Sheldon Silver to Temporarily Relinquish Speaker Duties

The decision by the speaker of the New York State Assembly, who is accused of abusing his office to obtain $4 million in payoffs, comes amid mounting pressure from his fellow Democrats.

Comments: 180

  1. I would guess Speaker Sheldon Silver is through. My former Mount Sinai physician, Dr. Robert N. Taub, was given immunity from prosecution and will deliver. Dr. Taub will not go to jail if he is honest and delivers. Sheldon Silver knows what's coming. His counsel must now negotiate. Fast. Sheldon Silver must offer information of value to stay out of jail. The retiring Speaker will be invited to proffer. His willingness and ability to implicate others of consequence may keep him out of jail. We the people will soon learn what he knows, who else will be arrested, whether or not the Moreland break down will lead to this governor, and who else will be implicated.

    Is it possible that Albany will be cleansed?

    I shall not hold my breath.

  2. No cleansing. Just some shake, rattle and row.

  3. There is no one of more consequence in the New York State legislature for Sheldon Silver to give up. He will go to prison.

  4. Hopefully more of them will go to prison but no systematic change will happen. New York's notorious corruption has been going on so long and is so entrenched that it will probably always be the way government functions.

  5. Good move to not be abrupt with his resignation. There is important legislation to be passed, including some tax relief for renters (and a budget).

  6. Renters do not pay real estate tax the landlord does. Only in the world of sheldon silver are tentents entiled to a " rebate" of taxes that their lanlord has paid.

    Shelly has already bought you how much more do want to stay bought?

  7. Unfortunately, another example of the corrupting influence of money even on our most dedicated of political representatives. Part of the problem is their low pay in stark contrast to all the money that they see changing hands all around them. In order to reduce this temptation representatives should get a pay raise. In addition term limits should seriously be considered to reduce political corruption in Albany.

  8. And don't forget that it legislating needs to be made a full-time job. Let's stop pretending that running the affairs of the State of New York, the site of major global financial and security interests and a population of nearly 20 million people, could and should be run by part-timers.

  9. I guess we have to pay them not to steal. A very sad commentary, indeed.

  10. Do you really think politicians get into the game for a salary?? Higher salary will lead to less corruption? This planet is called Earth.

  11. So, do these temporary appointees also get to dole out tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to their friends and pet causes? I'm sure these politicians can't wait to get their own hands on these secret funds in order to gain favors from certain people who can help keep them in office. It's all legal, but should such a system continue? I can only imagine what other questionable perks come with such a position. How else can anyone explain how the same person could remain the single most powerful politician for over 20 years.

  12. To risk, and lose, all this for $4 million? At his age?

    Clearly, despite the relatively modest Lower East Side apt., the money was to maintain a standard of living he perhaps should have secured before he entered public life: it couldn't have been to amass wealth.

    People whom we keep in elected office for decades, even those full of fire to reform and make an impact, are sorely tempted as they age if they haven't first secured enough money to satisfy needs and caprices.

    Sad. But instructive.

  13. It's difficult to believe this sort of nonsense was going on when the Fish and Livingston families were the power in New York State. Like Illinois NYS has become captive to its largest city. A city still run by a Tammany Hall in nature for the benefit of the politicians and the Ward Heelers.

  14. 5 members to replace the Speaker? One might infer that he is invaluable. Alternatively, one might infer that an interim replacement by a committee of 5 amounts to a failure by the Democratic caucus in the Assembly to demonstrate leadership. It is the responsibility of the Speaker and his attorneys to deal with the criminal allegations. It is the responsibility of the other remaining members of the majority conference to demonstrate leadership. "FIVE PEOPLE IN A ROOM" is not leadership. The residents of New York deserve better.

  15. This is Shelly's way of trying to avoid being replaced; it is his idea to split up duties in this "temporary" period. If he prevails in avoiding conviction (which would be a sad but possible result), he does not have one rival that took his place, and he can divide and conquer to "stay" in his position as speaker. If he is convicted, he doesn't care that he has left a dysfunctional leadership situation, as he just doesn't care about anything but his power, position and financial gain from any situation dealing with NY State Government.

    May Preet take down this bad actor and start going after others in the State Government.

  16. Progressives should not defend a corrupt politician. We must seize the opportunity to bring real reform to Albany by instituting campaign finance reform, with loophole free exclusive public financing of elections. Getting the money out of politics and getting genuine dedicated public servants into these jobs must be our goal, not protecting the corrupt just because they share our politics. This is a shame and a painful episode for NY Democrats, but cleaning house is a priority. It can get better, but only when we hold ethics and honesty as the bottom line, not an unrealizable dream.

    We are warned that there are more indictments forthcoming, so it is time to take the long term vision of cleaning up Albany and finally make it real.

  17. Four governors of The State of Illinois, starting with Otto Kerner, have gone to jail during my life in Hyde Park, Chicago, and after. Cook County big shots should have followed, but the standards are different for locals.

    Sheldon Silver will now follow Eliot Spitzer into disgrace, but he will not be the last. By his long finger there will be more.

    No telling where this will lead. Remember White Water and The Nixon Tapes. 18 minutes, Rosemary Woods and Vince Foster found lying dead in the park, taken by his own hand, with no exclamation offered by his boss or the wife of the boss.

  18. Even in attempting to walk Silver back, and to offer an illusion of reform, typically, the succession arrangement was done in a sleazy, closed, back room deal. It is all they know, and all that they ever will in Albany. It is where reform goes to be drawn and quartered.

  19. The solution is a new New York Constitutional Convention and a new Constitution.


  20. The decision by the "three men in a room" allowing Speaker Silver to stay in power shows just how much influence he had before Preet Bharara decided to finish the work that one of the other 3 men in the proverbial room, Governor Cuomo, didn't have the guts to finish, which was looking into corruption in Albany officials via the Moreland Commission. This is, in all likelihood, a mortal wound for Mr. Silver, one he will take to his political grave.

    What will be interesting is to see who else in this tawdry corruption scandal starts singing like a canary in exchange for immunity, or at least, for lenient treatment. Dr. Taub decided for a large, private birdcage of his own choosing. How close this all gets to Governor Cuomo is the $500,000 kickback question. I'm guessing the Governor remains in office, and becomes newly interested in rooting out government corruption, and not a moment too soon.

