Transcript: Need to Know Rochester for April 23, 2010

Associated Show Highlight: 
Analyzing Albany's Dysfunction

COMING UP ON NEED TO KNOW, CONTINUED DYSFUNCTION IN ALBANY.  THE STATE BUDGET IS THREE WEEKS OVERDUE, THERE IS LITTLE INFORMATION ABOUT WHATEVER BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS ARE TAKING PLACE AND A HIGH-RANKING STATE LEADER IS CHARGED WITH MISCONDUCT.  WE'LL TALK WITH OUR CAPITOL BUREAU CORRESPONDENT KAREN DE-WITT AND “NEW YORK NOW” MANAGING EDITOR MATT RYAN.  ALSO, THE R-P-O REACHES OUT WITH A *NEW EFFORT TARGETING A SPECIFIC GROUP OF PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

 

 

(MUSIC)

 

(ANNCR.) Rochester's News Magazine since 1997. This is Need To Know.

 

I'M STEVE DAWE IN FOR JULIE PHILIPP, THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME FOR THIS EDITION OF NEED TO KNOW.

 

NEW YORK STATE IS FACING A MASSIVE BUDGET CRISIS WITH NO CLEAR SOLUTION IN SIGHT.  A SPENDING PLAN WAS DUE APRIL FIRST. WITH NO BUDGET IN PLACE, EMERGENCY SPENDING BILLS ARE KEEPING THE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS OF GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONING.

 

ALSO THIS WEEK, STATE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER PEDRO ESPADA BECAME THE LATEST STATE LEADER UNDER INVESTIGATION. STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ANDREW CUOMO FILED A CIVIL SUIT AGAINST ESPADA. HE IS ACCUSED OF STEALING 14-MILLION DOLLARS FROM A NON-PROFIT BUSINESS HE FOUNDED.

 

FOR INSIGHT AND PERSEPCTIVE ON THESE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS WE TURN TO THE EXPERTS COVERING THESE STORIES EVERY DAY: WXXI CAPITOL BUREAU CORRESPONDENT KAREN DEWITT AND NEW YORK NOW MANAGING EDITOR MATT RYAN.

 

KAREN, MATT THANKS FOR BEING HERE.  KAREN, LET'S START WITH THE BUDGET - WHERE DO WE STAND?

 

 

 

 (Karen) well where we stand is pretty much nowhere there seems to be no movement at all on the budget this week there weren't any leader's meetings they're going to do another week long bare bones extendor when they come back in  Monday and they're still stuck essentially gov. Patterson wants the legislature to cut $3 billion more because there's an $9 billion deficit or agree to some other revenue raisers that he likes the soda tax, abd the cigarette tax, and the senate and the assembly have some different ideas like Borrowing money or refinancing the tobacco bonds and things like that and also some kind of secret taxes that have leaked out like taxes on new cars or possibly even on new mortgages they're not talking about that publicly the problem is they're far apart and they haven't been moving any closer together.

 

(Matt)  There really hasn't been any movement in the last couple weeks at all which leaves people very frustrated I think what  Karen mentioned it's not  even really three men in a room anymore It's assembly speaker talking to senate conference leader and for the democrats John Sampson but there really hasn't been any movement in the last few weeks and it's been very frustrating for a lot of people in the state

 

(Karen) we define it as two men on the phone sometimes.

 

(Steve) So there's really nothing new about state budgets that are late why is this year different?

 

(Karen) Well because it's an election year for everyone but Gov. Patterson and they're going to make some very unpopular choices when they finally do the budget  and there's alot of inertia and the Senate Democrats have a lot of problems in their conference, gov Patterson says all the right things but he just hasn't been that effective as a governor in getting the Legislature to do anything that he wants them to do they don't even respect him very well they don't listen to him, so thats some of the dynamics and also the real crisis that we face isn't happening now, we can live week to week,  the real crisis is going to be at the end of May and early June when the state really truly runs out of money unless we change the current spending plan in the budget and that's going to be where you hope that they get together and make some decision or were going to be in trouble. schools aren't going to be paid, local governments aren't going to get money from the state, not-for-profits all kinds of things are going to be stuck.

 

(Matt) And Karen, its an election-year we've said that so many times but these legislatures do not want to make any painful cuts that can be  turned around in a couple months and they're seeing it for a thirty-second commercial in there local market. They just don't want to make these tough decisions bottom-line.

