In honor of the fact that liberal activist and now professional serial liar Sandra Fluke gave a speech at the DNC, the Fark description of the story below is beyond priceless:
Gee, I wonder if uberliberal feminist activist Sandra Fluke (“feminist” these days being defined as dependent women whining for some man to pay for her birth control because she’s too damn dependent to pay for her own) will talk about THIS while she’s whining about Republicans “warring on women”:
August 30, 2012
Assembly Democrats Support Speaker Over Settlement
By DANNY HAKIM
ALBANY — Assembly Democrats rallied around Speaker Sheldon Silveron Thursday, as he faced an inquiry into his handling of sexual harassment allegations made against a prominent lawmaker and continued attacks from a lawyer who represented some of the women.
In Brooklyn political circles, lawmakers were discussing how to force Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, the central figure in the sex scandal, to relinquish his seat.
He has already said he will give up his role as the borough’s Democratic Party leader. But even a longtime ally thought likely to succeed Mr. Lopez as chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, Frank R. Seddio, said it was time for Mr. Lopez to resign after new descriptions of sexual language and harassment in his office.
In one indication of his precarious position, Mr. Lopez has not been calling around to other Assembly members to gauge his level of support — something he would surely do if he were maneuvering to stay, said one member who is close to him.
For Mr. Silver, the fallout from the scandal continues. For 18 years, he has led the State Assembly, and presided as the Legislature’s most powerful Democrat. But he now faces an investigation by the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which is controlled by appointees and allies of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a fellow Democrat with whom he has had an uneasy relationship. Last year, state lawmakers approved the governor’s plan to expand the jurisdiction of the ethics commission to encompass the Legislature; the investigation of Mr. Silver’s office represents a largely unprecedented incursion by the executive branch into his chamber.
More immediately, Mr. Silver continued to be attacked on Thursday by Gloria Allred, the Los Angeles lawyer who was part of a team that represented two women who brought claims against Mr. Lopez. In a lengthy statement, she said, “It appears that the Assembly speaker, in an effort to divert attention from the Assembly’s conduct, is attempting to blame the women who brought claims against Mr. Lopez and then agreed to a settlement.”
New documents released Thursday night by the state attorney general’s office revealed that Ms. Allred and her co-counsels initially sought $1.2 million for the two women they represented, later offered to accept $600,000, but eventually settled for $135,000 and an unspecified amount of back pay and benefits. According to a draft agreement, one of the women was to receive a cash payment of $60,786 and the other woman $20,262. The two law firms involved were to equally split $54,032.
Mr. Silver’s spokesman, Michael Whyland, said in response to Ms. Allred’s statement on Thursday, “At all times, the Assembly has acted to protect the privacy of the victims and has deferred to their preferences in this matter.”
The scandal erupted last Friday, when the Assembly’s bipartisan ethics committee substantiated claims that Mr. Lopez had harassed two women. Mr. Silver censured Mr. Lopez, 71, one of the city’s last powerful political bosses, taking away his committee chairmanship and barring him from employing interns or anyone under the age of 21. A letter signed by Mr. Silver described “pervasive unwelcome verbal conduct” and said that Mr. Lopez had verbally harassed, groped and kissed two of his staff members without their consent.
Over the next few days, The New York Times reported that Mr. Silver and Mr. Lopez authorized a secret payment of $135,000 in June, mostly with state money, to settle prior allegations against Mr. Lopez from two other women — allegations that were never referred to the ethics committee. Mr. Silver has said that that was a mistake that would not happen again.
Assembly Democrats defended the speaker — saying he had been put in a very difficult situation by Mr. Lopez — and praised him for accepting blame.
“I am a total supporter of the speaker as a leader,” said Shelley Mayer, a Yonkers Democrat who served as the counsel for the New York State Senate before winning a special election to the Assembly this year. “As someone who lived through some very difficult times in the Senate, I know how difficult leadership can be. I think he has exhibited great leadership.”
Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle, the chairman of the Democratic Party in Monroe County, said, “People in our conference not only have great affection for Shelly, there’s a lot of respect for his skills as a leader, as a speaker, and as an attorney.”
Mr. Morelle, who is close to Mr. Cuomo, has been seen as a potential successor to Mr. Silver, but laughed off the suggestion on Thursday, adding, “He remains strongly supported.”
The ethics commission has begun a preliminary review, though a vote of the full commission, including Mr. Silver’s appointees, will be required before a formal investigation can proceed.
A formal complaint filed by Common Cause New York and the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women asked the commission to examine potential violations of two sections of the state’s Public Officers Law.
One section relates to using one’s “official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions,” while the other says an official should behave in ways “which will not raise suspicion among the public that he is likely to be engaged in acts that are in violation of his trust.”
Another group, Citizens Union, is also expected to file a formal complaint.
“One would hope that it would be without any political agenda, that it would simply look at whether there is a better way to address things,” said Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick, a Manhattan Democrat, who also expressed strong support for Mr. Silver while calling the handling of the settlement “a mistake.”
David Grandeau, the state’s former top lobbying regulator and a critic of the fledgling commission, said, “You passed this legislation a year ago because you wanted to get the public ‘atta boys’ for doing ethics reform,” adding, “Of course there was going to come the day when the governor’s handpicked investigators were going to be investigating members of the Legislature. That day is here.”
In Brooklyn, much of the talk focused on whether Mr. Lopez would be forced to leave the Assembly.
A few days ago, people who either talked to him directly, or were briefed by people who did, said that he fiercely maintained that the accusations were untrue, and that he would remain in office. But after several former Lopez female staff members were quoted in The Times on Thursday describing a hostile work environment and episodes of harassment, several Brooklyn Democrats said that Mr. Lopez’s days in office were numbered.
One Assembly member, speaking on condition of anonymity, doubted that Mr. Lopez would ever return to Albany as an elected official. The Assembly member, who has spoken to Mr. Lopez in the last week, said one telltale sign that Mr. Lopez felt embattled was that “he hasn’t called around to members.” A second Assembly member said he and another member had even raised the possibility of initiating formal proceedings to remove Mr. Lopez, but that is not yet being broadly discussed.
Mr. Lopez seems to have shut out even his closest allies.
Mr. Seddio, who sat with Mr. Lopez Monday night urging him to relinquish his party chairmanship, said he was going to tell Mr. Lopez on Thursday afternoon he needed to resign his position in the Assembly as well. Mr. Seddio said he placed a call to Mr. Lopez on Thursday morning after he read the accounts in The Times and The New York Post. Mr. Lopez has not returned his calls.
“If what you guys reported is true, it’s atrocious and unspeakable,” Mr. Seddio said. He acknowledged that Mr. Lopez considered him part of his inner circle. But he was not sure whether Mr. Lopez would listen to him.
“I don’t know what leverage he has,” he added. “Even if stays as an assemblyman — once you are tarred with this brush, it damages your credibility with people.”
David W. Chen and Liz Robbins contributed reporting from New York.
Democrats fight the war on women with hush money to hide Democrats’ war on women.
The REAL war on women is being waged by liberals. That is simply a damn fact. And it would be really nice if the Democrat Party would finally stop condescending to women and treat the female of the species like a creature capable of attributes like reason and independence from the government dole.