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Anti-casino ad gets personal: Cuomo (father) vs. Cuomo (son)

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- A new political committee has begun running an ad downstate using the long-ago words of Mario Cuomo against the plans of his son, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to expand casino gambling.

The advertisement is being run by the Committee Against Proposition 1, which listed a post office box in the Catskills town of Youngsville on its state board of elections registration form. The committee was not organized before the election agency's recent final filing deadline before November 5; it could not, as a result, be revealed how much the group has raised or spent.

The major anti-casino group, the Coalition Against Gambling in New York, said it is unaware of the group or its activities. Anti-gambling groups have been wondering for months if an out-of-state casino operator might drop a last minute ad in New York to try to block any new casino competition from emerging in New York, though it is unknown how this new organization is funded. Officials with the group could not be immediately reached for comment.

UPDATE: Stephen Shafer, head of Coalition Against Gambling, said the ad is being funded by Catskill Mountainkeeper, a environmental group located in Youngsville. The group appeared with lawmakers today at New York's City Hall to oppose Proposition One.

The ad uses the position of former Gov. Mario Cuomo from a generation ago -- he was against the spread of commercial casinos -- to challenge the position of Andrew Cuomo's proposal on next week's ballot to add up to seven casinos in the state. [State of Politics, a YNN blog, reported that NY1, also a Time Warner channel, will be running the ad from now until election day.]

Release of the ad comes as a pro-casino group began airing two new statewide ads.

UPDATE: Mario Cuomo released a statement tonight distancing himself from the claims in the new ad. "I made those statements in 1994. A great deal has changed in 20 years. The New York that I was dealing with was a different place. We didn't have casinos on every border. Gaming was only in Las Vegas and Atlantic City,'' he said in a written statement.

Mario Cuomo said his statement was made before New York legalized racetrack-based casinos and before casinos came to other states and provinces surrounding New York. "So if you want to vote with Cuomo, vote yes on Proposal One,'' he said.


 

Follow BN social media coverage of Election Night

The Buffalo News’ social media presence for Tuesday’s elections will be bigger than ever. Turn to The News for the most up-to-the-second information about the races you care about most.

The News’ S.J. Velasquez and Colin Dabkowski will handle The Buffalo News’ official Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts, reporting the freshest news from the night in the form of tweets, Facebook updates and Google+ posts. To ask Dabkowski and Velasquez election-related questions, tweet at @TheBuffaloNews using hashtag #BNelection.

If you want to get the latest updates on a particular race, follow these reporters and photographers:

Dan Herbeck (Erie County sheriff's race): @dherbecknews
Harold McNeil (Erie County comptroller race): @HaroldMcNeilBN
Denise Jewell Gee (Erie County legislature races): @DeniseJewellGee
Jay Rey (Amherst): @jreytbn
Joe Popiolkowski (Tonawanda): @JoePops44
Barbara O'Brien (Hamburg and Orchard Park): @bobrienBN
Karen Robinson (Lancaster): @KarenRobinsonBN
Janice Habuda (Cheektowaga and West Seneca): @HabudaJL
Tom Prohaska (Niagara County legislature and Town of Niagara): @ThomasProhaska
Aaron Besecker (Niagara Falls): @AaronBesecker / @The_Brink_Blog
T.J.Pignataro (Republican headquarters): @TJPignataro
Jill Terreri (Democratic headquarters): @jillterreri
Samantha Christmann (Richard Dobson headquarters): @DiscountDivaSam
Deidre Williams (Byron Brown campaign headquarters): @DeidreWilliamsB
Harry Scull (photos from various candidates’ headquarters): @hsjrphoto
Robert Kirkham (photos from various candidates’ headquarters): @RobertKirkhamBN
Mark Mulville (photos from various candidates’ headquarters): @MQMulville

The most newsworthy tweets and updates throughout the night will be included in the election night live blog, hosted by Mary Pasciak, on the home page of BuffaloNews.com. Social media updates generated by News staffers will be aggregated on Storify, culminating in a stream of social highlights from the evening that will be published in one handy blog post.

Today's strange political bedfellows entry

By Tom Precious

ALBANY - Liz Krueger and Mike Long have remarkably little in common when it comes to politics, and they sure don't get together much. So when they do, it can be considered newsworthy.

