More hypocrisy from New York leaders
It was a return to the culture that has plagued much of the New York state capital for so long: Do as we say, not what we do.
Dangerously, these officials often believe they are above the law. We’ve seen the stunning downfall of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who unlawfully patronized escort services. We’ve seen instances of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s close aides being found guilty of bribery and fraud. We’ve seen Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos brought down for bribery schemes, only to be let off the hook on appeal. Thankfully, Silver was found guilty a second time Friday, and Skelos faces a retrial as well.
Last week, we got the resignation of Eric Schneiderman, state attorney general. His flaw: Four women accused the state’s top cop of physically assaulting them.
Ironically, Schneiderman made some of his greatest headlines in fighting against sexual abuse and harassment. Some of his previous quotes, courtesy of the Associated Press, include these:
¯ “Protecting New Yorkers from domestic violence — and the housing and job discrimination that victims often face in the wake of such abuse, is a key part to stopping the cycle of violence in our state and our nation,” he said in a statement on a domestic violence brochure in October 2015.
¯ “We have never seen anything as despicable as what we’ve seen right here. … They knew what was happening. It was flagrant, it was flamboyant,” he said after his office sued the Weinstein Co., accusing it of being complicit in Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. “They knew how pervasive it was and not only did they fail to stop it, they enabled it and covered it up.”
Great sound bites, but the latest accusations are unsettling and disappointing. Today, those lines appear to be something we have become accustomed to from too many of our elected officials: just lip service.