If Frank Seddio of the Brooklyn machine, Joe Crowley of the Queens machine, Keith Wright of Manhattan’s barely-a-machine and Carl Heastie of the Bronx machine succeed in installing Heastie as speaker without so much as a public look-see, New Yorkers may one day look back on Silver’s reign as a golden age of good government.
The four overlords are driving Democratic Assembly members from each of their boroughs into voting for Heastie, never mind that, in deposing Silver, everyone in Albany swore that the Corruption Caucus was dead.
[Carl Heastie] happens to be a featured name in the files of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, for having failed to properly account for $25,000 in campaign spending.
He also claimed almost $21,000 from the Assembly’s notoriously lax travel expense account during just the first six months of 2014 — more than any other member — while otherwise keeping a low profile in Albany.
As for the progressive paragon’s Assembly record, Heastie sponsored a 2013 bill that would have allowed check-cashing outlets to make loans to low-income New Yorkers at interest rates up to 200%. The check cashers had dumped $10,000 into his party accounts.
One of Heastie’s rivals for the speakership, Rochester-area Assemblyman Joe Morelle, raised an alarm about the “rush to judgment” while meeting with this board Thursday. Give him credit for taking a grilling, including on his loyalist first response to Silver’s arrest: “We have every confidence that the speaker is going to fill his role with distinction.”