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.

Single-payer health care for New York has become an issue in the race for governor. Democratic primary challenger Cynthia Nixon say if she’s elected, she’d enact single-payer for New York. Not all of her opponents think that’s a good idea.

Nixon wants New York to adopt a health care system that would bypass insurance companies and expand existing government-funded health care for seniors to all New Yorkers. She spoke to supporters recently in Albany.

“We can have a New York with a single-payer Medicare-for-all system,” Nixon said as the crowd applauded.

The end of August used to be considered a slow season in politics, but television ads released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Republican challenger, Marc Molinaro, are getting heated.

Molinaro said Cuomo insulted his pregnant wife, while the governor’s campaign tried to bar the GOP candidate’s spot on state corruption from airing on television stations.

The Democratic candidates for governor — incumbent Andrew Cuomo and challenger Cynthia Nixon — have different views on spending money on the state’s schools.

There are three weeks until primary day in New York, and the Democratic underdog for governor, Cynthia Nixon, is laying out her plans for the final stretch of campaigning, saying there is a potential path to victory.

Nixon is trailing incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo by 30 points in the polls. But she said there is a path to victory, and recent contests — including the June upset win of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary — have shown the polls aren’t always accurate.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to rail against President Donald Trump on Wednesday. But some of his political opponents say the governor needs to talk more about issues related to New York state.

At an appearance at the State Fair, Cuomo commented on the felony conviction of Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, in federal court in Virginia and the guilty plea from Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, where Cohen implicated the president in a crime.

New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is running in the four-way Democratic primary for state attorney general after former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned in May over accusations that he physically assaulted women he dated.

It’s a short campaign season before the Sept. 13 primary. Now that Congress is in recess, the 52-year-old Maloney, who represents portions of the Hudson Valley, has stepped up his campaign schedule, with daily events across the state.

New York Congressman from the Hudson Valley , Sean Patrick Maloney, who is also a candidate in the Democratic primary for attorney general, is weighing in on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial statement that America “was never that great.”

Cuomo took on President Donald Trump’s slogan “make America great again,” by saying there’s no need to do so because the country was “never that great.”  The governor, in a speech Wednesday, went on to say that the nation has not yet reached its full potential because of inequalities that exist.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo stirred some controversy Wednesday when he told an audience at a bill-signing ceremony in Manhattan that America “was never that great.” 

“We’re not going to make America great again, it was never that great,” Cuomo said as some in the audience gasped in surprise.

It gained him sharp criticism from the Republican candidate for governor, Marc Molinaro, who said it was “shocking” and that Cuomo “owes the nation an apology.”

The governor also received critiques on social media.

Leecia Eve, one of four candidates running in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary for state attorney general, believes her background makes her more qualified to hold the office than her opponents.

Eve is not well-known in a race where 40 percent of potential Democratic primary voters still don’t know the candidates. A recent Siena College survey puts her support at just 4 percent.

Tempers flared Wednesday at the New York State Board of Elections, where commissioners voted to limit the subpoena powers of the investigator in charge of enforcing campaign finance violations.

The investigator, Risa Sugarman, said it’s a case of blatant “political interference,” while board commissioners accused Sugarman of being secretive and playing the “victim.”

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