Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Fallout From The Silver Arrest

Some prognostication this morning over what effect the Sheldon Silver arrest has on Albany.

First, the effect on Cuomo, from the Post:

Gov. Cuomo’s decision to pull the plug on his corruption-fighting Moreland Commission panel will have repercussions far beyond Thursday’s indictment of Sheldon Silver, insiders said.

The move, some said, raised questions about Cuomo’s commitment to rooting out Albany’s pay-to-play culture and could harm his efforts to cast himself as an anti-corruption reformer.

“It has a huge impact. [US Attorney] Preet [Bharara] confirmed that this is a result of the Moreland investigation, and that begs the question whether or not the governor knew about this information when he decided to disband the panel. That has political and legal implications,” GOP consultant Jessica Proud told The Post.

Also from the Post, the potential effect on the budget:

A Cuomo ally predicted the arrest would stall the state budget.

“It f- -ks up the whole session. Who are you dealing with now? The budget is due in a month and a week . . . The question is who is in charge of the Assembly?” the official said.

From Jessica Bakeman, the effect on education policy:

Silver is a key player in the negotiation of the state budget and policy as well as in the election of members to the State Board of Regents. The uncertainty over leadership in the Assembly could enhance the power of Cuomo and Senate Republicans.

Cuomo took an aggressive position during his budget and policy address Wednesday, threatening to withhold a significant funding increase for schools if lawmakers don’t approve his controversial reform proposals, such as an amendment to the state’s teacher-evaluation system that would increase the ratings’ reliance on standardized testing.

Silver would have been in a particularly strong position to push back against the governor’s agenda, working toward compromises that are more palatable to his conference and their union allies. Known as a master negotiator, Silver is one of the “three men in the room” during budget talks, along with Cuomo and the leader of the Senate.


Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, a conservative Republican from Rensselaer County who opposes Cuomo’s education proposals, said teachers should be “pretty nervous right now that the governor is going to be able to jam through whatever he wants without much pushback from the Assembly.

“[Silver] is in such a compromised position, how is he going to push back against this governor?” McLaughlin said. “So it strengthens the governor’s hand in negotiations.”

 And for the government in Albany, from the NY Times:

The events this week have shaken that sense of security and raised the possibility that Mr. Silver, the quintessential capital insider, could reveal his own colleagues’ misdeeds to federal prosecutors in exchange for leniency.

For the state’s orbit of lobbyists, advocates, elected officials and industry executives with a stake in the productivity and product of the Legislature, Mr. Silver’s potential diminution, if not exit, carries enormous consequences.

“It’s chaos,” said Richard L. Brodsky, a former Democratic assemblyman from Westchester County. “So much is at stake for the public.”

“Any interest group whose political strategy depends on the strength of the Assembly, they have to be concerned,” said Blair Horner, the legislative director for the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Members who counted on Mr. Silver’s support in the coming session could find themselves facing question after question about the allegations.

And groups that rely on the smooth functioning and static leadership of the Assembly worry that the body could descend into the infighting and disarray that have made the State Senate a punch line for late-night comedians.

As one real estate executive put it on Thursday, “Shelly is the devil we know.

More later on how the teachers unions are feeling about the Silver arrest.


  1. Was the indictment orchestrated by Cuomo?

    1. Not orchestrated, but Cuomo certainly isn't saddened to see Silver under arrest or weakened politically.