Exposés, reports
and analysis.

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by Jim Heaney


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by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
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OTB hires another pricey lobbyist

Western Regional Off-Tracking Betting Corp. has hired another Albany lobbyist, this time with strong connections to one of New York’s most influential politicians — Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.  OTB board members agreed last month to a four-month contract that would pay up to $15,000 per month to Patrick Jenkins, a longtime friend and former aide […]


State historically not a big funder of stadiums

Many fans and politicians are expecting, even counting on, the state to put up most of the money the Buffalo Bills want from the public to help finance construction of a new stadium.   The state has played no such role, however, in the construction or renovation of major league stadiums and arenas in the recent […]


OTB reform bills pass first test

Amid pushback from some county law legisislatures, a series of bills aimed at restructuring operations of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. have cleared their first legislative hurdle.  The the three bills, sponsored by Buffalo Democratic Sen. Tim Kennedy, moved through the state senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wager on Monday.  Kennedy introduced the […]


Amazon subsidies: $4.7 billion and counting

Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer and, at a current value of $1.6 billion, one of the wealthiest companies of any kind on the planet.  A report released Wednesday by the subsidy watchdog group, Good Jobs First, suggests the retail giant is also in an elite category when it comes to cashing in on […]


NFL stadium rush is on

The Buffalo Bills aren’t the only NFL franchise interested in replacing or upgrading their stadium. Seven other teams are working on plans. While the Bills stadium plan – expected to cost $1.4 billion – is the most expensive at the moment, the other stadium deals won’t come cheap. Like the Bills plan, most of the […]


State paid $1B in OT last year

It cost New York taxpayers nearly a billion dollars to cover the overtime for state employees last year. That’s part of the findings from a review of state salary data posted Thursday to, a government transparency website operated by the Albany-based think tank, the Empire Center for Public Policy.  In its analysis of the […]


Intel lured by $2 billion subsidy

The microchip subsidy game is getting more and more costly for taxpayers. Multiple media outlets reported this week that it cost the state of Ohio more than $2 billion worth of incentives to convince tech-giant Intel Corp. to invest $20 billion in the construction of two chip-making plants just outside of Columbus. The subsidy package […]


OTB striking back: Officials to fight reform effort

Officials from the Western Regional Off Track Betting Corp. plan to fight one state senator’s efforts to reform their operation. Following OTB’s monthly meeting on Jan. 21, agency President Henry Wojtaszek told the Daily News in Batavia that he was directed by the agency’s board to explore options for challenging three pieces of legislation introduced […]