Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Letitia James lines up enough votes to be named interim AG

This comes from the New York Post.

  Public Advocate Letitia James has lined up enough votes in the state Assembly — including its powerful leader, Speaker Carl Heastie — to be named as interim Attorney General, sources said Wednesday.

The sources said Assembly Democrats led by Heastie are brokering a deal that would give James the post — vacated Monday by Eric Schneiderman amid allegations he choked and hit women — in a deal with Bronx Democrats.
In return for their support, she will back Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in a special election for her public advocate post, which would also be a springboard to run for mayor in 2021.
“It would be foolish of him not to take it,” said Bronx Assemblyman Jose Rivera of Diaz.
James put out a statement Wednesday morning making clear her intention to replace Schneiderman.
“Two days after allegations against the former Attorney General surfaced, we are all still coming to terms with his alleged shocking and grotesque behavior,” she wrote. “In line with its constitutional duties, the state legislature is carrying on a process to elect a temporary replacement. I am honored by the encouragement and support I have revived and am considering the best ways to continue serving New York.
“I remain moved by the tremendous courage and bravery that the survivors who came forward demonstrated, and am reminded that women’s voices are needed more than ever at the highest levels of government and in every corner of society.”
Other sources said the back-room deal raises ethical concerns. “Trading political favors” for elected office could be setting up James up for a fall, said one insider.
The last thing Democrats need is another controversy involving the Attorney General following the spectacular fall of Schneiderman, who resigned just hours after the New Yorker published charges by four women that he had hit them.
If she gets the appointment, James would likely face a number of challengers in September’s Democratic primary.
Zephyr Teachout, a well-known progressive working on Cynthia Nixon’s gubernatorial campaign, has already expressed interest. So has state Sen. Mike Gianaris of Queens.
Republicans are hopeful too that they can finally regain a statewide seat that has no incumbent.
Republican Manny Alicandro, a former Wall Street lawyer, announced on Monday he would run for the seat.
With Schneiderman gone, state Sen. John DeFrancisco, who recently withdrew from the gubernatorial race, is among those being named as another possible GOP challenger.
Sen. Majority Leader John Flanagan said Tuesday that the Syracuse state senator could do the job “with his eyes closed.”
Sources previously told The Post James wasted no time hitting the phones to drum up support for herself after Schneiderman resigned Monday night following allegations that he abused women.

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