Krueger, a liberal Democrat from Manhattan, and Long, the longtime chairman of the state Conservative Party, appeared together today at an event to promote their opposition to the casino expansion proposal on next week's statewide ballot.

Krueger and Long joined several other lawmakers and the head of environmental group Catskill Mountainkeeper at a gathering on the steps of City Hall in New York.

"The proposed amendment and recently passed companion legislation fail to ban political contributions from casino operators, and they do not adequately protect local communities' right to control -- or simply say no to -- the siting of a new casino. Passing this would be asking for a new wave of political corruption and exposing many communities to the risk of having an unwanted casino inflicted on them,'' Krueger said.

Long's argument was succinct. He called the proposal "the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the citizens of New York.''

Pigeon and others to help Dobson TV campaign


   By Robert J. McCarthy

   Democratic sheriff candidate Richard E. Dobson has proven noticeably absent from the airwaves this campaign season, especially in comparison to the ubiquitous presence of minor party candidate Bert D. Dunn - and to a lesser extent - Republican incumbent Timothy B. Howard.
   But now it is expected Dobson will make the airwaves after all, despite relatively little success in raising funds for his own campaign after the WNY Progressive Caucus - closely tied to political operative G. Steven Pigeon - spent $112,000 on his behalf.
    But Pigeon said today he expects to donate at least $10,000 to the Dobson campaign in the next few days. Combined with other last minute donors - he said the money will allow the Democratic candidate to get on the air, too, for the campaign's final days.

 

Pigeon hosts fund raiser Rochester mayoral front runner

   By Robert J. McCarthy

   If you noticed a whole lot of Buffalo pols gathering in Chef's Restaurant today for a fund raising luncheon, it's all for Lovely Warren, the City Council president expected to be elected mayor of Rochester on Tuesday.
   G. Steven Pigeon, the former Erie County Democratic chairman who was active in her primary campaign, arranged the affair with some of Buffalo's political hierarchy including Mayor Byron W. Brown and Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes.
   Warren stunned Rochester's political observers and a host of pollsters who projected incumbent Mayor Thomas Richards as an easy winner in the Sept. 10 primary. As a result, many Richards supporters stayed home while Warren got much of the city's African-American voting bloc to the polls.
   Richards remains on the ballot, but Warren is the heavy favorite to win on Tuesday.

Pro-casino group out with new round of ads

By Tom Precious

ALBANY --NY Jobs Now Committee, which has gotten most of its funding from gambling companies, is out with two new statewide ads promoting Proposal One in next week's elections.

The group has raised at least $3 million the past month and it is running a campaign against anti-casino groups that have no real money to spend.

Neither television ad shows an actual image of a casino, but there are plenty of images of cooks working in a kitchen, people walking along a waterfront and pretty outdoors scenes. They also use the term "gaming,'' not "gambling.'' The ads do address a worry by some casino proponents by telling viewers they have to flip over the November 5 ballot to be able to vote on Proposal One and the other five statewide propositions.

The first ad talks of the potential job claims.

The second ad talks of some newspaper editorial support.

Voter's guide to Erie County's suburban races

A guide to Erie County's suburban elections. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

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NOTES: Click on names for information submitted by candidates or videos. Elect 1 candidate unless otherwise noted in parentheses.

Key races by town in Erie County:
Alden | Amherst | Aurora | Boston | Brant | Buffalo | Cheektowaga | Clarence | Colden | Collins | Concord | Eden | Elma | Evans | Grand Island | Hamburg | Holland | Kenmore | Lackawanna | Lancaster | Marilla | Newstead | North Collins | Orchard Park | Sardinia | City of Tonawanda | Town of Tonawanda | Wales | West Seneca

Party endorsement key: D: Democratic, R: Republican, C: Conservative, CI: Colden Integrity, I - Independence, PP – The People, SU – Sunshine, WF - Working Families

(i)= Incumbent

ALDEN

Town Supervisor

Harry F. “Bud” Milligan (i) R,C,I

Town Board (elect 2)
Mary Riddoch (i) R,C,I
Ralph P. Witt R,C

What to know: Councilman William Weber passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 9, leaving the board with only two members until Jan. 1. Weber was running to retain his seat on the board unopposed at the time of his death. Alden Town Clerk Ralph Witt, who had been planning to retire from his position as Dec. 31, was asked to run in Weber’s place, and agreed to do so. He will begin his term on Jan. 1.

