Penn Yan, N.Y. — U.S. Rep. Tom Reed today joined three House colleagues in calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to name a representative from the New York Farm Bureau to his Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel. Reps. Chris Gibson, Richard Hanna and Bill Owens teamed with Reed to send a letter to Gov. Cuomo recommending that the agriculture community be represented on the panel given the significant impact that natural gas exploration will have on family farms.
The members jointly wrote that it is important that a representative of the agriculture community be included “to ensure that the interests of agriculture are recognized when developing recommendations to the Department of Environmental Conservation.”
“This panel is empowered to make recommendations to the DEC, which will have a significant impact on farms across New York,” explained Reed, co-chairman of the Marcellus Shale Caucus in the House of Representatives. “To leave farmers without a voice as it moves forward is an oversight which needs to be corrected.”
Good-government reformers Citizen Action is urging supporters to back Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after he was bounced from a committee of fellow attorneys general that was overseeing a multi-state investigation of mortgage lenders.
Schneiderman was reportedly kicked off the panel after refusing to go along with a federal settlement.
Schneiderman, a Democrat who took office eight months ago, opposes a deal that would allow banks and other mortgage providers to avoid lawsuits related to their home loan operations.
“Our Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, was serving on that committee as an outspoken advocate for consumers, until last night when he was forced off of it,” Citizen Action said. “Attorney General Schneiderman has been a true advocate for New Yorkers and all those in America who have been touched by the mortgage crisis. According to a New York Times article today, “Mr. Schneiderman has said that he opposes any deal that gives participating banks a release from other litigation surrounding their mortgage activities.”
The group also calls on New Yorkers to sign a petition backing the AG for refusing to compromise on the issue.
The AG offered an explanation to supporters on why he was taken off the committee, saying in a letter that he is “seeking a resolution that gives homeowners meaningful relief, allows the housing market to begin to recover, and gets our economy moving again.”
You probably don’t see many tea partiers in the hallways at Harvard Law.
But that will change next month when Tea Party Patriots, an umbrella organization of local tea party groups, holds a conference there with legal experts to talk about different ways the U.S. Constitution could be amended.
The group plans to discuss this topic on Sept. 24 and 25 — specifically how feasible it would be to hold a constitutional convention. The event will include experts who will discuss “their interpretations of Article V, their understanding of how the Founders viewed the provision and how a Constitutional Convention would operate today,” according to a release.
“The Founders included the Amendment process for the states to resist federal overreach and a convention would give states the chance to exert their authority and overturn unconstitutional laws,” said Mark Meckler, a national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, who said the group isn’t yet supporting the idea of a convention, but is merely interested in exploring it.
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Dan Maffei appears to be making a move to reclaim his old job. In a midnight email to his supporters, the one-time congressman from Syracuse says he plans to challenge Representative Ann Marie Buerkle in 2012.
Rep. Buerkle defeated Maffei in 2010, when he was voted out of office in the 25th Congressional District.
Maffei says he has filed the necessary paperwork to begin campaign fundraising.
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Seventy-eight candidates have filed petitons to run as members of various independent parties or after caucuses in the area, further crowding an already-cramped political field this fall.
Two challengers to county positions filed to run as independents before the Tuesday deadline. Eileen Wood will challenge incumbent Judith Hunter for county clerk as a member of the Back to Basics party.
Corning resident Joseph D. Ferratella is running for county legislator in the 2nd District as a member of the Tea Party. The 2nd District represents the City of Corning.
Additional petitions can be received by the Board of Elections on Wednesday, provided the mailing is postmarked with Tuesday’s date of Aug. 23. Any challenges regarding independent petitions will be heard Sept. 2 by the Steuben County Board of Elections.
In an email to the Tribune, Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Joe Welch and Republican Commissioner Veronica Olin said caucuses are still occuring in the county, so more candidates could emerge for the fall election.
Below is a list of candidates from western Steuben County:
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