Robert J. McCarthy, The Buffalo News
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Robert J. McCarthy

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There was a time when Buffalo Republicans at least fantasized about electing one of their own as mayor. Candidates such as Richard A. Grimm III and Kevin J. Helfer would raise money, campaign on the issues, and haunt the heavily favored Democratic candidates. But in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 7 to 1, those days appear to be over. No Rep…

ABOARD THE GOOD SHIP ANDREW – You’ve heard of a champagne cruise. Call this one a campaign cruise. Gov. Andrew Cuomo invited about 100 of his closest friends aboard a Buffalo Harbor tour boat Wednesday to see firsthand all of the marvels of Albany’s largess since 2011 – coincidentally the same year as the start of his administration. It was a beautiful day fo…

Attention continues to focus on Rep. Chris Collins and his investments in the health care industry. The Daily Beast website intensified the spotlight Wednesday by reporting that the Clarence Republican stands out among 40 GOP members of Congress who voted for the American Health Care Act while owning stock in health care companies. Collins holds the most stock of any r…

It’s getting easier to find a seat on Metro Rail these days following a significant drop in ridership. And in a classic case of bad timing, the drop-off occurs just as transit planners are asking the federal government to extend the system to Amherst. Lower gas prices, higher employment rates, working at home trends and construction delays are contributing to a 6.1…

Legal documents explaining efforts to dissolve the famed Cellino & Barnes law firm not only remain sealed, but officials have now removed references to documents in the case from the court system website following challenges filed by The Buffalo News and two New York City tabloids. The News – along with the New York Daily News and New York Post – continues to qu…

Steve Pigeon was back in court a few days ago, facing a judge for the third time in the last 10 months. This time the former Erie County Democratic chairman appeared in U.S. District Court to answer more questions about his controversial fundraising methods. A federal complaint alleges that Pigeon, a longtime confidant of Andrew Cuomo, conspired to solicit a $25,000 con…

The white-hot dispute between warring partners of the Cellino & Barnes law firm could be headed for a mediation cool down. Robert J. Schreck, managing partner of the firm headed by Ross M. Cellino Jr. and Stephen E. Barnes, said late Tuesday that litigation will hopefully be avoided through a dispute resolution process now scheduled. “The parties are optimisti…

Congressional ethics investigators are probing Rep. Chris Collins’ role in attracting investors to an Australian biotech company, interviewing several of them in the Buffalo area Tuesday and Wednesday, according to two sources familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified. The Office of Congressional Ethics – an independent, nonpartisan entity charged w…

Peace Bridge officials are beginning to restore three lanes of traffic to the international span with an eye toward fully reopening on Thursday. Ron Rienas, Peace Bridge Authority general manager, said crews will begin removing the north lane Jersey barriers Monday night while newly poured concrete on the Fort Erie, Ont., side continues to cure. “We hope to have al…

Ross Cellino and Steve Barnes have been smiling down on Buffalo expressway commuters for two decades, while their constant jingle with all those “8s” plays out on the car radio and television ads. Their law firm's ubiquitous billboards also greet New York City subway commuters near major hospitals, and its jingle reverberates during Yankee games on WFAN and througho…

The activist responsible for two recent billboards criticizing Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, is emerging as the Democratic candidate against Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Joseph C. Lorigo in November. Michelle Schoeneman, who raised the money for a two-week anti-Collins message at Hamburg’s Seven Corners, is expected to seek the key seat, according to Erie…

There was a time, here at the Politics Column, when we devoted this weekly space to – well – politics. But lately, indictments and court appearances comprise the bulk of political news around here. Maybe we should call it the Crime Column. Indeed, former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon found himself before a judge for the third time in 10 months on M…

New York State’s “show the way” efforts now include the Niagara Thruway and Route 5 along the Outer Harbor. Green and white “way finding” signs now highlight exits from the Niagara Thruway to Canalside, KeyBank Center and Coca-Cola Field, while brown and white “attraction signs” provide directions from Route 5 to Outer Harbor Drive, the Bell Slip, Wilkeson…

An anti-Chris Collins billboard has gone up in Hamburg. Michelle Schoeneman, a teacher and member of a group called Citizens Against Collins, has now sponsored her second sign this year, criticizing the Clarence Republican. The newest, located at the Seven Corners intersection in Hamburg, flashes a picture of Collins with the message: “Chris Collins to WNYers: Drop De…