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April 3, 2020

Legislature’s Wydysh concerned, wants plan before Niagara County gives ventilators to Albany after governor’s executive order

Friday afternoon, Niagara County Legislature chairwoman Rebecca Wydysh delivered a COVID-19 update that started with a direct appeal to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Wydysh: “The governor mentioned that he’s going to sign an executive order that would require upstate areas such as ours to send unused ventilators down to the downstate area because they have an immediate need for those ventilators as their numbers are so high and they are seeing those surges and peaks that we know are coming for us in the future.”

“Very concerning to me. I implore the governor on behalf of this legislature and our residents to really come up with a plan to roll that [...]

 
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October 31, 2019

NYS Fair Elections Hearing in Buffalo focuses on Fusion voting question, campaign finance reform

Fusion voting is a scourge on New York State and needs to be eliminated to help stop the party-invasion tactics that have corrupted the Conservative and Independence parties and makes a mockery of our electoral system.

Fusion voting is also an important vehicle for allowing choice among voters, gives third parties a stronger voice influencing the platforms of major parties and has been constitutionally protected by the courts since 1910.

Those were some of the arguments made at Tuesday’s NYS Fair Elections Hearing, the last of four taking place across the state ahead of a Dec. 1 deadline for creating a public finance program.

The aim is to limit the [...]

 
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April 26, 2019

Your ‘Game of Thrones’ guide to Niagara County politics

The most-watched TV series on the planet — which is wrapping up a record-breaking eight-year run — isn’t really about dragons, knights or wights in George R.R. Martin’s fictional Westeros, which itself is loosely based on England’s “War of the Roses.”

Given that, not surprisingly, it’s really all about politics: family dynasties, secretive back-room bargaining and backstabbing as well as plenty of revenge served up with ice and fire.

As we dive into the last epic season of GOT, can local fans of the record-breaking series — which hasn’t aired new episodes in almost two years — find insights and parallels between Niagara County’s 2019 political scene and the one [...]

 
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October 8, 2018

WNY open-government group lauded for “critical work” by state-level reformers

It got pretty geeky at the Buffalo Niagara Coalition for Open Government’s recent forum featuring Susan Lerner from Common Cause and Alex Camrada of Reinvent Albany, two state-level advocacy groups seeking to establish local connections.

Subjects ranged from the need in smaller communities for elected representatives to file financial disclosure forms to the state comptroller losing the ability to review contracts and how that contributed to the Buffalo Billion corruption as well as professionalizing the state’s board of elections and making sure “shadow government affiliated non-profits” follow the same open meeting and FOIL laws as [...]

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