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Kennedy welcomes new family arrival

   The office of State Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy, D-Buffalo, said Wednesday that the senator and
his wife -- Katie --have announced the healthy arrival of their third child on Saturday.

   Kennedy's office said Padraic Ryan Kennedy was born Saturday at 2:58 p.m., weighing seven pounds, 15 ounces. The new arrival joins two other Kennedy children -- Connor and Eireann.

  -- Robert J. McCarthy

Cuomo to name economic development panel members

ALBANY -– Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has said he will be occupied with job-creation efforts the rest of the year, will stop Tuesday morning in Buffalo to unveil the members of his new regional economic development advisory councils.

The governor is expected at Roswell Park Cancer Institute at 10 a.m. to release the names of the new Western New York panel, whose recommendations for job-creation ideas will be not be legally binding on the Cuomo administration’s future economic development agencies.

In an interview, though, Cuomo said the work of the councils -- and how good of an overall job creation plan they can put together -- will be a key component of the overall program and shape how money flows from Albany. "These councils are playing a vital role and will determine whether millions of dollars in aid goes to the region or not,'' Cuomo said.

A Cuomo spokesman declined to reveal any names in advance of the event, but the panels are expected to include an array of interests -– from manufacturing to banking to higher education sectors –- and have representative of both management and labor.

Cuomo also will be heading to Rochester and Syracuse to make similar announcements later in the day.

The 2011 state budget set aside $130 million for 10 regional councils to compete for in a process that could leave some areas of the state coming up short if they fail to devise comprehensive plans without a region-wide consensus.

Cuomo has said competition is good for the state, and that the panels -– not the state -– are in a better position to know the particular needs of a region. The panels are charged with devising region-specific ideas for attracting and retaining jobs. They will also be able to apply for another $800 million or so from state agencies for everything from road construction funding to energy-efficiency grants.

"I'm very excited about the potential for this process, especially for its application for Western New York,'' Cuomo said.

-- Tom Precious

Siegel -- erstwhile comptroller candidate -- endorses Schroeder

   Businessman Aaron Siegel had been seen as a potentially significant candidate for Buffalo comptroller this year.

   But after Siegel did not file designating petitions last week for a race that would have pitted him against Assemblyman Mark J.F. Schroeder, it appears the Democratic end of the race is now settled. Indeed, Siegel on Monday issued a glowing endorsement for Schroeder.

    "I have watched Mark Schroeder as he has stood up to the powerbrokers in Albany defending the needs of Western New York," Siegel said.  "And I know that the character and independence he has shown in the past will be a valuable asset in what should always be an independent role for Buffalo's finances."

   Schroeder, however, still must face Republican Joseph J. Surdyck Jr. in the November general election.

     --Robert J. McCarthy

Business Council set to tap leader

ALBANY – The state’s chief business lobbying group, which has had an acting president in place during the entire legislative session this year, is poised to select a new leader as early as next week.

Among the names floating around Albany to head the Business Council of New York State are Heather Briccetti, the group’s acting president, and Rochester-area Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, a Democrat.

Other names tossed into the mix, sources say, include John Faso, a lobbyist who was the Republican nominee in a losing 2006 gubernatorial bid against former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. “Just rumor,’’ Faso said in dismissing the chatter.

Another name some Business Council board members have floated is former Western New York Rep. Thomas Reynolds, a Republican who is now with Nixon Peabody, a law and lobbying firm.

“I am at Nixon Peabody and quite happy,’’ Reynolds said.

Morelle did not return calls for comment. People promoting him say Morelle is helped by his upstate roots, close ties with Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and good relations with Republicans.

Briccetti, who has worked in various lobbying and government posts over the years, has run the Business Council as acting president since Kenneth Adams stepped down in January to take a job with the Cuomo administration as president of the Empire State Development Corp. and commissioner of the Department of Economic Development.

Insiders say some council leaders are pressing that the replacement for Adams, who is from Brooklyn, come from upstate as a bow to recognize the ongoing economic troubles in the region.

The Business Council represents large and small businesses that all together employ 1.2 million New York residents.

Robert Lillpopp, the group’s new spokesman, said the Business Council’s board is expected to make an announcement about its leadership at a July 19 meeting, a day after executives with the trade group hit the links at an upscale golf course in Cooperstown as part of an annual outing.

-- Tom Precious

Cuomo in town to sign property tax cap law

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was in Lancaster today for a ceremonial signing of New York's new property tax cap law.

Watch Tuesday's signing:

Listen to Cuomo's Q&A with reporters:

Read Bob McCarthy's story about Cuomo's visit.


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.

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.

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 |

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 |