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 Gov. David Paterson has now said that one of his campaign staffers leaked the catty and unsubstantiated  reasons about why Caroline Kennedy dropped her bid  for becoming New York's next senator. Now, the leaks may prompt more investigations, to see if the information came from confidential questionnaires that the Senate hopefuls filled out for the gove…

   These are not exactly happy days for New York State's Republican Party.   The once-vibrant GOP is not immune to the troubles plaguing the national party, as it has watched Democrats assume the jobs of governor, comptroller, attorney general, Assembly speaker, Senate majority leader and both U.S. senator posts in recent years. …

Told that FBI officials admitted they had a hard time unlocking the secret codes of how the New York state Legislature does  business, a longtime legislative lawyer burst out laughing.    "No kidding?" the lawyer said, before boasting of the legal abilities of legislative staffs that have made impenetrable how Albany operates … from the state budge…

   WASHINGTON -- You might have thought Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand's celebration of her first day in office would have featured a dance where she kept moving to the left, but that wasn't really the case.    Shortly after being sworn in to replace former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Gillibrand, D-Greenport, said she would represent the ent…

   WASHINGTON -- Among the Democrats in the House, there's this group that calls itself the "Blue Dogs," but they're really more red than blue, if red is the Republican color.    Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand of the Hudson Valley is one of them -- and now she's about to become New York's junior senator.    Gillibrand ma…

   That Caroline Kennedy withdrew from  consideration for the U.S. Senate was surprise enough for the state's political world.    That people close to Paterson would so sharply criticize Kennedy -- while revealing  embarrassing issues about her personal life -- took things one step further. Even to grizzled Democratic insiders, well acc…

   WASHINGTON -- It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a decade since Hillary Rodham Clinton's "listening tour" set the stage for her election to the U.S. Senate from New York.    And it's equally surprising that her tenure in the Senate set the stage for her new role as secretary of state.    Many believed C…

   WASHINGTON — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton appears to be coasting toward confirmation as secretary of state,   but at the hearing on her nomination Tuesday, the elephants in the room weren't shy about talking about the elephant in the room.    That is, the Republican senators weren't shy about talking about the potentials for conflict between Cli…

   Byron W. Brown was elected overwhelmingly as mayor of Buffalo in 2005, and again heads into 2009 as the favorite for another term.    That's because only one person  -- South Council Member Michael "Mickey" Kearns --  has emerged as a potential Democratic challenger to the mayor in this election year. While many consider Kea…

   A month ago, she was a steamroller. Today, Caroline Kennedy has become a political recluse after a couple of bumpy public rollouts in her bid to become a U.S. senator from New York.      Her bid was not helped Thursday when the one and only voter in the contest -- Gov. David A. Paterson -- noted that her lack of elected experience "does not…

   Few Western New Yorkers have achieved the kind of national status of Jack Kemp: Buffalo Bills quarterback, Republican congressman from Hamburg, HUD secretary under President George H.W. Bush and 1996 candidate for vice president.    That's why Wednesday's news that Kemp has cancer hit home.  All indications point to a serious situation for Kemp…

   WASHINGTON - Senate Democratic leaders appeared to back off their solemn vow not to admit former Illinois Attorney General Roland W. Burris to the world's greatest deliberative body.     After saying less than 10 days ago that Burris, the appointee of disgraced Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, "will not" be admitted, Senate Majority Leader Harry Re…

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WASHINGTON -- In a way, political consultant Roland W. Burris got more than his money's worth from Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, but not from two top national Democrats he donated to. Named by Blagojevich to fill the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, Burris on Tuesday was blocked by the Democratic Senate majority on grounds he was not properly cert…

And so the strange trip of Caroline Kennedy's entry into New York politics continues.    While her competitors for the job of replacing Hillary Rodham Clinton are largely shut out from the media's attention, there is Kennedy insisting Saturday  --  again -- that she is not campaigning for the job. One day she's on a listening tour upstate, complete wit…