Political news

The ballot proposition on whether to hold a state Constitutional Convention was soundly defeated in  Tuesday’s election. But a second question of whether to strip pensions from convicted lawmakers was approved.

Updated at 6:50 a.m. ET

It was a good night for Democrats in some of the nation's largest cities.

New York's Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, a forceful critic of President Trump, easily won a second term. And Democrats also won several major cities and closely watched races, including those in Boston, Charlotte, N.C., and Seattle.

With all of the precincts counted, de Blasio had 66 percent of the vote to 28 percent for his main rival, Republican Nicole Malliotakis.

With no major party opposition, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is expected to cruise to victory in Tuesday's election. However, the lack of a big citywide race in Buffalo could impact Erie County races.

There are three propositions on the ballot in Tuesday’s elections, though one has proven to be more controversial than the others.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

One of downtown Buffalo's landmarks is looking a little different, as the county has installed the equipment to turn off lights in the Rath Building for the first time in decades as the heart of county government.

Proposition One on New York’s ballot, which asks voters whether there should be a constitutional convention, is getting a lot of attention, with TV ads and social media posts. But there are two other proposals for voters to consider.

In the movie Footloose, protagonist Ren McCormack fights against a draconian dance ban in a small town. Against all odds, students at Ren's high school end up organizing their prom and dance the night away.

People in New York City will now be able to dance the night away as well — without any legal restrictions.

Earlier this week, the New York City Council voted to repeal a 91-year-old law that banned dancing at most city public spaces that sell food or drinks.

public domain photo

Reactions to the newly-unveiled House Republican tax reform plan are mixed. Local Republican representatives hail it as helpful to working families. But one local Democrat says it's deceiving to working Americans and harmful to local economic development.

File Photo / WBFO News

The political fallout from alleged sexual harassment by Sam Hoyt is turning into a political battle between the leaders of Erie County's two main political parties.

A new poll finds that the ballot question on whether to hold a constitutional convention in New York has become widely unpopular with voters.

A payment of $50,000 to an unidentified woman by Sam Hoyt, the former head of the state regional economic developmental agency, to secure a confidentiality agreement is sparking controversy. In his weekly conversation with WBFO, Bob McCarthy reviews his reporting on the matter. The timeline raises questions of whether high-level state officials were aware of the situation; and, if so, why did they not act upon it earlier?

WBFO file photo

Congressman Tom Reed, a New York Republican who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, joined House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday to send a message to the governors of New York and California: we'll do our part to lower taxes and if you're willing to do the same, we'll work with you.

Local members of Congress split by party on tax bill vote

Oct 27, 2017

Congressional Democrats in New York are criticizing a federal budget approved by the House on Thursday that paves the way for a tax reform plan that could include the elimination of the state and local deduction, or SALT.

New York’s leaders are continuing to struggle with actions in Congress on the federal budget and tax overhaul that could adversely affect the state’s finances.

There is some misinformation on social media regarding a key ballot item in next month’s elections on whether to hold a constitutional convention.

The heavy presence of political signs littered about Hamburg, Amherst and Lancaster reveal hotly-contested races for key positions in those towns. It's a different story in Buffalo as Primary Day essentially determined which Democrats would hold key city offices. According to Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy, those trends may boost Republicans to victory in three countywide races.

WBFO file photo

The Federal Historic Tax Credit, which local economic development and preservation leaders say has made dozens of local projects possible, may be eliminated under the tax reform proposal put forth by the Trump Administration. Supporters of the tax credit, including one local congressman, say it's important to keep it alive.

WBFO file photo

Attorneys for former New York State Senator George Maziarz filed new motions Friday morning in Albany to have public corruption charges dismissed.

Bunny for Congress

Former Assistant District Attorney and veteran prosecutor Sean Bunny has announced his candidacy for Congress.

Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

We walk up the trail to the summit of Hadley Mountain in the southern Adirondacks, fallen leaves crunching underfoot. The wind picks up a bit as we climb up the fire tower for the panoramic view.

National Public Radio

No more elephants under the big top in New York State.

Western New York proved to be productive ground Wednesday for Vice President Mike Pence. As Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy reports, Pence attended a fundraiser at Salvatore's that earned $400,000 for Republican Party efforts. The visit also featured a discussion with local small businesses who heard Pence pitch the benefits of the Trump Administration's tax overhaul plan, a proposal that has been blasted by the leaders of New York State's Democratic Party.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Vice President Mike Pence spent several hours in suburban Buffalo Tuesday, supporting a local Congressman and taking part in a roundtable discussion inside a local business. He was greeted by dozens of protesters at one event but then welcomed by more friendly bystanders at his second stop.

Vice President Pence in Buffalo today

Oct 17, 2017
Chris Caya/WBFO News

Vice President Mike Pence is in Buffalo Tuesday, where he is meeting with area business and community leaders to talk about the need for tax reform and attending a political fundraiser.


A wide variety of groups have spent over $1.3 million dollars to urge voters to vote no on  holding a Constitutional Convention. As Karen DeWitt reports, the opponents have far outspent a smaller number of advocates who urge a yes vote on the November ballot. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) got an earful from an angry crowd in Seneca County over the weekend. He tried to keep things calm at the Romulus Central School town hall on Saturday, but tempers frequently boiled over.

Governor Cuomo now says he’s returning all of the money donated to his campaign from disgraced film executive Harvey Weinstein.

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A congressional probe of Rep. Chris Collins says there is "substantial reason" to believe the Clarence Republican may have been involved in insider trading on an Australian biotech stock, a violation of federal law.

New Yorkers have the power on Nov. 7 to decide whether some state officials convicted of a felony should be stripped of their pensions.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A citizen coalition's lawsuit to block a planned shutdown of  the Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center has been allowed to proceed. On Wednesday, a motion by the state to dismiss their lawsuit was denied in State Supreme Court.