Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was re-elected Tuesday evening to the top post of the Democratic conference in the chamber.
Silver will be formally re-installed as speaker, a job he’s held since 1994, when the 2015 legislative session begins on Wednesday.
The closed-door vote of the Democratic conference was a relatively no-drama affair. The only no vote was newly elected Brooklyn Assemblyman Charles Barron.
Several rounds of applause could be heard outside of the room where Assembly Democrats were meeting.
Silver did not address the corruption investigation from the federal government stemming from payments he’s received from a law firm.
Silver and his Democratic conference may clash this year with Gov. Andrew Cuomo over his stated plans to reform the state’s education system and vest more power in policy making the governor’s office.
At the same time, some conference members are restive after Cuomo played hardball over a legislative pay raise that did not materialize.
The leaks to the NY Times that alleged Silver is under investigation by a federal prosecutor that occurred right before the start of the new legislative session were clearly meant to destabilize Silver - not only going into the new legislative session but also going into this vote.
Obviously that didn't work - Silver still has control of his conference.
If you're a teacher or a public education advocate hoping for some pushback against Cuomo's education policy power grab, you should be happy Silver's still got control of his conference.
It's true that Silver's got all kinds of scandals swirling around him the last few years, but he's seemingly the only thing standing ever so slightly in the way of Cuomo imposing his agenda 100% onto the state.
As such, despite the scandals, I'm glad Silver's still in control.
Yeah, he's put Tisch into power and yeah, she remains there because of him - that's a real problem.
But he's also the only real counter to Cuomo in Albany on so many important issues - including public education.
Keep an eye on that last point Reisman makes about Assembly members being "restive" over Cuomo playing hardball on a legislative pay raise.
I saw some people say that could play out badly for Silver, with some members blaming him for the lack of a raise.
Given the vote tonight, that seems not to be where Assembly members are putting the blame or their "restive" feelings.