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Capitol Bureau

Capitol Bureau correspondent Karen DeWitt reports on what is happening in Albany, and how the decisions made by lawmakers affect you. Karen reports for WXXI and New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.

She is also a regular contributor to New York Now, the statewide public television program about New York State government seen on WXXI-TV Sundays at 6:30 p.m.  

Matt Ryan, New York Now

The Republican candidate for attorney general in New York, Keith Wofford, said if he wins, he’d go after the head of his party, President Donald Trump, and his policies — but only if there’s a good reason.

The current attorney general, Barbara Underwood, has dozens of lawsuits on file against Trump, ranging from an investigation of the Trump Foundation to the administration’s environmental policies.

The Democratic candidate for attorney general, New York City Public Advocate Tish James, has said she’d continue those actions.

Senator Padavan's office

Former longtime Queens state Sen. Frank Padavan died on Tuesday at age 83 after suffering a heart attack.

Padavan served 37 years as a Republican in the state Senate, from 1973 until he was defeated by Democrat Tony Avella in 2010.

Before that, Padavan, who was an electrical engineer, worked at Westinghouse and was a colonel in the Army Corps  of Engineers.

Governor Cuomo's office

Candidates for statewide office were required this week to disclose how much money they have on hand for the final month of the 2018 election season. Once again, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is seeking a third term, is far ahead of his challengers.

The Green Party candidate for state comptroller, Marc Dunlea, said he isn’t in the race to win but rather to highlight one key issue — combating climate change.

Dunlea was the longtime director of Hunger Action Network, a lobby group that advocates for services for the poor. He now works for the environmental group 350.org, and he said if he were comptroller, he would immediately divest the state’s pension fund of all investments in fossil fuel companies.

The stretch limo that crashed in Schoharie on Saturday, killing all 18 people aboard plus two pedestrians, had failed inspection just one month ago. Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaking to reporters at a Columbus Day parade in New York City,  says the driver of the limo also did not have the proper license.

Cuomo says the limo driver and the company , Prestige Limo, violated a number of laws.

Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, a retired UPS worker from Syracuse and former Vietnam war protester, is running for governor for the third time, challenging popular incumbent Andrew Cuomo from the left.

Hawkins, in a conversation with WXXI’s Karen DeWitt, explains why he thinks he is a true alternative and not just a protest vote.

Matt Ryan, New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he hasn’t decided whether to accept the nomination of the Working Families Party in the race for governor. The party previously backed actor Cynthia Nixon after a bitter split in the progressive-leaning minor party.

When the party chose Nixon for governor over Cuomo last spring, the argument was heated. Its executive director, Bill Lipton, said Cuomo, in his first two terms in office, did not live up to expectations that the governor would back progressive ideas and policies.

courtesy Unshackle Upstate

An independent budget watchdog group agrees with an idea that Republican candidate for governor Marc Molinaro has to help bring down local property taxes. But it also says there is a tradeoff to any potential savings.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t talk a lot about what his agenda would be if voters give him a third term. Cuomo said his record of what he’s done in the past is more important than what he’d do in the future.

In a speech before the state’s Business Council, Cuomo devoted most of a 40-minute presentation to listing what he said were his accomplishments during his first two terms in office. They include infrastructure projects such as revamping the state fairgrounds and renovating airports.

Matt Ryan, New York Now

Environmentalists are urging a state panel on water quality standards to meet its October 2nd deadline to set new acceptable levels of toxic chemicals in public water supplies.

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