On To Charlotte
A quick note for our readers: Today is a travel day for the CapTon team so posting may be a bit light, depending on the kindness of the airport’s WiFi. We’ll being doing the show from Albany this evening and then it’s off to North Carolina for the Democratic National Convention.
Here’s some table setting I wrote earlier on the DNC from the Morning Memo:
The Republican National Convention wrapped up last night here in Tampa, with Mitt Romney accepting the nomination for the presidency, along with a very well-received address from Sen. Marco Rubio.
Oh, and Clint Eastwood said a few things that decidedly received mixed reviews.
Now the attention of the political world will turn to Charlotte, NC for the Democratic response to a GOP convention that excoriated President Obama for being hostile to business and unable to turn the economy around.
On paper, it should be a triumphant time for New York Democrats.
After all, they have control of all statewide offices, including both U.S. Senate seats, the attorney general’s office and the comptroller. The Democratic governor is perhaps one of the most popular state chief executive in the country. The party appears to stand a good shot at reclaiming several House seats lost two years ago and could even retake the state Senate if things break their way this fall.
And yet, things aren’t as good as they seem. Not at all.
The delegation’s leader is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is on the defensive over the growing scandal surrounding Assemblyman Vito Lopez, a Brooklyn Democrat who is accused of sexually harassing legislative staffers. While Silver has stripped Lopez of his powerful Housing Committee chairmanship and censured him, he faces questions over the secret $103,000 settlement to one of the women.
While Silver says he regrets keeping the payment a secret, he stood by the decision to settle the case.
There are calls for the entire matter to be taken up by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which is meeting on Tuesday in an unspecified special session that will not be webcast.
Silver says he would support an investigation, presumably because it might show that both the offices of Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman signed off on the deal.
Still, Silver will be facing questions from the press in Charlotte over the scandal, an unwelcome distraction.
The same will likely go for DiNapoli and Schneiderman, who have formed a partnership in stamping out public corruption and fraud, but seem to be continuously bigfooted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The governor, by the way, will be attending the convention for one day, Thursday, the day Obama gives his re-nomination acceptance speech.
He’s trying to keep as low a profile as possible, a stark contrast to his father’s first convention as governor in 1984. It all seems designed to temper speculation that he’s positioning himself for a White House run in 2016 (and really, why would he have to raise his profile any more than it’s current status?)
The Democrat to watch next week, it turns out, is U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand who is appearing at the Iowa(!) delegation breakfast as well as making an appearance on The Daily Show.
Gillibrand is nothing if not ambitious and she’s an aggressive fundraiser. Only minutes after Romney wrapped up his acceptance speech around 11 p.m. last night, inboxes were flooded with Gillibrand’s fundraising appeals. Here’s an example:
“It was no surprise to hear Mitt Romney making false attacks against President Obama and telling his base everything it wanted to hear. It is clear his vision for America means denying women access to basic medical care, telling people who they can and can’t marry, and putting big oil profits and wasteful subsidies for corporations that ship our jobs overseas ahead of middle-class families.”
It would not be surprising if we’ve been watching and speculating about the wrong New York Democrat this entire time.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on August 31, 2012 at 10:16 am, and is filed under 2012 DNC. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|