    Attorney Bharara may not be God, but he can certainly put some fear into corrupt officials. I hope his own nose is clean, and he has no personal taste for illegal gambling, drugs, or prostitution. Those who point vehement fingers are often hoist by their own petard later. Didn't NY have a previous anti-corruption attorney general who later went down in the flames of his own sexual desires?

  21. Even if he is acquitted, he is not necessarily "innocent." The proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard is irrelevant to his fitness to lead a legislative body. If half of the allegations in that federal complaint are true, he should not be entrusted with the affairs of the entire legislature of the state. Anyhow, he's probably going to cop a plea and flip on some of the folks in Cuomo's office. And so it goes . . .

  22. Sheldon Silver is the human embodiment of "too big to fail." This is what happens when politicians stay in office too long. They begin feeling that they are little potentates who can do whatever they wish with impunity. And to an extent they are right. If they get toppled, hundreds of others will fall with them, so those involved with people like Silver do everything in their power to prop him up. Surely everyone knew of Silver's deal making and blatant corruption. However, I will be amazed if he is convicted. The American public is now inured to seeing influential politicians and rich fat-cats get off Scot free whenever they do anything illegal.

  23. Omerta. Shelly stays silent, takes a gentle rap, family stays safe, as do funds abroad … He leaves politics quietly. Others get their chances at the trough. Same old.

  24. The Feds seized $3.6 million. He ain't getting that back anytime soon.

  25. He surely took home many times 3 million in 20 years of manning the money in Albany. My questions are how come the feds seized so little and where is the rest?

  26. Our prosecutorial system assures every person criminally charged a fair hearing not only in form but in fact. If it fails to do so, our judicial system exists to give to the defendant what was denied him. On the other hand, our public, including the media, have a moral duty to refrain from judging the defendant before he steps into the court room. From their malice the defendant has no appeal. They can influence the attitudes of juries yet unchosen. They can put the torch to any hope the defendant reasonably had about evidence in his favor that he has not yet offered. Indeed, they can make witnesses hesitate to speak in his support for fear of alienating a public intent on convicting him. Is our public at this moment prepared to sit as jurors in a trial of Sheldon Silver or, notwithstanding their virtually total ignorance of the as yet unproved facts, is it not the truth that they are ready to take him for a quick walk on a short pier?

  27. Demanding that he step down until the charges are resolved is not the equivalent of a conviction. Mr. Silver's handling of things now also feeds the public's image.

  28. Hogwash - Silver must be booted as Speaker - he wasn't elected to office of the Speaker, rather he was as Assemblyman which he will maintain his comfortable salary while he is a little busy in court defending why he enriched himself. No doubt innocent until proven guilty. It's time the citizens get arrogant with officeholders and hold their feet to the fire - let's singe Silver's feet while he does nothing to earn his Assemblyman salary defending his criminal actions - I can't wait for him to sing to avoid those who are waiting for him in jail. Bail at 10 million should be fair!

  29. New York state is in flames. It is not a small fire but rather one which is picking up steam rapidly and will soon develop into a raging inferno.
    The arrest of Sheldon Silver could become one of the most important events concerning political corruption in modern history.
    The fact that a federal magistrate judge issued seizure to block Mr. Silver from access to $3,8 million amongst his various accounts is indication enough that the FBI has enough serious proof to change his life dramatically.
    Yet what else? The fallout reaching Governor Cuomo's office will be direct and harsh. The Governor in his decision to close the Moreland Commission is beyond itself an embarrassment that will lead to other accusations. Mr. Cuomo's response thus far has been weak and lame.
    How much will Mr. Silver disclose to save his own skin? A good question.
    How much will other lawmakers be willing to come clean in self serving interests?
    Quite soon, the waters just might be likened to a feeding frenzy giving it up to save self and soul. The trickle to the federal authorities could very well become a stampede as the maelstrom gathers steam.
    As for Mr. Silver, he will fast become an anathema to the party he controlled with an iron fist. They have quickly dumped him as the speaker of the New York assembly.
    As the story unfolds, as more politicians are involved, one conclusion may be made; it's a new ballgame in town.

  30. When you put steam into a fire it turns into waters full of a feeding frenzy that gathers the aforementioned steam, like a maelstrom. Glad it's a new ballgame in town, in which Sheldon Silver will probably be a batboy.

  31. "The arrest of Sheldon Silver could become one of the most important events concerning political corruption in modern history."

    Yes, this scandal is the biggest (well, just behind):
    - Governor Spitzer's Hookergate
    - President Bush's Abu Ghraib, Enhanced Interrogation, lying about WMD's, Outing CIA agent, etc, etc,
    - Bill Clinton's failed impeachment
    - VA Governor McDonnell and his wife convicted of bribery
    - Governor Christie's Bridgegate Scandal
    - NJ Governor McGreevey resigning after gay affair

  32. Great power is a difficult thing to relinquish. Mr. Silver has withstood attempts at ethical and legal scrutiny before.

    The question is whether he and the rest of this bunch in Albany have met their match in U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

  33. Looks like we're back to three men in a room deciding to shelter Silver through a mixture of fear and cynicism. This stinks.

  34. The man knows no shame, like all politicians caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Will he flip? Andrew must be worried, as most of the people in Albany. There is no such thing as a temporary crook, he needs to resign and start exposing all his crimes.

  35. put a fork in it. Shelly needs to resign.

  36. Mr. Silver was Spitzered, caught with his hands in a different kind of illegal "cookie jar". This is what happens to "pikers", who allegedly "misappropriate" public funds, which would barely cover condo fees in a nice East Side building.

    Mr. Silver fell afowl with the lovely charter school billionaires. Don't cross the folks who want to "liberate" our public schools from public accountability. Please NYTimes revisit, "Imagine Schools", when graded F, by GOP no less imposed "standards", can quite legally be rebranded as "Cambridge Schools" and get a perfectly legal "reset" to escape public accountability.

    Mr. Silver perhaps aimed at talking a few bills from the public trough, when he should have aimed for "legally leasing" the whole trough.

  37. And don't forget about the agenda to eliminate rent regulation.

  38. New York is not the only state governed by corrupt legislators. But it is the only state with Preet Bharara going after them.

  39. Stepping down temporarily is not good enough!. Whether he is found guilty or not guilty, his activities showed a lack of ethics. At a minimum he must be relieved of his leadership position. It appears that he deserves a much more severe punishment.

  40. I`m too tired of corrupt politicians and their attempts to stay in power. If you are guilty you must be punished with all severity of law. But it`s not the case of America. In our country you may be guilty and if you have power you will stay unpunished. Wicked and terrifying!

