8:55 am Aug. 29, 20121
The matter of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's secret $103,080 payment to help settle a sexual harassment allegation against Assemblyman Vito Lopez is now Andrew Cuomo's to resolve.
After a relatively cautious initial reaction to public reports on the Assembly's handling of the allegations against Lopez, Cuomo has now called for an investigation by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, the independent body he created and which employs a number of his former aides.
Michael Goodwin writes that this all renders Cuomo's earlier claim that New York has the "best legislative body in the country" laughable.
Silver has acknowledged mistakes in not being transparent about his handling the Lopez affair, but the "what did he know and when did he know it" phase could just be starting. The longer it goes on, the more inconvenient it will be for Silver, and by extension for Cuomo, who effectively threw in his lot with the incumbent power brokers during redistricting, and whose national prospects will depend on his ability to argue that he brought meaningful change to the Albany he inherited in 2010.
"[W]e have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved."—Chris Christie
10 a.m. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces the most popular baby names in the city, in the Blue Room at City Hall.
Noon. Governor Andrew Cuomo makes an announcement at 10858 Route 73 in Keene.
7 p.m. State Senator Toby Stavisky and her Republican challenger will participate in a candidate forum, hosted by the Queensboro Hill Civic Association, at New York Hospital.
7:45 p.m. Bloomberg lights the new Jet Blue sign, at 27-01 Queens Plaza North at 27th St., in Queens.
9:15 p.m. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is interviewed by Ricot Dupuy, on Radio Solell.
Ann Romney warmed them up and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie riled them up. [Colleen McCain Nelson and John McKinnon]
Christie took his time before mentioning Mitt Romney's name. [Celeste Katz]
"I was surprised by how little he talked about the two men on the bumper sticker. To me, that part felt boilerplate." [Josh Greenman]
Christie was chosen to speak for his aggressive style, which wasn't on display. [Michael Shear]
Remember when presidential candidates spoke about poverty? [Blake Zeff]
District Leader Marc Landis wrote a letter claiming the Board of Elections blocked poll worker applications from people recommended by NY-13 candidate Adriano Espaillat. The Board of Elections denies it. [Juan Gonazalez]
Bloomberg defended the police officers who killed the Empire State Building shooter and wounded nine bystanders. [Sally Goldenberg]
Scandals in Albany "pose a major risk" to Andrew Cuomo's 2016 prospects, says a columnist. [MIchael Goodwin]
Cuomo: "I think JCOPE should do an investigation". [Jon Campbell]
The new JCOPE probe of the $103,080 payout to Vito Lopez's first sexual harassment victim will "focus on the process," a source said. [Erik Kriss and Josh Margolin]
Cuomo "took effective custody" of the Silver-Lopez scandal by urging JCOPE, where a number of his former aides work, to investigate. [New York Post]
Silver's apology for keeping the $103,080 payment quiet came after attorney Gloria Allred publicly said neither she nor her clients ever asked to block a further investigation into their claims. [Glenn Blain, Erin Durkin and Larry McShane]
Silver still hasn't provided info about the Lopez settlement, and one tabloid newspaper has FOILed all relevant documents. [Daily News]
Silver hasn't said why the first case against Lopez wasn't investigated by the ethics committee. [Danny Hakim, Michael Grynbaum and William Rashbaum]
One possible candidate to replace Lopez as Brooklyn Democratic County chairman: Frank Seddio. [Erin Durkin and Reuven Blau]
Assemblyman Joel Lentol thinks pressure for Lopez to resign his Assembly seat will continue, "like it did for [Anthony] Weiner." [Jacob Gershman]
Investigators are wondering if State Senator Shirley Huntley got kick-backs from her aide who was allegedly bilking a nonprofit. [Josh Margolin and Chuck Bennett]
A lengthy wire story notes a Times Union editorial said Albany is returning to the "bad old days." [AP]
More on how New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating the energy drink industry. [Nelson Schwartz]
Violence in New York public schools hit a record high. [Yoav Gonen]
More on city public schools easing punishments for low-level infractions by students. [Al Baker]
Peter King is prepared to be unhappy with television coverage of the convention. [Reid Pillifant]
Councilwoman Gale Brewer says more time, not more pressure, is needed in negotiations with Quinn about the paid sick leave legislation. [Dana Rubinstein]
The letter from the Committee on Ethics and Guidance about the second round of sexual harassment allegations against Lopez. [Azi Paybarah]
Presumptive congressman Hakeem Jeffries backed into some criticism of his ally Lopez, finally. [Reid Pillifant]
Espaillat and Guillermo Linares featured in a very loud debate in Washington Heights. [Azi Paybarah]
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