Fighting for our Freedom in Western New York
An in depth look into the politics of Erie County, Albany and Western New York.
Former Mayorial Candidate Judy Einach escorted out of City Hall??
Today I was asked by a city employee to leave City Hall - out, now.
I was told the order was given by Peter Culter who read the city employee my previous post, First 100 Days. On the basis of my post I was to get out of City Hall. Not even Dick Kern was banned from City Hall! City Hall is a public building! It’s publicly owned. I guess someone in the administration thinks it’s a private building and possession is nine-tenths of the law!
This is a dangerous precedent. We don’t ban the public from a public building. Nor do we ban anyone just for having an opinion. There was nothing I did that News staff writers haven’t done with public figures and public affairs. Does this mean that if a News opinion writer points out and questions city government that writer will also not be allowed in City Hall? Writers and speakers of opinions beware! You too may be Most Unwanted!
So what exactly is goin on down at city hall with the B.Brown administration?
First, excess security at a swearing-in, then beefed-up security on the second floor, now Judy asked to leave the building. This is not adding up to a pretty picture. Sometimes, it does matter where you’re from. Heavy-handed security tactics are common in NYC. Please keep them there. We don’t want a garrison-state in Buffalo.
FreeBuffalo's Jim Ostrowski...
The creeping crud coming up from New York City and Albany politics.. I'm sure I have made no friends in that end of the state.
The Republican Minority of the Erie County Legislature is saying the Erie County Democratic Caucus, led by Chairwoman Lynn Marinelli, D-Tonawanda, has denied the GOP legislators any central staff since the Democrats gained a 12-3 member majority control in January.
I know that Maria Whyte and Marinelli feel they have a mandate to raise our taxes, control everything so the Republicans have no voice at the legislature, spend more of our money on hiring their own campaign workers at county hall but this is going to far.. Their tactic is to shut down any and all opposition to their plans to screw us again. Last year the effectively convinced everyone that the Republicans had no plans, no ideas, no alternatives when the exact opposite was and is true. This crap has got to end! Where are the voices from the people? So as far as the majority are concerned, these three districts have no Right to have a say..
Apr 12 th
The talk all over the state in blogs, columns and websites are about this budget and the coming vetoes and the looming over ride of them, or will there be a court battle? One can only wonder what Bruno and Silver will do.. Lawyers, like we need more lawyers as representatives, they always fall back on court, let's take it to court. Of course court costs money and that falls back on the highly paid lawyers that "WE" pay for to defend what? Bruno and Silvers ability to spend, spend, raise our taxes, bribe voters with rebates? So "WE" will pay lawyers to screw us.. I get it.. Anybody else fed up like I am?
Here's a few links with some stupid statements from our leaders.
Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno said, "I'm hopeful that the governor just thinks about the ramifications of what we're doing and where we're headed and handles himself accordingly."
I sure hope the governor does handle himself accordingly by overriding the whole dam budget, anything short of that is a failure in my opinion. You are killing us all Joe because you want to keep your control of the senate.
legislative leaders are insisting they have the votes to override Pataki. But even if successful, they seem to be dismissing Pataki's contention that they are constitutionally prohibited from making structural changes in the budget. Remember, this issue was settled in Pataki's favor by the state's highest court just last year.
To avert an unnecessary and protracted legal battle, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno should reconvene negotiations with Pataki.
This time there shouldn't be any question about who among the trio is doing so in good faith.
"Is there room to negotiate?" the Republican Senate majority leader, Joseph Bruno, said. "Absolutely. We want to get a result." He said it would be "very unfortunate and tragic" if the governor struck down the Legislature's property tax rebate program. (bribes, call them what they are Joe)
Senator Dean Skelos, a Republican of Nassau County, said of the governor, "It's not just for him to decide what spending should go out the door or not."
Excuse me Senator, the governor has the constitutional duty to write and set the budget, according to the Law, you cannot structurally change it.. Are you people ignorant or just stupid?
The Democratic speaker of the Assembly, Sheldon Silver, accused the governor of trying to "hide behind technicalities," and, noting the governor's presidential ambitions, compared him unfavorably to Mitt Romney, who is also considering a White House bid. But the speaker also deflected questions about whether he would sue the governor, saying that New York residents may choose to sue instead.
....and what exactly does Silver mean by that? The residents may choose? since when do you listen to the residents...
"If we override it, the next step is his," he said. "I'm dealing with substance. I'm not going to be the governor of technicality."
