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Jindal to address state Conservatives

   By Robert J. McCarthy

   If you're a Republican and you're contemplating running for president, one of the required stops in New York State is the annual dinner of the Conservative Party in Manhattan.

   And true to form, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is slated to address the party's annual gathering on Oct. 8 at the Sheraton Towers Hotel.

   The Manhattan location has traditionally served as a bully pulpit for many national Republicans, and is sure to prove the same for Jindal as interest in the 2016 presidential race begins to percolate and his name continues to be included on the list of potential GOP candidates.

Schultz returns to mayor's staff

By Jill Terreri

Lorey Schultz has returned to the second floor of City Hall, and her job as deputy director of Mayor Byron Brown's Communications Department.

Schultz was gone for about a week, while she prepared to take a job as chief of public relations working for Superintendent Pamela Brown and the city school district. 

Schultz had a signed contract with the superintendent before she left the mayor's office, but the school board rejected the hire in a vote last week. 

Schultz left the mayor's office on good terms, and Mayor Brown issued a news release announcing that Schultz returned to her former position today. 

Cuomo's job performance, re-elect numbers take a dip

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – After Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent the summer of traveling the state, his rating has fallen to its lowest level since taking office, a new poll out this morning has found.

The governor’s job approval level has slipped under the 50 percent mark, with 49 percent giving him a positive performance rating and 50 percent saying his job in office is only fair or poor, the Siena College Research Institute poll reports. His 49 percent job performance approval rating in September compares to a high of 64 percent last year.

With a year to his re-election date with voters, 52 percent said they would vote for Cuomo again for governor if the election were held today, with 39 percent preferring “someone else.’’

Upstate, where the governor has held practically non-stop public events all summer, 40 percent of registered voters say they would re-elect Cuomo compared to 52 percent who want someone else as governor and 9 percent who either don’t have an opinion or didn’t answer the question. The governor’s strongest showing among New Yorkers can be found in Democrat-rich New York City, where 62 percent would re-elect Cuomo compared to 26 percent preferring someone else. In the downstate suburbs, 54 percent said they would vote for Cuomo and 37 percent want another person in the job.

Just 10 months ago, in a poll with a Siena College press release headline that read "Voters Love Cuomo,'' Cuomo's statewide job performance had a favorable to unfavorable rating of 60 percent to 38 percent and upstate his numbers late last November were at 52 percent favorable to 47 percent unfavorable.

At least 60 percent of Republicans, independents and upstate residents give him a fair or poor job performance rating in the latest poll.

Cuomo’s statewide favorability rating – do people have an overall favorable view or not of him – stands at 64 percent in the new poll, which has a margin of error of 3.4 percent. Thirty-two percent of people view him unfavorably.

Significantly, the largest percentage of registered voters believes New York is heading in the wrong direction for the first time since November 2011, according to Siena pollster Steve Greenberg. Forty-six percent say the state is heading in the wrong direction compared to 43 percent who say it is on the right track. Sixty-two percent of upstate registered voters say the state is going in the wrong direction.

Statewide, 77 percent describe the state’s economy as poor or fair, compared to 20 percent who call it good and 1 percent who characterize it as excellent.

Video: Gaughan's tax woes could hinder bid for comptroller

Kevin Gaughan's admission that he owes the IRS for back taxes could be a huge hurdle as he runs for Erie County comptroller. The News' Bob McCarthy tells Brian Meyer this is the second time this season the Democratic Party has grappled with controversy at the countywide level:

Golombek calls for casino money to be spent on ECC

By Jill Terreri

North Council Member Joe Golombek will call for the Common Council to use a "significant portion" of the city's share of casino revenue to fund an expansion of Erie Community College's city campus during a news conference at 1 p.m. today.

The city received $15.5 million in slot machine revenue from the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in July.

Golombek is asking Mayor Byron Brown to "rally behind the proposal."

Brown said during a debate in August that he is in favor of ECC expanding in the city but said the response he got from the college was not promising.  

ECC has announced plans to expand in Amherst, but the Council has gone on record opposing those plans, saying science and health programs should be accessible for city students, which make up 47 percent of the college's student body. Young Citizens for ECC, which is leading an effort to try to get the college to change course and expand in the city instead, have said that such programs should be located near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, where health science graduates will end up working.  

"This is an opportunity to transform the City Campus into the flagship, rather than the smallest, of ECC's three campuses," Golombek said. 

Golombek will be joined by Bernice Radle, co-chair of Young Citizens for ECC, during today's news conference at the ECC city campus. 

Thursday's must-reads from Washington

By Jerry Zremski'

 WASHINGTON -- Today's top read, from The Los Angeles Times, focuses on a huge challenge that the Obama administration is facing: how to explain Obamacare.

Meanwhile, The New York Times offers us a scary assessment of what the Kenya mall attack might mean for the U.S.

And The Washington Post gives us the closest look yet at Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis.


Uniland continues to work on design at 250 Delaware

By Jill Terreri

The Planning Board on Tuesday saw a presentation by Uniland on its plans for a site at Delaware and Chippewa, where the Delaware Court building stands, but the company said the designs are in process and did not seek their approval.

Responding to neighborhood concerns, the company said the five-level parking garage that would be accessed from Chippewa and back up to Elmwood, would actually be three stories, because one level will be underground and the top level wouldn't have much height. 

"From my perspective, it's moving in the right direction," said Planning Board member Cynthia Schwartz, though she said she had concerns about the loading dock. 

The dock would be on Chippewa, but company officials said they could limit the hours that it would be available for use. 

The project won a key approval last week from the Preservation Board, which is not objecting to its plans to demolish the building a recreate the look of it on the same site.  

The board did approve Bistro Europa's plans to move into a space at 365-367 Connecticut St. The restaurant plans to change its name, but isn't ready to announce what that is yet. Bistro Europa operates out of a small space in the Elmwood Village. 

At the new location, some additions on the building would be knocked down and a new one-story addition would be added for a commercial kitchen and to extend the dining room. 

Wednesday's must-reads from Washington

NEW YORK -- I am still here, covering the Clinton Global Initiative -- but I am missing the big show in Washington, where Sen. Ted Cruz is, quite literally, the talk of the town.

Not surprisingly, two of today's three top reads focus on the combative Texas Republican. First, the conservative Weekly Standard takes a closer look at who Ted Cruz really is. And then The Washington Post poses the question: is Cruz pushing the government toward a shutdown that will be a gift to Democrats?

Meanwhile, on a hugely important issue that has not gotten much ink as of late, Politico tells us that the Pentagon remains secretive on military sex crimes.


Rodriguez to announce new ballot line

By Jill Terreri

Republican mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez will announce a new ballot line in an event at 10 a.m. today at City Hall. 

Rodriguez has passed petitions to appear on a "progressive" line, in an effort to appeal to more city voters. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city 7 to 1, and any citywide candidate must win votes from Democrats in order to be successful.

Rodriguez is challenging Mayor Byron Brown, who has the Democratic, Independence and Conservative lines.

He will also speak this morning about Teddy Roosevelt, who was the subject of festivities here last weekend.  

Rodriguez has been busy making daily visits to neighborhoods as part of his "30 neighborhoods in 30 days" tour. 

Tuesday's must-reads from Washington

By Jerry Zremski

NEW YORK -- I'm here covering the Clinton Global Initiative for a couple days, but the best reads from Washington continue.

And today's top read comes from Politico, which shows us that Obamacare is enduring one blow after another.

Meantime, The Washington Post tells us everything we need to know about a government shutdown.

And lastly, the Center for Public Integrity looks into the shady pasts of the men behind the latest Hillary Clinton SuperPAC.

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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 |