Mrs. Galef’s stance on the recent ethics affair involving Speaker Silver proves she’s just another Albany insider
October 8, 2012 — During their first debate last week, hosted by the Journal News/LoHud.com Editorial Board, 33-year career politician Sandy Galef avoided direct answers on topics ranging from the environment to property taxes. But a topic Mrs. Galef defiantly avoided was the recent ethics case involving her own party leader, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Kim Izzarelli, Galef’s competitive challenger, has publicly criticized Mrs. Galef for not standing up to her party leadership in pushing for the resignation of Mr. Silver. The speaker is at the center of an intense ethics investigation for his financial cover-up of a sexual harassment suit.
Stating that Albany was on the “right track,” Mrs. Galef, the 20-year incumbent, refused to directly address the ongoing investigation of her political ally. After attempting to sidestep the topic, Mrs. Galef was directly asked again about her position by the Editorial Board moderator.
In response, Mrs. Galef stated she did call for Mr. Silver’s resignation before beginning to explain why she would not do so.
Mrs. Galef went a step further during her defense of the Assembly Speaker by stating that it was politically inconvenient to publicly criticize the speaker. “Did Sheldon Silver do anything wrong?” asked Mrs. Galef during the debate. “I’m really on the side of the two women, they may have wanted confidentiality…” The Editorial Board moderator interrupted her statements, saying “We haven’t heard that, we’ve actually heard just the opposite.
When the two candidates debated for the second time at a forum hosted by the Westchester Examiner and PCTV, Mrs. Galef continued her defense claiming, “The Speaker has reformed Albany,” which is why she would not call for his resignation.
“If you cannot stand up to the men who commit these acts against women then you are nothing but a wallflower,” stated Izzarelli. “After two decades in Albany our Assemblywoman is just one of the boys.”
Izzarelli and Galef will debate twice more before the November 6 election. The next forum will be at Haldane High School at 7:00 on October 22. The final debate will be sponsored by the Ossining Chamber of Commerce on October 29.
In September, Westchester Rising profiled the campaign for the 95th Assembly district as one of the competitive races to watch in 2012. Izzarelli, a single mother of two, spent fifteen years in the private financial sector, most recently as an internal auditor.