They can sue him, but they would be going against the grain of a raft of court decisions delineating executive budget powers that have sided with the governor.
Pataki played the veto card 16 times yesterday - and more are in the forecast for today. The "no"s come as the governor grapples with an estimated $115 billion fiscal blueprint for 2006-07 that he said will leave the state with a $6 billion deficit in the next fiscal year.
"By any measure, that is fiscally irresponsible, unsustainable and not something that I as governor of New York will allow to stand," Pataki said.
... Senior Correspondent Rich Newberg a dispute over money has left the Republican legislative minority without a County Hall staff of its own. ...
Link is dead but the story is new... Seems like the same problem they were having last year.... This is so typical and how the Democrats at the Legislature could care less what goes on with the Republicans.. They don't want their opinions, their legislation, their ideas, they don't want them. So this tells me that things have not changed one bit with Marinelli at the helm of the titantic legislature.. I predict any and all reforms being logged in by Locklear, Konst etal will be sent to committee and will die.
Same crap, different year.
2008 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is telling upstate New Yorkers that the reason she hasn't delivered on her 2000 campaign promise to create 200,000 new jobs for the region is because Republicans control the federal government.
Asked about her jobs failure, Mrs. Clinton told the Syracuse Post-Standard: "I didn't have the benefit of a Democratic Congress. But I think given the fact that that wasn't the environment that I'd hoped for, we've seen some progress."
In fact, New York State has actually lost 112,000 jobs since sending Mrs. Clinton to Washington, according to the Public Policy Institute in Albany.
Still, Mrs. Clinton said she was "cautiously optimistic" about the economic climate in upstate New York, adding: "You'll win some, you lose some, but at least we're in the fight."
........and just who are you pandering too Ms. Rodham Clinton? Anyone that reads this blog know I am not a Republican apologist but this is simply pandering to her base.... It's always the Republicans fault, get a grip... Have you looked at what your Party has done to this state?
Just ignore all the evidence that the corruption in NY is to blame for this states destruction.. Who is the most powerful politican in this state? Think hard..
It sure isn't George Pataki, George Bush or Dick Cheney...
Sheldon Silver runs this state, he with his cohort Joe Bruno are currently driving this state into the abyss of debt, taxes, regulations, restrictions, corruption, etc..
In an interview with the Utica Observer Dispatch, the former first lady also sought to deflect blame away from her upstate jobs performance, saying: "The fiscal and economic policies that are now pursued are not good for the whole country, but are particularly hard on upstate."
To blame the federal government for your inability to do anything but run around the country and raise funds for your Presidential run.. You have been missing in action in New York. You want to do something for us here in Western NY? Have the guts to point your finger at Albany where the root of our problems. Thanks for standing up for US yesterday... As you gave your speech to the criminal illegal aliens in their protest march in New York City. We know where your allegiances are, they are with the voter base you screeched to with your speech.
Just go home, leave here and go back to Chicago or Arkansas, but get out of here.
ALBANY, N.Y. The nation's longest-serving legislator is ready to retire.
Republican state Senator John Marchi (MARK-ee) of Staten Island will not run for office again. That's according to a Senate staffer familiar with the situation.
Marchi (MARK-ee), an assistant majority leader, has served in the Senate since 1957. The 84-year-old has played a key role in legislation on education and state financial oversight.
Marchi (MARK-ee) is perhaps best known for leading a secession movement to let New York City's smallest borough break away from the rest of the city in the 1990s.
The state Senate in 1995 approved Marchi's (MARK-ee) secession bill but the move was opposed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, and the bill never came to a vote in that chamber.
Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno's office did not immediately return a call for comment. With Marchi, the Republicans hold a 35-to-27 advantage in the Senate.
I claim victory with this one! Marchi was on our list to focus on....
Today, Former Secretary of State Randy Daniels ended his bid to become New York’s next governor and gave his enthusiastic support to John Faso.
Mr. Daniels, who brought important issues to the forefront of the gubernatorial debate, told a room full of supporters and media that John Faso ‘has what it takes to be Governor’ and formally endorsed his candidacy to become New York’s next governor. Along with his personal endorsement, Daniels encouraged his supporters to rally behind Faso.
Good choice, by Mr. Daniels.
Gov. George E. Pataki is preparing to block roughly $2 billion worth of spending and proposed tax cuts in the budget that the State Legislature passed last month, vetoing some items and declaring that several major programs were passed unconstitutionally, a senior aide to the governor said on Sunday.
