Gun rights advocates demonstrate outside the Capitol on Thursday in Albany. The group rallied against the recently legislated NY SAFE Act and other measures they say infringe on their constitutional right to bear arms. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
By Tom Precious
2:59 p.m. update:Differing opinions on crowd size
The Cuomo administration estimates the size of the crowd at about 4,000 to 5,000, while organizers say there are 10,000 to 12,000 attendees.
2:20 p.m. update:Signs tell the story
ALBANY - There were the usual “don’t tread on me,’’ flags, but demonstrators used a mix of signs to characterize their anger over the new gun laws.
A sprinkling of them, or at least the ones we can print:
Comptroller Mark Schroeder was noticeably absent from Mayor Byron Brown's state of the city speech on Friday at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
Schroeder's top-level staff was there, but it seems a disagreement between Schroeder and the Brown administration Friday morning left a bad enough taste in Schroeder's mouth that he decided to skip the luncheon, which drew 1,100 people.
"He was having a professional disagreement over policy with the administration," said Schroeder's spokesman, Patrick Curry. "We're working together and moving past it."
Schroeder has said he won't be borrowing as much for capital projects as the Brown administration has requested and the Common Council approved because in past years so much of the money has been borrowed and not spent. This has put him at odds with the administration. Schroeder wants to ensure that the projects are ready to be bid out before the money is borrowed.
"Debt will only be issued for projects for which funds can be spent immediately and quickly," Schroeder said in a Nov. 9 memo to the Common Council. The Council approved $21 million in capital spending after making few changes to Brown's capital budget recommendations, though the debt limit determined by the comptroller is $18.9 million.
Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski describes how he plans to tackle the upcoming week as the "sequester" looms in the nation's capital, including more details on how the spending cuts would affect New York state.
When Gov. Cuomo visited Buffalo Thursday, he talked about several timely issues. The included the "billion for Buffalo" pledge and talk of a new casino. The News' Bob McCarthy tells Brian Meyer that Cuomo signaled some flexibility on the issues:
Administration officials traveling with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for his Thursday budget presentation were rather proud of their choice of City Honors School for the event.
But Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore failed to share the enthusiasm Thursday. He wondered why the governor did not choose one of the many underachieving schools in Buffalo rather than the jewel of the system.
In Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's past budget selling road shows, he went out of his way to showcase a new era of bipartisanship.
Indeed, when the governor highlighted his first budget during his rookie year of 2011, a presentation at Daemen College featured flattering introductions from two Republicans -- Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer of Amherst and then-Assemblyman James E. Hayes of Williamsville.
But at Thursday's session. while a host of local Democrats were on hand, nary a GOP type was to be found. The governor's office said both State Sens. George Maziarz and Mark Grisanti were invited but did not attend. State Sen. Joseph Robach, R-Rochester, spoke at a similar event Cuomo held Thursday in Rochester.
Mayor Byron W. Brown, whom sources said was invited but was tied up practicing for Friday's State of the City speech, was also conspicuous by his absence.
Erie County legislators have added their voices to a chorus of people across the state calling for the new state gun law to be repealed.
The County Legislature voted, 7 to 4, on Thursday to approve a resolution calling on the state to repeal and revise the New York State SAFE Act of 2013 “in a manner that is respectful of the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers.”
Albany -- That the Cuomo administration runs a rather tight -- critics say uptight -- media relations machine is not subject to debate. That public information officers in state agencies have to run by ANY question they get with press people in the governor's office is the least of the control issues.
Here, courtesy of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, adds ammunition to those critics who think the administration takes its media spin operation more seriously than any governor in recent memory.
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 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.
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.