New York state assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested Thursday, January 22nd, on charges of taking nearly $4 million in payoffs and kickbacks. The 70-year old Democrat, considered one of New York’s most powerful and savvy politicians, was taken into custody on federal conspiracy and bribery charges that could lead to sentencing of up to 100 years in prison and cost him his political seat.
The arrest stunned New York’s Capitol, coming, as it did, just a day after Silver took the stage with Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo during the latter’s State of the State address. In fact, Cuomo joked that he, Silver, and the Senate majority leader were the “three amigos” of the state’s government.
Silver has the power to single-handedly decide the fate of legislation, and decides whether a bill gets a vote. As if to prove his power, last spring he helped convince Cuomo to disband a state anti-corruption commission that was investigating Silver’s own financial dealings!
The federal prosecutor said, “Speaker Silver never did any legal work. He simply sat back and collected millions of dollars by cashing in on his public office and political influence.”
Just the type of ‘public servant’ we want, acting solely for the benefit of his constituents, his state or his country. What sacrifice he’s shown on our behalf!
If this member of ‘the one percent’ were a Republican, you wouldn’t see or hear another news story for a month, unless Jesus Christ returned to shop at Costco.
Silver, however, has long been a champion of liberal causes, using his position as a power broker to support teachers, civil service unions and trial lawyers. Therefore, incredibly, Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle said Silver still has the backing of an overwhelming number of the chamber’s Democrats and they are not seeking his resignation as speaker. “We believe he can carry out his duties as speaker,” Morelle said. “We’re going to stand with him…We have faith in the speaker.”
So, a white-collar crime that could get him sentenced to 100 years in prison is not enough to persuade his fellow Democrats to ask him to resign his office!! Think about that. This isn’t a banana republic. This was America. Perhaps his fellow Democrats have misplaced their faith.
I’m going to Costco.