The governor must decide by Wednesday whether to accept or veto the state budget, which totals between $112.4 billion and $115.5 billion, depending on who is counting.
Mr. Pataki is threatening to take aim at several of the Legislature's top priorities, the aide said, including the property tax rebate checks that lawmakers hope to send out before they face re-election in November; the spending that the Legislature added for health care; and the tax credit it passed for most taxpayers with children.
In doing so, the governor is preparing to use a novel legal strategy, building on powers he believes he was given by two recent court rulings, said the aide. One held that the Legislature is sharply limited in how much it can alter a governor's budget proposals; a second held that executives do not have to enforce laws they deem illegal.
That's all ? 2 Billion is all he can do, that is very sad Mr. Pataki.
You can't do any better than that? Good Lord, Thanks for nothing!
HOW do you slip legislative poison past a U.S. senator? Bury it on page 302 of a bill.
The Senate's Democratic and Republican leaders yesterday announced a compromise on an immigration bill - with some details still to be worked out. But details that may continue from the bill passed out of the Judiciary Committee should definitely be deal-breakers.
Like that surprise hidden on page 302 - which would replace the country's entire bench of experienced immigration judges with pro-immigration advocates.
With a few exceptions, today's immigration judges (who serve for life) are dedicated to enforcing the law, and they do a difficult job well. This bill forces all immigration judges to step down after serving seven years - and restricts replacements to attorneys with at least five years' experience practicing immigration law.
Virtually the only lawyers who'll meet that requirement are attorneys who represent aliens in the immigration courts - who tend to be some of the nation's most liberal lawyers, and who are certainly unlikely as a class to be fond of enforcing immigration laws.
The second nasty surprise? Just before the committee approved the bill on the evening of March 27, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) offered the "DREAM Act" as an amendment. It passed on a voice vote.
The DREAM Act is a nightmare. It repeals a 1996 law that prohibits state universities from offering in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens. The principle, of course, is that no illegal alien should be entitled to receive a taxpayer-subsidized benefit that out-of-state U.S. citizens can't get. But the committee's bill allows illegals to be treated better than those U.S. citizens on tuition.
The bill also gives an amnesty to the nine states (including New York) that have been flouting the '96 law, two of which (California and Kansas) are now facing lawsuits (I'm a counsel to the plaintiffs in both cases).
The third nasty surprise lies in what the bill fails to do. The measure envisions a massive amnesty for illegal aliens now in the country - but doesn't give the Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) the personnel or infrastructure to implement the amnesty.
The last time we enacted a major amnesty, in 1986, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (the CIS's predecessor agency) processed some 3 million amnesty applications from illegal aliens. It found 398,000 cases of fraud - and missed thousands more. Now CIS may have to implement an amnesty four times larger.
This is not immigration reform... this is a receipe for disaster. The senate and the house have ignored the immigration issue for years and years and because of their ignorance, or should I say their "could give a crap" attitude we are stuck with a complete mess. It's not just a one party created problem either, this has been done to benefit both parties. Businesses like it because they can get cheap labor and pay no benefits.. This type of attitude has destroyed the construction industry in the south and it is creeping it's way north. Illegals have driven down the wages paid to carpenters, laborers, masons etc.... Pull up to a job site in the desert southwest some time, tell me please if you see any white/black American workers.. You won't, they cannot afford to live on the wages paid by the construction companies. I know, I lived it and watched the destruction of the American carpenter/contractor. When the people vote not allow the government to give benefits to illegals just to have the courts in California and Arizona tell them they can't do that because it's unconstitutional???? Something is seriously wrong when the Peoples voice is rejected and the court legislates from the bench.... When the government fears the people, we have Liberty.. When the People fear the government, we have Tyranny.. Where are we now in history?
As fears grow that General Motors will go bust, management and unions are locked in a mournful embrace
“IN THIS case, it takes three to tango.” So said Rick Wagoner, the boss of General Motors (GM), this week—his re-working of an old cliché, capturing the contortions he is having to perform as he struggles to save the ailing giant of the car industry. Given its shrinking market share, GM would be hard enough to revive were it any firm in any industry. But GM is not any old firm, and designing more sellable cars is arguably the least of its problems. These, as Mr Wagoner says, require it somehow to find a way not only to get back on its feet, but also to dance simultaneously with Delphi, its now bankrupt parts supplier, and with one of America's toughest trade unions, the United Auto Workers (UAW). No wonder the firm's share price heads ever lower, and observers talk gloomily about GM stumbling dangerously towards Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
I really hope and pray we are not witnessing the death of the American auto industry but things do not look good for GM and Ford.
