In January of this year, Sheldon Silver was again elected Assembly speaker and boasted to the press that there was no opposition in the Democratic conference. We therefore can only assume that Addie Russell supported him, in full knowledge of the unfolding Lopez debacle of using taxpayer money to pay for silence from his targets to cover up the scandal. Mr. Silver maintains that it was all legal, and from most reports it was.
That it was legal does not make it right. In fact, it has become the moniker for endemic corruption in Albany. Ms. Russell obviously has lost her moral compass and certainly has no moral backbone. Can she really believe that her support of Speaker Silver is worth the perquisites that he hands out like dog food to willing puppies who follow him? We look for leaders, not cowards. I would advise Ms. Russell that at any time, almost everything can be taken from you. We have no control over the vicissitudes of life, except one: our integrity. It is the one thing that we control throughout our life. She has thrown hers away.
Likewise, her staff is impugned by association. Are their jobs that important to also sacrifice their integrity? Her staff should take a lesson from history. During the Watergate crisis, there was one shining moment of integrity exhibited by Elliot Richardson, then attorney general, and his deputy, William Ruckelshaus.
As Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor, came closer to the truth that our president, Richard Nixon, was indeed a crook, the president ordered first Richardson and then Ruckelshaus to fire Mr. Cox. Rather than become accomplices to a crook, they resigned. It was left to Solicitor General Robert Bork to pull the trigger and dismiss Mr. Cox and complete the Saturday night massacre. Mr. Bork paid a high price for his collusion, and was later rejected by the Senate as a Supreme Court justice. Ms. Russells staff, too, should have resigned in January.
She has forfeited our trust. If you associate with crooks, you are a crook by association. As voters, we should reject her collusion with corruption and reject her at the polls when she seeks any elective office.