The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Something Is Rotten in the State of New York

It’s already been a banner week for high-profile flameouts, but we may now have a winner for worst of the lot. NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, used more than $100,000 in public money to hush up sexual harassment charges against Democratic Assemblyman Vito Lopez. The New York Times reports:

Mr. Lopez, 71, was censured by the Assembly on Friday after an internal investigation substantiated sexual harassment allegations brought by two female employees in his office. But The New York Times reported over the weekend that a previous sexual harassment claim was quietly settled by the Assembly earlier this year, in an arrangement that included public money, a confidentiality agreement and mandatory attendance by Mr. Lopez at a sexual harassment workshop.

We’re sure this would be a much bigger scandal if the figures involved had an “R” after their names, but it’s worth remembering that bad behavior and the exploitation of women know no political boundaries. Power protects itself. But something is clearly very wrong with the entrenched Democratic majority in the state assembly.

Published on August 30, 2012 3:24 pm
  • Anthony

    Not just state of New York…. The democratic system thus comes full circle and in the United States presents a parody of itself on the governmental level. The system it turns out has been infiltrated and subverted by…

  • Bennett Groucher

    There is no way that Shelly Silver didn’t know of Vito Lopez’s long history of boorish behavior. His rare mistake was thinking the payoff wouldn’t get reported.

  • Sam L.

    Insufficient hushing on this. Should have used the “Cone of Silence”.

    And, like WOW, it’s the NYT with this story!

  • cacrucil

    “We’re sure this would be a much bigger scandal if the figures involved had an “R” after their names…” I can think of some choice phrases to describe just how wrong you are.

    I think it’s time for you to announce that you are a Republican. This blog post sounds like talk radio. Remember Bill Clinton, the man the GOP accused of drug running and murdering vince foster. (don’t believe me? google “the clinton chronicles and Pat Robertson). Also, rmember when right wing billionaires paid reporters to go to Arkansas and make up horrible lies about
    Bill and Hillary. (don’t believe me, google david brock and the arkansas project).

    Maybe you should consider when Limbaugh himself said “whitewater is about healthcare.”

  • Bobo from Texas

    The Democrat War on Women continues.

    Will this hateful bigotry never end?

  • bandit

    Mr. Lopez, 71

    I’m not in favor of mandatory age limits but a lot of people in politics would do themselves and their constituents well to leave sooner rather than later.

  • Joseph Wilson

    corruption seems worse when only one party runs a state.

  • Jim.

    So where are the Clinton-defenders claiming that this is no big deal nowadays?

  • teapartydoc

    This would never happen in Sweden or the Netherlands.

  • Mike Giles

    First, I’d like to compliment Mr. Lopez for even wanting to harass a woman at the age of 71.Snow on the roof, but still a little fire in the furnace, eh.

    Second, the Times reported it. Has that young reporter been fired for his/her egregious error yet?