8:35 am Aug. 31, 20121
Last night, as Clint Eastwood was entertaining Republicans by conversing with a chair in Tampa, New York newspapers going to press with yet more stories about a sexual harassment scandal hanging over the Democrats in Albany.
Emails made public to reporters show how state officials communicated back and forth about a settlement that resulted in $135,000 being paid to two women who complained about Assemblyman Vito Lopez's behavior.
Now the matter is going before the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), the ethics watchdog created by Governor Andrew Cuomo, in what will be the biggest test to date of its ability to act independently of the legislature it's supposed to police.
As the Times points out, JCOPE's "investigation of [Assembly Speaker Sheldon] Silver’s office represents a largely unprecedented incursion by the executive branch into his chamber." But as a News editorial noted, the investigation can't go anywhere "without support of at least one of Silver's three appointees."
"You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as President when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him."—Mitt Romney
"Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is in the New York City area."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has no public schedule today.
Clinton Eastwood delivered a "double-barreled assault on President Obama in a surprise appearance" in Tampa. [Beth Defalco and Geoff Earle]
It probably wasn't what the audience was expecting, particularly the part about Afghanistan. [Alex Pareene]
Media fact-checkers are acting like partisan Democrats. [Jonah Goldberg]
Except sometimes the "facts" in question are demonstrably wrong. [Greg Sargent]
There are 123 public schools in the city that state officials want to close. [Yoav Gonen]
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a "landmark settlement" for $181 million between Johnson and Johnson and 36 states for improperly advertising Risperdal and Invega. [David Voracos and Margaret Cronin Fisk]
"Many questions remain unanswered" about the sexual harassment complaints about Assemblyman Vito Lopez, and the way it was handled by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. [Michael Gormley]
The Lopez-Silver scandal is now raising questions about the roles played by the state comptroller and state attorney general. [Colby Hamilton]
"The preparation of the agreement appears to have been a group effort between the Assembly attorneys and the offices of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli." [Brett Smiley]
Emails show "Silver's counsel worked through three drafts of the settlement with staff from the Attorney General's Office and state Comptroller's Office." [AP]
Copies of the emails. [Jon Campbell]
One women who complained about working for Lopez later went to help on campaigns for Lopez's enemies. [Sally Goldenberg, Rich Calder and Dan Mangan]
"[T]he investigation of Mr. Silver’s office represents a largely unprecedented incursion by the executive branch into his chamber." [Danny Hakim]
JCOPE can't investigate Silver "without support of at least one of Silver's three appointees." [Daily News]
Susan Arbetter and David Grandeau discuss whether JCOPE adequately investigate this case. [John Farley]
"[N]o one is more qualified -- or can speak with more authority -- about life among Lopez's female staffers than [City Councilwoman Diana] Reyna." So far, she hasn't commented. [Juan Gonzalez]
Andrew Cuomo is a winner. [City and State]
Bloomberg said the city's government is better than Albany's and "I think a lot of that's because Chris Quinn" has "implemented a lot of changes that make city government more and [more] conflict-free." [Dana Rubinstein]
The story of how one former Lopez aide left quickly and helped on campaigns against the county organization. Also, she unsuccessfully accused a local Albany legislator of stalking her several years ago, but the case was thrown out. [Azi Paybarah]
"Politics is, within the media, a glamor category now. With this party, Buzzfeed declared itself." [Glynnis MacNicol]
Clint Eastwood did a PSA about drugs that's probably more along the lines of what convention organizers had in mind. [Reid Pillifant]