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ALBANY –- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he had no role and offered no support to a breakaway group of four State Senate Democrats who last week likely made his job of dealing with the Senate a little bit easier. Four Democrats formed what they called an independent caucus in the Senate, which is now narrowly controlled 32-30 by the Republicans, saying they had lost faith in …

The shooting of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in a rampage that claimed six lives Saturday, shook the souls of everyone who serves the public in this say-anything era. That’s because what happened in Tucson could happen anywhere, at any time -– and because the devolution in discourse in America in recent years might just make it more likely to happen…

ALBANY -- In his second "team" problem-solving panel for the day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo this afternoon named the members of a group to brainstorm ways to reduce the number of state-imposed mandates on local governments and school districts. The mandates, at least those ones required by Albany but with no financial help to pay for them, are costly drivers of local pro…

ALBANY -- Members of a Medicaid cost-cutting panel were unveiled this afternoon by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a downstate-dominated group of health care executives, union leaders, lawmakers and business leaders. The Medicaid Redesign Team has several Western New York members, including Assemblyman Joe Giglio, a Republican from the 149th Assembly district who is an appointee of the…

ALBANY -- Call them the Four un-Amigos. Four new members of the Senate Democratic conference, including Sen. Tim Kennedy, a South Buffalo Democrat, were offered up to the Capitol press corps Thursday. Their theme? They are all about bringing change to Albany, but aren’t joining the four Senate Democrats who a day earlier announced they had lost faith with their leadershi…

Politics

Bill Burton, a 1995 City Honors School grad, came back to talk to students at his alma mater in 2008. File photo by Harry Scull Jr. / Buffalo News White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced his resignation today -- and a Buffalo boy could succeed him as President Obama's top spokesman. Bill Burton, a 1995 City Honors School grad who grew up in North Buffalo, …

Review News Political Reporter Robert J. McCarthy's chat during today's State of the State address. <a href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=72571418a9" _mce_href=&a…

First dismissed by some as an appointed senator who was no more than Hillary Lite, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand now seems to be the Capital's latest it-girl. For proof, check out what Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" had to say about Gillibrand, D-N.Y., last night. Stewart, famous for treating politicians with the disrespect that they�…

News Political Reporter Robert J. McCarthy takes a look back at the year in politics, including Carl Paladino's run for governor and area state legislative races. <object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" width="480" --Aaron Besecker

The chairman of the New York GOP and the state's Republican congressional caucus are uniting behind Buffalo native Maria Cino to become the new head of the Republican National Committee. Chairman Edward F. Cox, along with three sitting congressmen and five incoming members, all expressed strong support today for the graduate of Mt. St. Joseph's Academy and St. Jo…

Michael Gianaris, a rookie senator from Queens with a high statewide profile, will become the new head of the effort to elect Democrats to the State Senate. Gianaris was appointed by Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson to replace Sen. Jeff Klein of the Bronx after the Democrats were knocked out of the majority in the November election. “Mike Gianaris is a dynamic …

News Arts Critic Colin Dabkowski spoke with Republican Legislator Kevin Hardwick on Monday night about County Executive Chris Collins' budget veto message and the next steps in the hotly contested fight over the 2011 Erie County budget. Check out the post, and listen to an audio interview with Hardwick, at the Gusto Blog.

In Albany, legislators know their time is over when one thing happens: their leather chair is rolled off the floor of the Senate or Assembly chamber. So went the way of Sen. Dale Volker's dark brown chair shortly after 2 p.m. today when a maintenance worker unceremoniously -– meaning no one else was around other than a reporter just passing by -– moved it from the…

ALBANY –- Gov. David A. Paterson is leaving Albany on a media-bashing blitz. Today’s installment has him likening reporters to Tammany Hall political hacks. "This is the new political club," he said of reporters. "These people are not interested in reporting the news. They’re not even still interested in making the news. They want to run the government…