  41. Let's hope the dominoes start falling hard and fast. If this puts the state into political crisis, then that's probably what we need. Let's hope this leads to a massive house-cleaning, starting with Governor Cuomo. Silver knows where all the bodies are buried, let his last act as a public figure lead to a real enema to purge the state of some of the most corrupt politicians in the nation. I am still furious at Spitzer for his actions...had he been able to remain in office I am certain New York would not be in the state it is today.

  42. "I am shocked. Shocked Rick to find that there is gambling going on under my nose here in Casablanca"

  43. Silver was plundering NY for years, and the media and political insiders knew this but did nothing. They sat on stories and refused to investigate. Reminds me of the national media on Obama: He got a pass on everything, and in many ways, still does today.

    When the media is fearful of a politician's power, then the whole system is corrupt. And stinks from the top down.

  44. Do you see a similar personality trait between Putin and Silver?

  45. Sorry. NOT ENOUGH! He should be out. He should resign. He
    should forfeit all salary, perks, benefits, and retirement. Now that
    this shoe has dropped, let's not have any half measures. It's NOW
    OR NEVER for REFORM of the corrupt New York State political sys-
    tem and the NEW YORK TIMES, which should have been aware of
    the depth of corruption, should, AT LEAST, push for REAL REFORM.

  46. Is there another layer of corruption here? This could not come at a more inopportune time for those that wish to prevent the massive and sweeping anti-educator "deforms" that the governor proposed. If great research can't be funded, and politicians can't make money on the side for "doing nothing" then why wasn't our former mayor prosecuted? Perhaps Sheldon Silver doesn't have the right kind of supporters, the ones with truly billions of dollars. In the meantime, Silver has been tried in the media court, and he has been found guilty by those who look the other way when elections are bought and results are expected.

  47. Let me get this right. Silver gets hauled out of the Albany State House by the Feds on corruption charges but is still calling the shots with self made appointments to watch the hen house while he is away. The Governor and AG remain silent and the mayor of NYC says he is a man of integrity. Now that is what I call tentacles. It will be interesting to see if this stonewall has the mortar to sustain itself.

  48. Power corrupts. He is a human Titanic.

  49. "Step back", whatever that means, and not just resign? Who's kidding who? Shelly, you're finished, finally, so just admit it to yourself and do the right thing -- resign.

    Open the books on what you have done and who you have done it with. Salvage your reputation by taking this moment as an opportunity to transform the legislature into one truly befitting our Empire State.

    What'll it be Shelly, an obit with a first line about graft or one about reform?

  50. Sheldon Silver and the NY legislature don't hold a candle to what the Florida legislature "accomplishes" in its steady pandering to the corporate and big money interests. Please, someone shine a spotlight down here!

    It is naive to think that term limits would reduced the problem -- Florida already has term limits for lots of public offices and the problem continues nonetheless. It just means a shorter time-line for the revolving door or the banking of favors.

    And, when a long view is taken on this issue, I suspect the NY legislature passed more laws helpful to its citizens than the Florida legislature passed which were helpful to our citizens.

    Ah, perspective and comparisons ... maybe we could have benefited from Mr. Silver here in Florida!

  51. Nassau County needs no term limits. See how often politicians leave office and see who replaces them. Bruce Blakeman and Peter King's daughter just landed cushy positions on the Hempstead Town Council. Same boss, meet the new boss.

  52. New York State Assembly has been in Democratic hands since time immemorial, and is entirely crooked. We need a Republican Assembly and Republican governor to begin cleaning up the damage.

  53. Richard the sheeple of NY would never do that, not in a million years. All one need to look at is the history of Albany and those that run the state. It's a cespool. And repubs aren't any better, look to Nassau County and it's inept leader Mangano.

  54. Joe Bruno essentially was tried on similar charges.

    Also, I didn't realize 1969 was time immemorial.

    You need to realize that the Republican Party of that by-gone era earned votes and won elections in working class districts because it was not a right-wing party only looking out for corporations and the wealthy.

    Remember too that the greatest Republican of modern times, Theodore Roosevelt, was loathed by the party bosses and ruling class.

  55. In this episode, Andrew Cuomo (aka Jax Teller, aka President-for-LIfe of the Lucky Sperm Club) disbands the Moreland Commission so that the Feds (Preet Bharara) arrest Sheldon Silver (aka Clay Morrow). Rosa Silver (aka Gemma Teller) conspires with Judy Rapfogel (aka Chibs) to find some of the money hidden in case of a lockdown. Only problems remaining are Dean Skelos (aka The Real IRA) and Assemblyman Heastie (GBMC). Other concerns, Joseph Lentol (aka "el Guapo"), Francisco Moya (Mayans), and William DeBlasio (aka Chucky).

  56. "Stepping down". I don't think so. He's had a Putin like grasp on power, and similar to Putin who just found one stooge to Replace himself, Sheldon Silver has found Three.

  57. Yes. He did. He had enough people intimidated and scared of his "retaliation." Now, along comes Preet who in a single investigation proved just how evil and corrupt this slug was.

  58. Five democrats are standing in for Silver because any single one would be scrutinized. By naming five, the theory was that the press would not focus on the corruption of any single person. The press, however, should not be so easily fooled. There are rats among the five. A quick scan of the Moreland report indicates that some of those five are next to be named in an indictment. Those closest to Silver are those most likely involved in his schemes and the most likely he wil rat on to save himself from life in prison.

  59. For the sake of ALL New Yorker's and those especially in his district who have been largely ingored by this man the next step should be to step down completely. Do the righ tthing Shelly.

  60. They left one thing out of the negotiations about Assembly leadership. They should take place in Sing Sing.

  61. People can guess and offer their opinions, as the Times Editorial Board did, prematurely.

    It's hard to see what good would be accomplished by Silver's immediate removal. What he has offered up is a middle road, which would allow him to return to full power if vindicated. Surely, that will give his enemies cause for pause. But, justice used purely for political ends is as heinous as the crimes that Silver is accused of.

    There's no question that if convicted of felonies, Silver will be gone. This provides a means of moving forward and going to trial. If he is vindicated we'll suffer a lot of conservatives blogging from square states sure that it was a fix Stevens in Alaska turned out to have been not-guilty. Joe Bruno was actually convicted, but then had the case thrown out with objections that the jury had been misguided by the judge and the prosecutor had not accurately represented their evidence.

