Kathleen Rice had an on-the-record conversation with Manhattan-based reporters today and brought up the incident from last month when Eric Schneiderman’s car hit the parked car of a NY1 editor and then he left without leaving a note.
She referred to a feeling people have that there are “two sets of rules.”
“We have seen things going on in this race that indicate, that justify the public having the feeling that there are a set of rules for people in Albany and a set of rules for people like you and me and that’s not right,” she said.
When asked to clarify what she was referring to, Rice responded:
Obviously the situation with Senator Schneiderman. I don’t think there is any question about it. I think most people just kind of roll their eyes and say, ‘Well of course, another Albany politician who thinks that the rules don’t apply to them.’ And the interesting thing about that instance, because I do believe the job of attorney general is about judgment and that’s a fair assessment for the public to make of someone running for this office. And the way people can tell what your judgment is about, what your character is about, is not by what you say or do in public, what do you do when people are watching, but how you act and how you behave when you don’t think people are watching… That is character. That is integrity. That is judgment. And I think in this instance people felt that because no one was watching, that that age-old adage of one set of rules for this group of people and one set of rules for everyone else was rearing its ugly head again. And that’s a problem. When you are in public life your behavior when people are watching or when people are not watching should be the same, because it’s about character.
Although the incident brought a lot of unwanted attention to Schneiderman at the time, it has mostly died down since.
For his part, five days after the incident Schneiderman said at a debate that it was “time to move on,” and he has since said repeatedly that few voters ask him about the incident on the campaign trail.