Cuomo: Lawmakers must be followed home

By Curtis Ribloflavin

Published February 16th, 2015

Gov. Cuomo wants to state lawmakers to wear these
on their heads.

In wake of the stunning arrest of powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on federal corruption charges, Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants all lawmakers to wear a GPS-tracking device so they can be tracked everywhere they go— even the bathroom.

“This is the only way to ensure transparency and restore trust,” Cuomo told The Albany Smudge. “These elected lawmakers are getting my goat. We must know where every one of these nincompoops are at all times."

The bill, known informally as “Shelly’s Law,” would require every member of the state Senate and Assembly to wear a GPS-tracking device on a headband. It would also create a new state police unit, from which two troopers will be assigned to every lawmaker in the state Legislature.

"The message is clear,” said Cuomo. “Big Brother isn't just watching you, he's attached to your head."

The proposed measure won quick support from Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who said he was thrilled the governor remembered Skelos has a job at the Capitol.

“Nobody can say I don’t matter anymore,” said Skelos in his patented Long Island accent. “I have real followers. That’s neat.”

The bill, however, drew outrage from civil libertarians who called the measure “Draconian” and “nuts.”

The embattled Silver agreed to speak to the Smudge in lower Manhattan, where he wore a fake nose and glasses.

“I cannot say the bill is something that we in the Assembly will look to enact at this point in time,” Silver said while waiting outside a bail bondsman's office. “By the way, do you know if they still send federal convicts to those ‘country club’-type joints?”

Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, is charged with using his power to wrongly collect $4 million in “legal fees” from a law firm that represents asbestos victims and another firm that helps real estate developers lower property taxes.

“This isn’t a sexy case,” Silver told the Smudge. “Have you heard about the New England Patriots deflating footballs? That’s your story.”