Town Clerk
Debra A. Crist D,R,C,I

Highway Superintendent
Gary D. Wagner D,R,C,I

AMHERST

Supervisor
Mark A. Manna, D, C, WF
Barry A. Weinstein (i), R, I

Board (elect 2)
Howard Dunning Cadmus, R, I
Patricia S. Dunne, D, C, WF
Ramona D. Popowich, D, C, WF
Steven D. Sanders (i), R, I

Justice
Kara A. Buscaglia, D, C, I, WF
Barbara S. Nuchereno, R

AURORA

Losers in Aurora GOP primary will abandon campaigns (Oct. 21)

Town Supervisor

James Bach R, C
 

What to know: Board incumbent James Bach, deputy supervisor with four years service on the board and owner of Bach’s Towing, is running unopposed for the two-year supervisor now held by Supervisor Jolene Jeffe, who is running for a seat on the Board.

“I want to continue on the path of fiscal responsibility that this board has been doing,” he said. “I’d also like to see us get out of the water business, turning our water districts over to Erie County. We are in the process of doing that now.”

Town Board (elect 2)
Susan Friess R, C
Jolene Jeffe R, C
David Majka, I
Christopher Lane, I
 

What to know: Incumbents Susan Friess, trying for her second four-year term, and Jolene Jeffe, who served two supervisor terms, joined Bach in the primary campaign and won after a heated contest with criticisms about delays in bridge and culvert repair and complaints about the town’s failure save on interest and refinance water debt before rates went up. Challengers David Majka and Christopher Lane, who were endorsed by the Republican Committee, suspended their campaigns.


Town Clerk
Martha Librock (i) R
Colleen Siener D, WF
 

What to know: Incumbent Town Clerk Martha Librock, who served 15 years, is running for a four-year term. She won the Republican primary and was endorsed by the Republican Committee. Colleen Siener, also a registered Republican lost her primary bid, but has continued her campaign as the Democrat and Working Family candidate.

Both women advocated putting more information and services, including a tax payment system, online. Siener, who has a degree in paralegal studies, wants to offer weekend and evening hours and update the office, putting permits and license applications online. “I really want to focus on friendly customer service,” Siener said. 
Librock, who spent most of her career with the town, says she will use grant money to move more town records to town offices at Southside Municipal Center. “The retrieval of the records will be much, much easier,” she said. “I love helping people.”
 

BOSTON

Town Supervisor

Martin A. Ballowe (i) R, I, C, WF
Gary E. Vara D

What to know: Battles between the town board and local fire departments have marked the Democratic slate, led by Supervisor candidate Gary E. Vara, who is taking on the Republican team, led by Supervisor Martin A. Ballowe. The incumbent supervisor is seeking his second term, citing his decreases in the town’s tax rate each year of his first term.


Town Board (elect 2)
Jay P. Boardway (i) R, WF, I
Jeffrey A. Genzel (i) R, C, WF, I
JoAnne M. Bonsack D
Heidi M. Higgins D, C
 

What to know: Incumbents Jay P. Boardway and Jeffrey A. Genzel look to continue as a team with Ballowe for a second term. Heidi M. Higgins and JoAnne M. Bonsack would like to join Vara as the town’s new Democratic-led team, with the hopes of gaining majority control and having a greater say in town issues. Boardway and Genzel hope to continue a pattern of saving taxpayers money by reducing tax rates and cutting costs in town departments.

Town Justice
Debra K. Bender D, R, C, WF, I
 

BRANT

Town Supervisor
Leonard K. Pero (i) R, C, I, TP
Donald L. Clark D, WF
 

What to know: Incumbent Supervisor Leonard K. Pero is looking to stave off a challenge from Donald L. Clark. Pero and Clark have both cited having an open government as a major reason why they are seeking the town’s top post. Clark would like to see more participation from residents at town board meetings.

Town Board (elect 2)
Jeffrey W. Gier (i) R, C, I
Paulette R. Renaldo D, WF
Daniel B. Kujawinski D, WF
Mark J. DeCarlo R, C, I
Terry L. Caber TP
 

What to know: Five candidates will be seeking two seats on the board. Jeffrey W. Gier is the only incumbent seeking reelection as a councilman, meaning there will be at least one new member of the board beginning Jan. 1.

