Gov. Andrew Cuomo has done miracles for New York State, according to studies conducted by Gov. Cuomo.

Gov. Cuomo advertises his greatness with taxpayer money

April 7, 2017 Staff 0

By Frank Parlato 

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is in a battle with federal highway officials over state-funded “I Love New York” billboards scattered along highways in New York State.

The signs are meant to inform motorists about a state-funded phone app which guides people toward state selected tourist attractions and businesses.

Federal officials say the signs pose a threat to motorists with poor self- preservation instincts who might download the app while driving.

Initially New York State officials told the public that the signs cost taxpayers $1.9 million. The controversy with the feds however stirred inquiries by the media and subsequently the state admitted the cost for the signs was $8.1 million. In this instance the state was 400 percent off in the numbers they initially told the public.

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Tax Burden in New York (1=Highest, 25=Avg.):

April 7, 2017 Staff 0
  • 1st – Overall Tax Burden (12.94%)
  • 7th – Property Tax Burden (4.55%)
  • 1st – Individual Income Tax Burden (4.76%)
  • 21st – Total Sales & Excise Tax Burden (3.63%)
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New York Is No #1 Again – Highest Taxed State

April 7, 2017 Staff 0

It costs a lot to be a nanny state

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The personal-finance website WalletHub released its 2017 Tax Burden by State report.

New Yorkers will be happy to know they pay their fair share – and some of everyone else’s share too.

WalletHub’s analysts compared 50 states based on three components of state tax burden — property taxes, individual income taxes, and sales and excise taxes — as a share of total personal income. New York – with its Democrat rule – beat out the competition and is proud to announce it forces its residents to pay the most of any residents in any state.
States with Highest Tax Burdens (%) States with Lowest Tax Burdens (%)
1 New York (12.94%) 41 Montana (7.51%)
2 Hawaii (11.27%) 42 Wyoming (7.29%)
3 Vermont (10.75%) 43 Alabama (7.19%)
4 Maine (10.73%) 44 South Dakota (7.12%)
5 Minnesota (10.24%) 45 Florida (6.79%)
6 Connecticut (10.23%) 46 New Hampshire (6.70%)
7 New Jersey (10.14%) 47 Oklahoma (6.61%)
8 Rhode Island (10.09%) 48 Tennessee (6.45%)
9 Illinois (10.00%) 49 Alaska (6.27%)
10 California (9.52%) 50 Delaware (5.59%)

downloadKey Stats

  • Red states have a lower overall tax burden, with an average rank of 30.27, than Blue states, which have an average rank of 18.30 (lower rank = higher tax burden).
  • New Hampshire has the highest property tax as a share of personal income, 5.33 percent, which is 3.9 times higher than in Oklahoma, the state with the lowest at 1.38 percent.
  • New York has the highest individual income taxes as a share of personal income, 4.76 percent, whereas Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming do not levy such a tax on their residents.
  • Hawaii has the highest total sales and excise tax as a share of personal income, 6.52 percent, which is 5.7 times higher than in Oregon, the state with the lowest at 1.14 percent.

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Roger Stone

Part 3: STILL No evidence of Roger Stone’s collaboration with Russia

April 1, 2017 Staff 0

Should Americans Trust the Intelligence Community on Russian Hacking?

By Frank Parlato

The US Intelligence Community has concluded with ‘high confidence’ that hacks which led to leaks of emails of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta were orchestrated by the Russian government.

In analytics, “high confidence” is defined as an assessment deemed very likely to be true yet carries with it the possibility of being in error.

For instance, in 2002, the US Intelligence Community concluded with “high confidence” that Iraq was “expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs.” After lives were lost, taxpayer money spent, a nation destabilized, and American multinational corporations enriched, it was found to be false.

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Cuomo’s fight with feds over I Love New York signs point to other reported successes in state tourism marketing efforts

March 11, 2017 Reporter 0

By Frank Parlato;

As we reported previously, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is in a battle with federal highway officials over state-funded “I Love New York” billboards scattered along highways in New York State.

The signs are meant to inform motorists about a state-funded phone app which guides people toward state selected tourist attractions and businesses.

Federal officials say the signs pose a threat to motorists with poor self preservation instincts who might download the app while driving.

Initially New York State officials told the public that the signs cost taxpayers $1.9 million. The controversy with the feds however stirred further-than-usual inquiries by the media and subsequently the state admitted the cost for the signs was $8.1 million not $1.9 million, uncovering the fact that in this one instance the state was more than 400 percent off in the numbers they initially told the public.

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All signs lead to the state park.

