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By Tom Precious ALBANY – New York’s first official Booze Summit is over after two hours – well, except for the tasting gathering at the governor’s mansion this afternoon – and beer, wine and liquor industry representatives gave Gov. Andrew Cuomo a long list of suggestions to expand the state’s alcohol industry. The ideas were hardly new: open up more ways for upstate produ…

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Charles M. Swanick, the Conservative Party candidate for the 60th Senate district seat, speaks during this morning's debate at St. Joe's as Democrat Michael Amodeo, left, and Republican incumbent Mark J. Grisanti listen. (John Hickey / Buffalo News) By Charity Vogel The three chief candidates in the race for the 60th Senate district seat this fall criticized eac…

Send in your questions for a live video debate among candidates for the 60th District seat in the New York State Senate. The debate, hosted by The Buffalo News, will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, and be shown on BuffaloNews.com. Democrat Michael Amodeo and Conservative Party candidate Charles Swanick have agreed to participate in the half-hour debate, which wi…

By Tom Precious ALBANY – Some participants in tomorrow’s Booze Summit in Albany are vowing to do more than complain about state alcohol distribution rules and fees and taxes. At least three firms – a couple brewers and a winery – are hoping to use the occasion at which Gov. Andrew Cuomo will promote the state’s beer, wine and liquor industry to, instead, rail against the C…

By Robert J. McCarthy Could Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, be facing a competitive race? A new poll commissioned by the New York AFL-CIO shows Democrat Nate Shinagawa trailing incumbent Reed by just five points. The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, has Reed at 49.7 percent and Shinagawa at 44.7 percent with 5.6 percent of voters undecided. Shinagawa, an Ithaca hospital…

By Tom Precious ALBANY – The state’s highest court, in a ruling that surprised few legal watchers, declined to hear a case today challenging the procedure by which the state Senate approved gay marriage rights last year. The now-dismissed lawsuit, brought by New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, whose leadership is composed mostly of evangelical ministers, featured …

By Tom Precious ALBANY – The clock is ticking, but President Obama has still not given a road map to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for where the New York Democrat can serve as a surrogate in the final weeks of the presidential campaign. Cuomo, who had a low-key role at the party’s convention this summer in North Carolina, last week began talking up his plans to go to swing states on t…

  By Robert J. McCarthy   Political menus often feature internal polls of congressional campaigns with only two weeks before Election Day -- and should be digested with a large dose of salt.    But the latest from those assisting the re-election efforts of Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, say the veteran congresswoman has opened a 10-poin…

Discuss Monday night’s third and final presidential debate with The News’ Washington columnist Doug Turner. <a href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=db21726eeb" _mce_href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altc…

Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski reports from Buffalo as he looks forward to reporting on the Collins-Hochul race and looks back at his reporting from several swing states. // <![CDATA[ brightcove.createExperiences(); // ]]>  

By Tom Precious ALBANY -- It's as close as Albany, with no major pro or college sports teams, can come to a tailgating party: The Booze Summit. Or, as state officials would prefer, the Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit. No matter the party-on signals that might be sent, state officials are intent on shining a spotlight, so to speak, on the state's industrie…

Republican State Sen. Mark Grisanti (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News file photo) By Tom Precious ALBANY -– Buffalo Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti this morning picked up two endorsements, neither a surprise, in his re-election bid. The Business Council of New York State, which traditionally backs incumbents and has shown little interest in seeing the Republicans lose control of …

Each Saturday on the Politics Now blog, you'll find a list of stories that caught the eyes of The News' political reporters. Here's a sampling of what they were reading the last week: This week's debate between U.S. Senate candidates Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democratic incumbent, and Wendy Long, endorsed by Conservatives and Republicans, was one of the m…

By Tom Precious ALBANY – Add this to the ongoing debate over the state’s unemployment situation: industry executives are voicing concerns over declining construction jobs in New York. The Associated General Contractors of America reports this morning that the Empire State lost 12,500 construction jobs in the 12 months ending September 2012, or a 4.1 percent decline. That p…