You already know that union bigwigs use their members’ mandatory dues to fund a radical political agenda and pay for lavish lifestyles. But this week the Center for Union Facts made available for the first time unprecedented information detailing how Big Labor spends its dues dollars.
This week we posted the first financial reports reflecting new Department of Labor requirements designed to give a more candid look at how major unions spend their members’ money. As of Friday, a majority of union headquarters filed their LM-2 financial disclosure forms with the government, and jaw-dropping expenditures are already easy to find.
With the new search function on UnionFacts.com, making sense of the mountains of union financial data is simple. A first look revealed the following:
The AFL-CIO alone spent over $49 million on political activities and lobbying—much of which is spent quietly on in-kind political expenditures like pro-Kerry brochures and websites. That’s almost $20 million more than it spent on representation activities.
Nearly $1.5 million in union members’ dues money was spent on golf.
The Ironworkers AFL-CIO Local Union 40 spent $52,879 on a new Cadillac for a retiring president.
$7.9 million of employee dues money went to resort expenditures.
Between six AFL-CIO-affiliated locals, over $50,000 of employee dues money was spent at a single D.C. steakhouse
Go to UnionFacts.com right now to find out where member money is going! (Hint: Our suggested search terms include: Bush, Kerry, steak, lobster, and clam.)
PLUS: Millions In Pay For Top Union Execs!
Now is this why you pay union dues? They live lavish lives at your expense. In the mean time they work against the public interest and you pay the bill with union dues and taxpayer money... This state is by far the worst.
ALBANY -- You hear it all the time in the halls and meeting rooms of the State Capitol, especially at budget time.
Things like: "I gave them a million dollars."
Or: "The Senate put in $4 million. Now the Assembly has to come up with its $4 million."
Or as Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told the state Nurses Association this week: "After conferring with my colleagues, the Assembly majority has agreed to add one million dollars for the safe patient handling demonstration project."
These are legislators talking about money for special projects. The way they talk, it sounds like the money is coming out of their pockets. Or out of their generosity.
Like it's their money.
News flash: it's not.
The money that pours into the state treasury comes from income taxes, business taxes, real estate taxes and other sources. But it's not money that state lawmakers produced. Though they way they treat cash at the Capitol, and the way politicians speak about it, it sounds like the Senate, Assembly and governor's office own the money.
You see it in the way they divide up pots of so-called "economic development" funds, one-third for the governor, one-third for the Assembly leader, one-third for the Senate leader.
You see it in the way they dole out "member items," or money for pet projects such as Little League fields or the Professional Wrestlers Hall of Fame (yes, it's true).
Then of course the press conference for the photo-op where they all stand there with the huge check signed by the legislator who handed out the bribe for votes.. Using you money remember. Is this why we elected them? NO....
A look at state leaders’ member items shows how much geography, politics matter
It was just a month ago when Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno made it known that anyone who really wanted to know where the hundreds of millions of dollars in discretionary spending was going wouldn’t be getting any help from him. Even beginning to get an accounting of the slush funds controlled by the Senate leader, the Assembly speaker or the governor, Mr. Bruno was saying rather defiantly, would require filling out a Freedom of Information Law request.
Fortunately, someone took up Mr. Bruno on his dare. The Empire Center for New York State Policy, an affiliate of the Manhattan Institute, made such a request and obtained the list of three years and $479 million worth of what are poetically known within the Legislature as “member items.” The list is now posted on the Web, at empirecenter.org. A Rochester group, the Center for Governmental Research, recently published a similar list and analysis of $1.7 billion, much of it borrowed money, in pet projects since 1997. That’s posted on the Web at www.cgr.org
Just a couple things....
The Brunswick Sportsman’s Club, $50,000 in state funds to repair a leaky roof in Mr. Bruno’s hometown.. This is a private club, remember, albeit one that, Mr. Bruno’s office notes, offers free use of its shooting range to law enforcement agencies.
Isn’t that nice, taxpayers money is supporting this private club and they have the decency to allow Law enforcement to use it..