 

(Karen) Honestly, Now I think if it were up to the assembly democrats they would do it now, just get it over with, move away pretend they had nothing to do with it.  But the Senate Democrats because they have such a slim majority have a lot of problems , so that's also holding it out too.

 

(Steve) Matt you mentioned the risk of not being reelected is that really a risk in your state  the encumbents get returned in such a high percentage, even if they make these tough budget decisions, how is somebody going to vote them out of office?

 

That is a great point , the poll you always see is do you want the incumbents out and they all say oh yes, then they ask, well do you want your local guy and they say no but this year might be different we really don't know at this point, it's an unknown but if there ever is going to be a year where incumbents are really are at risk it will be this one.  Not everyone of course, some people down on Long Island, some people in upstate New York who have been safe for years will likely still be safe.  I think its people senators who have been there  2,4,6,8 years who really maybe in trouble

 

(Karen) and honestly anecdotally I've had more people come up to me and say I don't care who my senator or Assembly member is, I like them, but I am voting against them and I've never heard people say that, to really personally say that about their lawmakers who they usually tend to like even though they hate the legislature as a group but certainly the politicians are taking it seriously they all are worried about it and running scared it permeates the whole capital.

 

(Steve) with this delay you mention that June is when things get really difficult and challenging who is  hurt most by this delay?

 

(Karen) Well that's a good question I would say eventually the people will start getting hurt because construction jobs aren't getting held up a number of state parks aren't going to open I think people are gonna really start to feel it and down the long run your going to be paying more if they borrow money you're going to be paying more taxes, to get rid of the debt, so eventually it will have an affect.  I think the lawmakers of it stretches out  to the fall trying to run for reelection with no budget which some people believe might happen, then it's going to hurt them quite a bit.  How are they going to justify that?

 

(Matt) although some people have said in recent weeks, Yes we don't have a budget right now but don't worry in May we'll have one.  Even Liz Cruger told Karen that, she expects the budget to happen maybe mid May or the end of May I guess they're not going to do it until they are really pushed.

 

 (Karen) so let's hope that they can do it then, for all the reasons that we mentioned, it going to be tough to pull it together then.

 

(Steve) You mentioned earlier transparency , this is a process that noone is learning anything about it's very difficult to find out what's actually happening, how discouraging is that around Albany?

 

(Karen) Supposedly when the Democrats got in power and the Senate and remember Elliot Spitzer was governor for awhile, everything was going to be open and transparent about the budget at this point when they have bad decisions to make they don't want  to do it publicly . They're suppose to have open budget conference, In fact by Law they're suppose to have them.   they're not having them they just make an excuse week to week why  they can't have them, Oh we're not ready yet, we need a financial plan or something like that. 

they're keeping it under wraps they would love to pass this thing if they could agree and pass somethin' in the middle of the night and get outta town and pretend it didn't happen.

 

(Steve) to pick up where Karen left off there are alot of Republicans  specifically have been calling out where are these committe meetings that are suppose to be having and so far they haven't happened and that might be something that the Republicans can go  on to make them look better here in these coming weeks like we want  to get to work here but the Democrats just won't call these committee meetings.

 

(Karen)  it's easier to be the party out of power I think right now because you can credit and say we what reform, we would do this if only we were given a chance.

(Matt) If there was ever a two year period where the Senate Republicans would wanna be in the minority it be now.

 

(Steve) some difficult choices need to be made that's for sure. the other story big story this week is Pedro Espada vs. Andrew Cuomo what's the latest with that tell us what happened this week?

 

 

(Karen) Cuomo has now supenaed 10 Senate employees the feds have raided Soundview Health Care Clinic that he controls took away boxes and barrels full of documents essentially Pedro is in a lot of trouble right now allegations against him are very seriously essentially stealing $14 million from his health care clinic including wanting his $9 million severance package which if he ever received it would bankrupt this poor little health care clinic, In the South Bronx that takes care of poor people, he's really seriously in a lot of trouble I think people were suspicious for while that there was some funny business going on with them but now it's all really coming to ahead if these allegations are proved to be true .

 

(Steve) One observation that I made from Wednesday's press conference with Pedro is the Bronx senator is a very confident man wherever he is inside or outside the capital, for the first time I saw Senator Espada really nervous at that press conference he was out of his element.  I think it goes to show he's facing some serious trouble here.

