letters of correspondence
Not So Special Elections
As Mayor Bill de Blasio and other supporters of the mayor’s plan to tax rich New York City residents to fund universal pre-K rally in Albany today, assembly members across the five boroughs have almost completely unified around the proposal.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in no hurry to call special elections to fill the 11 empty seats in the state legislature.
Speaking on the radio this morning, Mr. Cuomo panned the idea of filling the seats quickly. Notably, he said, with this week’s corruption conviction of then-Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, he didn’t know how many more seats would still open up.
If there were any lingering doubts that the Democratic-controlled State Assembly would get behind Bill de Blasio’s legislative agenda, they were dispelled today, according to the mayor-elect.
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick is dismissing as “fiction” a report alleging she is leading a coup of female lawmakers to depose Shelly Silver as Assembly speaker.
The New York Post’s Fred Dicker reported this morning that Mr. Silver is facing a “serious leadership threat’’ from 30 Democratic Assemblywomen fed up after being forced to defend him in the wake of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal.
A candidate running to fill disgraced ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s empty seat said Wednesday he would be “hard-pressed” to vote for Shelly Silver as his speaker because of Mr. Silver’s mishandling of the sexual harassment allegations that forced Mr. Lopez out.
Assembly Democrats have thus far been reluctant to discuss leadership changes, despite the fact that a majority of voters would like to see Mr. Silver go. But attorney Jason Otaño, the favorite of anti-Lopez activists, was blunt when posed the question at a forum last night.
Hide your children
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was forced to try to assure parents that their daughters were safe working in Albany following a “disturbing” poll out yesterday that found most New Yorkers wouldn’t want their daughters to intern in the State Legislature after former Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment scandal.
“I want people to know that you can send your daughter to Albany,” Mr. Cuomo said during an appearance on The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter this morning, where he was once again forced to weigh in on the scandal and its aftermath.
A slim majority of New York voters think Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver should resign over his mishandling of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal, according to a new poll out Wednesday, which also found most parents want their daughters steering clear of Albany.
The Quinnipiac poll found that 51 percent of those surveyed think Mr. Silver should step down from office, versus just 22 percent who feel he should remain. The feeling was especially high among men, suburban voters and Republicans.
sex lies and videotape
Facing growing calls for his resignation, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, surrounded by an army of loyal supporters, apologized for his handling of the Vito Lopez allegations and announced a series of reforms to ensure, he said, that such mistakes will never be made again.
“I want New Yorkers to know I care deeply about this institution and its employees, that I remain dedicated to our core commission of protecting those who are most in need of a strong and caring government,” Mr. Silver told reporters at a press conference in Albany hours after Mr. Lopez officially resigned.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that voters don’t blame him for the scandals sweeping Albany, joking that nobody could have expected him to ban sex.
Speaking during an appearance on WCNY’s “Capitol Pressroom” earlier today, Mr. Cuomo was asked about a new poll that shows that, despite the recent scandals–including Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s resignation following sexual harassment allegations–his numbers have ticked slightly up.
Ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s resignation became effective at 9 a.m. this morning, and Assembly officials wasted little time scrubbing all traces of the disgraced legislator online and in Albany.
Mr. Lopez’s official government website has already been removed, as has his official Assembly email address. (“Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently,” a message read.) By 10:30 a.m., the nameplate outside his Legislative Office Building had also been removed–apparently forcibly, per a photo tweeted by The New York Times‘ Thomas Kaplan. His name will also be removed from his floor seat, an official said.