The timing of the Skelos charges by the feds is interesting. We in the media heard months ago, even before a New York City television station went public with it, that the feds were investigating Skelos and his son.
Every politically connected individual on Long Island had to know it was happening, which means Skelos had to know, and so did Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Logically, then, all the while the governor's so-called ethics package was being batted about in the Legislature, the principals knew that at some point most probably the hammer would fall and make them all look foolish — again.
Perhaps that explains why the governor didn't do much of a victory dance over what half-baked ethics changes he did get passed, except to once again overstate their significance.
Of course, there may be another reason for Cuomo to button his lip. Conspicuously unresolved in the minds of many is whether the same federal prosecutor who has taken down both Silver and Skelos from on high is saving the best for last. We know of Bharara's displeasure with the way the governor's Moreland Commission looking into corruption was hastily disbanded.
With Skelos going down, the cheese stands alone.
Cuomo stands alone, but as I pointed out yesterday, there's plenty for the feds to investigate:
The Glenwood connections (which Cuomo either misremembered or lied about in a public statement last week.)
The bankster/bond deals.
The News Corp book deal.
The Sony connection.
The Hollywood connection.
The investigations into Cuomo donors Cuomo's office sought to curtail during the Moreland Commission.
The fishiness of the deal he made with Silver/Skelos to shut down Moreland in return for a lukewarm ethics package that changed little in Albany.
The Moreland Commission tampering, including whether Cuomo or anyone from Cuomo's office directed commissioners to not refer criminal cases to the DA.
The post-commission tampering, including the drafting of statements by Cuomo's office for former Moreland Commissioners to issue in favor of Cuomo's handling of the commission.
That's a pretty extensive list of corruption charges.
Cuomo may stand alone, but he had better not get to cocky about it.
Cuomo helped, in part, take down a governor when he was attorney general and used that as a stepping stone to his current office.
You can bet that the current US Attorney for the Southern District, an ambitious man with a penchant for publicity who made his bones with Cuomo-enemy Chuck Schumer, wouldn't mind making a similar a career move for himself.