 

(Karen) He didn't seem embarrased at all about these charges and other people might be embarrassed or hide, he definitely came out swinging.  But then it was interesting there was supose to be a question and answer period, and after two questions they said the senator is very busy can't answer anymore questions.

 

(Steve) well it's difficult to go toe to toe with a political heavy weight like Andrew Cuomo he's kind of a significant figure in the state, the latest poll numbers that we got just this week, in different matchups against Republicans he comes out looking pretty good.

It speaks to the strength that he has even though he hasn't entered the race yet and why hasn't he entered the race yet?

 

(Karen) It's pretty amazing isn't it? he's the most popular politician in NY state right now. I don't think he's enter the race because he doesn't have to enter the race right now and if he does he's going to be asked about the state budget and what he might do about and he doesn't want to be pulled intoit because once you're pulled into the Albany mess your poll numbers start going down and people start blaming you. Right now he can be outside of it he's attorney general, he's actually going after the politicians in the capital by going after Espada this week,  so he really looks like I'm the outsider, I'm going to clean things up and legally he doesn't have to announce until May 20th  Democratic convention so he still has a few more weeks, even though there is speculation that he might announce in a few days because of the conference meeting that's coming up in Niagra Falls April 30th and May 1st.  but so far he hasn't put out the big announcement yet.

 

(Matt) You just read the numbers he's comfortably ahead of everybody there's no pressure for him to get into the race there hasn't been any pressure for him to get into the race for months now because he has is 50 point lead he's been able to kind of lay low for a little bit but who knows this might be part of him ramping up his decision to enter the race by going after a spot a Democrat.

 

(Karen) I would say this is probably the Prelude because he had this investigation out there and by completing this, it's business that's sort of taken care of and then it looks like he's really on the outside of Albany because his spot is a democart, so it show's that he's not going to play favorites.

 

(Matt)  he didn't hold back during the press conference the teleconference, calling the allegations outragious he's never seen anything like this but he did happen to  mention that the disfunction in Albany is a bipartisan issue it's happening on both sides he went after his own side so I think that gives him a lot of credibility in the eyes of many people in the state.

 

(Karen) also the Republicans are fighting between Lazio and Levy, so why step into that, Let them get all the bad attention right now and just sit back most of the public thinks you're going to run anyway does it really matter what day you announce?, No

 

 

THAT'S KAREN DEWITT, WXXI CAPITOL BUREAU CORRESPONDENT, AND MATT RYAN, MANAGING EDITOR OF NEW YORK NOW JOINING ME FROM ALBANY.

 

A QUICK NOTE ABOUT AN EXCITING EVENT FOR US HERE AT W-X-X-I: *IT'S AUCTION TIME AGAIN!!

THE W-X-X-I AUCTION RUNS FROM APRIL 24TH TO MAY 8TH.

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THIS WEEK, ONE OF ROCHESTER'S GREAT ARTS RESOURCES LAUNCHED A NEW RECRUITMENT EFFORT.

THE ROCHESTER PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA IS WORKING TO CONNECT WITH YOUNG PROFESSIONALS THROUGH A GROUP CALLED “R-P-O ROCS.”

JOINING ME NOW FROM THE R-P-O ARE NANCY GOLDSMITH ZAWACKI, VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS AND STEVE SCHWAB, VICE PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPMENT.  R-P-O ROCKS - WHO IS IT FOR?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 before we arrived at their P.O. it's something I we noticed we started a big effort to consider how we best broad are based we worked on a brand new branding efforts to figure got a community with a are professionals they are our future we found out that price points or issue and perceptions so we have worked from that we've gone on-line we dun twitter we dun face woke really working hard to sort of get

 

what did u hear from them that is their concern of the things that we found out we as a lot of questions because we really wanted to know how to overcome the fact the we don't have enough young people in our audience Wylie's need to have this u ne ticket dressed up and I need to this and do that and it became especially even looking at babysitters became a really big piece to have a 9 out fine live lower price points for our young professionals and we needed to be a little more welcoming from that perceptual standpoint so we started working with that and we're making good  progress

 

