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Video: Who is Sergio?

He insists he's determined to wage an admittedly uphill fight to try to unseat Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. Sergio Rodriguez has launched his GOP mayoral bid. McCarthy talks with Brian Meyer about the race.

Live chat: City Hall, 11 a.m.

By Jill Terreri

Please join us for a live chat about City Hall issues at 11 a.m. today, and bring your questions.


Cuomo: All is happy with Senate Republicans

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – A day after Senate Republicans showed little love for him, Gov. Andrew Cuomo today said he is fine with lawmakers who disagree with his positions.

“I would reject the premise," Cuomo told a reporter in Manhattan today when asked about some weakening – at least for a day on Tuesday – in relations between himself and Senate Republicans. “There is a back and forth, as there should be, on proposals … debated between the Senate and Assembly, Democrat and Republican. That’s the premise of the system and that’s a good thing."

Continue reading "Cuomo: All is happy with Senate Republicans" »

Senate Democrat questions Cuomo's top court selection

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- Here is the latest thinking from Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a Bronx Democrat, on Jenny Rivera, the law professor picked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fill a seat on the state's highest court. Her nomination, which received either no or "without recommendation'' votes by all Republican senators Tuesday on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is due to go to the Senate floor for her expected confirmation next Monday.

Diaz, who regularly writes critical pieces about Cuomo, continues the trend today:

You should know that even though it is impossible to say for certain, it is Julius Caesar who has been attributed to the quote "Divide et impera" which translates from Latin to mean "Divide and Conquer."

You should also know that New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo – one more time – has proven to be a very Machiavellian and skillful politician.  This time, using that old tactic of “divide and conquer" to pit the Hispanic community against the non-Hispanic community , especially the Republicans in the New York State Senate to secure the nomination of Miss Jenny Rivera, a “Puerto Rican,” to the State of New York’s top Court, the Court of Appeals.

Continue reading "Senate Democrat questions Cuomo's top court selection" »

Lawmaker compares Cuomo gun control push to Hitler, Mussolini, Putin (in that order)

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -– Talk about stepping on your message.

An Albany-area Republican assemblyman today likened Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent hardball lobbying campaign getting lawmakers to pass a gun control law to the doings of a dictator.

“Hitler would be proud. Mussolini would be proud of what we did here. Moscow would be proud … I don’t even know how you question whether that’s dictatorial or not,’’ said Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin of Rensselaer County.

The remarks came during an event by handful of Republican lawmakers to call attention to what they believe is an abuse of power by Cuomo in using the message of necessity powers –- rushing a bill to the floor without the usual three-day “aging’’ period.

Asked by reporters to elaborate, McLaughlin, a former US Airways pilot, said, “I said it was Mussolini-like.’’

“He’s acting like a dictator in my opinion,’’ the lawmaker said of Cuomo. Asked if that was appropriate language, he said, “I just said it.’’

How do Cuomo’s actions compare to Hitler, he was asked. “How does Putin act over in Russia? Same thing. Dictate to the Legislature what they’re going to do. They’re rubber stamping it,’’ he said.

Senate co-leader Dean Skelos, a Nassau County Republican, said he understands the frustration by lawmakers about use of messages of necessity, but called McLaughlin’s words “inappropriate.’’

UPDATE: The Anti-Defamation League called McLaughlin's comments "deeply offensive."

"The heated political debate over gun control and government transparency should not be tained by inappropriate and offensive invocations of Hitler or Nazism,'' said Ron Meier, the New York regional director of the ADL. He said the lawmaker's comments help to promote "trivialization of the holocaust.''


Acropolis seeks live music license, second location

By Jill Terreri

The owner of Elmwood Avenue's Acropolis is seeking a live music license, and is also scouting locations for a second restaurant in the Southtowns. 

Paul Tsouflidis will go to the city Zoning Board of Appeals this month and seek a license that will allow him to host karaoke and DJ's that can use microphones.

“Everybody has a music license so I should have one too,” Tsouflidis said today. 

Restrictions placed on Tsouflidis's business, in the 700-block of Elmwood, near Cecelia's, Elmwood Pet Supplies and the Blue Monk, were thrown out in court.

Continue reading "Acropolis seeks live music license, second location" »

Today in City Hall

By Jill Terreri

Good morning, 

Today the Common Council will meet at 2 p.m. in Council Chambers, where they will discuss leadership's desire to have the Erie County Legislature investigate the county Board of Elections. 

The resolution was criticized by Democratic Elections Commissioner Dennis Ward, who said their complaints should be directed at the party, and Legislature Chairwoman Betty Jean Grant said government bodies shouldn't be involved with partisan complaints. 

Four members of the Council majority, including its top leadership, are seeking an investigation into "irregularities" at the board, including complaints about changes in polling locations. But the resolution also mentions changes in zone boundaries, which is something the county Democratic Committee decides, not the board. 

Continue reading "Today in City Hall" »

Video: Week in Washington - Four years after 3407 crash

Coming up on the fourth anniversary of the crash of Flight 3407, Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski plans to look at what's going on with airline safety regulations called for by Congress in 2010.

Gorski calls comeback 'highly unlikely'

   By Robert J. McCarthy

   A political come back for Dennis T. Gorski?

   "Highly unlikely," says the former three-term county executive.

   Several sources have indicated in recent days that efforts are under way to coax the Democrat back into the world of politics, this time for county comptroller. They want him to face Republican incumbent Stefan I. Mychajliw in the November general election.

   But Gorski, 68, says he's not interested.

   "I've been at the top of county government and the prospect of me running is highly unlikely," he said late Friday.

   It is expected some of Gorski's old team will still try to persuade him to get into the race since he is now retired.

   "I think I've sufficiently dismissed it," he said Friday.

   Gorski, who formerly represented Cheektowaga in the State Assembly, was elected as county executive in 1987 and served as until he was defeated by Republican Joel A. Giambra 1999.


Video: Paladino eyes school board run

It looks like Carl Paladino will run for a seat on the Buffalo School Board. Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy talks with Brian Meyer about this twist and about the death of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch:

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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 |