Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

June 23, 2013

HOPKINS: Careful where you step around here

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

It’s not. It’s just another smoke-and-mirrors ruse by an apple that didn’t fall far from the tree. (See: Cuomo, Mario)

•••

I’m convinced Sheldon Silver has more lives than a cat. The Assembly Speaker always seems to find a way to wiggle out of scandal after scandal in Albany. Maybe this latest one will be the one that kills the cat.

Last year, when a few women stepped forward and said they were harassed by Assemblyman Vito Lopez, Silver quietly offered cash settlement with the women, using public money to do so. That’s our tax dollars, and he had no right to use it in that fashion. Nice people will call it “misappropriation.” I call it a bribe; hush money; buying silence.

Then Silver responded to a conclusion that the Assembly was trying to protect itself with the secrecy by saying the deal “represented a good-faith belief that the Assembly was acting in the best interests of the victims.”

Baloney. Silver was acting in the best interest of his colleague, Vito Lopez. Then he got caught, but still slipped through like a snake in the grass.

Now there’s a lawsuit against Silver and Lopez. And the state will pay for Silver’s legal bills.

I’m hoping these women take SIlver to the cleaners — which unfortunately means taking taxpayers to the cleaners — but will it be enough to oust the man from Albany? I doubt it. He’s got a firmer grip on Albany than the Emperor in Star Wars had on Darth Vader.

•••

Things aren’t looking any better in Washington, either.

The Obama administration is also in hot water, and for good reason. I haven’t been a fan of president Obama from the start, and the more we’ve learned in the past few months makes me dislike him more and more.

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