    Silver is demonstrating how he gained power. By taking the strongest position of not very good choices available to him, but not overreaching either and coming off arrogant.

    By the preemptive barrage of press leaks and background stories, Preet Bharara's office has demonstrated that it is adept at polluting the juror pool, playing for PR, and seducing the Times. Now let's see what they've really got. If they prove their case, fine. But, if not, there's no justification for disenfranchising the voters of Silver's district who recently cast an 82% vote in 2014.

  62. This another in a long line of examples why we need term limits.

  63. I used to be against them, foolishly thinking that the population would vote out ineffective/bad legislators. It's clear they will not, so we need to do it for them.

  64. The Shel had a good run. He's done what many have done before him and will do henceforth albeit with a new layer of obscurity and subterfuge. This is the good ole boy network. Whilst an insurance adjustor in NYC, I was ostracized because I wouldn't take or be a part of the kickback network that is prolific.

  65. Silver is now and always has been dirty. When he had "judges" in his back pocket, he was playing "Don" of the New York mafia better than Vito Corleone.

  66. As an Italian American and first generation, I take offense to the comparison of Silver and Vito Corleone, how about comparing Silver to the likes of Myer Lansky as good a crook as there ever was.

    Doubtless this gets printed though.

  67. Why does this man still have any poltical power? Last time I checked being arrested means one cannot retain their status as a politican.

  68. In NYS government that is a prerequisite for office !!!!

  69. Silver has been bad forever. Classic NY political type: wheeler-dealer and crook. Thanks Preet, you've done the state a great service.
    Next - Cuomo?

  70. We should all be grateful right that Sheldon Silver is to temporarily relinquish his Speaker role? Come on Albany - strip him of his role and boot him out on Assemblyman pay that he maintains while under criminal Federal indictment. Let's get harsh here - this man is accused of diverting your NYS funds so that he can enrich himself through clever scheme to defraud NYS! Stop this nonsense citizens, contact your State elected office holder and let them know you won't stand for this coddling behavior and that they should immediate pass laws to prevent such blatant criminal behavior and Silver's attitude of being beyond reproach. Let's stop being wimpy citizens with the State that has the inmates running the asylum which the rest of the country considers to be the big joke. The 3 men in a room - Governor Cuomo stand up and lead or step down - it's your political party.

  71. It should be rather easy for the prosecutors to "follow the money" and see if Speaker Silver can justify his $4 million "salary" over the years. I read that he has refused to release this information in the past. I snickered when I was reminded that he is a personal injury lawyer. I am not too surprised now by his alleged behavior.

  72. Sheldon Silver may be a villain to talking heads and pundits without portfolio, but he's a hero to many everyday people living on the Lower East Side whom he has helped over the years. It would be nice if the people who don't know him would stop condemning him before he goes to trial. That's called the American way.

  73. I don't live in his district. I never have. Now I live outside NYC. But I agree with you wholeheartedly. You could say the same for the entire city, for which Silver has been the bulwark against moneyed and other interests outside of it. As a friend and I recalled, Mel Miller, once indicted, was found not guilty. Senator Bruno, once indicted, was found not guilty. I'd like to know Bharara's real motives!

  74. I certainly agree with this comment insofar as it applies to the criminal proceeding against Mr. Silver. The comment is spot on in that regard that he is innocent until proven guilty before serving jail time or paying fines. That said, there is a second and separate issue here of his being a public elected official and whether he ought to continue in that role. This will not be determined in Court. If Mr. Silver wants to continue to hold his position of public trust, he needs to disclose immediately all the facts about what occurred so that the legislature and the public may know exactly what happened and whether he should continue to serve as an elected official. I doubt Mr. Silver wants to do that. Rather he will want to play the facts close to the vest and use his rights under the judicial process as an excuse not to be open about the facts. That is not appropriate.

  75. We all pay for Silver's corruption. And people o\living on the Lower East Side deserve honest representation that also benefits them. Honesty and helping the community should not be mutually exclusive. Just because Sheldon Silver is your crook doesn't make him any less of a crook. No, that is not a criminal judgment, that is an ethical judgment.

  76. One wonders why a great state like ours can't at least occasionally produce a legislative leader that doesn't become corrupted with money and power. It pained me when some residents of Silver's districts tried to rationalize his misdeeds by the old standby that "he did a lot for our district". Translation: he abused his power in funneling huge amounts of money from the taxpayers of NY State to people and projects in his district. Somewhere in his career path Silver himself rationalized that his 'largesse' deserved something tangible in return. I'll bet he came to regard these as investments, and oh did they return good money on our dollars. Meanwhile he abused his power as speaker to assure that no one threatened his financial empire by rewarding those in the state government who went along and punishing those who dared question his corruption. It doesn't matter what causes or groups in our state that stand for good he supported. Because in the end, and I hope this is the end, he is rotten to the core. My fellow New Yorkers, we deserve better and can do better; let's hope the age old cynicism, richly deserved, that this is the way it is and always will be, doesn't prevail again.


  77. A poster below Raymond made a comment that silvers finds abroad are
    safe ...... I am sure he is just guessing but

    it made me think that hiding money abroad especially in houses and
    property makes sense for a corrupt official. I wonder if the feds check
    real estate records

  78. New York State, New York, New York, NYC, Albany NY, once the pride of a nation, the flagship of the United States of America, now the poster boy for greed, graft, and corruption unseen since pre-Tammany Hall reform by TR . . . sad, disgusting, unforgivable, unrelentingly incomprehensible . . .

    Shame! Shame!! Shame!!!

  79. I just wanted to be the first to say, wow! I dropped off a petition January 7 at his office supporting the NY Healthy Workplace Bill (about 250 signatures via Moveon.org) and I was planning to rush in sometime Monday with some more but now? I wish I had been the fly on the wall for the discussions regarding this latest news. I bet his case never goes to trial and that he eventually pleads guilty but not until he starts dropping some dimes that the Preet Bharara wants.

  80. Wow, we've made progress. Now it's not "3 men in a room" making all the decisions - it's 6 men and one woman!

  81. In older days, natural events were taken as omens of disaster: comets, earthquakes. Is the coming Monday blizzard Nature's comment on the fall of Sheldon Silver?

    The question now is, with Silver losing his iron grip on the Assembly, who will be next?

  82. Where's Thomas Nast when you need him?

  83. What is this "temporary" business?

    He should be out on his silver ear.

  84. Sheldon Silver's purported acceptance of large volumes of money is indicative of a significant problem with American electoral and governmental politics, big special interest money influence.

