New York State Assembly
Governor Andrew Cuomo has always said in public that he doesn't get involved in legislative leadership struggles, which is a convenient position, if not a completely accurate one.
In a big interview with the Washington Post about gun control, Mayor Michael Bloomberg portrayed his opponents as extremists who rile their base with false stories about government plans to seize people's guns.
Here's a copy of the August 24 letter sent to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver from the the Assembly's Committee on Ethics and Guidance describing their investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who has just announced that he's giving up his chairmanship of the Brooklyn Democratic organization.
Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the powerful Brooklyn Democratic county leader has been removed as chairman of the Housing Committee in the Assembly, stripped of his seniority and forced to undergo training after an investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed two legislative employees, beginning in June of this year.
The decisions was announced by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who agreed with the report of the Assembly's ethics committee, which found the allegations credible, and determined that Lopez's reponse to them was "not credible."
Lopez will also not be allowed to have any interns work in his office, nor be allowed to employ anyone under 21 years old, according to the bi-partisan Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance, whose recommendations are being implemented "in full" by Silver.(1)
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver this morning told Fred Dicker on Talk 1300 radio that he found the idea of Democrats winning back the State Senate "enticing," even though he won't put any fund-raising muscle behind it.
Democratic assemblyman says he might not vote for Obama: 'I don't believe things are getting better'
Harvey Weisenberg, a 23-year-legislator, said his district office "is a crisis center for the people who are devastated, losing their homes, their jobs, kids who can't afford to stay in school. I'm looking to see a change for the people. I don't believe things are getting better, because it appears to me there are more people in trouble then ever before."
After a speech to the New York State Democratic Party in Albany during which he urged the state to give Barack Obama a mandate and talked broadly about electing Democrats locally, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he doesn't want to talk politics until after the legislative session is over.
Last year, Assemblyman William Boyland was indicted on counts of bribery twice in two months. He got acquitted once. The second indictment has yet to be resolved.
Naturally, a lot of people see him as vulnerable in the upcoming election.
Governor Andrew Cuomo sees an inconsistency among the Democrats who are complaining about the redistricting process, but say they'll vote for the lines anyway.
"I'm dying to see how they vote for the other house's lines at the same time that they're so critical and outraged, but I'm sure they'll figure that out conveniently," Cuomo said on Fred Dicker's show this morning.
In fielding questions about redistricting, Governor Andrew Cuomo's comments today were direct, in one sense: He told Assembly Democrats who don't like the maps produced by the current process to vote against them.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver thinks legislators should get a raise, since they haven't had one since 1999. This afternoon, he asked for particular attention to the plight of the 50 or so members of the Assembly's Democratic conference who do not have chairmanships, and the extra pay that goes with it, and who also do not have outside sources of income.
Two dozen members of the New York Assembly's Republican minority announced their endorsement of Mitt Romney this afternoon.
The group, which comprises almost half of the lower chamber's 51 Republicans, was headlined by Minority Leader Brian Kolb, who offered this quote: "Mitt Romney is the one candidate with the values and experience that will be needed to go up against President Obama in November."
Councilman Charles Barron walked to the stairs at City Hall yesterday carrying a small podium bearing the city seal and a dozen activists unfurled a banner and put on stickers that said “Ban Fracking Now.” It was time to start the rally.(1)
This is the second in a new five-part series called "The New York Vote," a partnership between WNYC and Capital New York. We will be painting a portrait of the New York electorate in 2010, as explained by a diverse cast of political players.
Today, we interview Gov. David Paterson, who says no one person in Albany can change the culture of the capital because, despite all the talk of voter rebellion, New Yorkers keep returning incumbents to their legislative perches.
>> Watch the video and read the story here: The Voter Revolution Is Not Here (WNYC.org)