Niagara Falls’ model show how state controlled tourism impacts poverty stricken city

March 5, 2017 Reporter 0

By Frank Parlato;

There is a battle between the US Dept. of Highways and Gov. Cuomo’s NYS Department of Transportation over the state’s right to keep illegal “I Love New York” billboard sized signs along highways in the state.


The US Highway Department wants them down since they claim they are a distraction to motorists.

The state wants to keeps the I Love New York signs since it aids the state in its efforts to direct tourism in the state. The signs both direct tourists to specific places nearby and also advertise a state operated tourism phone app which when downloaded will give directions to places the state has decided are places for tourists to visit.

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The state signs, which promote state selected tourism, are said to be illegal by US Highway officials.

Although illegal, ‘I Love New York’ billboards promote Cuomo’s socialist dream of state-directed tourism via state phone app

March 5, 2017 Reporter 1

By Frank Parlato;

As readers know, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has installed I Love New York billboards along highways in New York State which US Highway officials have declared  “illegal”.


The state installed 514 of the “illegal” billboards although some people who didn’t like them illegally took down seven in Long Island.

Federal officials says the state signs violate US law because they have a complicated message which may cause drivers to crash. The I Love New York billboards direct tourist to download a state phone app which guides people toward state selected attractions and business.

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Five investigations so far into Maziarz campaign account

March 4, 2017 Reporter 1

To date there have been five autonomous government investigations into the campaign bank account of former State Senator George Maziarz.

The five are:

  1. The Moreland Commission, 2014. Gov, Cuomo launched it. It was targeted at state legislators for possible campaign fund improprieties. Moreland noted Maziarz had the largest amount of unitemized spending of any state senator on his campaign’s Board of Elections filings (about $150,o00). The Moreland Commission was disbanded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. No charges were filed.
  2. The US Attorney, Southern District of New York, headed by Preet Bharara subpoenaed Moreland records in 2014. A grand jury convened to investigate Maziarz’s campaign account. Witnesses were called. No charges were filed.
  3. New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s Public Integrity Bureau started investigating in 2014. The investigation, seemingly dormant for years, has been suddenly reactivated. A grand jury convened following Maziarz treasurer, Laureen Jacobs, in response to a civil suit, filing an amended report explaining unitemized expenditures, on Feb. 6, 2017. The State investigation may be targeting Maziarz for possible violation of elections law through possible use of campaign funds donated to him which he in turn may have donated without full disclosure to the campaigns of other GOP candidates.
  4. Niagara County DA.; 2015-2017. On an entirely different and arguably more serious track than the state, the county sought evidence that Maziarz senate staffers, Marcus Hall and Alicia Colatarci-Reimann and his treasurer, Jacobs, stole money from Maziarz campaign fund and that is why it was filed as unitemized. The investigation, commenced under former DA Michael Violante, was halted by the election of Caroline Wojtaszek as DA, based on a conflict of interest; she is married to longtime Maziarz ally, Henry Wojtaszek.
  5. Erie County DA, 2017. The Niagara County DA transferred the case to Erie County DA, Michael Flynn in February 2017. It is reported that Erie County DA may await results of the Attorney General’s investigation despite the investigation being on an entirely different track (grand larceny of staff) than the state (election law).

To date, perhaps as much as $5 million in taxpayer money has been spent to investigate what appears to be no more than $151,000 in unitemized campaign funds.

There are also private costs to targets or potential targets of the investigation.

Hall retained attorney Rodney Personius.

Jacobs retained Terrance Conners.

Colatarci-Reimann retained Daniel French.

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GOP State Senators Unveil Legislation to Repeal SAFE Act everywhere but NYC

March 2, 2017 Staff 0
gun3 While it is not likely to pass, it’s the thought that counts. NY State Senators Rob Ortt (R,C,I-North Tonawanda) and Jim Seward (R,C,I,Ref-Oneonta) joined Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R,C,I,Ref-Newport) and other lawmakers and gun rights advocates to unveil legislation to repeal elements of the NY SAFE Act throughout the state except for the five boroughs of New York City. Lawmakers are calling on both houses of the state legislature to reform several measures of the gun control law Upstate and on Long Island.

The comments from the legislators are instructive about how a lot of people upstate feel about the SAFE Act and the control New York City has over the lives of people downstate.

Senator Ortt said, “New York City plays by its own rules on so many issues. It has its own regulations when it comes to ride-sharing services and minimum wage increases, so it only makes sense to let New York City progressives keep the SAFE Act and reform the law everywhere else. The divide in our state is clear and since the un-SAFE Act was signed into law, that divide has only deepened. Its sweeping overreach turned yesterday’s law-abiding citizens and sportsmen into today’s criminals. Separating gun regulations between New York City and the rest of the state will help to relieve the unnecessary burden placed on gun owners and begin to bridge the divide.” 

