Political news

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

Richard Tobe tapped as next deputy county executive

Dec 12, 2011

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.


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.

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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.

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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.


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.


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.


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.

Buffalo, NY – Two Buffalo Democrats are being mentioned as possible replacements if U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton accepts a post with the Obama Administration. The names of both U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown have surfaced.

Buffalo, NY – A University at Buffalo sociology professor suggests that President-elect Barack Obama's role as the father of young daughters will influence the decisions he makes when he's in the White House.

Student Newspaper

Buffalo, NY – Young voters turned out in high numbers for last week's Presidential election. According to the tally, voters ages 18 to 29 exceeded the 2004 election. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley talked to a couple of students who voted in their first Presidential election.

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

Buffalo, NY – The headline of the Buffalo News Wednesday said it all - HISTORY - in bold caps. But anyone who wanted to archive this piece of presidential history had to hit the paper stands early.

WBFO's Joyce Kryszak has more on the historic sellout on post-election day. Click the audio player above to hear Joyce Kryszak's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.