Tag: Gov. Kathy Hochul

Sep 20

2022

Hochul has inflated number of stadium jobs

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Gov. Kathy Hochul and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz have repeatedly claimed that 10,000 jobs will be created during construction of the $1.4 billion stadium for the Buffalo Bills.  “I love the fact that this is the largest construction project in Western New York history with 10,000 union jobs,” Hochul said during a visit in April to Buffalo.   It appears, however, that the stadium project will create about 6,800 direct construction jobs statewide, not the 10,000 claimed by Hochul and Poloncarz. That lower estimate was included in an economic impact study commissioned by the Bills. Only by adding “indirect” and[...]

Posted 2 months ago

Apr 18

2022

Q&A: Critiquing the state budget

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John Kaehny is executive director of the good-government group Reinvent Albany and a leading experts on state government. He and his team have been poring over the state budget, which as adopted April 6.  He offered this take in an interview last week with Investigative Post Editor Jim Heaney. Heaney: Before we get into dollars and cents, let’s talk about the process the governor and state Legislature used to determine how to spend $220 billion this coming year. Is it anyway to run a railroad? Kaehny: New York needs a better name than “budget process.” The governor and legislature have[...]

Posted 8 months ago

Apr 11

2022

Hochul playing footsies with donors

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There’s yet another troubling story about Gov. Kathy Hochul’s ethical conduct. The Albany Times Union reported Sunday about Hochul donors pushing legislation to benefit their businesses gaining access to the governor’s senior staff. The story also provides examples of Hochul subsequently using her power as governor to support the business interests of those donors. This arrangement isn’t necessarily illegal, or even unusual in today’s money-soaked political environment. But it stands in stark contrast with the governor’s stated desire to improve the ethics of state government, which some watchdogs consider a cesspool. Hochul continues to draw criticism on another ethical front:[...]

Posted 8 months ago

Mar 30

2022

Conflicting cost estimates to rehab stadium

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This story was updated Friday, April 1, at 12:39 p.m. Last November, a consultant working for New York State said it would cost $862 million to renovate the current home of the Buffalo Bills, Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.  That number was often cited by team representatives and local and state officials as they advocated for what they said was a more cost-effective alternative: a new $1.4 billion stadium. “Many people believe you can renovate the stadium,” Jim Wilkinson, a spokesperson for Pegula Sports and Entertainment, told the Buffalo News in August. “That’s just not realistic.” Erie County Executive Mark[...]

Posted 8 months ago

Mar 24

2022

Hochul pressed on subsidy reform

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New York doles out more subsidy dollars than almost any state in the nation and one of its more noteworthy programs was marred by corruption. The problems have been evident for years, and especially since Investigative Post exposed bid-rigging in the Buffalo Billion program in 2014 that eventually sent one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top economic development officials, along with a major campaign contributor, to federal prison. So what have state officials done to promote transparency and accountability? Not much, according to a coalition of 18 good government groups whose philosophies span the political spectrum. In a letter earlier this[...]

Posted 8 months ago

Feb 10

2022

Hochul donors hiding behind LLCs

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Gov. Kathy Hochul was New York’s most successful political fundraiser last year, according to campaign finance disclosures filed last month with the state elections board. Her campaign committee raked in $21.6 million in just five months. But Hochul’s campaign “flouted the law,” according to an analysis by New York Focus, by failing to identify the owners of 130 limited liability companies, or LLCs, that gave money to her committee. Since 2019, candidates running for office have been required to identify the owners of LLCs that donate to their campaigns. An LLC’s donation is divided among the owners; each owner’s share[...]

Posted 10 months ago

Dec 23

2021

iPost suit prompts release of stadium reports

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Since August, Investigative Post has been pressing Kathy Hochul’s administration to release two studies related to a proposed new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.  The state’s response: We couldn’t possibly. The governor’s people told us the documents, “if disclosed, would impair present or imminent contract awards.” Our response: We filed a lawsuit seeking their release under the state Freedom of Information Law. In the face of that litigation, the Hochul administration Thursday released what appears to be one of the two studies, along with two other documents that may be a portion of the other report we’re suing to obtain.[...]

Posted 12 months ago

Dec 21

2021

Poor leadership on display in stadium talks

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It looks like Buffalo is going to keep its losing streak intact when it comes to major planning decisions. You know the history.  Expanding the University at Buffalo campus in Amherst is the mother of bad planning decisions. Add to the list running the Scajaquada Expressway through the middle of Delaware Park and dividing the East Side, and its majestic Humboldt Parkway, with the Kensington Expressway. The Skyway, anyone? And, of course, building a football stadium in Orchard Park. We’re about to see history repeat itself with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s announcement Monday that she’s good with replacing the stadium in[...]

Posted 12 months ago