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Mayor ducks questions on Albany coup

   Mayor Byron W. Brown has some extremely close associations with people involved in the potential Republican takeover of the State Senate.

   First, Brown was a Democratic member of the upper house in Albany before he was elected mayor in 2005.

   Second, coup instigator B. Thomas Golisano -- owner of the Buffalo Sabres -- is a Brown supporter. He told The Buffalo News in an interview earlier this year that he planned to stay close to the mayor during this election year.  He did not say exactly what being close meant, but there is no question the billionaire founder of Paychex Inc. has shown a willingness to spend money in elections. His Responsible New York committee, for example, spent more than $4 million on the Democratic Senate candidates with whom he has now parted company.

   And third, Golisano lieutenant G. Steven Pigeon has rekindled close ties with the mayor that were severed for a time as Brown prepared his run for City Hall in 2004. Pigeon also had a key role in last year's primary challenge by Brown ally Barbra A. Kavanaugh to Assemblyman Sam Hoyt. Golisano financed the Kavanaugh effort.

   But on Wednesday, Brown said through spokesman Peter K. Cutler that he would have no comment on the events in Albany. He would not answer questions about whether he would maintain ties with Pigeon and Golisano, who were the main forces in leading the charge against Brown's old Democratic allies.

   Do you view those as legitimate questions for the mayor of Buffalo as events continue to unfold in Albany?

-- Robert J. McCarthy

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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