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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Levy says lawmakers' 'threat' must be illegal, urges probe

Rebutting his detractors' denial of threatening official action against anyone who supports Steve Levy's candidacy  for governor, Levy quotes the following section of their advisory announcing the Wednesday morning press conference:

"Hispanic lawmakers will announce that any supporters of Steve Levy will be considered persona non grata on issues by state-level lawmakers."

That's where he bases a tie to "issues" and official action. "This is possibly indictable stuff, that these guys are pulling here," Levy said by phone after attending the annual address of the current governor, David Paterson.

"In 23 years I've never seen such a blatant abuse of power in violation of the public officers' law. You can't threaten anyone for supporting (a candidate)...It's illegal, it's unethical, and they should be censured.  It's an example of what a cesspool of corruption Albany is. Ramos and Rivera are giving credence to the way Albany is seen -- as the worst corrupt and dysfunctional form of government in the United States..."

He said he'll complain to the state's public integrity commission and suggested that district attorneys give it a look too. The underlying idea, he contends, is that funding for organizations, or votes on an advocate's issues wouldn't be decided on the merits but whether they support Levy.

Levy said the lawmakers involved are "out of step" with the electorate, citing in part Ramos'  position during the dispute over drivers' licenses for illegal aliens. He said members of the Latino caucus' prodded U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand early on to "change your positions on illegal immigration or we will continue to call you a bigot."

He said when asked he did not know if the tactic worked with Gillibrand but "If they think they're intimidating me to change my positions, they don't know me very well."

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