Author: Ken Kruly

Ken Kruly

Ken has been a very active community participant in the world of politics for nearly 50 years. Everything from envelope stuffing to campaign management. From the local council level to presidential campaigns. On the Democratic side. A whole lot of politicians worked for, fought against, had a beer with. Now, "mostly" retired, Ken continues to have a great interest in government and politics on the local, state and federal levels. His blog, politicsandstuff.com provides weekly commentary and opinions about policy, budgeting, candidacies, and analysis of public issues. 

In Memoriam We as a community are overwhelmed by the terrible tragedy that was visited on us last Saturday. We honor the lives of the victims and pray for and reach out to help their families and friends in this time of overwhelming grief. We search for answers to questions about the madman’s evil deeds; some we can figure out and some we never will. Our politics have given rise to the kind of falsehoods and hatred that lead to such events. As horrible as this is, we must not be afraid to speak the truth and to hold those…

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Mayor Byron Brown earlier this month presented his proposed 2022-2023 city budget. It includes a five percent property tax increase and substantial increases in city spending. Approximately nine percent of the revenues ($52.6 million) come from federal stimulus funding that will be no more a year from now. It seems appropriate to refer to something this blog reported last September after a debate during the hard-fought election for mayor: The debate did bring out a discussion about the possibility of a property tax increase with Walton in favor of a small increase. An increase of three percent was on the…

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Basic Government 101 tells us that there are three co-equal branches of government on the federal and state level. The work and powers of the branches overlap occasionally. For the most part the branches stay in their own lanes. Not so, at the moment, in New York State. The state Court of Appeals has mainly removed the Legislature from the process of the post-census redistricting of congressional and state legislative lines and handed that power, by order of a state Supreme Court Justice in Bath to one person, who was unknown to most everyone until recently. In 2012, when the…

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April 7th was the deadline for candidates for office in New York State – federal, state, and local — to file petitions for the June 28th primary elections. If a candidate for office does not have a primary election opponent, the petitions serve as their entry into the November election. Statewide candidates who were endorsed by their respective parties at the February nominating conventions are exempt from circulating petitions. We have now seen court action at least temporarily allowing the legislatively approved congressional, Assembly, and Senate districts to be used for 2022.  Stay tuned.  Redrawing the lines and pushing back the primary…

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In case you missed the reporting, Governor Kathy Hochul and County Executive Mark Poloncarz last week announced their agreement on terms for construction of a new stadium and a new thirty-year lease agreement with the Buffalo Bills. The stadium will cost $1.4 billion and will be located across the street from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. This is a story that has been ongoing for more than fifty years. In the late 1960’s the Bills were threatening to move to a different city. War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo was expanded in the 1960s but was very old and inadequate for…

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Erie County government has been quieter lately. Covid metrics have dropped dramatically. Preventive measures have been relaxed. The state of emergency in the county has ended. Stefan Mychajliw is no longer Comptroller. There is much to be thankful for. The Covid matters and the term in office of Mychajliw are intertwined; the reason is that the former comptroller chose to link the pandemic issues to his job. It was not just that Mychajliw spoke out about the issues, which is his right. It is that his politicking while in office centered not on matters financial so much as matters cultural. …

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Ah, for the days gone by when “politics stops at the water’s edge.”  Ah, for the days gone by when New York Republicans avoided primaries.  Welcome to politics 2022. Here are some facts, observations, and heard-on-the-streets: In a climate where every politician is his or her own distributor of news via the internet it is probably naive to think that it will ever again be possible for American foreign policy to operate under the rule of politics stopping at the water’s edge.  For history buff readers, that policy was developed by Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg in 1948 and helped pave…

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With the Democratic Committee Convention over and the Republicans about to run their meeting at the beginning of next week things are getting serious in the race for governor of New York. The 2022 state elections will have a fresh look.  Going back to 1978, when Mario Cuomo ran for Lt. Governor, there has been a Cuomo on the statewide ballot for ten of the previous eleven elections. Governor Kathy Hochul will be on the state ballot this year for the third time.  It will be the fifth time for Senator Charles Schumer, the fourth time for State Comptroller Tom…

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I have long been a political junkie.  This means I spend a lot more time paying attention to politics – local, state, and national – than most folks.  I write this blog to share information and to offer my comments and opinions on what is happening.  Most times the things that are happening are not too dissimilar from the things that have happened before.  Every now and then, however, something comes along that is unique; like some towns in Erie County talking about “seceding” from the County. It is hard to find any public subject these days that does not…

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The Olympics don’t seem to be attracting much attention, but the process of redrawing legislative districts is. It’s a sporting event for the political crowd, with winners and losers. Redistricting is about numbers.  Your start with the federal census, determine how many people live in each block or tract and then start putting those blocks and tracts together until you have a legislative district – federal, state, local – that approximates the average number of residents in the state, county or city divided by the number of legislators that someone back in time decided would be sent to Congress, the…

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