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GOP assails Democrats over Assembly scandal

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The state’s Republican Party is turning a familiar Democratic Party accusation back against the Assembly Democrats, who are involved in a sexual harassment scandal.  

New York’s GOP Chair Ed Cox says it’s the Assembly Democrats who are engaging in a “war on women”, after  Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez was censured for sexual harassment, and it was revealed that the Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had authorized a previous secret settlement against two other alleged Lopez victims.

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, a minority party Republican says steps need to be taken so a similar  payout never happens again.

“If there is no law, we should pass a law so that there can be no more secret agreements like this,” said Tedisco.

Tedisco is not calling for the speaker to resign though  GOP chair Ed Cox  is saying Silver should step down.   

The Assemblyman says he’d rather wait to see a report from the state’s ethics commission, which is said to be investigating.

A spokesman for Silver says the Speaker and Assembly Democrats have a track record defending women's rights, and the GOP is “using an issue for political gain” without  “having all the facts”.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.