WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Karen DeWitt

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.

She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers. 

Karen previously worked for WINS Radio, New York, and has written for numerous publications, including Adirondack Life and the Albany newsweekly Metroland.

She is a past recipient of the prestigious Walter T. Brown Memorial award for excellence in journalism, from the Legislative Correspondents Association, and was named Media Person of the Year for 2009 by the Women’s Press Club of New York State.

Karen is a graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo.

The Republican candidate for attorney general in New York, Keith Wofford, said if he wins, he’d go after the head of his party, President Donald Trump, and his policies — but only if there’s a good reason.

The current attorney general, Barbara Underwood, has dozens of lawsuits on file against Trump, ranging from an investigation of the Trump Foundation to the administration’s environmental policies.

The Democratic candidate for attorney general, New York City Public Advocate Tish James, has said she’d continue those actions.

Candidates for statewide office were required this week to disclose how much money they have on hand for the final month of the 2018 election season. Once again, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is seeking a third term, is far ahead of his challengers.

The Green Party candidate for state comptroller, Marc Dunlea, said he isn’t in the race to win but rather to highlight one key issue — combating climate change.

Dunlea was the longtime director of Hunger Action Network, a lobby group that advocates for services for the poor. He now works for the environmental group 350.org, and he said if he were comptroller, he would immediately divest the state’s pension fund of all investments in fossil fuel companies.

The stretch limo that crashed in Schoharie on Saturday, killing all 18 people aboard plus two pedestrians, had failed inspection just one month ago. Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaking to reporters at a Columbus Day parade in New York City,  says the driver of the limo also did not have the proper license.

Cuomo says the limo driver and the company , Prestige Limo, violated a number of laws.

Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, a retired UPS worker from Syracuse and former Vietnam war protester, is running for governor for the third time, challenging popular incumbent Andrew Cuomo from the left.

Hawkins, in a conversation with WXXI’s Karen DeWitt, explains why he thinks he is a true alternative and not just a protest vote.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he hasn’t decided whether to accept the nomination of the Working Families Party in the race for governor. The party previously backed actor Cynthia Nixon after a bitter split in the progressive-leaning minor party.

When the party chose Nixon for governor over Cuomo last spring, the argument was heated. Its executive director, Bill Lipton, said Cuomo, in his first two terms in office, did not live up to expectations that the governor would back progressive ideas and policies.

A new Siena College poll finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo far ahead of his challengers in his quest for a third term in office. But the survey also shows that a failed primary challenger is still taking points away from the governor’s lead.

Environmentalists are urging a state panel on water quality standards to meet its October 2nd deadline to set new acceptable levels of toxic chemicals in public water supplies.

The state’s high property taxes and outmigration problem were among the issues discussed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Republican opponent, Marc Molinaro, this week when each separately visited a meeting of some of the state’s business leaders.

Molinaro spoke first to the Business Council meeting on Lake George, where he unveiled a plan to reduce New York’s high property taxes by 30 percent. Molinaro said the state’s taxes, named by the conservative Tax Foundation as the 48th worst in America, are driving businesses and people out of the state.

Former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is running a long shot independent campaign for governor of New York. Miner, who was co-chair of the state Democratic Party under Andrew Cuomo, is now challenging him for the job. She talked with WXXI's Karen DeWitt for public radio and TV about her strategy for the weeks leading up to the November 6th voting.


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