    New York, and America, needs reform legislation reducing or removing the corrupting influence of big special interest money, regardless of that money's origin (e.g. - SuperPACs, unions, lobbyists, corporations, wealthy individuals).

    Bipartisan McCain-Feingold was a federally focused effort toward reform that was unfortunately struck down by a 5-4 SCOTUS ruling in Citizen's United. The 114th Congress needs to make creation of "new and improved" legislation a priority because money is not equivalent to free speech. The voices of We The People are being drown out by the corrupting effect of large special interest donations that in turn demand influence.

    American democracy needs new campaign finance reform legislation. Joe Bruno, Sheldon Silver and many other politicians are indicative of corruption in politics that has existed since the days of Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall.

    Since there are so few true altruistic politicians, as the saying explains, money is the root of all politics.

  85. So well said:)

  86. As bad as campaign funding is it could be worse. If all campaign funding is supplied by the government than nut cases and single issue people will take over.

  87. "...so he can defend himself against these false charges."

    This was the line Don Corleone used when addressing the five families, in regards to Michael being charged with the murder of Solozzo and McCloskey. Everyone in the room knew that Michael had done it.

  88. The process to remove Sheldon has begun. I believe that Democrats in Albany are being smart about putting a committee of 5 together to work on the budget as it has to be completed. Regarding Mr. Sheldon stepping back "temporarily" from his duties, that is also smart on the part of Democrats. They strip him of all his powers and Mr. Sheldon gets to save face, temporarily. Good and smart politics. However.

    Mr. Sheldon derives his power from speakership. Once it is gone, he will slowly wither away into obscurity. Remember Al Capone? His absolute power over Chicago crime world was gone within a year of him going to jail even when there was a complete set up made available to him to run his gangland empire from jail through his deputies. Ditto for Sheldon, he will be gone within a year. Give it some time.

  89. Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign without so much as being charged with a crime. Why is Mr. Silver receiving such deference?

  90. Easy answer to this question.... Spitzer offended so many people and had virtually no allies. Silver, on the other hand....

    Spitzer did not have to resign so quickly. After all how many politicians who cavorted with hookers are still in office? (hint: Louisiana)

  91. The real hope is that rather than than the old boys club disposing of the problem and closing ranks to preserve their corrupt power, there is will be real and substantive changes, that Mr. Silver turns on the other corrupt members of government and that the legislature and Governor implement real reform. Unfortunately, the corruption may run very deep and the next year will be spent protecting their own hides rather than fixing the issue

  92. And the State Governor distances himself along with the rest of the politicians as the citizens demand very little. Cuomo is more than likely tied to this in some way.

  93. The large issue is that he thinks he did nothing wrong.... This is the root of problem in Albany... throw them all out.

  94. The real problem is that just because he helps his constituents on some issues, they think he is a good representative. Silver's constituents just ignore how much his deal-making and corruption have cost them, directly and indirectly. The real problem is that Silver's constituents believe he can be as crooked as sin, so long as he throws them a bone every so often. He may be a crook, but he is his constituents' crook.

  95. Mr. Silver is the epitome of a crook and a hypocrite. He is the first to call for others to resign, yet clings to power when the gig is up for him. If he had a shred of respect or concern his office, for his constituents, or for his colleagues, he would, with whatever grace is possible, resign. That he doesn't tells us what a selfish, greedy man he truly is.

  96. Right on cue Shelly comes up with a sleazy deal to allow him to keep power while avoiding resignation, at least from the speakers chair. Disgusting.

  97. Wishing for him to become a government witness and take them all down. He knows it all

  98. I am sure that this is an attempt by Mr. Silver to keep his hand in the candy jar.

    But there may be one unintended benefit: at least now State policy will require more than just three stooges.

  99. "Silver has effectively resigned the Speakership, and no amount of window dressing can change that, since a conviction of some sort is almost certain down the road." Mike Flynn 'Middle Class Mike

  100. I would say Mr. Silver should take a lesson from Bob McDonnell of Virginia and take the deal that is sure to be eventually offered. There is very little sympathy for anyone who skimmed 9-11 money, which it appears that he did. Plus there are a lot of folks who'd like to see an end to the troika that has ruled New York for far too long.

  101. I don't expect Mr. Silver to resign, but this complicated arrangement, where they "would temporarily delegate his duties as speaker to a group of senior Assembly members" and Mr. Silver "would 'not specifically step down, but step back', smells almost as bad as the "legal fees" he's earned. He should, simply, recuse himself from all Assembly business until he's either acquitted of convicted and someone else should function as the acting speaker.

  102. Time was when public figures in America considered being indicted such a disgrace that they resigned immediately. No longer, it seems. And please note the presence of just one assemblyman from outside NYC--and none from Buffalo--on this jerry-rigged leadership team. Silver really is the pits . . . even if Andy was willing to disband the Moreland Commission to protect him and others like him.

  103. More symptoms of big government. We make it easy for crooks like Silver to make a fortune in a relatively low paying office.

  104. Sheldon Silver is dirty and has been from the day he realized how much of NY's government he could control. "HOW" he did it was simple: swim with like men as corrupt as he is.

    When he stacked the cards against the people of NY, he forgot one thing, that stack always comes tumbling down. It will be interesting to see "who" his side kicks will be all trying to prove his "innocence."

    His list of cronies reads like a Bible on "How to Be the Most Corrupt" man in his state.

  105. I thought we live in a democratic country that has "RESPECT" for the law. This arrangement looks more like the works behind the scenes of an empire or an autocracy. I remember long ago when the peoples of Loizada (Lower sEast Side) wanted a young Puerto Rican man as be the candidate, and out of nowhere a group of powerful people anointed Sheldon Silver to run for the post. Even though he was not known anywhere, and some suspected not even from the LES, Silver WON! Surprise! Newspapers have already investigated this story. The seeds of corruption were planted in its genesis. The man Silver knows truly his bosses. He knows he was given that seat for a purpose. The Lower East Side is now a community for the wealthy....goodbye to the poor and working class... Goodbye to Puerto Ricans, .but now Silver has gone too far. Time for an indictment! Mr. Silver....bible says pride before the fall. Your time is up. You did the damage you were told to do. Your time is up.

