Headline of the Day: “Sheldon-come-lately”
Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver‘s late-night call to expel disgraced Assemblymen Vito Lopez from office hasn’t helped to temper calls for his head. But most Democratic leaders seem unlikely to push for disciplinary action against the speaker. Gov. Andrew Cu0mo told reporters yesterday he didn’t think it was his place “to say who the speaker is and who the speaker should be.” He added: “I don’t see any comparison between what Vito Lopez and what Shelly Silver did … There is a magnitude of difference.”
On an unrelated note, the governor seems to be raking in the green. His most recent finance disclosure statement, made public Thursday, shows he made between $1.75 million and $2 million. The bulk of his assets are reportedly managed by a blind trust at AMG National Trust Bank.
Law & Order
The names caught up in ex-State Sen. Shirley Huntley’s wire-tapping efforts were revealed Wednesday afternoon, leaving elected officials and staffers scrambling to respond to news that they were most likely the subjects of ongoing federal investigations.
The U.S. Attorney’s office had revealed that eight of the nine individuals secretly recorded by Ms. Huntley in an effort to minimize her sentence on embezzlement charges “remain the subjects of ongoing criminal investigations.” And while some offices appeared to be prepared for the news, others seemed completely caught-off-guard. Others still have yet to comment.
The list includes a slew of Democratic lawmakers, including City Councilman Ruben Wills, State Sen. Eric Adams, who is running for Brooklyn borough president, Sen. Jose Peralta, who is running for Queens borough president, and Sen. John Sampson, who was arrested earlier this week on unrelated embezzlement charges.
Brooklyn In The House
State Sen. Eric Adams launched his campaign for the Brooklyn borough presidency yesterday morning with almost the entirety of Brooklyn’s Democratic establishment at his back.
“Brooklyn is the greatest place on Earth because of the strength and love that its people are willing to pour into it,” said Mr. Adams as he stood on the steps of Brooklyn borough Hall. “It’s no wonder, when you ask a person that is from Brooklyn and you say, ‘Where you from?’ They don’t say New York City, they say, ‘We’re from Brooklyn, baby.’”
State Senator Eric Adams, currently the sole candidate for Brooklyn Borough President, made a strong mark with his first report of his campaign’s fundraising today. In the last six months, Mr. Adams raised over $215,000 from 1,168 donors, with the vast majority of them coming from smaller contributors who are far from the legal limit and could give additional amounts in the future.
City Councilman Brad Lander is weighing his options and considering a run to replace Marty Markowitz as Brooklyn Borough President in 2013, according to multiple sources. Reached by phone this morning, Mr. Lander did not deny his interest but said it was “very flattering” to have his name be in the mix.
Currently, only State Senator Eric Adams has openly declared his intentions to run for the seat, although a few others, like Assemblyman Nick Perry and State Senator Kevin Parker, have let their names be dropped as potential contenders as well. However, as The Politicker contended last Friday, this leaves electoral oxygen for another candidate to leap into the race.
Yesterday afternoon, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s senior adviser Carlo Scissura announced he was dropping out of the race to succeed his term-limited boss and will instead be heading up the borough’s local chamber of commerce. Although he was never necessarily the front runner in the race or intimidating other candidates from entering, his exit does leave State Senator Eric Adams as the lone contender for the position, which could encourage potential candidates to take a second look.
New York City Comptroller and possible 2013 mayoral candidate John Liu held a reception honoring labor leaders last night at the annual New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus association weekend where State Senators John Sampson and Eric Adams defended him against the fundraising scandal he’s been battling since November. Mr. Liu also addressed the toll the allegations have taken on him and his family.
“My son, Joey, is in in sixth grade right now, and he is reading the papers, and I have to explain to him what they’re talking about and what’s really happening,” Mr. Liu said. “So it is one of the things that we go through as real people.”
I Will Always Love You
Today the Daily News reported State Senate Republicans blocked Senator Eric Adams’ request for a resolution honoring Whitney Houston, however, according to Mr. Adams and Senate GOP spokesman Mark Hansen, the resolution may live on.
“From what I understand, the Senate Republicans may have realized this was a big mistake. I’m going to give them a fact sheet in case they’ve spent the last twenty years on another planet and they didn’t realize what Ms. Houston meant to people and we’re going to revisit this immediately after the break,” Mr. Adams told The Politicker.
Mr. Hansen said the Senate Republicans “never sought to block the resolution” and merely had issues with its timing.
“We didn’t do it today, we felt the timing was inappropriate because we just had legislation and a public hearing that dealt with overdoses of prescription drugs that included parents who lost their children to overdoses of prescription drugs,” Mr. Hansen said. “But we never sought to block the resolution and it’s something that we’ll take up when we return.”
State Senator Eric Adams put an end to speculation about which office he would seek, announcing in an email to supporters this afternoon, “At the behest of many of you, Eric has decided to pursue his dream to run for the office of Brooklyn Borough President in 2013. “
Mr. Adams had been rumored to either be a BP candidate in 2013 or make a run for Public Advocate, but the email today–sent by his chief of staff, Ingrid Lewis-Martin–makes plain that he has decided to go with the former.
“The road to Borough Hall is long and can be rocky, but with your continued support we can pave the way and set a smooth course,” the email reads. “I will send you periodic emails and news updates to keep you informed and abreast of all of the ways in which you can be a part of our journey to Brooklyn Borough Hall.”
Although Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed to veto the current set of redistricting maps, Democratic State Senator Eric Adams let it be known this morning that he isn’t happy with his new district. A number of Democratic incumbents were drawn into the same districts, including Mr. Adams and neighboring State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, something Mr. Adams felt was ideologically motivated.
“This year I am the poster child for removal. Many of the Upstate and Long Island Republican senators are angry with me because of my progressive agenda for New York City residents,” Mr. Adams said in a statement. “In Albany, I am known as one of the lead voices that support social issues such as, but not limited to, tenant housing protections, fair funding in our schools, and ending the draconian practice of NYPD stop and frisk.”
(The proposed map, which Politicker labeled “A Stork With a Big Surprise,” is one of the most bizarre-looking ones in the state.)