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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 fu…

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 orn…

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."…

ALBANY -- Gov-elect Andrew M. Cuomo has announced his inner circle of advisers -- with few surprises. The incoming governor is keeping with him a tight circle of trusted aides, some from his attorney general's office and a couple going back to the administration of Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, father of the governor-elect. Here is the list released by Cuomo's t…

Erie County Executive Chris Collins has taken to the airwaves in his effort to draw public opinion to his side in his latest budget scrape with the Legislature. Collins today began a series of advertisements on local radio paid by his campaign account. The spots label the Legislature's additional spending for 2011 as reckless and likely to trigger a tax increase if allowed…

The moment Charlie Rangel hasn't been waiting for will come later this afternoon, as the House takes up a resolution to censure the 40-year Harlem lawmaker and dean of the New York House delegation for assorted fundraising and tax violations.  If, as expected, he is centured, the rancorous Rangel -- who recently stormed out of an Ethics Committee hearin…

ALBANY -– In today’s if-at-first-you-don’t-succeed example, the State Senate will return to Albany next Tuesday to, once again, try to resolve some outstanding matters. Chief on the list, though, will not be closing the state’s $315 million budget deficit. Instead, the 62-member house is reconvening a week after this past Monday’s special session to try, again, to pass a b…

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