  106. Ms. Sanchez, the NY Times published an article last year in which Mr. Silver used his political power to prevent the construction of low income housing in his Assembly District. (In the late 1960s, dilapidated tenements were torn down in Mr. Silver's district. Most of the tenants were poor Latino families. The families were promised once the new buildings were put up, they would have first priority to inhabit them.) The 20 acre lot was vacant for decades because Mr. Silver and his supporters didn't want any poor Latino families to come back to live in that area. Mr. Silver wanted to maintain his dwindling Jewish base of support. Of course, he has denied that he ever did that. Mr. Silver is not a friend to the poor/working class residents of the Lower East Side. Oh, if a Latino politician used his influence (aka political power) to prevent the construction of housing for Jewish people, that politician would be labeled an Anti-Semite very fast.

  107. Fantastic. Perhaps now with Silver out of the way that archaic set of rent regulations which have put apartments out of reach for all New Yorkers unfortunate to not have "rent-regulation" privilege will be tossed into the trash bin of history.

  108. You sound a tad jealous. Why worry and bemoan the good fortune of others? Removing Rent Regs will not lower the rent of others; it will just further enrich landlords who own buildings worth millions of dollars.

  109. Not jealous. Veterans who returned from WW II deserved apartments they could afford. Unfortunately most of the current tenants in rent control/stabilized apartments never served in the military. So it's not jealousy but rage that non-milittary families are being subsidized at market rate renters expense. These rent regulated takers do not bring anything to the table since every tourist I know comes to NYC to see its cultural attractions, not its greedy rent regulated tenants.

  110. John Smith,
    You are 100% correct. That means nobody is going to do anything about it. Everyone lives in or has a relative they know with a rent regulated apartment. They will not vote for ending this inequitable scheme that ruins the housing market in New York and cripples the economy.
    David

  111. As bad as this arrangement sounds - and it is bad - it says just as much about the cowardice of the Democratic caucus in the State Assembly as it does about Silver's grip on power. On the one hand, you have to hand it to Silver, for instilling fear among our elected officials to the point where he does not have to relinquish his post and the extra money that comes with it. On the other hand, we New Yorkers must clearly be a bunch of wimps for electing a bunch of blind lemmings to represent us who are either unable or unwilling to stand up to corruption because their electoral well being matters more than the good of the state.

  112. What is particularly galling is that no matter what happens, Sheldon Silver will still be able to collect a hefty pension for his years of "public service." I think that a law should be passed that prevents all politician from receiving a dime of tax funded pension money if they are convicted of a crime committed while in office. But since the passage of this law depends on the potentially corrupt politicians themselves passing it, I won't hold my breathe.

  113. Clawback happens!

  114. Reading that Silver/Cancer article yesterday in the NYT's was really depressing. Let's be honest, we are replacing this bad guy with a new bad guy. The NY State system is broken. What honest person would run? The system is set up for corruption. I have no idea how to change it, but a third party/independent candidate is needed.

    I hate that Bloomberg bought his third term as Mayor, but his ego and independence IS what Albany needs.

  115. What a crock! He is not resigning the Assembly, he is not even resigning his leadership post. He is temporarily assigning people he has picked to create a facade of new faces, who he can replace at will, to do his bidding, while he continues to hold all the power.
    Why am I not surprised, why are we not more outraged?

  116. Every time one of these folks get arrested they declare their innocence. I'm surprised the powers that be don't demand better training for the people who make the decision to arrest others. After all, the authorities are declared to be wrong 100% of the time aren't they?

    Or, is the politician simply doing what his/her parents taught them not to do so long ago... lie. I've said this before, I'll say it again: At what point in our lives do we as adults choose to lie and deceive despite the fact of being taught just the opposite.

    Of course, Mr. Silver has not been found guilty yet. Perhaps he is innocent and I'll need to save my thoughts for the next politician to get arrested. And so it goes.

  117. Oh it's pretty absolutely certain that he is lying and guilty. He can't admit it, and people beholden to him can't, but the rest of us are willing to say the sun rises in the east even if it's against what the politicians declare.

  118. Everyone should read that NYT article on the Delancey Street deal!

  119. The phrase "this was a top down decision...we weren't consulted" tells the whole story. Of course the members of the Assembly weren't consulted. That's the way the speaker as boss system has worked for years. Shut up, vote as you're told and your "member items" and staff perks will keep flowing.

    Never mind that your constituents aren't being properly represented. If you as a representative can't be heard what happens to their concerns?

    It's also telling that this comment was offered anonymously, like a child whispering a secret. What member of our so called legislative government has proposed legislation for serious reform? Who among them has offered any ideas to clean up the influence of lobbyists and their money? Will no one speak for the citizens?

    Yes, Silver did some good things, but that doesn't justify a system that through its corruption is essentially non-democratic. Regardless of what happens with his case, this must change.

  120. This is sad and embarrassing. I hope it isn't dragged out.

  121. An investigation should immediately be opened into the 5 temporary replacements. Who are they? Why were they chosen?

  122. Easy. They were chosen for loyalty to Shelly, and the responsibilities were divided to pit them against each other so no one could begin to act like a successor and collect any real measure of Shelly's power as speaker to punish dissidents and opponents. They might as well be 5 dwarves, but Shelly would have preferred to find eunuchs.

  123. Re: "Immediately after Mr. Silver’s arrest on Thursday, Democrats in the Assembly rallied behind him." Why is that? Because they are all crooks, and Mr. Silver knows each and every crooked deal they have made?

  124. Mayor of NYC is still standing behind this man of "integrity" his words not mine. Great judge of character that de Blasio. What a racket NY politics are.

  125. This guy is probably one of the biggest crooks in the history of New York politics and he "temporarily" gives up his office! Maybe he believes as a force of habit that the "fix" is in. It certainly looks like it. I wonder why he feels that way?

  126. What a disgrace this guy is, but truth be told, there are likely thousands more like him "serving" in our government ranks.

  127. In Albany, the cut-off for resigning a seat is 4 counts. Sheldon's only one over. I'm sure he can bargain one away.

  128. Typical NY legislative mess. Stack the deck in favor of NYC. Forget upstate. Not a new idea in the bunch. A recipe for infighting and dysfunction. It's not three men in a room. It's a gaggle of big egos in a room. The Governor is more than smart enough to play this and get what he wants.

  129. Agreed, Tom, and well put. It is the culture of Albany legislators that needs to change, and when is long enough long enough for Silver to be the Speaker? "If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got" The Assembly needs a fresh face.

  130. Mayor de Blasio must be shocked that this "man of integrity" Sheldon Silver is being forced to relinquish any of his power and influence even temporarily until his integrity overwhelms this indictment he has been unfairly dealt.

