From the Daily News:
As surely as the sun rises in the east, Vito Lopez has been boasting that he will cruise to a landslide reelection in November — despite being revealed as a serial perpetrator of sexual harassment.
And just as surely as the sun sets in the west, Lopez will be proven right as the residents of his Brooklyn state Assembly district cast ballots for him, as they have for decades.
Lopez is impervious to scandal, just the way former state Sen. Pedro Espada managed to keep his political career alive despite a litany of ethical breaches. Espada’s game ended when he was convicted of federal criminal charges. Nothing of that order has hit Lopez. In his case, the problem is not what is illegal but rather what is legal.
Like Espada, Lopez is a master at drawing on taxpayer money to bolster his political career, including being Democratic boss of Brooklyn before he quit last month. He remains the power behind the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, a social services colossus that provides publicly-funded assistance in many forms to Lopez’s constituents, elderly and otherwise.
Until the sex harassment scandal, Lopez also served as chairman of the Assembly Housing Committee, a post in which he was able to bring residential units to the district — sparking the gratitude of the fortunate who got apartments.
He expected that gratitude to be repaid in votes, having long shown an insistence on loyalty combined with ruthlessness toward those who don’t return favors. Certainly, he is not shy about asking for thank-yous. His campaign account is overflowing with more than $1 million, even though voter registration in his district is 14-to-1 Democrats over Republicans.