Todays word on the state of our state, our nation, and the world.
|#3: Women’s Equality Shel Game|
|Andrew Cuomo really, really wants you to think he cares about equality for women. He wants you to think that so badly that he created a ballot line called the "Women’s Equality Party" for himself.
Don’t buy it.
The WEP is Cuomo’s revenge on the Working Families Party (WFP — see what he did there?). After the WFP forced Cuomo to accept a bribe in exchange for their ballot line, Cuomo created the WEP in an act of retribution. If the WEP siphons enough votes from the WFP on Election Day, the WFP could be knocked down a few rows on the ballot next year, and lose some of its political clout.
Don’t just take our word for it: the New York Post quoted a WFP operative as saying, "The Women’s Equality Party is Cuomo’s F U to the WFP."
The same report cites WFP co-founder Bertha Lewis as saying, "A Women’s Equality Party run by men? Please! The Women’s Equality Party is unnecessary. I don’t like it. It’s cynical."
Capital New York quoted Democratic State Senator Liz Krueger calling the WEP "a mistake."
So that covers the politics. But let’s take a look at where Andrew Cuomo fell on the biggest substantive women’s rights issue of the last four years:
The Sheldon Silver sex abuse scandal
According to a Quinnipiac poll, almost 60% of New Yorkers wouldn’t want their daughter interning in the New York State Assembly. That’s a disgusting statistic.
The Democratic Speaker of the Assembly, Sheldon Silver, has a history of protecting Assembly Democrats who are caught sexually abusing female staffers. You read that right.
In 2001, Silver aide Michael Boxley was named in a sexual abuse complaint filed by a 24-year-old female staff member. Silver refused to fire Boxley. Two years later, Boxley was removed from the Assembly in handcuffs after a 22-year-old female staff member accused him of rape.
Enter Vito Lopez. The Democratic Assemblyman was accused of sexual harassment by two young female interns. Sheldon Silver, with the help of Democratic AG Eric Schneiderman and Democratic Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, silenced the victims with hush money payouts funded with our tax dollars. Lopez subsequently sexually harassed several other female staffers, including a 14-year-old girl.
By silencing Boxley and Lopez’s earlier victims, Sheldon Silver is directly responsible for the later instances of sexual assault.
Sexual assault shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and indeed, some Democrats called on Sheldon Silver to resign the Assembly Speakership for his disgraceful behavior. But the vast majority didn’t, even as editorial boards around the state condemned Silver for his unforgivable conduct and demanded he step down.
As for Andrew Cuomo? He hid behind a flimsy separation of powers argument, insisting that it was up to the Assembly to select a leader, and that he wouldn’t weigh in, even to take a stand against a man who protected rapists. This from the man who once said, "I am the Government." One more problem with that excuse: the New York Post reported that Cuomo apparently was considering ousting Silver at one point.
In the end, Cuomo refused to take on the Assembly Speaker. Cuomo wanted to avoid a tough political fight, even if that meant allowing a man who knowingly protected serial sex abusers to remain one of the most powerful figures in state government.
So the next time someone tells you there’s a "War on Women" going on, tell them they’re right: it’s being waged by Sheldon Silver and Assembly Democrats, and Andrew Cuomo is on the wrong side.
|November 1, 2014|
|Last month, the NYGOP released "Andrew Cuomo’s Bottom 10" to coincide with the Governor’s appearance on David Letterman. We’ll be recapping one of those items every day for the final ten days before Election Day. Today, here’s:|
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