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 Cu0motold 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.
The Democrats in the State Assembly are rallying around Speaker Shelly Silver as his feeling the heat from Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment scandal and the discovery that Mr. Silver authorized over $100,000 in state funds to be spent on confidential settlements for prior harassment claims. And you can count Assemblyman Keith Wright, the head of both the Manhattan and state Democratic Parties, among Mr. Silver’s supporters, although not passionately so to the press.
Yesterday evening, the Politicker approached Mr. Wright outside the Midtown meeting where New York Democrats were preparing to select their official delegates for President Barack Obama’s reelection, first inquiring what he made of the situation with Mr. Lopez, who chairs the neighboring Brooklyn Democratic Party. Mr. Wright responded with a nonverbal shrug.
At Congressman Charlie Rangel’s election night party outside Sylvia’s Restaurant on Malcolm X Boulevard June 26, former New York Governor David Paterson served as emcee entertaining the crowd with political patter and jokes as the results rolled in. Standing on stage with Mr. Rangel’s other longtime Harlem allies, Assemblyman Keith Wright, co-chair of the New York Democratic Party, and Assemblyman Carl Heastie, leader of the Bronx Democratic Party, Mr. Paterson declared Mr. Rangel victorious in his race against State Senator Adriano Espaillat.
“The firm of Heastie, Paterson & Wright have projected Charles Rangel the winner in the 13th Congressional District primary,” Mr. Paterson proclaimed to loud cheers and applause.
Mr. Paterson’s remarks were seemingly made in jest, however ten days after the election, there are some who fear Mr. Rangel’s cronies did hand him a victory after the initial Board of Elections result was found to have left votes uncounted in over thirty precincts and Mr. Espaillat’s campaign has gone to court with allegations of voter suppression and other “irregularities.” In this morning’s Daily News, Juan Gonzalez published a column detailing “troubling signs” that some Board of Elections officials engaged “in an all-out effort by the Democratic Party establishment to ensure a Rangel victory.”
In a conversation with The Politicker, Mr. Wright vehemently denied the various charges in Mr. Gonzalez’s story.
Shortly after Wendy Long emerged victorious in New York’s three-way Republican Senate primary, the New York State Democratic Party sent out a press release entitled “Who Is Wendy Long?” showcasing the “Top 10 Things The Republican Party Hopes You Don’t Know About Their Extreme Candidate For U.S. Senate.” The statement described Ms. Long as wanting to end “Medicare as we know it,” “beholden to the D.C. lobbyist Grover Norquist’s tax pledge,” proud of “her association with the racist, anti-semitic homophobic Dartmouth Review,” a leading opponent of “America’s first Latina justice to sit on the Supreme Court” Sonia Sotomayor, “anti-choice,” an opponent of same-sex marriage and an enemy to consumers, among other things. Continue reading “NY Dems Label GOP Senate Nominee Wendy Long A ‘Far Right’ Extremist”→
New York State Chairman Jay Jacobs may be stepping down soon for his two new replacements, but he’s still in a jovial mood. And, asked what advice he might have for the future co-chairs, Assemblyman Keith Wright and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Minor, he kept it simple.
“Think before your talk,” he told us after his press conference yesterday denouncing Mitt Romney’s business record. “I’d say that for sure. I think you just have to keep your wits about you, keep your humor and realize nothing’s personal.”
April 16th at midnight is the filing deadline for congressional candidates to deliver their signatures to the local Board of Elections to get onto the June 26th primary ballot, but in an interesting wrinkle in election law, candidates can still substitute in someone else after this date.
“You have four days after the last day to submit your petitions to decline, so in this case, the day is the 16th and you have until the 20th to decline,” election law guru Jerry Goldfeder succinctly explained to The Politicker this afternoon. “And if you do so, your committee to fill vacancies votes to substitute someone else.”
Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver doesn’t appear to be backing down in his efforts to boost the state’s minimum wage.
Later this month Mr. Silver–along with Harlem Assemblyman Keith Wright, chair of the Labor Committee–will hold a series of hearings around the state.
“These hearings are an important next step in the process to raise the minimum wage,” said Mr. Silver. “It is important for our communities to speak up. Raising the minimum wage fairly rewards low-wage workers, helping those who are striving to help themselves and in the process, giving a boost to local economies.” Continue reading “Silver, Wright, To Take Min Wage Push On The Road”→