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NCPR News Staff: Karen DeWitt
Capitol Correspondent

Below are recent NCPR news stories filed by Karen DeWitt.

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Bob Antonacci, Republican candidate for state Comptroller. Photo: Ryan Delaney, WRVO
Bob Antonacci, Republican candidate for state Comptroller. Photo: Ryan Delaney, WRVO

What's a publicly financed campaign like? Slow.

There is only one statewide candidate in New York who is participating in a pilot public campaign finance program. Republican candidate for Comptroller Bob Antonacci says it's been slow going, but he expects to collect enough individual donors to qualify for the state matching funds.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/toby_d1/5545056888/">Pete Zarria</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Pete Zarria, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Cuomo keeping options open on use of surplus windfall

For the first time in several years, New York has a surplus of $3 to $4 billion. Governor Cuomo says he's still looking at options on how best to use it.  Go to full article
Governor Andrew Cuomo. Photo:  Mark Kurtz
Governor Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Cuomo: campaign funds for criminal defense lawyer saves taxpayers money

Governor Cuomo is using money from his $35-million campaign war chest to pay for a criminal defense lawyer in a federal probe of his office. Critics say while it's legal to do so, it's not an appropriate use of campaign money.

Cuomo's hired prominent criminal defense attorney Elkan Abramowitz to represent his office during a federal investigation of the governor's ethics commission. US Attorney Preet Bharara is looking into whether some of the governor's top aides might have meddled in probes conducted by the commission when they came too close to Cuomo donors and associates.  Go to full article
Zephyr Teachout is challenging Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary race for governor. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelgarethjohnson/14643558018/">Michael Johnson</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Zephyr Teachout is challenging Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary race for governor. Photo: Michael Johnson, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Cuomo campaign challenges Teachout over residency

The challenger to Governor Andrew Cuomo for the state's Democratic primary for governor, Zephyr Teachout, is facing a challenge of her own from the Cuomo campaign. Teachout will be asked in court to prove that she's really been a resident of the state for the past five years.

New York law requires that candidates for governor reside in the state for at least five years before they are eligible to run for office.  Go to full article
Gov. Cuomo promoting the ethics reforms that included the Moreland Commission at a Syracuse event in 2013. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/9035909812/">NY Governor's Office</a>
Gov. Cuomo promoting the ethics reforms that included the Moreland Commission at a Syracuse event in 2013. Photo: NY Governor's Office

Cuomo faces drip of negative news over ethics commission

Details about alleged interference in an ethics probe by Governor Cuomo's aides are leaking out daily, and most newspapers have run critical editorials. But it remains to be seen how deeply the controversy will affect the race for governor, where Cuomo is still the frontrunner by a wide margin.

There's been a steady drip of bad news for the governor and his administration since the New York Times in-depth story about potential interference by top Cuomo aides in a corruption commission investigation.  Go to full article
NYS Assembly districts (detail). Map: NYS
NYS Assembly districts (detail). Map: NYS

Redistricting amendment language set, critics object

The state board of elections approved the language for a ballot amendment that would change the way redistricting is done in New York. But not everyone is happy with the wording or the amendment.  Go to full article
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara at a lecture for Penn Law and the Wharton School in March. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/pennlaw/12995711874/">Penn Law</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara at a lecture for Penn Law and the Wharton School in March. Photo: Penn Law, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

US Attorney may investigate Moreland Commission

Governor Cuomo confirms that the US Attorney has sent a warning letter regarding possible interference by Governor Cuomo's aides in an ethics probe. The letter ups the stakes for Cuomo and his aides in the midst of an election campaign.  Go to full article
Among Cuomo's critics: Zephyr Teachout (right) Democratic primary candidate for governor. Her running mate, Timothy Wu is at the podium. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Among Cuomo's critics: Zephyr Teachout (right) Democratic primary candidate for governor. Her running mate, Timothy Wu is at the podium. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Cuomo's opponents up the ante in Moreland Commission criticisms

Governor Andrew Cuomo's opponents in the November races are stepping up accusations over the ethics commission scandal, and citing sections of state law that they say might have been broken by the governor's aides.  Go to full article
Republican Rob Astorino is keeping the controversy over the former Moreland ethics commission alive with press conferences around the state.  Photo: Karen DeWitt
Republican Rob Astorino is keeping the controversy over the former Moreland ethics commission alive with press conferences around the state. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Challenger Astorino gets traction from Cuomo ethics controversy

The little-known and underfunded Republican challenger for governor in New York is getting a boost from incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo's troubles over alleged interference in an ethics panel. The controversy was first reported in an in depth story in the New York Times; Rob Astorino has been doing his best to keep it alive.  Go to full article
Gov. Cuomo speaking on Monday in Buffalo. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/14746450776/">Office of Gov. Cuomo</a>
Gov. Cuomo speaking on Monday in Buffalo. Photo: Office of Gov. Cuomo

Cuomo offers first comments on ethics commission controversy

Governor Cuomo was in Buffalo yesterday for his first public appearance since a potentially damaging report alleging his staff's tampered with an ethics probe. He denied that his aides tried to unduly influence the Moreland Commission's work.

And he tried to change the subject with a spirited speech about the economy.
He called the change in the city an "unbelievable turn-around." "659 new jobs..." Cuomo said, "and that's what this is all about."

But the ethics story continues to dog the governor.  Go to full article

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Karen DeWitt has covered state government and politics at the New York State Capitol for public radio for since 1990, and is a contributor to the statewide public television program New York Now. Before that she worked for WINS, New York. She has also written for numerous publications, including Adirondack Life, Empire State Report, and MetrolandEmail Karen | Karen DeWitt on Twitter