Town Justice
Debra A. Ritz D, WF, I, G
Clark H.Borngraber R, C
What to know: Incumbent Debra A. Ritz looks to retain her seat as Brant Town Justice in a race with current Councilman Clark H. Borngraber, with a four-year term on the line.

BUFFALO

City Court Judge (elect 2)
Debra L. Givens (i) D, R, C, WF, I
Kevin J. Keane (i) D, R, C, WF, I
What to know: The two judges would serve 10-year terms.

Mayor
Byron W. Brown D, C, WF, I
Sergio R. Rodriguez R, PR
 

What to know: Byron W. Brown is seeking a third four-year term, and has run on a platform of “progress,” anchored by development downtown and on the medical campus, while Sergio R. Rodriguez, who has never held elected office but has run an energetic campaign, has said he would seek control of city schools and would increase the number of foot patrols by police officers. 
Brown is heavily favored to win, and has spent $1.21 million, while Rodriguez has spent $20,991.

CHEEKTOWAGA

Board (elect 3)
Diane M. Benczkowski, D
Nicole M. Gawel, R, I
Stanley J. Kaznowski III (i), C, WF
Richard J. Maisano, R, I, WF
Roger R. McGill Jr., R, I
Timothy J. Meyers, D
James P. Rogowski (i), D, C, WF

CLARENCE

Town Board (elect 2)
Tracy L. Francisco D
Peter T. DiCostanzo (i) R, C, I
Patrick W. Casilio (i) R, C, I
What to know: Democrat Francisco faces a big challenge running in this GOP town against two veteran councilman seeking reelection. DiCostanzo, a certified public accountant, has been on the board since Jan. 2008. Casilio, chief executive officer of Casilio Cos., a real estate and construction company, has been a councilman since 2006.

Highway Superintendent
James A. Dussing R
What to know: Dussing, a longtime employee in the town’s Highway Department, was backed by town Republicans, after the death of Highway Superintendent Theodore Donner in August.

COLDEN

Supervisor

James P. DePasquale, D, R, I
Annie M. Hoffman (i), C, CI

Board (elect 2)
David J. Arcara (i), R, C, I
Ronald R. Fraser, D, I
Jesse M. Hrycik, R, C
Patrick C. Murphy (i), D, CI
Jennifer L. Okal, C, I

Highway superintendent
Paul J. Clarkson (i), D, R, C, I
John J. Peplin Jr., CI

COLLINS

Town Supervisor 
David F. Tessmer (i) R, C, I


Town Board (elect 2)
Mary A. Clark (i) R, C, I
Janet L. Vogtli, R, C, I

Town Clerk
Dawn M. Spires D, C
Becky Jo Summers (i) R

What to know: Incumbent Town Clerk Becky Jo Summers is being challenged by Dawn Spires, a paralegal. No pressing issues were brought forth, but the opposition said it is time for new ideas by new people.


Town Justice
Norman J. Peters (i) D, R, WF
Brian D. Gernatt C, I 
What to know: Brian Gernatt is challenging incumbent Town Justice Norman Peters, with the issue centering around the incumbent’s availability to arraign suspects.


Highway Superintendent
Dennis M. Jensen (i) R, C, I

CONCORD

Town Supervisor
Gary Eppolito (i) R, C, I

Town Board (elect 2)
James Krezmien (i) R, C, I
Clyde Drake R, C, I
What to know: Drake is running for the seat of William Snyder who is not seeking re-election.

Town Clerk
Darlene Schweikert (i) R, C, I

Highway Superintendent
Dennis Dains (i) R, C, I

Town Assessor
Dan Martin R, C, I
What to know: Martin was appointed to the town assessor post in September to fill the unexpired term of William Nellis who retired.

Local Proposition: Increase the maximum number of eligible years in the Length of Service Awards Program for volunteer firefighters from 20 to 30 years at no additional cost, effective Jan. 1, 2014. (Town of Concord residents only)

EDEN

Town Board (elect 2) 
Mary Lou Pew (i) D, C, WF 
Richard S. Ventry (i) R, C 
Alfredo Carias Jr. D

What to know: Mary Lou Pew and Richard S. Ventry, who have served a combined six terms on the Eden Town Board, look to continue for another four years. The incumbents aim to streamline Eden town government in different ways, including updates to the website to make it more interactive and informative, and discussing keeping town hall open late one day a week. Challenger Alfredo Carias Jr. believes it is a good idea to add new ideas to the board and said if elected, one of the first issues he would review is water districts and its financial impact on taxpayers.


