When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last week his plan to ban sugary drinks sold in big-boy cups (his latest attempt to protect you from yourself) the New York Post ran an article with the headline “Assembly Speaker Silver Eyes ‘Thirst Amendment’ To Nix Bloomberg’s Soda Ban.”
The article outlines Silver’s plan to introduce legislation that would block Bloomberg from implementing the aforementioned ban.
However, if you ask Silver about the story, that’s far from the case and he has no intention of pursuing legislation to block Bloomberg’s proposed ban. He says “Fred [Dicker] set me up.”
Albany Times Union scribe Jimmy Vielkind caught a casual exchange between Silver and Governor Andrew Cuomo about the Post article. It went as follows:
Silver: “Fred set me up on that original one.”
Cuomo: “You know what, I saw that.”
Silver: “That’s why I put out a statement.”
Silver: “He asked could we do legislation?…And I said, ‘I guess we could’…[the Post reporter] even said, ‘my editor went a step further.'”
Dicker didn’t write the article, but, as the Post’s state capitol bureau chief, he’s presumably the “editor” who “went a step further” — Silver seems to think so, anyway.
Dicker, it seems, cooked up a story where there wasn’t one to create a little drama between two elected officials. As Silver says, the Post’s BS story forced his office to issue a press release to set the record straight.
While the Speaker has reservations about Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to ban over-sized sugary drinks, he does not envision legislation to stop this proposal prior to end of session nor is it a priority. The Speaker’s focus continues to be on increasing New York’s minimum wage and helping people climb the ladder of economic opportunity.
We sent Dicker the following email:
fred, any comment on the story you cooked up about shelly silver and the “thirst amendment?”
We haven’t heard back.