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Sex Scandal Suppressed by Blue Machine in New York


Hypocrisy is the name of the game in New York’s State Assembly, and the New York Times has finally taken notice. State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the state’s major political power broker, has emerged unscathed from last week’s slew of accusations that he whitewashed sexual harassment allegations against prominent Democratic Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez.

Even after a state ethics report criticized him for covering up allegations of sexual harassment against a powerful assemblyman, even after a prosecutor said his failure to act might have put other women at risk, even after a number of editorial boards called for his ouster, Mr. Silver is still standing strong.

Silver enjoys unflagging loyalty in the Assembly because he gives free rein to Democrats, the Times reports. Ethics enforcement is lax and assembly seats remain safe thanks to Silver’s extensive networks and big campaign war chest. In return, Democrats, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, protect him in crises like these.

This isn’t the first time a scandal like this has been swept under the rug:

Almost a decade ago, [Silver] was accused of mishandling accusations against one of his former top aides, J. Michael Boxley. The Assembly paid a $500,000 settlement in that case, and the two women who accused Mr. Boxley of assaults subsequently lent their support to one of Mr. Silver’s primary challengers in 2008.

“It’s shocking that the members of the Assembly are willing to give him a free pass and not hold him accountable,” said Sonia Ossorio, the president of the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women. She added that he was guilty of “allowing this environment of sexual harassment to fester over the years.”

The story fits into a broader pattern in blue states: From Michigan to CaliforniaIllinois to New York State, the blue machine spouts pretty promises but in reality it’s all about money and power, the little people be damned. More often than not, this kind of behavior is met with a deafening silence from the MSM and the broader blue establishment. We’re happy to see the New York Times taking up the cudgel here.

[Sheldon Silver image courtesy of Wikimedia]

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  • Luke Lea

    The big boys can take care of themselves.

  • bigfire

    Forget it Walter, it’s Albany.

  • Anthony

    Oh yeah Mead. Of course things like this never happen in red states.

    Check this out. Arkansas Senator Jason Rapert basically comes out and accuses – as if this were some kind of big time offense – Obama of being a muslim. The crowd cheers. Where’s Professor Mead’s indignant rage!

    • Anthony

      At his best – which is pretty often – Professor Mead is a sharp social critic, and his articles on the future of the developed world in a post industrial economy are an outstanding contribution to our national conversation. But pieces like this make him look less like a top tier public intellectual and more like a talk radio hack.

    • Tom

      Let’s see here: In Arkansas, a blowhard rants.
      In New York, a lecher uses his political position to avoid being held accountable for his lechery.
      Why yes, these are totally the same thing.

  • Anthony

    WRM, soft topics give everybody opportunies to sound off under any name – regresion to mean perhaps.

  • Jim Luebke

    Silver was just defending the freedom and independence of these individuals! The Mighty Mississippi of Individuality is sweeping away all old-fashioned limits on behavior. Why should anyone stand in the way?

    Who is he to judge?

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