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Dennis Virtuoso (above) takes the lead in opposing the development of a lodge in Goat Island.

Cuomo’s Goat Island ‘World Class Lodge’ Under Fire

February 15, 2017 Tony Farina 0
            The governor’s Goat Island lodge plan, rolled out during one of his State of the State speeches in Amherst last month, is coming under strong attack from Niagara Falls legislators.            Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it is time for a “world class lodge” on Goat Island, something to create a year-round tourism destination, but three of the Cataract City’s county legislators will sponsor legislation next week opposing the governor’s plan as the wrong investment in the wrong place, urging Cuomo to focus instead on downtown economic development.            The legislation, co-sponsored by Minority Leader Dennis Virtuoso (6th District, including the state park), Legislator Jason Zona (5th District) and Legislator Owen Steed (4th District) would oppose “further commercialization of the Niagara Reservation State Park,” and would ask the governor to cease any efforts to develop a “lodge hotel” anywhere in the state park.            In addition, the legislation asks that the state redirect staff resources to assist with economic development efforts outside the state park in conjunction with the City of Niagara Falls Comprehensive Plan.             Environmentalists have already spoken out against building a lodge on Goat Island as not being a good fit with the nature preserve setting envisioned by Frederick Law Olmsted, the park’s designer.
Dennis Virtuoso (above) takes the lead in opposing the development of a lodge in Goat Island.
Dennis Virtuoso (above) takes the lead in opposing the development of a lodge in Goat Island.
             Virtuoso says he has received many calls from residents opposing the governor’s proposal as well as from hoteliers downtown who are concerned this lodge would be unfair competition, adding “we don’t know if this lodge would be paying property taxes or bed taxes.  We’ve worked too hard rebuilding out downtown to go this route.”   Being on state land, the lodge would be tax exempt.           “I have many concerns with this proposal,” said Zona in a press release, adding the state and Olmsted opposed commercialization of the park 130 years ago, restricting such efforts.             “We have a comprehensive plan  for downtown and this falls nowhere under that,” said Zona.  “All of our joint efforts should be to develop the areas outside of the park and grow our local economy.”              Steed said “it is important that all of our local officials, whether city or county, stand in opposition to this proposal.”               The legislators expect a protest at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting against the lodge plan, and both the council and the legislature will discuss the plan at their sessions next Tuesday.              Local historian Paul Gromosiak called Cuomo’s proposal for a Goat Island Lodge an insane idea.              “He [Cuomo] needs to read about Olmsted’s vision when the state park was established in 1885,” said Gromosiak in the Niagara Gazette, “and how Goat Island was to be kept as much as possible in its native state.  If they want another hotel, let them build it downtown.”
Goat Island was reserved by the New York State Legislature to be a parkland and the original design was planned by Frederick Law Olmsted. It did not include a lodge.
Goat Island was reserved by the New York State Legislature to be a parkland and the original design was planned by Frederick Law Olmsted. It did not include a lodge.
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An Uber-Bad Senate Bill for Upstate NY

February 9, 2017 Reporter 1

By Jim Ostrowski;

I have advocated a free market approach to transportation since 1989.  In an article, published in Business First, I proposed allowing drivers of smaller vehicles to compete with buses and provide a better product including door-to-door service.  After the digital age came along, companies like Uber began to supply just such services but Buffalo and Upstate remain the last areas in the country that make Uber driving an imaginary crime.  I mean, it’s an actual crime punishable by law, but one which, lacking a victim, logically exists only in the minds of progressive legislators and their gendarmes.

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uber protest

Cabbies Still Battling Uber as Fight Goes On

February 9, 2017 Reporter 0

By Tony Farina;

It is truly a David vs. Goliath story playing out in Albany these days as the ride-sharing giant Uber and its smaller competitor, Lyft, inch closer to their goal of operating beyond New York City and likely overwhelming conventional taxi services across the state, especially if they get a pass on some key regulations that govern traditional taxi businesses

Uber, reported to be worth $69 billion last month, and Lyft ($2 billion) have spent big dollars lobbying state lawmakers, with Uber alone spending close to $800,000 in the first six months of last year to push its agenda of expanding ride-sharing without regulations, and they have big-name supporter across the state and including the governor who want cities like Rochester and Buffalo to have the location-based app that makes it easy to hire an on-demand driver.

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