At the News12 Island Vote 2012 Debate held last week, my opponent, entrenched Democratic Assemblyman Steve Englebright, demonstrated once again that he is too cozy with New York City Dems, and too out of touch with voters to effectively represent the 4th District.
During the debate, both debate moderator Jill Wagner and I questioned him as to why he did not speak out on the Vito Lopez sexual misconduct scandal, and subsequent six-figure taxpayer funded payoff of the victims orchestrated by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in a timely fashion, or call for the resignation of Silver. In reply, my opponent curiously claimed,“I didn’t know about the settlement until I read it in the paper at the same time that everyone else did...The idea that I should be held accountable is a little over the top.”
This shocking admission that Englebright, the Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee, an entity charged with enforcing ethics and transparency in government, as well as the creator of JCOPE, a body created to clean up corruption in government, did not know about the scandal until it was public knowledge in the newspapers begs the question: Is Steve Englebright fit to serve the people of the 4th District?
Weeks ago, I demanded right here on my Patch blog that Englebright step down from his position as Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee for his deafening silence on the Lopez/Silver scandal, and am today reiterating this demand.
I find it reprehensible that a Senior Member of the New York State Assembly, Chair of the Committee on Government Operations and the creator of JCOPE justifies his silence on the sex scandal and secret payoff by claiming he 'didn’t know about it.'
This can only mean one of two things: either he is no longer competent to discharge this important public responsibility, or he’s just in bed with his City Dem cronies who he votes with 97.21 percent of the time and as a result, is unable to impartially monitor their conduct as he is required.
Englebright went on during the debate to defend JCOPE, stating, “it’s doing its job.” Meanwhile, JCOPE secretly voted not to investigate Silver and Govenor Cuomo has urged the State Inspector General to investigate JCOPE.
My opponent has done a great job of ignoring the facts to protect his friends. Governor Cuomo himself has put pressure on JCOPE for their refusal to investigate Silver, and Staten Island D.A. Dan Donovan, who is handling the allegations against Lopez, was authorized by State Judge Fern Fisher to investigate the allegations against Silver as well. And this is what my opponent cites as an example of a government body doing its job?
The only way to stop the dysfunction in Albany is to stop career politicians like my opponent from being reelected. We need new leaders with new ideas, so that we can bring fiscal sanity back to our state. You can help me accomplish this by visiting my website and becoming a McKee4Assembly volunteer, or making a donation. With your support, we can bring a better future to the people of the 4th Assembly District.