  131. Where is the NYS Attorney General in all of this? Eric Schneiderman is MIA. Go to his website and you see nothing about investigating Silver. Do a search on the NYT, again nothing. What has Eric done? Nothing.

    Why? Because like Cuomo, who shut down the Moreland Commission, he is afraid of Silver and the implied retribution.

    Attorney General? Sounds lofty. How about Toothless Tiger?

  132. I have been thinking the same thing, Holder has been MIA since he got the job and Schneiderman has mysteriously turned mute. And to think I voted for this man. What a joke.

  133. The decision by the "three men in a room" allowing Speaker Silver to stay in power shows just how much dirt he has on the other 2 and many others in the legislature. The process will be as huge as cleaning the Augean stables.

  134. Yes Shelly . . you take a little break . . 20 to 25 years will do nicely! You'll have lots of company soon.

  135. Only in New York and Calif where Diane Feinstein's husband get a 1BILLION fee for selling unused Post offices! What a country. Indict both of them .

  136. This is insufficient. Mr. Silver should give up all his duties, by resigning. It's the one thing that would be a slight saving grace for him, but of course, as he is greedy and power-mad (to all indications), he will grimly hang onto whatever he can by his fingernails until forcibly ripped away.

    It's time for the rest of the legislature to override Gov. Cuomo's shutting down the Moreland commission, and have a real investigation into the corruption that is clearly systemic within our state government. Throw all the bribe-taking grifters out, and if that includes dear friends of Gov. Cuomo and 70% of the legislature, so be it.

  137. The patient is on life support; the cancer appears to be back-room operable.

  138. A Federal indictment is in order here if justice has an inkling chance of being served.

  139. i will be shocked if he serves a day.. he is not alone corruption pervades on both sides of the aisle albany is a sad place ;has been for years..

  140. How outrageous that he is allowed to 'temporarily relinquish' his duties!!! Where are our elected and appointed officials that are allowing this --or, are they afraid of being next?

  141. I believe this marks the transition of NY Politics from "the devil you know" to "the devil you don't."

  142. He's been on the take since day one. East Ramapo residents have begged him for over a year to get involved with the school district because the bloc eliminated music, art, sports and foreign languages. Instead, he appointed a monitor with no power. Hopefully, Shelly will take down the Ramapo supervisor and the entire bloc for their payoffs when he sings to try to stay out of jail. Shelly knew about the fraud at the Metropolitan Fund and thank goodness, his best buddy who ran it is now in prison. Thieves both of them. Go after Shelly's wife also.

  143. I have to laugh when I hear that Mr. Silver is 'relinquishing his duties on a temporary basis'. The man is the single most powerful politician in NY. What makes anyone think he will not be pulling the strings from is NYC domain. So, we can expect in my opinion the same government workings as in the past. But, that's nothing new.
    What's more sad than anything else is the lack of concern on the part of the voters of this state. When will you insist on honest transparent government?

  144. This is beyond disgusting. For this man to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars by basically doing NOTHING while so many in this country are suffering. There cannot be enough punishment for this man.

  145. Silver needs to resign, period. This is just more Albany shuffling of shadow figures in leadership positions. The same values keep the air putrid with insider tricks.

  146. I predict that temporary will be temporary.

  147. If you believe temporarily relinquish you are a fool. That is not the way crooks, often called politicians, operate. Think Mafia, figure head, power boss. They never give up power. Nothing short of a resignation will get Shelly out of power. Time to go Shelly.

  148. Why only temporary? It seems to me that me that he will have relinquish the post permanently once he is sentenced to prison. He might as well do it now.

  149. "Democrats in the Assembly rallied behind him." I find this really disturbing given what Sheldon Silver is accused of. Kickbacks cost all of us precious taxpayer monies. It is time for new leadership and a leader who looks beyond their own districts and member item discretionary funding. The three-men in the room rule needs to be given the door.

  150. Mr. Silver gets most of his money from law firms, and not one of the many commenters points this out. It's an important reason that he has survived so long since he is able to skirt the law to be just this side of legality. The law firms themselves should be held accountable for their bribery but you can be sure that the wording of all their agreements allows every penny of their payments to Mr. Silver to be perfectly within the legal bounds of lobbying or political contributions.

    So where did Silver screw up? I think the payments became so egregious that he was, in a sense, embarrassed by them, and then felt compelled to hide some of them from public disclosure. I'll wager that none of them would be actually "illegal" but the weight became unbearable to disclose.

    Like the banks, I'm guessing a big fine and not a single day in jail. Since he will use his resignation from office as all the punishment he deserves.

  151. And anther reason why we will never have tort reform in this state, too many lawyers in power in Albany, remind me what Shakespeare said about those in that profession.

  152. By the time someone is indicted there is usually overwhelming evidence of guilt. For the Mayor of NYC to say that Silver is a man of integrity and support him shows his complete lack of sense. Also for Cuomo to have disbanded his own Moreland Commission shows his own corruption or at least acceptance of corruption on a major scale.

  153. This is bull. Even assuming that Silver might be found innocent of criminal violations at trial, the plain, indisputable facts of the case -- receiving and never disclosing millions of dollars in "fees" for enticing a doctor to refer patients to a law firm -- amount to a massive, years-long ethical transgression. For this alone, Silver should resign as Speaker and resign from the Assembly. That his Democratic caucus does not demand that he do so tells us everything we need to know about their ethics.

  154. Don't you know by now that all the politicians in Albany are corrupt from the Governor on down?

  155. But he did disclose the fees paid from the asbestos law firm. It's the other fees -- the $750k or so -- that he received from the real estate firm that he did not disclose.

  156. When a fish stinks, it stinks from the head. And this fish has been stinking for many years.

  157. In response to a comment addresses to me, let us be clear that this is not about Jews versus Latinos. This is about corruption and the delusions that abuse of power engenders. They think they are untouchables. To remind a few|. We organized a community of poor people with great enthusiasm and idealistic belief in democracy to elect a genuine representative of the Lower East Side for that election. We worked so hard. We learned all about elections, the tricks that the powerful use against the best. The opposition produced a man, Sheldon Silver, not even a resident of the LES, put all their money, power and lies behind him for the purpose of obstructing local genuine decent leadership. They destroyed our dreams. Here is the result: Sheldon Silver was corrupt and a puppet from the start. No surprises. It is my devotion to the democratic principles of this nation that I vote at every election, and I have taught my children to be good citizens, and to love our country. Sheldon Silver behaved against the best ideals of this nation!

