A defiant Anthony Weiner hit the airwaves for another round of TV interviews this evening, as he tries desperately to shift the conversation away from his latest sexting scandal and toward policy issues with just six weeks left to the primary.
Again and again, Mr. Weiner insisted he’d come completely clean about the details of his “embarrassing” personal conduct and urged the interviewers to move on. The facts, he repeated, remained the same.
Disgraced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer stopped by The Colbert Report last night as part of his comeback campaign for city comptroller–and got quite a beating.
Host Stephen Colbert mercilessly ribbed the former “Luv Guv,” beginning his attack even before Mr. Spitzer had walked into the studio. The brief interview included some of the most pointed questions Mr. Spitzer has had to face since he jumped into the race.
He doesn’t plan on being steamrollered.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who up until tonight was unopposed in the Democratic primary and the overwhelming front-runner for city comptroller, appears ready to greet his new opponent, former Governor Eliot Spitzer, head on.
Put a Spell on You
Governor Andrew Cuomo and one of the state’s top legislative leaders don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on corruption metaphors.
Dean Skelos, the head of the State Senate’s Republican caucus expressed concerns yesterday that Mr. Cuomo’s recently-launched Moreland Commission, which will go after corruption in Albany, would amount to a “witch hunt” against sitting lawmakers. But asked about Mr. Skelos’s phrasing today, Mr. Cuomo questioned its applicability.
This afternoon, courts released a sentencing document for State Senator Shirley Huntley, detailing her cooperation with federal authorities in the wake of her arrest in a bribery scheme. After a slew of corruption scandals have rocked New York State politics in recent weeks, including several of Ms. Huntley’s Albany colleagues, particular attention was placed on the names of officials and staffers caught in Ms. Huntley’s wiretaps. There are nine names on the list.
Another Shoe Drops
State Senator John Sampson, who up until recently led his chamber’s Democratic conference, is set to turn himself into federal authorities today after being ensared in a bribery scandal, according to The New York Times and New York Post.
It’s unclear to what extent Mr. Sampson may have been cooperating with federal prosecutors prior to this point. His involvement in an alleged scheme with then-State Senator Shirley Huntley, who already pleaded guilty to her own charges, was revealed last week when a sentencing letter made public Ms. Huntley’s own cooperation. The Times reports Mr. Sampson be charged with obstruction of justice.
Former Governor Eliot Spitzer, never a fan of the current governor, yesterday blasted his hiring and spending practices at the Empire State Development Corporation. A recent front-page New York Times story suggested Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration prefers politically connected hires, an implication Mr. Spitzer wholly agreed with.
“There has been a problem at ESDC,” Mr. Spitzer told Road to City Hall host Errol Louis during last night’s program. “I think that The New York Times article was very clear in that is merely the top layer of the onion in terms of politics being pervasive in hiring, leaving and pushing substance to the side.”
What You Should Know
The State Legislature is set to look at tightening New York’s infamously loose campaign finance rules in the wake of a recent slate of corruption scandals, but State Sen. Rubén Díaz believes legislative attention should instead be focused on Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“I would like to recommend that ethics reform in New York State begin in the Governor’s mansion,” Mr. Díaz declared today in one of his regular “What You Should Know” statements. “While we consider how to restrict Senate campaign donations that are used to pay for meals, I would like my readers to know that many of my colleagues are routinely invited to the Governor’s mansion to eat his food and drink his wine with no oversight to who pays those bills.”
When Governor Andrew Cuomo quickly passed tough new gun control measures in January, he faced a raft of criticism for skipping the standard deliberative period and allegedly ignoring the more minute legislative details. The criticism recently found new substance with the bill’s apparently unworkable 7-bullet magazine requirement, which Albany is now working to reverse. And, on his weekly radio show with John Gambling, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that “one criticism” may indeed have merit.
“This is true of a lot of things,” Mr. Bloomberg said after accusing an unrelated City Council bill of having unintended side-effects. “You asked before about the magazines in Albany. We just got to start to thinking a little bit more about the implications of things before we rush to legislate and rush to legislate everything.”
eye in the sky
New York may join the list of states across the country that have been curtailing the use of unmanned drones. Newly-elected Bronx Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda just announced he is “preparing legislation to circumscribe the domestic usage of drones.”
“The Assemblyman believes that not enough attention is being paid to their operations in the United States, and envisions that without appropriate safeguards, they can be used for malicious and intrusive purposes,” a press release from Mr. Sepulveda’s office declared. “Mr. Sepulveda is open to coordinating with civil libertarian groups to ensure that any bill originating from his office will be adequately comprehensive to “stay ahead” of this burgeoning technology.”