Politics

Political news

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney narrowly slipped past the rest of the GOP field to win Tuesday night's Iowa caucuses. 

The photo-finish saw Romney beat Rick Santorum by eight votes, with Ron Paul in a close third.  Now it's on to the primaries in New Hampshire and then South Carolina. 

University at Buffalo political scientist James Campbell, a nationally recognized scholar on presidential politics, joined WBFO's Mark Scott to talk about the results.

Fontana elected new common council president

Jan 3, 2012
WBFO News photo by Ashley Hassett

The Buffalo Common Council has elected new leadership. 

Lovejoy District lawmaker Richard Fontana has been elected to serve as Common Council president, knocking out long-time council president David Francyzk. 

Lawmakers voted in favor of Fontana to serve as next council president. 

“Having worked with and looked up to many Council Presidents, it is a sincere honor to be elected by my colleagues to the office. A strong, independent, and proactive legislative branch of government is and always has been my vision for the Common Council," said Fontana.

WBFO News file photo

Although the Erie County Executive's office was open to the public on Sunday following Mark Poloncarz's oath of office, Tuesday was his first official day in his new job.  Poloncarz marked the occasion by signing and issuing five executive orders.

 The very first order he signed begins the process of finding legal assistance as Erie County prepares to negotiate a new Ralph Wilson Stadium lease with the Buffalo Bills.  The current deal with the football team ends later this year.

WBFO News photos by Marian Hetherly

Erie County's new County Executive says his first order of business this week will be to issue several executive orders aimed at weeding out waste, fraud and abuse in County government. 

WBFO's Marian Hetherly reports on the swearing in Sunday of Mark Poloncarz.

"Today, County government is back in the hands of those who own it: the people of Erie County," said Poloncarz.

County executive-elect appoints senior positions

Dec 28, 2011

Erie County Executive-elect Mark Poloncarz has issued his appointments for senior positions in his upcoming administration.

Poloncarz has appointed commissions of Health, Emergency Services and Environment and Planning, Director of Budget and Management and County Attorney.

File Photo

2011 saw a return to normalcy in the State Capitol.  After four years of high profile scandals, a new governor worked with both parties to pass an ambitious agenda, including a property tax cap and a gay marriage law. 

The dysfunction that was so typical of state government the past four years disappeared in 2011.  Governor Andrew Cuomo came into office determined to pass an on-time budget and more.  Ken Lovett, Albany bureau correspondent for the New York Daily News, says it was a refreshing change...

Congresswoman Kathy Hochul has introduced legislation that will enhance 9-1-1 communications systems.

The bill is known by the acronym, ALERT ACT, which stands for Allowing Local Emergency Response Technicians to Accept Cellular Texts Act. Hochul's action would require emergency call centers update their handling of emergency text messages and to send an error message if the transmission did not go through.

The FCC would enforce the mandates.

WBFO News file photo

There is expected to be a change in leadership in the Buffalo Common Council.  WBFO'S Eileen Buckley says for the last eight years, Fillmore District lawmaker David Francyzk has served as Council president, but now Lovejoy District Council member Richard Fontana is apparently gaining new support to lead the Common Council in 2012
 

A man who served as a commissioner in both county and city government has been tapped as the next deputy county executive. 

Erie County Executive-elect Mark Poloncarz Monday announced he has selected Richard Tobe to serve in his administration. 

Yesterday in Erie County Hall, legislators were urged to support a resolution calling on New York State to get tougher with its anti-bullying laws.  WBFO's Michael Mroziak spoke with a local State Assemblyman to find out just how lawmakers in Albany are taking on the topic of bullying.
 

Ryan says Grisanti staying in GOP is good for WNY

Oct 6, 2011

State Senator Mark Grisanti is telling the Buffalo News that in spite of the criticism he's getting from conservatives for his vote to legalize gay marriage, he has no plans to jump back to the Democratic Party.

Grisanti has led some to speculate whether the Republican might return to his original party, but Grisanti is telling the newspaper he's comfortable in his place with the G.O.P.

In Buffalo, State Assemblyman Sean Ryan suggests Grisanti remaining a Republican works to the advantage of the entire local delegation.

WBFO News

Cheektowaga, NY – Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown returned from Washington Wednesday after attending the Inauguration. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley caught up with Brown as he arrived at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Wednesday afternoon.

Mayor Brown confirmed that while he was in D.C., he met with Governor David Paterson to discuss the U.S. Senate seat.

Buffalo, NY – The pomp and ceremony are now over. Wednesday, President Barack Obama gets to work. His agenda is a full one -- wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a struggling economy here.

photo courtesy of Kittinger

Buffalo, NY – The President and Vice President sat in Kittinger made chairs from Buffalo during Tuesday's Inauguration.

