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Siena poll: NY27 race between Hochul and Collins is even

(Buffalo News file photos)

It's a dead heat.

Read Bob McCarthy's story about the latest Siena poll in this Western New York Congressional race.

Prodding Albany in the 60th Senate District race

Mike Amodeo, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Mark Grisanti in the 60th Senate district, is drawing attention this week to the status of a measure that would further boost the efforts of historic rehabilitators and preservationists across the state.

Amodeo has sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, asking for quick action on a measure known as the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, or HRTC. The measure would lift the maximum dollar figure on the tax credit available to developers and rehabbers from $5 million to $12 million. The measure builds on legislation that was approved several years ago.

 Amodeo urged Skelos to send the measure – which was sponsored by Grisanti earlier this year – to the governor for a signature, arguing that it is holding up the creation of new jobs in Western New York.

 "I am imploring you on behalf of the residents of Buffalo and the 60th Senate District to advance this historic rehabilitation tax credit bill immediately,” stated Amodeo, a Hamburg attorney, in his letter, “so economic development can continue and prevailing wage jobs can be restored to Buffalo.”

A spokesman for Senate Republicans contradicted the notion that the GOP is in any way holding up the measure.

"Not only does Mike Amodeo oppose the Governor's property tax cap, but he has no understanding of how the legislative process actually works," the spokesman, Scott Reif, said in an email to The Buffalo News. "The Legislature works with the Governor's office to ensure that their counsel has adequate time to review each of the hundreds of bills that are passed every year, and they simply haven't requested this bill yet."

--- Charity Vogel


Audio: Bob McCarthy talks politics on WBFO

Bob McCarthy, the News' political reporter, appeared on WBFO and AM970 this morning with Jay Moran.

They talked about various items in the political world, including the local Democratic party and tonight's presidential debate.

Listen to the whole segment here:

Download mp3

Funny moments from the Democrats' meeting...

Notes from Erie County’s political trail – this time, from the meeting inside the Hearthstone Manor on Saturday, at which Jeremy Zellner was elected the Dems' new county chairman (the vote is now being challenged in court by Frank Max, his opponent) – include some funny moments, too.

The top three humorous moments from Saturday’s 4-hour-long conclave of local Dems?

It’s wholly unofficial, of course. But here are the picks of one observer:

1.) At the beginning of the lengthy session, at which more than 1,000 Democratic committee men and women packed into a ballroom at the Depew banquet facility, paper ballots were distributed.

To use the ballots as anonymous votes, the papers had to be separated into two parts.

“There are SCISSORS up here,” one party official told the multitude. “They are NOT meant to be used as weapons.”

Um, good to know…

Continue reading "Funny moments from the Democrats' meeting..." »

Video: The governor & Grisanti

An interesting commercial has hit the airwaves. Political Reporter Bob McCarthy talks with The News' Brian Meyer about developments in Mark Grisanti's bid to retain his seat in the State Senate.


Grisanti in TV ads, Amodeo looking for contributions

Republican Mark J. Grisanti’s campaign to retain the 60th Senate district seat includes a new TV ad that draws heavily on the working relationship between Grisanti and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.

The ad, called “Independent,” first aired last night, during 5 p.m. news broadcasts on local network affiliates.

It begins with a clip of Cuomo standing at a podium during a 2011 event, praising Grisanti for his support. The ad goes on to tout UB 2020 as “one example of what good things can happen” with Grisanti in office.

After a few shots of Grisanti talking to constituents, the ad ends with Cuomo’s voice saying, “Mark Grisanti, thank you for your leadership.”

The not-spelled-out-overtly subtext of the ad? Grisanti’s key role in supporting the same-sex marriage legislation that Cuomo advanced – legislation that was controversial with many voters.

It was produced by Cookfair Media at David Collins Productions in Williamsville, campaign sources said.


In the campaign of Mike Amodeo, the Democratic challenger for Grisanti’s seat, there are no TV ads currently in the works.

That will come soon, campaign sources said, but right now Amodeo is working on raising money to pay for the TV spots and mailers he hopes to start putting out in the near future.

“Right now, we’re just in the collecting money stage,” said Amodeo, an attorney who lives in Lake View and who has never held political office, but who defeated Charles M. Swanick and Alfred Coppola for the Democratic line in November. “We’re trying to raise as much money as we can.”

--Charity Vogel

Video: Week in Washington - Vegas edition

Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski reports from Las Vegas, as he begins working on stories about swing states in the upcoming election.


Video: Amodeo wins Democratic primary

Michael L. Amodeo, a Hamburg attorney, captured the win in the Democratic primary for the 60th Senate district.

Live video, blog: Primary Night coverage


The Read: Political chatter from elsewhere

Each Saturday on the Politics Now blog, you'll find a list of stories that caught the eyes of The News' political reporters. Here's a sampling of what they were reading this week:

"'Moneyball' Godfather Bill James Tackles Politics In Super PAC Age," Sam Stein, Huffington Post. The "high priest of baseball number-crunching" has turned his attention to political campaign fundraising. 

"A Senate Primary Stuck in the Shadows," Thomas Kaplan, New York Times. A Republican primary for U.S. Senate later this month isn't drawing much attention. The winner faces Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

"Absent an actual Dream Act, Obama relaxes deportation requirements," Reid Pillifant, Capital New York. Before a speech to a major Latino group, President Obama changes immigration policy. It doesn't grant citizenship, but it defers deportation.

"Cuomo says final decisions on hydrofracking in New York remain undecided," Teri Weaver, the Post-Standard. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is weighing the desires of local communities when it comes to hydraulic fracturing. 

Photo gallery, Washington Post. In honor of Father's Day, historian Douglas Brinkley looks at presidential fathers - the good and the not so good. 


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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 |