A western New York group known as the Christian Airmen, organized, in part, to “evangelize in the aviation community,” got $300,000 to build 10 new hangars for an airport in the town of Akron.
Christian Airmen in the town of Akron? In any other case people would be screaming what about the seperation of church and state?
Is this good use of taxpayer funds, I think not
The Freedom of Information Law, critical as it is, only goes so far. It’s still no substitute for fiscal responsibility.
Just so you don't think I am alone in my opinions, this is a recent email..
Lake Shore School System is cutting 24 Teaching positions because of declining enrollment.. Lost over 500 students in the past few years. ("steadily declining enrollment"). Under 3,000 students for the first time in decades. "Due to the large number of families leaving the area".
YET, Spending is going up 1.75 % and SCHOOL TAXES are increasing 4.4%
Number of classes are being consolidated (more students per class)20 % CUT in supplies and materials for savings of $126,000 Bus runs consolidated =savings of $33,000
Community fitness center dues increasing 80 %
Why then you ask, after all these CUTS, is spending going up and TAXES INCREASING?
The superintendent said "The State contribution (which also increased) was not enough to keep up with rising fuel costs, plus huge increases in Employee Health Insurance and
Pension Costs !!!!!!
He slyly blamed the state, when in reality the GOLDEN Health and Pension plan benefits the Teacher Union LOBYISTS get from crooked politicians in Albany (who get huge re-election campaign contributions from the teacher unions) is the real cause of increasing taxes. The money is NOT going to our children in the classroom.
WHAT CAN WE DO ???????
Answer: We MUST vote out EVERY New York State Senator and Assembly member
that is running for re-election this fall. The ENTIRE group is up for re-election, which is why they borrowed $11.7 billion in the new state budget. Then they LIE, and tell us there is a "budget surplus". This enables them to give a money refund to the taxpayers this October, a few weeks before the election.
(It is called BUYING VOTES !!!. are we really that stupid????)
We will find out on election day. We have a chance to vote all of them out this year and send a message that enough is enough !!!
The Time is NOW !!!!!!!!!!
Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno predicted in Buffalo Wednesday that not only will he keep his eight-seat Republican edge in the State Senate this election year, he will expand it. And he garnered major help toward that end in HSBC Arena when Buffalo Sabres owner and three-time gubernatorial candidate B. Thomas Golisano pledged his support - and maybe some of his $1 billion fortune, too.
That allowed Bruno to predict that, though many observers believe his majority could be in trouble this fall, he will prevail. "I'll come back here in November and see you," he told reporters and editors of The Buffalo News. "And we'll have more than 35 members."
Golisano kicked off his 2006 effort by endorsing Republican incumbent Sens. Dale M. Volker of Depew and Mary Lou Rath of Williamsville. He said the "balance of power" between the Republican Senate and the Democratic Assembly must be maintained,
I agree with you Mr Golisano but here is where you are wrong.
The balance of power is critical in this state, problem is, we don't have it. Proof is in this budget. One of the main reasons Republicans are losing in this state is because they are elected as Republicans and govern as tax and spend liberals.
Republicans across the state are fed up with it. Bruno is so worried about Bloombergs threats to challenge some of the Republicans in NYCity, he bent over backwards to buy Bloomberg off with our tax dollars. Billions of our tax dollars. So now with your support and your money he is assured himself of victory and the continuation of the status quo.. What you should be doing is supporting Real Republicans to run against these RINO's in the Primary. Haven't we had enough of this? I know the people that are struggling everyday to make a living and to pay taxes are. They are voting with their feet or not voting at all. Look at the articles below and tell me if they represent the people and open and fair government..
A needed state FOI change deserves a vote in the Senate
(April 6, 2006) — State Senate Majority leader Joe Bruno is an open enough sort of guy. He's certainly affable in person. But on a valuable amendment to the state's Freedom of Information Law, Bruno has thus far has been unyielding.
If he doesn't relent, the FOI change likely will fade into the legislative ether for another year. That would be a disservice to a public that deserves greater openness in government.
The bill, which has already passed the Assembly, would mandate the award of attorney's fees when plaintiffs who have sued government agencies or bodies — state or local — for access to information are successful.
The legislation has stalled in the past in the Senate but this year made it through committee and into the third-reading spot — the last step before a floor vote. Supporters believe it would pass if a vote were allowed.
The problem is that Bruno makes the call on the calendar and thus determines when, and if, items come to the floor. His office said Tuesday that Bruno's been focused on the budget and added that he was supportive of FOI changes approved last year.