 

do u look at other orchestras around the country? Will to several young the organ ones specifically the George Eastman House but what we decided to do after several times of trying this over the course of the last five years the we've tried to launch something like this and it's been on successful my challenge from a staff, do from inside our house let's ask the take a accountability for this we've assembled a group about 12 l and have come up without model they have proposed a program they have brought the idea is to us and we're supporting them so we feel that this time the couple ability to rest with these they're really excited about it there are really excited about it how important is it to get these people in early to sample the programs of their P.O. it's critical it is like this with more most orchestras across the nation are typical demographic 80-who has the extra time who has the means to spend and have a great night out the young professionals in the younger generations are the future and to get them engaged in it early process is definitely and everything ways on that frost online something imported to say a lot of folks in the community especially in the professionals' receiver products is a court classical repertoire to be part of what we do but another side to us is a very accessible popular music and our family programs and Orchestra this opening the doors and letting folks and allow them to see the other side of the orchestra as well the more accessible side with something like this how you measure success du have targets of okayed season-ticket packages or where u do? Always u looking a revenue sucker trains were found in sites with people who are in our age groups they prefer Dakota 1 concert at a time to not ready and willing to it commit but if we can commit we'll get redemption rates and do our job to keep communicating with got them that will be true success

 

a recent trip you made to Albany where is the challenges that the Carpio faces and tell me about that trip the made

this year will go down in history as one of the most difficult years of an are existent we lost about $1,900 out of a total 77000 households that's a big chunk of folks at the same time we gain 1100 new donors many of those folks from upper end of the dollar spent term and add to that the diminishing resources of companies foundations and the government we get to do everything we can fight for resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

NANCY GOLDSMITH ZAWACKI, AND STEVE SCHWAB FROM THE R-P-O THANKS FOR JOINING ME.

 

A PROGRAMMING NOTE TO SHARE WITH YOU ABOUT NEXT WEEK'S “NEED TO KNOW”.

JULIE PHILIPP WILL BE BACK HERE AND SHE'LL BE JOINED BY ROCHESTER POLICE CHIEF DAVID MOORE.

LEARN ABOUT PROGRESS IN FIGHTING CRIME IN OUR CITY AND WHAT'S NEW IN THE DEPARTMENT.

WE'LL ALSO LOOK AT THE CHALLENGES OF MANAGING ONE OF THE CITY'S LARGEST DEPARTMENTS AMID DIFFICULT FINANCIAL TIMES.

THAT'S ON THE NEXT “NEED TO KNOW,” FRIDAY NIGHT AT 8:30 HERE ON W-X-X-I TV.

 

IT'S TIME NOW FOR THE BUSINESS SECTION WITH THE DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MATT DANEMAN, BUSINESS REPORTER FOR THE DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE IS HERE.

 what your seeing now is Xerox

 

 which is starting to see is least a strong indication that a key part of the economy is turning around companies aren't selling more buying more in terms of supplies the 1 they were all waiting for now is all the start of good news business Xerox adding people quit getting ppl on NT and ppl peanut the losses that they've seen in their workforce 18 months to years as it economy just attack what else happening this week? Xerox a big win one all the way to the Supreme Court helped set a legal precedent Xerox for a decade has been in a legal fight with a group of retirees and employees basically over this issue of people who left Xerox were given a severance package men were rehired how is our future severance our future retirement how is it calculated as in this contentious issue of of whether is rocks the short changing these employees are not my of the way to the U.S. Supreme Court decided eight to three that Xerox was in the right what they basically said fancy that Xerox was in the right but they said the desert ways Xerox what about calculating these people future retirement plan was the ok way of going about it Xerox to case was actually sent to a lower court Xerox itself there might be a change in want Xerox's paying these people a lot of these type of battles happening right now u get some ne issues going on right now with retiree issues versus the company is so many companies Xerox Kodak u seen so many companies making cuts and what they provide to their retirees in terms of health care your missy a lot more of these fights is this goes on

 

and another likely battle this week we've got some hearings

 

 

u got to pair of hearings wanna Rochester went Geneva both are looking at very bake sizable size increases in what residents enjoy guess Electr

 

 

MATT DANEMAN, BUSINESS REPORTER FOR THE DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE THAT CONCLUDES THIS EDITION OF NEED TO KNOW. 

I'M STEVE DAWE, HAVE A GREAT WEEK.

 

(ANNCR) Previous Need To Know broadcasts can be seen if you have Time Warner's on demand service. Go to Rochester On Demand channel 111. Then look for WXXI news. There you'll find a selection of recent Need To Know Programs.

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