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DiNapoli sounds warnings over Cuomo budget plan

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – Alliances – and that’s probably too strong a word here -- can be so fleeting in Albany.

Just days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo called state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli “competent,’’ high praise for a fellow Democrat who he did not endorse in 2010, the governor’s budget director today spent 30 minutes describing how, well, incompetent the comptroller’s office is when it comes to interpreting Cuomo’s budget proposals.

The state’s chief fiscal watchdog today released a report raising a number of alarms about Cuomo’s 2013 fiscal plan, including a worrisome hike in the state’s debt level, potentially overly rosy economic assumptions that could end up blowing a hole in the budget if they are incorrect and reliance on one-shot revenue raisers and transfers from off-budget accounts to the general fund in maneuvers that, though he did not say it directly, sound an awful lot like budget gimmicks.

Continue reading "DiNapoli sounds warnings over Cuomo budget plan" »

Live video: President Obama's State of the Union address

Paladino directs harshest rhetoric at fellow Republicans

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos is a "bum" who should get a job in a car wash. Sen. Mark Grisanti is a "misery'' from the Buffalo area who is "owned'' by lobbyist Al D'Amato and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. And key Senate Republicans, including Sen. George Maziarz, are Republicans "in name only.''

So goes the verbal venom from Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, who lost the 2010 gubernatorial campaign running on the GOP line, on his visit to Albany Tuesday.

Continue reading "Paladino directs harshest rhetoric at fellow Republicans" »

Caputo on latest Paladino-Dicker event: "Poetry"

   By Robert J. McCarthy

   It didn't take long for the latest encounter between 2010 gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino and New York Post writer Fred Dicker to send ripples across the state.

   East Aurora political consultant Michael Caputo said he read with great interest Tuesday about Paladino's "flipping of the bird" as he passed Dicker's radio show booth on the State Capitol's third floor. Caputo should know about the history between the two men -- he was in the middle of their almost physical confrontation at the Sagamore Hotel in Bolton Landing during Paladino's ill-fated GOP campaign for governor in 2010.

   "What a terrible thing to happen," Paladino's former spokesman said Tuesday with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

    Then he said with tongue planted not firmly in cheek: "It was poetry."

    "Maybe it's better I wasn't in the middle of this one," he added.


Round 2 of Paladino v Dicker: A tad bit more tame

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – Carl Paladino acknowledges, in his words, he can be “impulsive.”

So a short while after he finished up talking to some reporters on the third floor of the state Capitol this morning, he likely couldn’t resist giving New York Post state columnist Fred Dicker the middle finger as he walked by his office.

Continue reading "Round 2 of Paladino v Dicker: A tad bit more tame" »

Audio: Paladino in Albany

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – Buffalo businessman and 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino is at the Capitol today leading a rally against the state’s new gun control law.

In this interview from this morning, Paladino talks about the shortcomings of Albany, the lack of transparency in the Cuomo administration, what he sees as the further decline of the Republican Party, the downside of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan for upstate casino expansion and on the prospects he may try a second run against Cuomo in 2014.

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Live chat at 3 p.m.: State of the Union preview with Douglas Turner

Senate confirms new Court of Appeals judge

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – A week after Senate Republicans raised concerns about her lack of judicial experience, Jenny Rivera was confirmed this afternoon by the full Senate as a judge on the state’s highest court.

Rivera, a law professor at the City University of New York and former senior civil rights lawyer in the attorney general’s office when Gov. Andrew Cuomo was the state’s top lawyer, was approved by a voice vote of the chamber -- meaning there is no record of who voted for and against her.

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Video: Week in Washington - SOTU, 3407 families

Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski will be on the lookout for potential impacts on Western New York stemming from Tuesday night's State of the Union address. Families of those who died in the crash of Flight 3407 will also be in D.C. Tuesday.

Gorski allies press a political comeback

By Robert J. McCarthy 

Some of former County Executive Dennis T. Gorski's close political associates continue to urge him to become reinvolved in local politics, say sources close to the situation, who do not rule out the possibility.

The sources said Gorski met Friday with former Erie County Democratic Chairman G. Steven Pigeon and lobbyist Jack O'Donnell to rekindle potential interest in a bid for county comptroller this year against Republican incumbent Stefan I. Mychajliw. Gorski all but ruled out the possibility last week in a conversation with Politics Now, though he did say he would "never say never."

Since then the sources say the former county executive is at least receptive to discussions about the possibility about the comptroller post, or possibly Erie County Democratic chairman in 2014.

An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated Buffalo Deputy Mayor Steven M. Casey was a part of the meeting. Casey said he did not attend.

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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 |