That he was. But mandating attorney's fees would allow citizens worried about legal costs to more freely challenge government secrecy. It would significantly enhance a law that lacks teeth. All politicians who believe in open government should sign on.
Senate majority leader fails to call up tougher freedom of information measure for a full vote. Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno is sitting on legislation that would strengthen New York's Freedom of Information Law by making it easier to recoup court costs in a successful FOIL lawsuit.
Two weeks ago, the Assembly passed a bill introduced by Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, D-Utica, requiring a court to award attorney's fees to a plaintiff who successfully sues a government agency for illegally denying a FOIL request.
So, open government is not in Bruno's book.. He could care less about what we think. He does everything possible to hide all he can from us. Should one person control everything in the state legislature? We are stuck with one in each house. Bruno and Silver the dictators of New York state. If this is the type of government you want Mr Golisano, please take it some where else. I wish now I could take back the votes I cast for you. You had the support from alot of people because you were going after the RINO's in this state. The Republican philosophy is gone from this state. What has happened to smaller more efficent government, less restrictions, less mandates, lower taxes, less pork and patronage? Now we have a bloated 115 Billion dollar budget that will surely pass, unless of course we have a few more Republicans with a spine not to vote to overide the veto we hope and Pray Pataki does. But then we are stuck with the power of Sheldon Silver and the Axe he hold over the heads of the assembly members. So much for the balance of power, one house is as bad as the other. Now let's look at more stupidity and the ongoing fight to continue to feed the bloated thruway authority... Remember that most of the 257 billion we are in debt in this state comes directly from the over 700 "Authorities" that are fed by the politicans and are unaccountable to anyone..
Higgins lashes out, governor's aides respond
The skirmish between Rep. Brian Higgins and the Pataki administration over Niagara Thruway tolls erupted into full-scale battle Wednesday, with neither side showing any sign of retreat.
Higgins' efforts to force removal of the Black Rock and Ogden barriers and their 75-cent tolls rose to a new level after the congressman said his staffer was denied access to Thruway Authority documents.
"This is a direct violation of their public policy and of the public trust," Higgins said. "The question is: What are they hiding?"
The standoff grew more pointed after the governor's spokesman disputed claims they have ignored Higgins' protests.
In addition, two Republican state senators said the area's top Thruway priority remains relocating the Williamsville toll barrier on the mainline, with removal of Niagara Thruway tolls to be studied later.
Other project comes first
During a Wednesday meeting with editors and reporters of The Buffalo News, State Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno of Brunswick, along with Republican Sens. Dale M. Volker of Depew and Mary Lou Rath of Williamsville, said long-set priorities revolve around moving the Williamsville toll barrier to a point east of its current location.
Bruno said only that he wants the issue studied and promised to consider removing tolls once all the information is assessed. But Volker and Rath said removing tolls anywhere on the system will be difficult because of bonding obligations, while Williamsville remains at the top of the list.
While Fleischer said he hopes to propose a new location for the Williamsville toll this spring, Volker said removing tolls causes more problems by finding the money to finance the nation's longest toll road.
"If you ever take off the Thruway tolls, you know who is hurt by it? Us," Volker said. "We would have to pay a lot more in taxes. The Thruway builds their roads at no cost to taxpayers, and 60 to 65 percent of their revenue comes from out-of-staters."
Now this is ridiclous, let's move the tolls first, spend millions to pay off the union contractors to tear down one set of toll booths just to build them some where else just a little further down the road. Then and only then will we consider removing them altogether... So who is Volker and Rath representing? We know who Bruno represents and it is not the people of Western NY.. Volker and Rath are representing Bruno and what HE wants and not the people here. What an absolute stupid statement, the roads are paid for by the taxpayers, billions on debt payments are being paid for by us Mr Volker.... Remember that piece of trash legislation that went down to defeat.. The thruway authority wanted to spend millions more an wanted to borrow the money.... Out of staters don't pay that bill. You people are so out of touch with reality it makes me sick.
News from NYS Thruway Authority
For more information: Please visit the following web page - nysthruway.gov
NIAGARA TOLL INFORMATION AVAILABLE FROM NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY AUTHORITY
ALBANY, NY -- (04/06/2006; 1800)(EIS) -- As part of its effort to provide the facts and educate the public, the New York State Thruway Authority has announced that Executive Director Michael R. Fleischer's response to Congressman Brian Higgins' letter regarding the existing toll barriers on the I-190 in Erie County, Buffalo, is now available on the Authority's website, as is a fact sheet concerning the Niagara Tolls. To access this information please select the following link: nysthruway.gov I haven't been there to look at it but wanted to supply the link.
