Politics & Government

Political news


The state’s Attorney General has released a package of bills aimed at improving what he said is the state’s “arcane” and “ridiculous” voting laws that bar many potential voters from the ballot box.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman began a statewide inquiry after his office received a record number of complaints about lack of voter access during the April Presidential primary.

In New York we have what amounts to legal voter suppression,” Schneiderman said.


Syracuse Common Councilors Monday decided to stick with the company that helps the city with parking enforcement, ticketing, and immobilizing vehicles for another three years.  The agreement with Paylock didn’t come without questions about whether the city’s getting its money’s worth.

The numbers would seem to indicate the city is having success in issuing parking tickets.  but the trouble is getting violators to pay up.  Councilor Nader Maroun says there are about 80,000 outstanding tickets worth about $6 million.


If the numbers hold, Republicans are poised to remain in control of the State Senate, and even pick up a seat when the senate reconvenes in January.  The news has reassured business groups but dismayed reform advocates.

The numerical majority  means many of the same issues that were gridlocked in the legislature in the past are likely to remain so, including , the Dream Act, which would provide college aid to children of undocumented immigrants, abortion rights measures, and ending the incarceration of 16 and 17 year olds in adult prisons.

Scott Willis / WAER News

After six months of deliberating, Syracuse Common Councilors Monday passed a new ordinance that prohibits landlords from turning away tenants who receive federal assistance.  Long-time advocate for those with disabilities Agnes McCray says the measure is a good first step for residents with any disability to get equal access to affordable housing. 


Voters from Binghamton to Cortland, Utica to Lake Ontario are choosing a congress member in the expansive 22nd congressional district to replace retiring Richard Hanna.

Two seasoned public servants are vying for the 126th Assembly District.  Current Representative, Republican Gary Finch has been in office since 2000 and owns a small business.  Democrat Diane Dwire is a Veteran, she once chaired the Onondaga Democratic Committee.  Finch says he has several initiatives he wants to accomplish including green algae issues in Owasco Lake and the heroin epidemic.

twitter.com @nysendems

There’s a greater chance than ever that the Senate could be dominated by Democrats after the November 8th election.  Many issues stalled in the Republican led Senate for years would now have a possibility of passing.

Campaign finance reform,  the Dream Act- which offers college tuition support to the children of undocumented immigrants- and more money for underperforming schools are just a few of the topics that might be approved under a Senate controlled by Democrats.

New Campaign Push to Mobilize Voters as Election Day Approaches

Oct 31, 2016
Scott Willis/WAER News / WAER News

Central New York is entering the final countdown with less than eight days until Election Day. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton supporters are making their final campaign pushes. And they’re calling it G-O-T-V or Get Out The Vote. Clinton supporters are spreading the word all this week by making calls to people around the state.  Onondaga County legislature Democratic Leader Linda Ervin says this is important because they cannot rely on New York’s historically democratic record.

Schumer photo: John Smith/WAER / Long photo: twitter @WendyLongNY

It looks like New York Senator Chuck Schumer will be re elected to a fourth term on November 8th, barring any major turn of events.  Schumer is nearly 40 points ahead of his nearest opponent in the polls.  The bigger question now is if will Schumer be the next Senate Minority Leader or Majority Leader.

Schumer is  running for reelection, but he’s not exactly campaigning. He’s mostly just continuing what he’s been doing for years- relentlessly traveling the state, focusing on local issues.

City of Syracuse flickr

Mayor Stephanie Miner on Wednesday announced a new way to help with Syracuse’s infrastructure thanks to a program the city recently joined, and how residents and others outside of city hall might be able to help.  The City of Syracuse is one of 16 cities selected to join the What Works Coalition this week, and is now among 55 cities working to make government more effective and efficient through the use of data.  She says the program was launched in 2015 by Bloomberg Philanthropies to help collect data and make it available to the public.