Town Justice
Michael G. Cooper D, R, C, I

Assessor
Robert W. Pietrocarlo D, C, WF

ELMA

Town Supervisor 
Dennis M. Powers (i) R, I, C 
John Schmelzer D

What to know: Dennis Powers, a graduate of the University of Buffalo with an accounting and finance degree is seeking his second full two-year term as Supervisor. Powers released a 2014 budget this month that has no town tax, and reduced or flat taxes in all districts except the Fire Protection District. The town has no debt and a fund balance of $1.9 million. Powers previously served as a councilman for two full terms and was chosen to fill out the rest of Supervisor Michael Nolan’s term when he resigned.

Democrat John Schmelzer, a retired NY Central Railroad engineer and a current assistant chief of the Elma Fire Co., is making his second run against Powers. Schmelzer is also treasurer of the Elma Fire Company Benevolent Association. He is against what he calls “the friends and family deal” at the town hall for jobs. He believes in giving everyone a chance at a job, especially for summer jobs for kids. He is also against part-time health care for part-time employees.

Town Board (elect 2)
Tracy W. Petrocy (i) R, C, I
Thomas M. Fallon (i) C, R, I
Yvon Boulet D

What to know: Council members Tracy W. Petrocy, a local jewelry store owner, and Thomas M. Fallon, a businessman with Derrick Co., are running for their second four-year terms and are being challenged by newcomer to politics, Democrat Yvon (Ivan) Boulet, Canisius College student studying political Science and Criminal Justice. He is presently employed by Dial America Inc. selling home insurance and credit card protection.


Highway Superintendent
Wayne A. Clark (i) R, C, I

EVANS

Town Board
Dennis Feldman (i) D, C
Jeanne Spoth Macko R, I

What to know: With a three-member board, the results in the Town Board race will decide the majority of the board. Currently the board is made up of two Democratic council members and a Republican supervisor. Excessive spending and lack of business growth was raised as a concern by both parties.

Highway Superintendent
Dominic M. Calandra D
Edward J. Michalski (i) R, C, I

What to know: In the highway superintendent race, the democrats backed a new candidate, Dominic Calandra instead of incumbent Edward Michalski, claiming that after 24 years, it is time to bring new ideas to the department. The republicans said Michalski has done an excellent job with the department and continues to streamline the process.

Town Clerk
Lynn M. Krajacic D, R, C, I, WF

Town Justice
Timothy J. Cooper (i) D, R, C

GRAND ISLAND

Town Board (elect 2)
Beverly A. Kinney D, I
Delilah A. D’Orazio D
Raymond A. Billica (i) R, C
Christopher K. Aronica (i) R, C, I

What to know: All four candidates say it’s a top priority to attract new businesses to Grand Island in order to broaden its tax base. D’Orazio and Kinney have each served on the Chamber of Commerce board for more than a decade and said they would work closely with small businesses to make them feel welcome. If re-elected, Billica said he would continue reaching out to businesses one by one, selling them on what Grand Island has to offer and Aronica said he would continue making personal introductions among businesses and the town’s Economic Development Board.

Town Justice
Mark J. Frentzel (i) D, R, C, I

Superintendent of Highways
William M. Stanley D, WF, I
James B. Tomkins (i) R, C

What to know: Both candidates said they would maintain a “black roads policy” in the winter, but differ as to how they would achieve it. During his tenure, Tomkins said he did away with “unnecessary overtime” and put an end to 24-hour on-the-clock shifts, limiting shifts to no more than 16 hours and allowing 8 hours for rest. Stanley said he would let snowfall dictate staffing.

HAMBURG

 

Supervisor
Walter L. Rooth III, D, WF
Steven J. Walters (i), R, C, I

Board (4-year term)
Michael P. Quinn Jr., D, WF
Amy Carroll Ziegler (i), R, C, I

Board (2-year term)
Cheryl L. Potter-Juda, D, WF
Lawrence J. Speiser, R, C, I

Highway superintendent
Thomas M. Best, R, C, I
Ted Casey, D

 

HOLLAND

What to know: Seven races will be on the ballot in the Town of Holland this November. Incumbents running unopposed are poised to return in 2014 to the positions of supervisor, town justice, tax collector, highway superintendent and two trustee positions. The town clerk post is the exception. Sandy Smith is retiring after two decades in the position. Merilu O’Dell, running on the Republican line, is the lone candidate for the position after defeating Robert Ersing in the primary elections.

