Assembly GOP Leader Explains Why He Won't Call for Speaker's Resignation

Aug 1, 2013

The Assembly Republican leader says the on going sexual harassment scandals among Democrats in the State Assembly will be a campaign issue in 2014, but he stops short of calling for the Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s resignation.

Numerous Republicans have called for the resignation of Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, over on going sexual harassment scandals in the Assembly. Assembly GOP Leader Brian Kolb has been criticized by some for not echoing that demand, but he says that doesn’t mean he’s not upset by the on going negative news out of the Assembly. Kolb says it’s really up to the 100 or so Assembly Democrats who have the power to vote the Speaker out of office.

“The ultimate goal is saying ‘whose scandal is this?’, it’s not ours,” Kolb said.  “So let’s look and hold the people accountable for whose scandal it is.”

Kolb says those who want “red meat” won’t be satisfied with his stance, but he says as someone representing the entire state, he feels he needs to take a different tone, and try to get Democrats, including the head of the state’s Democratic Party, governor Andrew Cuomo, to take some responsibility.

“Let’s keep the flash light on them, rather than looking for political points in the newspaper on what I may or may not say about this ,”  Kolb said.

The Assembly Minority Leader says he does plan to make the sexual harassment scandals involving former Assemblyman Vito Lopez and others a campaign issue in the 2014 elections. Republicans are outnumbered two to one by the Democrats in the Assembly, and they hope to gain some ground.