say in light of the criminal charges against some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former associates, there are a number of changes that should be made to stop more corruption in the future.

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Democrats in New York are trying to keep the heat on Republicans running for office over the coarse remarks made by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump in a leaked video.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is keeping the heat on New York Republicans to disown Donald Trump after a video revealed the GOP presidential candidate’s coarse remarks about women.

WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen Dewitt

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, speaking Thursday at a panel on corruption in state government at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, took a shot at some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's actions.


Some environmental groups say Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration should reconsider an $8 billion bailout of three upstate nuclear power plants, saying the cost will be passed on, serving as a tax to ratepayers.

Empire State Development

The scandal over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs has led to more scrutiny of whether the projects are the best way to improve the state’s economy, and some watchdog groups are asking questions.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo said much of the responsibility for the alleged corruption scandal touching his administration is on the state university system, specifically SUNY Polytechnic Institute, which oversaw many of the contracts. But reform groups say the governor is not telling the whole story.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is distancing himself from the corruption scandal within his administration and placing the blame on others. But some say Cuomo might be better off making some changes instead.

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It’s looking less likely that state lawmakers will be getting a long-awaited pay raise next year. A commission designed to take politics out of the issue is now coming under political pressure to not grant the salary increase.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making some changes to prevent any future bid-rigging in some of his major economic development projects. But critics on both the left and the right say Cuomo is failing to address the bigger picture — whether the $8.6 billion worth of programs are an effective use of public money.

New York Now

The criminal charges against nine of Governor Cuomo’s associates is only the latest incident in a wave of corruption that has enveloped the state capital for the past several years. When Cuomo first became Governor in 2011, he promised to do something about it. So far, he has not been successful. 

Associated Press

A former Cuomo administration official is among those named in a criminal complaint by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara that alleges kickback and bribery schemes carried out over several years. Many of those illegal acts, the complaint alleges, involve the governor’s much-touted upstate economic development programs, including the Buffalo Billion.

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Opponents of a pipeline expansion that would flow through vast portions of New York want the Cuomo administration to deny a key permit, an act that could halt the upgrade.

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A new poll shows that Hillary Clinton is still far ahead of Donald Trump among New York voters — but she has some weak points.

A group of state lawmakers is teaming up with environmental groups to ask Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration to ban the use of wastewater from hydrofracking and other oil and gas extraction from being spread on public roadways.

Karen Dewitt

Religious and labor advocates rallied at the State Capitol Monday as part of a nationwide movement known as Moral Mondays, to urge state lawmakers to take more progressive stances on issues.

The pro business group Unshackle Upstate is out with its rankings of state legislators who are seeking re election in November. For the most part, Republicans did better than Democrats.

Governor  Andrew Cuomo’s health commissioner faced an intense grilling from lawmakers Wednesday at a joint hearing on how the administration handled water contamination in the eastern New York village of Hoosick Falls.

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The state’s Republican Party chairman is talking up Donald Trump and predicted that the GOP presidential candidate will do well in New York.

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There is more evidence that the Presidential race may be effecting which party controls the New York State Senate.

Karen DeWitt

There's more evidence that the presidential race may be effecting which party controls the New York State Senate.

An ethics reform measure approved by the legislature at the end of the legislative session still hasn’t been signed by Governor Cuomo. And some good government groups say- it shouldn’t.

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A new poll that finds Donald Trump badly trailing Hillary Clinton in the presidential race in New York could be good news for Democrats in the state Senate.