ALBANY - Negotiators at the state Capitol are still at odds over new steps to root out cases of fraud in the massive Medicaid health insurance program, even though lawmakers budgeted $325 million in the new budget last week as savings from the fraud prevention efforts.
"If we are going to have a war on Medicaid fraud - we have to have counties who are on the front line involved in this effort," said Erie County Executive Joel A. Giambra.
"We want the counties to be empowered," said Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi
Once again politics stands in the way of moving forward... it's no wonder we are where we are.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The biggest cost-cutting proposal in the Legislature's budget is facing "tough" negotiations that need to be resolved within days to fill a $325 million hole in the spending plan, a senator involved in the talks said Wednesday.
Senators took the unusual step of going public during closed-door negotiations to seek support for their Medicaid fraud proposal. Sen. Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, called negotiations "tough." He said the Assembly's Democratic majority and the Senate Republicans agree they need to save $325 million in the budget approved Friday, but don't agree on how to do it.
"It's bad enough that lawmakers have rejected out-of-hand some reasonable Medicaid reforms proposed by Pataki that could save possibly billions. But they're now letting political maneuvering get in the way of setting up a new Medicaid fraud office that would be led by an inspector general," the editorial stated.
Political maneuvering gets in the way of everything, nothing can be done when it's all about politics and this is something that needs to change. How? Find good Democrats and Republicans to run against these people in the primary. I can't repeat it often enough that "The Primary" is where to go after them.
Gerrymandering of districts has been their best friend but we know this, now we have to educate the people and that is what we are trying to do with our New York Coalition.
Groups across the state are signing on and when they listen and realize this is the way the education will move across the state like wildfire. You want change? Run in a Primary, Vote in the Primary! Just as in sports tournaments, where individuals or teams defeat the "champion" in elimination rounds, so too, our hope is tht challengers in the Primary Election will defeat incumbents -- putting them out of the running for the playoffs, in the General Election.
It's very simple: Only voters who have designated a party affiliation with a party or candidate that is running in a Primary may vote on Primary Day. For example, if Charlie Blather is a Republican, and is not being challenged in the Primary, no registered Republicans may vote in the Primary (for this race).
However, if Charlie Blather also gets the endorsement from the Independent Party, and is challenged by Joe Maverick on the Independent line, all registered Independents may vote in the Primary, but may only pull the lever on the Independent line. The pollworkers will lock all other lines, and ensure that the registered Independent voter votes only on that line.
Albany has a habit of letting a lot of garbage pile up, creating a big stink over whatever wrong has gone unrighted. Then, when the heat to clean it up becomes impossible to ignore, the political establishment springs into action.
Sort of. If the governor and legislative leaders can't delay the inevitable by appointing a blue-ribbon panel, they'll often do the absolute minimum to cool down public opinion. And they'll act as if they've done something truly amazing - instead of simply sprinting to catch up to a problem.
Instead of fighting over who will be appointed to run the panel to check out and eliminate corruption in the system they could be making some drastic cuts. Their idea to cap what the counties pay is not fixing anything, all is does is shift the burden onto the state taxes. Window dressing is all that comes out of the leadership. Which of course may fool some of the people but not the thousands that are fleeing to the south.
Shhhh, lawmakers seek raises
Albany - While voting for a state budget that gives "something to almost everyone," New York lawmakers have left the door open to give themselves something too - a pay raise.
The state's most powerful Democratic lawmaker yesterday would not rule out a pay raise for members of the Legislature, and some are saying the money for one is already included in the spending plan.
"I always believe that legislators have worked hard, and I always believe that in the course of 10 years it may be time," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan. "I would not be adverse to it."
Any part of that, that isn't understood? Thinking like that is what started the revolt in Pennsylvania.. PACleanSweep.com Russ Diamond is doing it there.
must be something in the name of Rus....
"Even though crime is going down, we are building prisons almost at the same rate as schools in New York," she said. Prisoner populations are included in the US Census count. And seven Upstate districts, said Vesely-Flad, without the prisoners, the population wouldn't be large enough to warrant a state senator. "Then you have to ask yourself why state Senator Dale Volker [Republican] has worked so aggressively to keep the Rockefeller drug laws on the books. There are 8,900 people in his district in prison."