  158. Ruth,
    I can assure you that Sheldon Silver is indeed a life-long resident of the Lower East Side. There are many Latino elected officials in the Lower East Side as well, Nydia Velasquez, others.....

  159. Adoptees in NY have been working for years to get legislation passed that would allow them to have their original birth certificates. There are enough supporters and co-sponsors to pass this bill. But Silver always stalled it. Apparently adoptees and birth parents did not have enough money to buy Silver's support.

    How the mighty have fallen.
    With much schadenfreude--
    a First Mother in New York
    http://www.firstmotherforum.com/

  160. Congratulations. Passing of the bill you favor would be the death knell for adoptions which are too open already. Who wants to raise a child to age 2 or 3 and have it ripped from their loving arms by a pseudo-repentant boyfriend who abandoned their pregnant girlfriend at the first sign of trouble but later saw a cute baby picture and decided the ADC check might be a nice cushion? It happens more often than is reported.

  161. Actually, it would be good if there were fewer people shopping for newborns--because just like any commodity, the market demand pushes the creation of more "product," and babies are being kidnapped around the world to fill the "need." Adopt from foster care if you truly care about providing a home to a child in need. Sounds like you want a child to "complete" your family.

    And what you say cannot happen if the adoptions are done legally. It is only unscrupulous agencies that encourage women not to tell the father of the child--but then, you would hate that, wouldn't you? That a father could raise his own child. You really ought to look into the feelings of adult adoptees and their desire to know whence they came, and from who. It's a basic drive. You would apparently stifle it.

  162. Jill, I suggest you read the research by the Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institiute. It's a think tank on best adoption practices. What you state is incorrect. New York State's adoption law is antideluvian as has been proven by other states and countries such as England. Just two examples, are Alaska and Kansas have never sealed records and adoption is thriving there. Other states which have opened records have seen no impact on adoptions not abortions. This is proven by fact and records. Each year more and more states unseal records as it is the humane thing to do. Adoption is NOT like it used to be. Medical records save lives of adopted people. How can anyone in good conscience deny that of a fellow human being. When adotped people are adults, they are no longer children in need of protection.
    Adults should be able to decide who they want to have relationships with in their lives... NOT NYS!
    I am another Jill, mother of an adopted person who needed lifesaving medical information!

  163. A great move - it does appear there is enough proof to take Silver to trial. Now, will he go to jail? Will he have to return the $4 million to the state, the city, to the area he supposedly represents? I hope so, but have doubts. Crime seems to pay these days if you are a politician.

    It also seems to pay if you are a political consultant - Al Sharption; will he ever be vetted by the media and brought to trial on extortion charges? JNJ, Sony, Pepsi, De Blasio, etc.... anyone willing to bring this man to justice?

  164. Neither Sharpton or DeBlasio will ever be held accountable; they are left-wing media darlings held to a lower standard of behavior.

  165. Guilty or not, I think it is about time he stepped down. Having volunteered in Democratic politics my understanding is that he only let's the views of those elected to office, Democrats included, , be expressed. He is also beholden to the unions and not the general public.

  166. I meant to say that he only let's the views of those he agrees with to be expressed>

  167. The Koch Brothers and all of the GOP must be rubbing their hands together. If they can get a stranglehold on NYSA that would be a major coup for them.

  168. So you're worried because two people, whose politics you disagree with but have never been accused or convicted of a crime, MIGHT gain control of the Assembly. But you have no concerns about the fact that the guy who ACTUALLY controls the Assembly is a corrupt thief.

    Nope, no hypocrisy there.

  169. After reading all the comments, I have come to a sad conclusion. Either the Feds know something more criminal than they are disclosing or Sheldon Silver is going to be found "not guilty" and will be more careful in the future doing his corrupted deals. It is simply unbelievably sad that Di Blasio and Cuomo, both, came to defend Sheldon Silver. If New York City has still alive some investigative reporters, they should follow the money and this story. What a cautionary tale! We need to find out what lawyers, developers, politicians, power lovers, newspapers executives consulted with Silver. Who taught him? Who were his mentors? Who protected and guided him? Who are the secret power players who maintained in power this corrupt man for so long doing their bid and rewarding him so generously? La avaricia rompe el saco, a Spanish saying goes: avarice breaks the bag. This is more than avarice...this is the delusion of power. I bet Silver has the best lawyers on his side to defend him from these charges. I will watch this story with care. With a little tin can, a little tin can...I can hear him singing this song from Fiorello!

  170. The inevitable consequence of granting free speech to dollars

  171. What's this ? A corrupt NY politician,no way.

  172. And who were these "three men in a room" to make decisions? The governor, the majority leader of the Senate and the Speaker of the State NY Assembly. All of them are corruptible liars!

  173. Why is it so difficult to have a governmental process to remove persons who have a could of bribery or other improprieties hanging over their heads? I find this incredulous.

    Who is this guy? Why has this crook been the speaker of the NY Assembly for so many years? To me, this looks like a systemic problem. The FBI needs to look at each and everyone of them in the NY Assembly and look at all the politicians all across the country.

    There must be NO official corruption.

  174. If the democrats in Albany wish to go down with the ship, then they can adopt this plan and that is assuredly what will happen. Another speaker needs to be chosen who has no ties to Mr. Silver so that the party can move forward and demonstrate that it is cleaning up its act.

  175. What is all the surprise and condemnation? How do we think politics and lobbying work? And it is not a partisan issue. Two words plus four: term limits for all elected officials.

  176. You need to be more specific about term limits. People will just start bouncing back and forth between jobs in the Assembly, Senate, Governor's office, DA's office, being judges, comptroller, etc., not to mention jobs in the private sector.

    It's easy to sit back and say term limits solve things, but putting this into practice requires a little more thought.

  177. Terms not to exceed 6 months, 3 months, 1 month?
    Zero days? I favor the last one.

  178. "Mr. Silver, who has proved adept over the years at withstanding ethical and legal scrutiny, predicted he would be vindicated."

    Is Sheldon Silver thinking to pay off a Federal Jury, some FBI guys, or the US Attorney? Does he know something we don't?

    Just looking at his face he looks guilty as charged, a tired old crook. My two cents are that the companies or people paying him should also be indicted...the bribe giver and taker are equally culpable.

  179. The jig's up, Sheldon. Others want their turn at the trough.