Issues: Elections

Chanukah is the celebration of Miracles!

"Chanukah is the celebration of miracles, a reminder that all things are possible," Senator Parker said.  "As you celebrate the spirit of Chanukah with friends and family, I wish you health, happiness and good fortune." The holiday celebrates a legendary victory of the Maccabees, a band of Jews, over a Greek army that occupied the Holy Land.  After the battle, the victorious Maccabees found only a one day supply of oil in the temple to light the lamps.  But the oil burned miraculously for eight days, the story says.

December 17, 2014
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Hundreds cast write-in votes against unopposed NYS Sens. DeFrancisco, Valesky

By Michelle Breidenbach on December 09, 2014 at 11:32 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Hundreds of voters decided not to let state Sens. John DeFrancisco and David Valesky get away with running unopposed in this year's election.

In both districts, voters likely set a record for the number of times they chose to write in a name on the ballot instead of allowing a senator to return to Albany with no opposition.

New paper ballots make it easier than ever for a quiet write-in protest.

December 15, 2014
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Seward supports NY Senate GOP continuing 'some sort of partnership' with Independent Democratic Conference

November 18, 2014 6:15 am  •  Robert Harding

Thanks to election night wins in three upstate New York districts, Republicans now hold the majority in the state Senate. But does that mean they will discontinue their coalition with the Independent Democratic Conference?

The answer could be no.

After Republicans re-elected state Sen. Dean Skelos as leader of the GOP conference, the focus shifted to what to do with the power-sharing coalition, which began in 2013.

November 24, 2014
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Central New York's influence in state legislature changes

By Ryan Delaney & Ellen Abbott

Thu November 6, 2014 1:27AM

The New York state Senate got swept up in this year's Republican election wave, with 33 districts in their corner after the votes were counted.

The dean of central New York’s Senate delegation, state Sen. John DeFrancisco, said that’s good news.

On the flip side, it means difficulty for central New York's Democratic Assembly members to push through key agenda items, and reduces the influence of Sen. Dave Valesky, who DeFrancisco shares representation of Syracuse with.

November 12, 2014
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Unopposed state legislators return to office

By Ashley M. Casey, Sarah Hall First Posted: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 -10:28 a.m.

Neither John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) nor Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) had an opponent this election season.

The lack of opposition allowed both state senators to coast easily back to the state legislature, earning 65,967 and 35,515 votes, respectively.

In a speech before the crowd at the Republican Party’s Election Night celebration at the Sheraton Syracuse University, DeFrancisco, senator for the 50th District, said he much prefers running without an opponent.

November 12, 2014
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Handful of key local races on Election Day

Elizabeth Cooper,Posted Nov. 2, 2014 @ 7:15 am

Mohawk Valley voters Tuesday will help decide who gets to represent them in a host of seats, from the governor’s office down to town offices.

Polls open Tuesday at 6 a.m.

At the top of the ballot are races for governor, state comptroller and attorney general.

Closer to home, incumbent Republican Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney is challenged on the Independence Party line by Republican Herkimer County Sheriff Chris Farber for the 101st Assembly seat. In the race for the 121st District Assembly seat, incumbent Democrat Bill Magee is challenged by Republican John Salka.

November 3, 2014
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Unopposed or Unwanted?

Veronica Ung-Kono ‘18, STAFF WRITER

October 30, 2014

Not a Green Party, a Right to Life, or a Libertarian is running against the candidates for the New York Senate.

Currently Senator John D. Francisco [R-Syracuse], James Seward [R-Milford], Patty Ritchie [R-Oswegatchie], Michael Nozzolio [R-Fayette], David Valesky [D-Oneida] and Joseph Griffo [R-Rome] will be running in an election for the first time in about 16 years where opposition is nonexistent.

This means voters of Central New York will be stuck with the decisions of voters from the districts of Buffalo, Albany and across the Hudson Valley, who will either turn the chamber into an entirely Democratic institution by joining the two factions of Democrats, or allow Republicans to retain control.

November 3, 2014
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Senator Gallivan reminds voters of 3 important ballot initiatives to consider this year

Voters head to the polls in a couple of weeks to exercise their most basic democratic right; choosing the people they want to represent them at various levels of government.  In addition to the candidates running for various federal, state and local offices, this year’s ballot includes three important statewide propositions.  Unfortunately, these proposals often don’t get much attention in the media and can catch some voters by surprise. 

