Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of June 16, 2016

Deborah Glick.

Swats Schwartz: We unfortunately got Deborah Glick’s response after our deadline for our recent Scoopy’s item about Arthur Schwartz reacting to being tripled-teamed at Stonewall Democrats’ endorsement vote for the 66th Assembly District primary by a trio of club members challenging him to support variations on no outside income for legislators. To recap, District Leader Schwartz told us it wasn’t fair, since he has four kids and an elderly mother, to ask him to forgo his legal practice. He additionally charged that the Stonewall questioners grilling him were “plants,” as in supporters of Assemblymember Glick. Schwartz continued that most politicians who have been caught in corruption scandals have simply been, well, corrupt — and that it didn’t involve their outside jobs. However, in the case of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — which is why this is a big issue in this year’s races — it was precisely Silver’s shady use of his outside law practice that allowed him to scam $5 million for himself in two schemes over the years, according to prosecutors. At any rate, here is Glick’s response to Schwartz’s lengthy defense in Scoopy’s: “I wasn’t surprised to see my opponent defend maintaining outside income for legislators,” she said. “The threshold issue is that the job requires an incredible amount of time, and constituents deserve a full-time legislator. Like the majority of my colleagues who have no outside income, it’s hard for us to understand how anyone can manage to do two jobs. The second issue ignored by my opponent, is the inherent conflict of interests that develop based on making laws that affect either your clients or your own business. Finally, he dismisses the fact that so many of those who ran afoul of ethics laws were attorneys. The underlying issue was that they used their positions to attract clients and their business because they were legislators. My opponent goes to great pains to catalogue all the reasons he needs the money,” Glick continued. “Although we haven’t had a raise in 18 years, it seems irrelevant for someone who just sold his townhouse for more than $20 million, and purchased a new home for less than $10 million. Even with paying taxes on that substantial gain, it would seem that my opponent’s ability to invest $9 million would generate sufficient income that he could comfortably manage his family obligations and forgo his outside income for the limited years he professes he would serve. As for his paranoia that I have to ‘plant’ questions,” Glick added, “it is insulting to people who paid attention to the candidates forum that was held earlier last month where these issues were discussed. I am proud of my record and categorically reject his impugning of my integrity.” Ouch! Could Schwartz possibly have a comeback to Glick’s stinging rebuttal? No doubt, yes, as this race between longtime rivals may well make Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump look like a Tupperware party. According to a pro-Glick source, it’s likely Schwartz will get the endorsement of The New York Times and Daily News since the papers will charge that Glick was “too loyal” to Silver.

Yuh-Line Niou.

Niou’s view: Meanwhile, Yuh-Line Niou, who is running in the September Democratic primary on the other side of town in the East Side’s 65th Assembly District, said she also supports a cap on outside income for legislators. “But they have to make that possible,” she said, echoing a position previously pitched by Glick — namely, that legislators need a raise. Niou is soldiering on valiantly with her campaign, though her knee injury from an Uber car accident earlier this year is clearly paining her. “They had to cut me out of the car,” she said. She’s waiting until after the primary to get surgery on her knee. But she’s doesn’t seem to be slowing down any, and even penned a talking point in this week’s issue on payday loans.