Dan Janison Melville. N.Y. Tuesday January 26, 2010. Daniel Janison,

Dan Janison has been a columnist at Newsday since 2007.

Nine weeks into his second term, Democratic state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman shows up almost constantly in the New York news stream.

Early in last year's election campaign, his Republican challenger, John Cahill, tried to gain an edge from polls that suggested Schneiderman remained largely unknown around New York.

These days the media exposure seems to come at a Schneider-manic pace for the 60-year-old former state senator from Manhattan.

Just Thursday he announced a judgment against a Harlem pizzeria owner who allegedly underpaid delivery workers at five outlets. His office hours earlier touted a settlement with a health-insurance company over denials of claims for addiction recovery services.

Also this week, he signed on to monitor Hempstead schools' enrollments after advocates and parents said officials delayed the attendance of immigrant children or turned them away. And last week, Schneiderman publicly resumed a crackdown on deceptive sales of store-brand supplements, contacting manufacturers, one in Ronkonkoma, for details on ingredients and quality control.

Whatever the merits, those are a few of the headlines recently generated. For a while during his first term, the question lingered as to how Schneiderman might sculpt the post after his predecessor Andrew M. Cuomo became the second attorney general in a row to ascend to governor.

As a theme, Schneiderman chose the mantra "one set of rules for everyone," which sounds like a variation on the popular reduce-inequality message widely offered by politicians who identify as progressives.

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Schneiderman said this applies to all the separate sections of the office. "We're taking on tough fights to ensure everyone gets a fair shot," he maintained.

In some cases, he said in a brief interview last week, the state office takes up slack left by the federal government. He cited the millions of dollars of state "inVEST" grants to police agencies to obtain bulletproof vests no longer provided by the United States -- which, just by the way, won him kudos from such organizations as law-enforcement unions in last year's election.

Both of New York's second-level statewide elected officials -- Schneiderman and Democratic Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli -- served in the State Legislature.

But their tenures differed. DiNapoli belonged to an empowered Democratic majority in the Assembly. Schneiderman, for most of his time in the Senate between 1999 and 2010, served in a conference dominated by the Republicans under ex-Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, where he honed the role of agitator and dissident.

Nowadays, as a player in the executive branch, some of the probes in which Schneiderman is involved come in coalition with other officials -- for example, DiNapoli and federal officials in the pending corruption case against Assemb. William Scarborough (D-Jamaica).

Launching his challenge for attorney general last May, Republican nominee Cahill tried to slap his foe with the nickname "Silent Schneiderman," purportedly for staying low-key on some hot Albany controversies such as the Moreland Commission and Assembly sex-harassment cases.

Regardless of how critics will fault his performance, "silent" doesn't generally describe Schneiderman, at least not of late.