WASHINGTON – The election of Donald J. Trump as president turned Rep. Chris Collins from back-bencher to power broker. After three relatively low-key years in Congress followed by a year as one of Trump's most outspoken supporters, the Republican from Clarence now finds himself as the point person for recommending a new U.S. attorney for Western New York as well as,…

No, he's not O.J. It was pure coincidence that football great Thurman Thomas was in City Hall on business Thursday at the same time the Pop Warner Jr. Pee Wee football team was in  Mayor Byron Brown's office. Thomas was asked if he would stop in to say hello to the young athletes, and he obliged, shaking hands with and offering encouragement to the 10- to-13-year-ol…

WASHINGTON — Sen. Charles E. Schumer met Thursday with Canada's ambassador to the United States and its new consul general to urge them to immediately boost border patrol staffing to prevent long wait times at the Peace Bridge and other border crossings. "Canada, our good partner, cannot let the delays that happened this past summer at the border occur again during …

ALBANY – Eight defendants, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s longtime friend Joseph Percoco and Buffalo businessman Louis Ciminelli, pleaded not guilty in federal court in Manhattan Thursday to a range of corruption charges. The case, brought by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, includes bribery and extortion charges, and has raised questions about the awarding of some of th…

Bathroom talk Back in May, city officials announced a gender-neutral bathroom would be created in the basement floor of City Hall, not too far from the existing public restrooms. I recently walked down there, to check it out, and found that, indeed, the gender-neutral bathroom exists. And it's handicappled accessible, and also kid-friendly (with a baby changing area…

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York -- the incoming Democratic leader of the Senate -- sent a message to President-elect Donald J. Trump this week about his proposed trillion-dollar investment in roads and other infrastructure: It better include direct federal spending that addresses the nation's real needs. In a conference call with reporters, Schumer …

One reason Democrats will vacate the White House is that the black vote they count on did not materialize in the same numbers or percentages as in the Obama coalition. Blacks made up less of the electorate and – despite Donald Trump’s rhetoric – were fed up enough to give the Republican a bigger share of their vote. Apparently, you can only take people for granted f…

WASHINGTON – The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a $6 billion bill aimed at modernizing the approval process for prescription drugs while boosting funding to fight the opioid epidemic as well as the "cancer moonshot." Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, had a hand in creating some of the measures included in the "21st Century Cures Act," which Rep. Brian Higgins, …

WASHINGTON – The House has joined the Senate in calling on the federal government to review security along the 5,500-mile U.S.-Canadian border. The House passed the Northern Border Security Review Act unanimously late Tuesday, two weeks after the Senate passed it. The measure, which requires the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to fully evaluate security threats a…

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, has been named as one of seven new vice chairs of President-elect Donald J. Trump's transition team. “We are both honored and humbled to be selected as a vice chair for President-Elect Trump’s transition team," Reed said Wednesday. "We care about the future of our country and recognize that this is a massive undertaking at a p…

ALBANY – They were five words that shook Albany on Wednesday afternoon. “I have agreed to stay on,’’ U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said of his future job plans after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump in Manhattan. The decision comes as Bharara is in the midst of prosecuting a major Albany corruption scandal and just two days after he appointed a new hea…

Brown going back to Washington today When Mayor Brown recently traveled to Washington for a veterans housing event, he figured it was his last invite to the Obama White House.  Then came this invitation to the Obamas' final holiday season reception tonight. While I was asking the mayor about tonight's party, we got to talking about his other White House visits. B…

Sorry about that, the city says Before the Thanksgiving holiday I got a call that the city issued parking tickets Nov. 21 on streets that, the city had previously announced, it was OK to park on prior to Nov. 22. It was the announcement that Mayor Brown's office made the previous week. Given the warmer-than-expected weather, the mayor's office said, winter parking re…

Heard on Hertel Still nothing official on the expected Dash's Hertel Avenue expansion, but I've heard from two sources now that plans will be submitted to City Hall soon. I was also told the plan isn't in response to the Lexington co-op satellite that will be opening down the street. Instead, I was told, Dash's has wanted for a while now to build a signature store i…

By Paul Kane WASHINGTON – President-elect Donald Trump spent Sunday ridiculing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign for joining a recount effort in Wisconsin, ending his day on Twitter by parroting a widely debunked conspiracy theory that her campaign benefited from massive voter fraud. As his senior advisers engaged in an escalating feud over who the next sec…