Karen DeWitt

Albany Reporter

Ways To Connect

Photo from Karen Dewitt

One day after Democrats in the Senate proposed sharply curtailing outside income earned by state lawmakers, the leader of another Senate faction says he’s quitting his private law practice.

With less than two months before the state budget is due, Governor Cuomo and education groups remain at odds, with the state teacher’s union calling the fight a “war,” and Cuomo calling the teachers and their allies a bloated bureaucracy.

Two sexual harassment victims of former Assemblyman Vito Lopez have settled their case and will receive  $580,000 in restitution. It was one of two lingering corruption cases which came to resolution in Albany Thursday.

courtesy of Heastie website

The State Assembly is poised to elect Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie as the next Speaker, as Sheldon Silver resigns in disgrace over serious corruption charges.

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The race to replace the disgraced Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver seems all but over, with the Assembly’s Majority Leader Joe Morelle ending his bid for the job and throwing his support to Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie. A vote could be held as early as next week.

Karen Dewitt

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will end his long reign as the head of the Assembly on Monday, say the Democratic members of the Assembly who announced they’ll hold a new election for Speaker on February 10th.

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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is under arrest and $3.8 million in eight different bank accounts held by Silver have been seized as federal prosecutors accuse the Speaker of running two fraudulent and corrupt schemes.

Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo died on New Year’s Day, just hours after his son , Governor Andrew Cuomo, gave his inaugural address for his second term in office.

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Environmentalists are celebrating while gas companies are fuming over Governor Cuomo's decision to ban hydro fracking in New York State for the near future. Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt provides some insight into the decision in an interview with WBFO's Morning Edition host Jay Moran.

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Environmentalists are celebrating after Gov.Cuomo said there will be no hydrofracking in New York for now, citing inconclusive scientific evidence on the health effects of the gas drilling process.

There are growing calls in Albany for a special prosecutor to investigate police encounters with unarmed citizens that end in the death of the person.  Senate Democrats are the latest to ask for immediate action in the wake of the death of Eric Garner and other recent incidents.

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Four candidates for New York governor squared off in a debate last night from the WNED|WBFO studios. Afterward, the debate's moderator, WBFO News Director Brian Meyer, and one of its panelists, New York Public Radio Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt, talked about what they saw and heard during the hour-long forum.

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Four of the candidates running for Governor of New York will be participating in a debate originating from Buffalo at the studios of WNED|WBFO. It will be shown on public television and heard on public radio tonight. It’s the only debate agreed to by Andrew Cuomo and his challengers.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Governor Andrew Cuomo made a rare appearance before the State University of New York Board of Trustees and convinced officials to pass a system-wide set of policies on how to respond to sexual assault and rape on campus.

U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Kap Kim, Combined Joint Task Force-10 Public Affairs / WBFO News

Governor Andrew Cuomo is in Afghanistan for a surprise visit.

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The issue of hydrofracking played a role in the recent Democratic primary for governor in New York, and those who oppose the gas drilling process hope it will influence the general election, as well.

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

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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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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.

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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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.

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.

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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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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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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