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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, facing fierce Republican criticism, has dismissed rumors of his imminent resignation as "total fiction." The Associated Press Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, facing fierce Republican criticism, has dismissed rumors of his imminent resignation as "total fiction."Related Stories   Sheldon Silver should repay state for Vito Lopez harassment settlement: suit   Damning email omitted from Vito Lopez sexual harassment report suggests Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had inappropriate relationship with top aide   Speaker Silver withstands ‘a lot of?venting’ by women Assembly members   EXCLUSIVE: Former legislative staffer received threatening letters from Sheldon Silver's pals ALBANY ― Embattled Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been handed a much-needed lifeline from black and Hispanic members of his Democratic conference.A letter signed by 29 of 34 members of the powerful black, Hispanic and Puerto Rican caucus praised Silver for fighting for issues important to minority communities ― such as a minimum wage hike, the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of pot and the creation of a state “Dream Act” to allow college tuition assistance for the children of undocumented immigrants.The letter does not mention Silver’s admitted mishandling of the sexual harassment scandal involving former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. It instead thanks him for his “support, courage, and leadership” and dubs him a “true champion for our communities.”RELATED: SILVER SHOULD REPAY LOPEZ SETTLEMENT: SUITFor Silver, strong support from the caucus is a must if he is to survive the Lopez scandal.Susana Bates for New York Daily News Queens Assemblyman Francisco Moya, who circulated the letter, said, "Silver has really pushed and pushed the progressive agenda when the Senate hasn’t done anything and the governor’s been silent on some.” Assemblyman Francisco Moya, a Queens Democrat who circulated the letter, said it was important to look at Silver’s record in totality.“He’s really pushed and pushed the progressive agenda when the  Cheap Design Bags Senate hasn’t done anything and the governor’s been silent on some,” Moya said.RELATED: SILVER COULD BE TARGET OF BILL TERM-LIMITING LEADERSHIP POSTS Silver called speculation he might resign soon “total fiction.” Just two Democrats ― both marginal members who didn’t support Silver in the first place ― have publicly called on him to give up the speaker’s role he’s held since 1994.Republicans in the chamber plan to keep the pressure on.Nicholas Fevelo for New York Daily News Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-S.I.) is casting doubt on Silver's personal commitment to women's rights as the Assembly prepares to bring a bill on such issues to the floor.“It would be the height of hypocrisy to bring that piece of legislation to the floor when you have a real-life case of sexual harassment that he covered up with a confidentiality agreement,” she said. They say Silver’s role in signing off on  Cheap Womens Purses a secret $103,000  beige handbags settlement with two of Lopez’s accusers will dominate debate should the Assembly bring Gov. Cuomo’s women’s rights agenda to the floor before the scheduled end of the legislative session this week.RELATED: NYC GOV. ANDREW CUOMO IS GROWING SICK OF SHELDON SILVER: INSIDERS“It  womens leather handbags would be the height of hypocrisy to bring that piece of legislation to the floor when you have a real-life case of  leather goods online sexual harassment that he covered up with a confidentiality agreement,” said Assemblywoman  Michael Kors Retailers Nicole Malliotakis (R-S.I.).Silver spokesman Michael Whyland accused the Assembly Republicans of trying to use the Lopez situation to deflect from their own long-standing opposition to much of the women’s agenda.“The Assembly has been passing key parts of the women’s equality agenda since the touch-tone phone was invented,” Whyland said. “What was their excuse for voting against similar bills back then?”klovett@nydailynews.com
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