Kittinger received a letter last month asking the company to make two Presidential fireside chairs and a small wine table. The chairs match six chairs made by the company in 2005 used during the Bush Inauguration ceremony. Kittinger says it was very happy that Western New York had such a meaningful part in this Historical event.

Buffalo, NY – The inauguration of the nation's first African-American president touched people. WBFO invited listeners to share some of their thoughts about this historic event.

Click the audio player above to hear some of their comments now or use your podcasting software to download them to your computer or iPod.

Washington, DC – WBFO's Doug Blakely traveled to Washington yesterday for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Doug spent hours standing in the cold, just to catch a quick glimpse of the new president in the inaugural parade.

Mark Scott reached Doug on his cell phone to find out how it went. Click the audio player above to hear the interview now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

WBFO News \">\">

Amherst, NY – The historic Inauguration spans the generations. At the Weinberg Campus in Amherst, residents watched and celebrated the Obama Inauguration and offered some advise for the new President.

WBFO News\">

Buffalo, NY –

A small group of Buffalo State College students will be among the masses gathering at the National Mall for the Obama Inauguration. The group left for Washington Monday morning.

Click the audio player above to hear Eileen Buckley's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

National Mall, Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. – Hundreds of thousands gathered at Washington's Lincoln Memorial Sunday to celebrate Barack Obama's inauguration as the first African American President. The entertainment included a mega-star line up including U2, Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen.

WBFO News

Buffalo, NY – A group of Buffalo Public School students will be attending the Inauguration of Barack Obama on Tuesday. About 50 students from Bennett High School and School 31 in Buffalo will be boarding a bus early Monday morning.

WBFO News

Buffalo, NY – Kittinger Furniture in Buffalo has been hard at work making some special pieces for the inauguration of Barack Obama. It is not the first time the company has built custom furnishings for the White House. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley visited the Kittinger warehouse and files this report.

Buffalo, NY – Congressman Chris Lee has landed a seat on the influential Financial Services Committee in the US House of Representatives.

Congressman Lee admits he was hoping he'd be named to this committee. With Wall Street in collapse and foreclosures on the rise, Lee says the Financial Services panel is likely to be quite busy in the coming year.

Washington, DC – Republican Chris Lee was sworn in Tuesday as the new representative of the 26th congressional district.

Lee says his first priority is passage of an economic recovery package that spurs growth while providing tax relief to working families.

Lee is a freshman member of the minority party in the House. Despite the lack of political clout, Lee challenged his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to control federal spending. He says Washington needs to "stop treating federal responsibility like an after thought."

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Executive Chris Collins says he would prefer to see a Western New Yorker selected to fill Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate seat. Reporters asked Collins how he felt about Caroline Kennedy's Upstate tour that included Buffalo last week. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley has his reaction.

Click the audio player above to hear Eileen Buckley's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

WBFO News

Buffalo, NY – Caroline Kennedy ended an Upstate tour in Buffalo Wednesday. Kennedy confirmed that she informed Governor David Paterson that she would be interested in succeeding Hilllary Clinton if she gets confirmed as the next Secretary of State. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley was there when she arrived at City Hall to meet with Mayor Byron Brown.

Click the audio player above to hear Eileen Buckley's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

Buffalo, NY – The office of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is expected to announce the winners of Inauguration tickets Monday.

Schumer says after receiving thousands of request for tickets to the historic event, he conducted a lottery. He says he received 100,000 requests for Inauguration tickets within the first two weeks of the election of Barack Obama. But Schumer says despite representing 19 million people in New York State he was issued only 395 tickets to the Presidential Inauguration.

Buffalo, NY – Governor David Paterson has been consulting with a "wide variety" of individuals about the next Democrat to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has talked with Paterson. But Schumer is remaining tight lipped about their discussions.

Click the audio player above to hear Eileen Buckley's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

Buffalo, NY – Messages of encouragement, support and love are being compiled into a book for Michelle Obama. The Uncrowned Queens, based at the University at Buffalo, has received well wishes from across the globe for the soon to be First Lady.

Buffalo, NY – Governor David Paterson will have more than a month to choose a successor to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her office announced Monday that she will not resign her Senate seat until she is confirmed as Secretary of State.

Paterson issued a statement saying he will not make his choice until the seat is actually empty.

Buffalo, NY – If Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's is confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of State, it will be up to Governor David Paterson to name her replacement.

As we have reported over the past couple of weeks, Congressman Brian Higgins and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown have already been mentioned as possible replacements. But Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Len Lenihan says there are other potential replacements the Governor could consider who represent downstate.

Pages