Town Supervisor
Michael C. Kasprzyk (i) R

Town Board (elect 2)
Geoffrey W. Hack (i) C
Roberta A. Herr (i) R

Town Clerk
Merilu O’Dell R

Highway Superintendent
Patrick Joyce (i) R

Town Justice
William J. Franczak (i) R

Tax Collector
June E. McArthur (i) R

KENMORE

Trustee (elect 2)
Paul P. Catalano (i) D, WF, I
Kathleen E. Burd D, WF, I

What to know: The retirement of Sam Muscarella, the lone Republican on the Village Board, ensures the board’s five seats will be all Democratic come January. The Ken-Ton Republican Committee was unable to find any opponents for incumbent Paul P. Catalano and newcomer Kathleen E. Burd.

Village Justice
Scott F. Riordan (i) D, WF, I

What to know: Scott F. Riordan, a former prosecutor in the district attorney’s office, runs unopposed for another term for village justice.

LACKAWANNA
Board (1st Ward)
Andrea Haxton, SU
John E. Ingram, PP
Abdulsalam K. Noman (i), D, C, WF

Board (2nd Ward)
Louis Croce, R, C, I
Annette Iafallo (i), D, WF

Board (3rd Ward)
Joseh L. Jerge, D, C

LANCASTER

Board (elect 2)
John M. Abraham Jr. (i), D, C, WF, I
Robert E. Leary, R
Dem Ronald Ruffino Sr. (i), D, C, WF, I
Patrick F. Sportelli, R

Highway superintendent
Daniel J. Amatura (i), D, C, WF, I
Joseph M. Brainard, R

Justice
Mark S. Aquino, D, WF, I
Anthony J. Cervi, R, C

MARILLA

Town Supervisor
Leon E. Berner C, D
Earl A. Gingerich Jr. R, I

What to know: A concern regarding a permit for sludge storage on a Marilla farm still to be decided by the Department of Environmental Conservation has rallied residents fearful of impact on ground water. Although both candidates are farmers and are against the storage, they differ on zoning issues regarding businesses and housing. Current Supervisor George Gertz lost the Conservative line to Berner and the Republican line to Gingerich in the primary.

Town Board (elect 2)
Donald E. Darrow (i) R, I
Deborah J. Beats R, I
Leonard J. Blizniak Jr. C
Julie L. Lathrop D, C
Gary M. Gorski D

NEWSTEAD

Town Board (elect 2)
James Mayrose (i) R, C, I, WF
Richard C. Baran (i) D, C
Marybeth Whiting R, I
Erik Polkowski D, WF

What to know: With the possible expansion of Akron Airport and the concerts at Braun’s Concert Cove leaving some residents up-in-arms, the board has its work cut out for them. Incumbents Baran and Mayrose say they are delicate issues the board is working on. Both cite the town’s solvency as an accomplishment. Challengers Whiting and Polkowski look to bring fresh perspectives to the board.

Town Justice
Dennis Freeman (i) R, C, I
Cheryl Esposito D, WF

What to know: Incumbent Dennis Freeman has served as the Town Justice for over 20 years. Esposito has an interest in criminal justice and believes she can deal with the changing landscape of crime in Newstead.

Town Clerk
Dawn Izydorczak (i) R, C, I

Highway Superintendent
Michael Bassanello (i) D, WF
John D. Jendrowski R, C, I

What to know: Incumbent Highway Supervisor Michael Bassanello has been at the job for the last eight years. Challenger Jendrowski believes the town could be doing more to save tax payers money by cutting down on waste at the highway department.

NORTH COLLINS

Town Board (elect 2)
Jeffrey T. Krauss (i) D
Jenaro G. Rios D
John M. Tobia R, C
Karen A. Ricotta R

Town Board (to fill vacancy for two years)
Ellen M. Mathis D, C

Town Justice
Ward W. Weiser D, C

What to know: With the resignation of Marian Vanni (R) this summer and George LoBianco, (D) deciding not to seek another term, Jeffrey Krauss is the only incumbent seeking re-election. That means at least two new people will take office in January, with Ellen Mathis running unopposed to fill Vanni’s term. Issues discussed by candidates included updating the master plan, curtailing spending and encouraging business growth. The board had been three Republicans to two Democrats, so the majority could change, depending on the results.

