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Cuomo administration: Maybe Amodeo should just stay home

By Tom Precious

The Cuomo administration took to the airwaves of an Albany radio station today to blast a Democrat from the Buffalo area who is trying to unseat Sen. Mark Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican who has been a policy partner of the governor’s at the Capitol.

The verbal attack on Democrat Mark Amodeo was courtesy of Larry Schwartz, the Secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Schwartz was responding to comments Amodeo made earlier this week in The Buffalo News raising concerns about several signature policy items -– property taxes and controls on future public employee pension costs --successfully pushed by Cuomo the past two years.

Amodeo, the endorsed candidate of Erie County Democrats and winner of a September primary, suggested the Democratic governor’s property tax cap is undemocratic because it requires 60 percent of local voters to override a plan by a municipality or school district to raise taxes more than 2 percent in a year. Amodeo also said Albany has not done enough in recent years to fund school districts so that they can keep a lid on rising property taxes.

Schwartz told an Albany radio station that if Amodeo does not support the tax cap and backs taxes rising higher than 2 percent ,then “that’s just the wrong message, and we don’t want people coming to Albany if that’s the way they think.’’

Cuomo is flirting with endorsing Grisanti, and has said kind words about the freshman Republican, especially since Grisanti backed Cuomo’s effort last year to legalize gay marriage rights. Senate Democrats privately say Cuomo has already all but endorsed Grisanti -– as part of what they say is his plan to keep the GOP in control of the Senate –- especially by approving new Senate district lines this year that made Grisanti’s district much less Democratic than the district he ran to represent in the 2010 elections.

"And if people like Mike (Amodeo) think we should increase taxes above the cap, like I said earlier, forget about going to Albany, you need to stay home. We don’t want people that want to raise property taxes,'' Schwartz said today.

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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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