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Video: Politics Now with Bob McCarthy

The News' Bob McCarthy and Brian Meyer discuss a significant blow to State Sen. Mark J. Grisanti's re-election hopes — the often-influential Conservative party's decision to back Democrat Charles M. Swanick.

Audio: Schumer says efforts ongoing to save Buffalo postal facility

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer today said the announcement by the U.S. Postal Service was only a "preliminary notice," and Congress has until May 15 to come up with legislation that would prevent closure of the Buffalo Processing and Distribution Center on William Street.

Listen to what he said during a news conference in Cheektowaga this morning:


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--Aaron Besecker
Follow me on Twitter: @BeseckerBN

Politics Now chat with Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski

The News features a live politics chat weekly at 1 p.m. Thursdays. Today's is hosted by Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski, with the focus on politics and policies in the nation's capital and the effects on Western New York.

Analyzing the latest votes in Congress

Last week in Congress: How our representatives voted with analysis from News Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski

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WASHINGTON — One vote mattered most in the House last week, and it passed in a big way.

Both the House and Senate agreed to extend the 2 percentage point payroll tax cut till the end of the year, while also extending unemployment benefits and rescuing doctors from a huge cut in their Medicare reimbursements.

For Republicans -- who had fought and lost a battle to find spending cuts to pay for the lost tax revenue -- the vote was a reflection of political reality.

Continue reading "Analyzing the latest votes in Congress" »

AFL-CIO backs Fahey in special election

The union endorsements keep coming as part of the special election for the 145th Assembly District, which is slated for March 20.

After South Council Member Michael P. Kearns, a Democrat running on the Republican line, announced two endorsements last week, his opponent has worked overtime to emphasize his own labor backing. Democrat Christopher J. Fahey, an aide to Rep. Brian Higgins, is now touting major union support from the New York State AFL-CIO.

"Chris has worked closely with our local affiliates on behalf of working men and women throughout Western New York, and as a result has gained their respect and support," said AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento. "Now, working families stand with Chris in his effort to serve in the State Legislature."

--Robert J. McCarthy

No vote on Acropolis expansion today

-- Update: 3:07 p.m. --

The city needs to complete the environmental review for the proposed Acropolis expansion, so there was no vote today on the matter.

Assistant Corporation Counsel Alan P. Gerstman made the announcement during this afternoon's Common Council meeting.

The need to complete the environmental review was not raised during this morning's caucus.

12:52 p.m.: City lawmakers today appear headed toward some action on the proposed expansion at the Acropolis restaurant on Elmwood Avenue.

At this morning's Common Council caucus, Bradley Hamm, an aide to Delaware Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, asked whether the proposal from restaurant owner Paul Tsouflidis could be considered in parts.

There are three issues involved in Tsouflidis' proposal, Hamm said: proposed use of the second-floor patio, the proposed second-floor bar and the use of the second floor as restaurant space.

Hamm said LoCurto, who was not present at the Caucus meeting, wanted to approve the second-floor patio with conditions, deny the application for the bar and approve the use of restaurant space on the second floor.

Continue reading "No vote on Acropolis expansion today" »

A miraculous proposal?

Southpark
South Park Avenue, including this South Buffalo stretch looking towards Lackawanna, would be honorarily renamed "Father Nelson Baker Way" under a new proposal. (Derek Gee / Buffalo News file photo)

Just how related are the following two things? You be the judge.

--South Council Member Michael P. Kearns is a candidate in the March 20 special election for the 145th Assembly District seat.

--This week, Kearns will introduce a measure before the Common Council that would designate South Park Avenue, from Main Street to the city line with Lackawanna, "Father Nelson Baker Way."

Continue reading "A miraculous proposal?" »

Video: Jerry Zremski's Week in Washington -- Feb. 20

 

Five Questions with Thomas J. Mazur

Every Sunday, we'll publish a quick Q&A with someone from the local political world. Instead of touching on the latest in policy issues and proposed legislation, the intent is to catch a glimpse of the person behind the title. The interviews are done via email.

Mazur
Erie County Legislator Thomas J. Mazur, left, and Legislator-elect Timothy Hogues celebrate their victories election night in Buffalo. (Derek Gee/ Buffalo News)

Thomas J. Mazur

The Basics:
Age: I turned 21 in Vietnam, and I voted absentee ballot for Richard Nixon because I thought he was going to stop the war.
Party: Democrat.
Job Title: 7th District Legislator and Legislature Majority Leader (part Cheektowaga/part Buffalo).
Family: Wife, Mary Grace; son, Luke; daughters, Malina, Kellie and Julie.
Town: Cheektowaga.
Education: Bishop Turner High School; U.S. Army School of Finance; SUNY Buffalo, bachelor of arts (Sociology); SUNY Buffalo, master's degree (Humanities).
Salary: $47,588.

Continue reading "Five Questions with Thomas J. Mazur" »

The Read: What they're saying about WNY

Mark Grisanti, Mark Grisanti and Mark Grisanti. The casino incident involving the state senator got national and even international coverage and was a big part of this week's political headlines. Here's a look at what others said about it this week:

HuffPost’s New York editor-at-large writes, “For an unremarkable freshman state senator, Grisanti has a lot of statewide, even nation-wide, significance.” -- Casino Brawl Business as Usual for New York State Legislature, Feb. 16

Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter writes in Indian Country Today in response to the Grisanti episode that “several media outlets” are “reverting to salacious stereotypes” in their coverage of the Grisanti story with headlines “such as, ‘Indians on the Warpath’ and ‘Indian Whomp-‘em,’ and peppering their stories with other unseemly descriptions of my people.” -- Seneca President Robert Odawi Porter Comments on Casino Incident, Feb. 17

At Capitol Confidential, the Albany Times Union's Capitol Bureau Chief Casey Seiler writes about changes in Porter's public statements the day after the incident. "When an update to the News’ story revealed that the incident had resulted in Maria Grisanti heading to the hospital on Saturday for an MRI and other treatment, Porter decided a slightly more, um, sympathetic tone might be in order."-- Seneca leader: Uh, what I meant to say was…, Feb. 11

At City & State, Grisanti was named one of this week's "losers" in their "Winners & Losers" feature. "It might be too muddy to end up hurting his 2012 re-election effort –- but it hardly helps," the blog said of the situation. -- Winners & Losers, Feb. 17

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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.

[email protected]


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.

[email protected]


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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]

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