Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 9, 2013

GLYNN: Many voters think Silver fails in job

Niagara Gazette — People interested in state government operations and their elected officials must have been shocked to read that among the findings in a New York Times poll was a concern parents raised about their children working someday in Albany. 

The poll found that 58 percent of the respondents made it clear they would not want their daughter employed as an intern in the State Legislature. That’s indeed a sad commentary about the place where lawmakers are entrusted to fulfill their important duties as public servants.

In the wake of recent scandals, another poll conducted by Quinnipiac University shows countless New Yorkers are outraged by allegations against disgraced lawmaker Vito J. Lopez, D-Brooklyn, who resigned in May to avoid expulsion from the Assembly. To compound matters, many voters also are disgusted with the way Assembly Speaker Sheldon L. Silver handled the sexual harrassment against Lopez. In fact, 51 percent said Silver should leave his office while 22 percent percent had no objection if Silver stayed on.

For the record, Silver’s not scoring many points anywhere in the Empire State. His approval rating is also the worst ever in the Quinnipiac Poll. At present, 52 percent of the voters responding said they disapprove the way he’s performing his job, up from 44 percent in April.

If Silver’s performance is that bad, why haven’t his colleagues on the Hill drawn some of the same conclusions. Or is it only because he controls so much power that they fear of losing choice committee assignments and a number of perks that fatten their paychecks? 

One veteran reporter in Albany thinks that the governor —who could easily force a change in the Assembly leadership — would not even consider asking Silver to step down. Such a dramatic move could result in a bloodbath, as the reporter said, since Silver has not made any provisions for a successor. That’s just the way the speaker likes it.

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