ORCHARD PARK

Supervisor
Janis Colarusso (i), D, WF

Patrick J. Keem, R, C, I

Board (4-year term)
Gene L. Majchrzak (i), R, C
Lynmarie Phillips, D, WF, I

Board (2-year term)
Mike Sherry, D, R, C, I

Highway superintendent
Frederick J. Piasecki Jr. (i), R, C, I

SARDINIA

Town Supervisor
Daniel L. Miller R
Beverly A. Gambino C, I

 

What to know: The Town of Sardinia will elect a new supervisor with current Councilman Daniel L. Miller facing a challenge from Beverly A. Gambino, the town’s bookkeeper.

Town Board (elect 2)
Cheryl L. Earl (i) C, I
Dale E. Hediger D, R
Carla L. Fuller R
Leonard R. Hochadel C, I 
John R. Schiener D

What to know: There will be at least one new member of the town board, with incumbent Cheryl L. Earl seeking to regain her council seat, with a total of five candidates, including former Sardinia Town Supervisor Leonard R. Hochadel, in the mix. Among the issues new board members will have to face is a decision on how to disperse $2 million in surplus funds back to residents.

Town Clerk
Betsy A. Marsh (i) R, C, I

Town Justice
Gene R. Heintz D, R, C, I

Town Superintendent of Highways
Donald W. Hopkins (i) R, C, I

CITY OF TONAWANDA


Mayor

Rick Davis, D, WF
Ronald J. Pilozzi (i), R, C, I

Board (1st Ward)
Paul P. Brunner, D
Charles M. Gilbert, R, C, WF, I

Board (2nd Ward)
Jonathan R. Juliano, R, I
Jackie A. Smilinich, D, C, WF

Board (3rd Ward)
John J. Hall, R, I
Richard A. Slisz (i), D, C, WF

Board (4th Ward)
Brian M. Jopp, R
Jenna N. Koch, D, C, WF, I

TOWN OF TONAWANDA


Board (elect 3)

John A. Bargnesi Jr. (i), D, C, WF
Lisa M. Chimera (i), D, WF, I
Joseph H. Emminger Sr. (i), D, C, WF
Gigi E. Grizanti, R, I, C
Ann M. Morelli, R, I
Michael R. Vishion, R

Highway superintendent
Russell Riggio Jr., R, I
William E. Swanson (i), D, C, WF.

WALES

Town Supervisor
Rickey A. Venditti (i) R,C
What to know: Rickey A. Venditti is running for his sixth 2 year term is unopposed.

Town Board (elect 2)
Jude A. Hartrich (i) R, C
Gerald E. Klinck (i) R, C

What to know: Councilman Gerald E. Klinck R is running for his third 4 year term. He is the deputy supervisor and headed the committee for code changes for small farms. Jude A. Hartrich R. C. is running for her second 4 year term. She is a member of the Wales Center Fire Co., favors a new walking path around the town park, and water rights protection.

Highway Superintendent
Michael Zywar (i) R
Dani Bond D, C, I

Assessor
John Sly (i) R

Town Clerk
Melinda M. Eaton (i) R

WEST SENECA

Town Board
William P. Hanley Jr., D, WF
James E. Manley, R

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Related content:

* The News' campaign contributions database: Find out who gave what to candidates running for office in 2013

Thursday's must-reads from Washington

By Jerry Zremski

WASHINGTON -- Believe it or not, Obamacare is not the only story in Washington these days.

In fact, today's top read is about another hardy DC perennial: the budget battles, as The Washington Post looks at why the latest attempt to strike a budget deal may go nowhere: Democratic demands on taxes.

Meanwhile, The New York Times tells us that voter anger over the recent government shutdown is inspiring Democrats to run for Congress.

And The Hill notes that President Barack Obama tried to get Hillary Rodham Clinton to stay on as secretary of state.

Senate, Cuomo intensify battle over Moreland panel

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -– With lawmakers pushing back against his Moreland Commission, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is finding himself in a near daily fight with the Legislature, especially the coalition that controls the state Senate that had been among his most reliable allies in Albany.

Things worsened Wednesday on two fronts: Senate Republicans went to court to block subpoenas issued by Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission and legislation was introduced seeking to make Moreland Commission’s independent from the governor.

