We take exception to your Tuesday Dec. 1, 2015, editorial titled, “Sheldon Silver’s Accomplices,” regarding the conviction of Sheldon Silver on seven counts of corruption charges. In your editorial, you stated, “There is sadness in that the letters of the law prohibit naming virtually the entire Assembly Democratic Caucus as co-conspirators in Silver’s corruption.” You further stated, “Yes, indeed, Silver had done business the New York way. Yes indeed, he had exploited a system he created, a system blessed and defended ... by every other pliant member of the Assembly. They enabled him. They aided and abetted him. And, they, too, are guilty.” What you failed to say is, “except the Barrons!”
Former Assembly Member and present New York City Council Member Inez Barron in 2013 voted against Silver being re-elected speaker and she voted against the budgets of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Assembly and the Senate, because they continued to neglect the neediest people of New York.
Inez Barron also wrote a scathing letter attacking Silver for his secret protection of sexually abusive Assembly Member Vito Lopez and called for both men to be removed from their positions. We know you that you are aware of this fact, because in the May 29, 2013, issue of your newspaper, an article appeared titled, “State Assemblywoman Inez Baron Calls for Speaker Sheldon Silver to Step Down,” by Glenn Bain and Kenneth Lovett.
This year, in 2015, newly elected Assembly Member Charles Barron was the only member of the New York State Democratic Caucus to vote against Silver being re-elected speaker. When Silver was charged and arrested, Assembly Member Barron was the first and lone Assembly member to call for him to step down as speaker immediately after his arrest, stating that he was a “distraction and a disgrace.” We know that you are aware of this fact, because in one of your 2015 editorials titled, “Sheldon Silver’s Corruption Caucus,” you mentioned that Assembly Member Barron was the only one to take a stance against Silver. Assembly Member Barron also voted against several budget proposals in 2015 that would be neglectful and harmful to economically and racially oppressed communities in New York State.
Perhaps you didn’t mention us because we are outspoken, independent, unbought and unbossed elected officials who are unapologetically standard bearers of Black radical politics. Regardless, we shall continue to speak truth to power. Forward ever!