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Video: Gaughan, Mascia, Ryan debate

Candidates in the Democratic primary for the 149th State Assembly District -- freshman incumbent Sean M. Ryan and challengers Kevin P. Gaughan and Joe Mascia -- debated the issues Friday at The Buffalo News.


Primarily, races are full of infighting

By Robert J. McCarthy, Kathleen Ronayne 
and Charlie Specht
It’s turning out to be a nasty end to the 2012 primary election season.
With Primary Day coming up Thursday – moved because of Sept. 11 observations Tuesday – Republicans are clawing at Republicans, and Democrats are beating up Democrats. And much of the infighting takes place in one high-level race – the 60th District – that could go a long way toward deciding control of the State Senate.
Two Assembly contests also have assumed high-profile status, drawing statewide attention westward in an unusually high number of interesting races.

Continue reading " Primarily, races are full of infighting" »

Video: Week in Washington with Jerry Zremski

Back from covering the Republican and Democratic conventions, Jerry Zremski previews what Congress will be up to over the next two weeks.


Five Questions with Barry Weinstein

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.


Barry Weinstein celebrates his victory on election night in November 2009. (Sharon Cantillon/ Buffalo News)

Barry Weinstein

The Basics:
Age: 68 1/2
Party: Republican
Job Title:Supervisor of Amherst
Family: married to Lois, 46 years. 4 daughters, 7 grandchildren
Town: Amherst
Education: State University of New York at Buffalo. BA 1965, MD 1969, JD 1976
Salary: $75,000

Continue reading "Five Questions with Barry Weinstein" »

The Read: Political chatter from elsewhere

Each Saturday on the Politics Now blog, you'll find a list of stories that caught the eyes of The News' political reporters. Here's a sampling of what they were reading this week:

The Democratic National Convention dominated the news this week, and fact-checkers quickly looked into the claims speakers made, while pundits opined. 

Politifact evaluates the claims in former President Bill Clinton's speech here, and The Atlantic devoted two posts to examining the speech's art, one by James Fallows, another by Molly Ball. 

Howard Kurtz reports in The Daily Beast that President Barack Obama's acceptance speech was written with the help of focus groups, even if it was thought of as being flatter than other convention speeches. 

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan gives a critical review of Obama's speech and finds "soft, distracted extremism" in the Democrats' convention rhetoric and says Clinton's speech was "smaller" than he is.

Meanwhile, in Albany, the scandal surrounding Assemblyman Vito Lopez continued to unfold with new questions arising about whether a new Capital ethics watchdog panel would investigate Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's role in taxpayer-funded payments to two of Lopez's victims. 

Danny Hakim broke the story for the New York Times, while Jon Campbell of Gannett News Service wrote about developments Friday, which included a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatening to appoint his own Moreland Commission if the panel does not act appropriately. 

Live at 3 p.m.: 149th Assembly candidates Democratic primary debate

The three Democratic candidates for the 149th Assembly District seat -- incumbent Sean M. Ryan, and challengers Kevin P. Gaughan and Joseph A. Mascia -- will be in the newsroom of The Buffalo News for a live debate this afternoon.

The moderators are News Staff Reporters Brian Meyer and Kathleen Ronayne. Here is Ronayne's preview story about the race.

Rains validate switch from stadium to arena

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The streets of downtown teemed with convention-goers this afternoon when, suddenly, the people in the streets screamed and ran for cover.

Some people, just a few steps away, for a few seconds feared a terrorist attack. And then all of a sudden the truth came raining down on everyone and the threat came clear. The skies had once again opened for Charlotte's daily deluge.

The rainstorm seemed to validate the convention planners' decision to move today's 4 to 11 p.m. convention session, originally planned for the open-air Bank of America Stadium, inside to Times Warner Cable Arena.

So did the forecast, which calls for an 80 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms between 7 and 9 p.m.

Today marked the sixth consecutive day of rain in Charlotte -- meaning it's been raining since convention-goers arrived. And as a result, there are big boxes filled with abandoned umbrellas right outside the arena, given the fact that they are banned from the convention site.

-- Jerry Zremski


An empty chair, quickly filled

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- North Carolina native James Taylor took the stage at Time Warner Cable Arena this afternoon and glanced down at the furniture next to him.

"It's an empty chair, it makes you nervous," he said. "Don't worry. I'm going to sit on it. I'm not going to talk to it."

The crowd roared at Taylor's wry reference to Clint Eastwood's infamous appearance at last week's Republican National Convention. And with that, Taylor launched into a brief set of his hits, highlighted by "Carolina in My Mind."

-- Jerry Zremski

The really, really bad view from New York's convention seats

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- So how bad are New York's seats at the Democratic National Convention?

This bad:


And what's it like in the back row?

Buffalonians Anthony J. Colucci III and Francis J. Letro found out:


-- Jerry Zremski

Video from Charlotte: Gillibrand confident for Hochul

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., expressed her confidence in Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul, D-Hamburg, who faces a tough re-election bid in New York's 27th district. Gillibrand spoke after an event at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.


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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.

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 |