Senate Republicans filed papers in a state court in Manhattan seeking to quash the subpoenas issued by the Moreland Commission. The commission has sought an array of information about the central Senate Republican campaign committee and its activities during the 2012 elections. Separately, it also wants detailed information about the outside incomes of state lawmakers.

The Senate Republicans hired Washington lawyer Michael Chertoff to handle the case against the Moreland Commission; he was the secretary of homeland security under President George W. Bush.

In a written statement, Chertoff said the commission is engaged in a “partisan witch hunt’’ that violates free speech and political association.

In response, the Moreland Commission said state law grants it the power to conduct the investigation. “We had hoped the Senate Republicans would willingly cooperate and they did not. We will prevail in court,’’ the commission said.

Meanwhile, Staten Island senators Andrew Lanza, a Republican, and Diane Savino, a Democrat who is part of a breakaway group of Democrats who formed a coalition with the GOP to run the Senate, sponsored legislation aimed at reducing the governor’s role in Moreland panels and shedding more transparency on its work.

“The conduct of this commission and the possible involvement of the executive branch in the decisions of the commission has raised concerns about the accountability and effectiveness of this commission’s objective,’’ a legislative memo by Lanza and Savino states. “Potential or actual conflicts of interest divert from the true mission of any Moreland Commission.’’

The legislation's provisions would preserve all documents created by Moreland commissions in the state archives and set new membership rules for members of the panel intended to reduce the influence of the executive branch.

While Cuomo as recently as last week at a public event talked of how well his administration has worked with lawmakers, the nice talk from surrogates is clearly over.

Rodney Capel, executive director of the New York State Democratic Committee, which Cuomo controls, said that in the time it took Lanza to draft a press release he could have disclosed his outside income. “What exactly is he hiding and why is he deploying every distraction tactic available to do it. Don’t his constituents have a right to know who he works for?” Capel said.

"And to his co-sponsor Diane Savino -- who has acted as a shield for Republicans working to block votes on public campaign financing and women's equality -- I have two words: register Republican,’’ he added.

Savino called it "extremely disappointing to see a member of my own party respond to calls for greater transparency in government with such vitriol and hostility.'' She noted how it was her independent Democratic conference that helped Cuomo get some of his major policy proposals approved this year.

"Maybe if Mr. Capel and his allies were less worried about protecting their (campaign) housekeeping accounts -- and were more focused on lining up every Democratic vote in the Senate -- we could finally move forward on some of those other more polarizing issues. Until then, he can spare me the bull of find himself another six-figure, no-show job,'' she said this evening.

 

New York gambling revenues continue to rise

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – Revenues by New York gambling entities have nearly doubled since 2000, according to a new report out today.

Total gambling revenues, including lottery games and gambling at racetracks and Indian casinos, went from $2.7 billion in 2000 to $5.3 billion in 2011, according to Casino City’s North American Gaming Almanac, an annual, in-depth study of the nation’s gambling industry.

Unlike Nevada, home to some of the nation’s oldest commercial casinos, New York’s gambling revenues have been steadily rising over the past decade, the study shows. Nevada’s gambling revenues totaled $9.8 billion in 2000, rose over the next several years and in 2011 stood again at $9.8 billion.

Broken out, New York’s Indian gambling revenues totaled $921 million in 2011, down from a high of $1 billion in 2007 but up from $208 million in 2000, according to Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report. The Seneca Nation of Indians runs three casinos in Western New York.

California saw at total of $9.9 billion in gambling revenues; $3.3 billion of that were from Indian-owned casinos.

In neighboring Ontario, gambling revenues went from $3.1 billion in 2000 to $5.1 billion in 2011, the most recent year for which numbers were available. In Pennsylvania, the numbers went from $1.2 billion in 2000 to $4.4 billion in 2011.

The New York numbers have only soared since 2011. The report does not include a full year’s worth of revenues at the highly lucrative Aqueduct casino in Queens, which opened in the fall of 2011; just in tax revenues alone for the state government, that facility has generated $900 million, its operators recently reported.

New York’s gambling industry is bucking a national trend in which gambling revenues have been soft since 2007. In all in 2011, gambling generated $116.4 billion in revenues. The nation’s casinos are home to 993,000 gambling machines, including 760,000 slots, the study found. The study does not break out revenues by individual gambling facility in New York.

On Tuesday, New York voters will decide if a plan to build up to seven non-Indian casinos gets approved.

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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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