October 22, 2014
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Why Syracuse should care about who controls the New York Senate

By Teri Weaver on October 20, 2014 at 6:50 AM, updated October 20, 2014 at 6:56 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The state's Republican Party is in a fight for its life to keep control of its last source of power in state government: The New York State Senate.

Central New York voters will have no say in the matter. The region's six senators are all unopposed.

That means voters in a handful of districts near Buffalo and Albany and across the Hudson Valley likely will decide whether the Republicans retain control of the Senate - or whether two Democratic factions will join forces to control the chamber and put the entire New York State Legislature into the party's hands.

October 20, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #34: Why You Should Vote

Oct. 10 is the last day to register to vote and be eligible for this year’s election.

In my last column, I encouraged you to register to vote by dispelling some common misconceptions. This week, I’m going to argue why you should make it to the ballot box on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Naysayers argue that their vote doesn’t make a difference.

If you’re a statistician, that viewpoint has some merit. In a 2001 study, two economists found that one of every 15,000 votes cast in state legislative elections “mattered in the sense that they were cast for a candidate that officially tied or won by one vote.”

But that ignores the reality that votes, even those cast for a losing candidate, do have an impact.

October 2, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #33: Myths vs. Facts Regarding Voter Registration

“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote,” writer George Jean Nathan once observed.

Election Day is Nov. 4. To participate, however, you’ll need to be registered to vote by Oct. 10.

I know from reading research and talking to people that there are several reasons why people don’t vote. First, I’d like to tackle some misconceptions about registering to vote.

Myth: If I register to vote, I’ll be called for jury duty.

September 25, 2014
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Governor signs Senator Carlucci Bill to Simplify Voting in New York

Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) announced that his bill (S3553), was signed this week by the Governor (Chapter 289). The new law will simplify the process of obtaining an absentee ballot. It will now be easier for registered voters, who cannot be present at their polling place on Election Day, to vote. The legislation is designed to accommodate commuters, who would likely spend most of the day away from their county of residence, and people who are primary care providers or have a physical disability.

August 18, 2014
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Legislative Notebook: State Initiatives of Interest to Veterans

Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.

-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.

June 26, 2014
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Senator Zeldin Strengthens Protections for Victims of Sexual Violence

June 16, 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kara Cumoletti (518) 455-3570 cumolett@nysenate.gov

 

June 16, 2014
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Senate Passes Legislation Allowing Special Election For State Comptroller and Attorney General

The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S3008), sponsored by Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), to amend the state constitution to allow the Governor to call a special election to fill vacancies in the offices of Comptroller, Attorney-General or U.S. Senator, ensuring these officers are chosen by the people of the state and not the Legislature.

June 12, 2014
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Senate Passes Four Griffo-Sponsored Bills: Alcohol, Schools, First Responders & Special Elections

Bills address powdered alcohol, Utica schools, first responders and special elections

ALBANY – The New York State Senate today passed four bills sponsored by Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, including a bill to ban powdered alcohol, one to help Utica schools and another to protect first responders, and a fourth to limit government and empower voters regarding statewide offices.

The bills were:

June 11, 2014
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Senate Passes Three Griffo Sponsored Bills

ALBANY - Sen. Joseph A. Griffo was the lead sponsor of three bills that today passed the State Senate. 

June 10, 2014
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Griffo, Schimminger Bills Would Reform Lieutenant Governor Post

ALBANY – The lieutenant governor position has drawn increased attention and scrutiny in the past month in light of an upcoming change in personnel in November.

State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger believe this is a perfect time for the Legislature to reconsider how the lieutenant governor is chosen and his or her role in the governing of New York. They sponsor three bills that would institute some common-sense reforms: 

June 2, 2014
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FELDER-SILVER BILL EXTENDS PETITION SEASON TO ACCOMMODATE ORTHODOX JEWISH VOTERS

Legislation introduced by Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) which amends the election law to accommodate Orthodox Jewish voters has passed the State Legislature. With the unanimous passage of this bill, the first day to sign a designating petition for state and local primary elections in 2014 is now Thursday, May 29. Bill number S7097/A9407 has been sent to Governor Cuomo for his signature.

May 6, 2014
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Senator O'Brien, Senate Democrats continue to push for ethics reform

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Ted O’Brien and members of the Senate Democratic Conference today introduced a package of ethics legislation to reform state government and combat the ongoing corruption issues facing New York State. Senator O’Brien’s bill included in the package would outlaw the use of campaign money for attorney’s fees or any costs for defending against criminal or civil prosecution for alleged violations of any state or federal law (S5094).

May 6, 2014
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