Isn't that an interesting little tid bit... Why is the prison population considered as part of the populous. They get money for the districts based on population. Hmm.
announces three Press Conferences across New York State.
At 12 Noon, Thursday April 6th 2006
250 Broadway, New York City in front of the office of Sheldon Silver
330 Capitol Bldg, Albany, NY in front of the office of Joe Bruno
125 Main Street, Buffalo, NY in of the office of Paul Tokasz
Now that Sheldon Silver and Joe Bruno have passed the budget it is time to lay out our plans to take back control of Albany. The most expensive and disfunctional legislature in the United States.
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Assembly Majority Leader Paul Tokasz says his colleagues have approved a proposal to allow the state Thruway Authority to issue annual commuter passes so local residents can travel the 190 without paying the tolls.
Tokasz says the idea may be more acceptable to the Authority than tearing down the toll booths, because such an action would break bond agreements.
To hear Tom Puckett's report, click on the audio link above.
What is the defination of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. NO, Mr Tokasz this is not more acceptable. What is it that you people don't get? We are taxed to the hilt in this state, overall tax burden is 83% above the National Average. What is that old movie... We are as mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore.. That is how we all feel here in WNY.. The mindset has got to be changed in Albany and we are about to do that. Everyway possible they suck the dollars right out of our pockets. Why don't you put a toll booth at the state line? Ooops, it's already there. Welcome to NY Toll Booth ahead. I live on Grand Island and have to go over the bridges everyday, on 08 they plan on closing one of the bridges for 2 years?? 2 years of toll booths and bottleneck traffic, as if it isn't bad enough now feeding the homeless at the toll booth everyday. I think they are trying hard to make this state as bad as a third world nation.
The time is now and the people are ready to remove the leadership in Albany.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Legislature spent $5,000 in taxpayer money on the Flushing Meadow Soap Box Derby, $15,000 on the South Troy Little League and $4,000 on an education program called Two Together.
They are among nearly 23,000 pet projects of lawmakers, important and questionable, now posted online by a fiscally conservative group that wants to shed more light on how taxpayer dollars are being spent.
The list of "member items" or so-called pork-barrel spending from 2002 to 2005 totaling almost $480 million can be found on the Web site of the Empire Center for New York State Policy, www.empirecenter.org
April 3, 2006
Documents listing nearly 23,000 gubernatorial and legislative pork barrel spending items for the past three years can be downloaded here.
April 3, 2006
Much of the New York State Legislature's annual pork-barrel spending has been lumped in a single appropriation and hidden from public view -- until now. The Empire Center has obtained official lists of nearly 23,000 "member item" grants over the past three years and is posting them online for public inspection.
That site is just full of information that needs to get out. I don't think the politicans know how to handle the internet except maybe to try and limit our free speech... Good Luck.
Tuesday, April 4, 2006 04:58 AM - WBEN Newsroom
WBEN Reporter Tom Puckett
Exclusive WBEN Windows Media Audio
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - A new local grassroots coalition is taking aim at longtime Albany incumbents.
New York Coalition head Rus Thompson says he hopes to find people from all across the state to take on some of the state's entrenched politicians. Thompson says in the Western New York area, he hopes to find challengers to take on State Senator Dale Volker and Assembly leader Paul Tokasz.
To learn more about the New York Coalition, log on to: www.newyorkcoalition.org and to hear Tom Puckett's report, click on the audio link above. I said alot more but I understand how sound bytes work. Anyone that has been reading my site over the years understands how I feel about Albany, Silver and Bruno. They run this state and are running it into the ground. This latest budget is just proof of how out of touch with reality they are and the type of deals they will make to get re-elected. Joe Bruno is so afraid of losing control of the senate that he made deals with Bloomberg in NYC so he wouldn't run anyone against his people. When all the details come out you will see hundreds of millions of dollars and in some cases billions going to NYCity that we upstate have to pay for with no benefit to us in WNY and Upstate. What we want to do is remove the corrupt Republicans and Democrats and replace them with good, honest, hardworking people that care about the state and not their back pockets or paying off insiders and the lobby industry. Why in God's name should we have to hire lobbyist to represent us when we already have elected reps to do that. It's insanity and a complete waste of money all the way around, the only ones that benefit are them. Help us get the word out, we need to get downstate and in the City.