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ALBANY -- If it's the holiday season and a new legislative session is scheduled to begin at the Capitol in a month, it must be time for one thing: speculation about pay raises for state legislators. In a ritual repeated every two years, word seems to spread this time of year of secret deals to try to push through an 11th hour pay raise for legislators. In some years, …

Buffalo's Maria Cino is lining up a host of top-level Republicans in her bid to become the next chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. An invitation making the rounds in Washington today highlights a fund-raiser hosted by former Vice President Dick Cheney, former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, and former Reps. Bill Paxon and Susan Molinari -- to be held Dec. 7 a…

ALBANY -- A feisty Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo today lashed out today at the State Legislature for failing to close at least a $315 million budget deficit and warned state employee unions to be ready for serious cutbacks next year. After a 90-minute, closed-door luncheon meeting with Assembly Democrats at an Albany hotel, Cuomo emerged to praise the "very positive" s…

      ALBANY --The imprisoned former New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress and someone not even sentenced yet are among the last-minute pardon requests outgoing Gov. David A. Paterson has received.    Asked today if any out-of-the ordinary pardon requests had come through in his final weeks in office -- akin to the posthumous pardon ou…

ALBANY -- It was a tough day for Gov. David Paterson trying to get his way with the Legislature.Besides his budget deficit reduction plan fail, Paterson saw one of his longtime aides rejected for a last-minute appointment to the state Parole Board. Seny Taveras, who has worked with Paterson in different posts since 2003, felt the rare rejection by the Senate Finance Commit…

Buffalo News Suburban Editor Bruce Andriatch was a guest of Joyce Kryszak this morning on WBFO-FM 88.7. Among the topics discussed were the recent deals offered to Verizon and Yahoo! to lure them to the area. Listen to the audio: Click here to download the clip and take it with you

 WASHINGTON … North Buffalo native Maria Cino, a longtime GOP operative, is eyeing a possible bid to chair the Republican National Committee.    Cino, an aide to former Rep. Bill Paxon who later served briefly as acting  transportation secretary, could be one of several candidates to replace GOP Chairman Michael Steele.    Steele is running fo…

ALBANY -– Like they told pollsters before the election, the burning issue for New Yorkers is job creation, a post-election poll out this morning has found. A poll by the Siena College Research Institute found 48 percent of registered voters said the incoming governor, Andrew Cuomo, should focus on job creation as his top priority, followed by 31 percent who say it should b…

The top communications strategist for the Senate Republicans -- who cheerily played a "bad cop'' role with some in the Capitol press corps -- surprised many folks this morning with word of his retirement. John McArdle, who helped mastermind what could be the GOP retaking the Senate if they win two of the three still-contested Senate seats now facing recounts…

ALBANY -- It could take weeks, or months, of such updates before the three contested Senate races are finally decided. But here's the latest from the Senate Democrats, who insist the Republicans shouldn't be too cozy about claiming they've won back the chamber's majority just yet. In the local 60th district fight between Democratic Sen. Antoine Thompson…

ALBANY -- Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo just announced a team of people to advise him during his transition into the governor's office over the next couple months. It includes a mix of politicians, business executives and labor leaders. His economic team includes Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and M&T Bank CEO Bob Wilmers. An economic development and labor group include…

ALBANY – Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo continued his “recalibrate" Albany theme today, saying there’s really very little to argue about over the upcoming state budget because the state's economic realities are going to cause widespread fiscal pain. “It’s all math," Cuomo said on an interview with WOR radio in New York City this morning. The state is facing a …

ALBANY –- Governor-elect Andrew M. Cuomo, who has taken a mostly low public profile since his election win eight days ago, today toured a downstate state prison and a state psychiatric facility as his campaign released a three-minute video in which the Democrat thanks -– repeatedly -– New Yorkers. But, in setting up what could be a bruising session come January, Cuomo asks…

ALBANY -- In the words of Ronald Reagan, "There you go again.'' Assemblyman Mark Schroeder has been tweaking Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver since before coming to the Assembly in 2005. Dismissing Democratic Party loyalties for what he says is a desire to stick up for his district, Schroeder is at it again with another "Dear Mr. Speaker'' lett…

The 60th State Senate district isn't the only New York race that's too close to call. On Long Island, the result of a congressional race that appeared to have been settled on Election Night is now up in the air after officials discovered they misreported results. From the Associated Press: A congressional election on eastern Long Island that had appeared to end i…