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Sheldon Silver

Sheldon Silver

  • Will Silver Conviction Be Tipping Point for 'Real' Reform?

    sheldon silver conviction

    Sheldon Silver in 2012 (photo via the Governor's Office)


    Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, thought to be the most powerful man in New York state government for decades, was found guilty Monday on seven counts of corruption in multiple schemes to monetize the power of his office. During the trial Silver's own defense attorney insisted that Albany itself was on trial and claimed that Silver's behavior was business as usual in Albany,

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  • Top Ten Corruption Quotes from Silver, Skelos Trials

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    Happier times: Silver, Cuomo, Skelos in 2011 (l-r) photo via Governor's Office on flickr 


    Two former leaders of their respective houses of the New York state legislature are on trial concurrently. In separate cases brought by the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, each is accused of using his office for private gain, among other charges. While the case against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 30

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    After a quiet Thanksgiving weekend, New York politics springs back into action Monday. As the week gets going we're watching as discussions continue around the mayor's rezoning policies, which have been seeing some significant pushback from community and borough boards.

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 16

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    While former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's corruption trial continues this week, former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos' gets started. Albany ethics and pay-to-play culture will continue to loom over and be laced throughout the day-to-day news out of the two trials. Just last week, leading good government groups ...

  • Good Government Groups Point to New Evidence of Need for Major Ethics Reform

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    L-R: Silver, Cuomo & Skelos in 2011 (photo via the governor's office) 


    New York's leading good government groups gathered at Manhattan's Foley Square Wednesday to call on the New York State legislature and the governor to take immediate action to reform public ethics laws. The press conference, held in the shadows of a federal courthouse where one of New York’s most

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, November 2-6

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday November 6

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and others participate in solidarity march in Puerto Rico, via the governor's office on

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 2

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Tuesday is Election Day 2015! There aren't many high-profile races on the ballot, but we will soon have two new members of the City Council, two new District Attorneys (Staten Island and the Bronx), and a few new state legislators. There are also lots of judges on the ballot. Tuesday sets the stage for several

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  • As Sheldon Silver Heads to Trial, A Democratic Challenger is Poised to Run

    Paul Newell Sheldon Silver

    Paul Newell at a housing rally (via @NewellNYC)


    Manhattan District Leader Paul Newell is gearing up for his second bid to replace Assemblymember Sheldon Silver. Newell told Gotham Gazette that he has started fundraising and is "close to running." A political lifetime ago, in 2008, Newell ran a grassroots campaign to unseat Silver, who was then at the height of his power.

    Things have changed since then. Silver was indicted on multiple corruption charges earlier this year and then deposed from the Assembly speakership that he

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, October 19-23

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday October 23

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio and other officials announce sale of Stuyvesant Town & Peter Cooper Village, via Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography

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  • Spurred by Buffalo Billion, Reformers Look to Fix State Business Subsidies

    Cuomo Buffalo thank you

    Cuomo in Buffalo (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


    United States Attorney Preet Bharara's attention has been drawn away from his normal stomping grounds to Buffalo, intrigued by what critics say is a shadowy network of state authorities and state-controlled non-profits handing out large business subsidies and contracts with little to no oversight.

    Watchdogs say that Gov. Andrew Cuomo, through SUNY Polytechnic head ...

  • Do New York Elected Officials Deserve A Raise?

    BdB parade august

    Mayor de Blasio along the parade route (photo: @BilldeBlasio)


    What should the mayor of New York City be paid each year? How much should City Council members be paid? Do elected officials deserve incremental raises each year?

    Or, maybe elected officials are overpaid as it is?

    Some, like New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, think higher government salaries would entice “better” people into public service, meaning smarter and more honest officials.

    A host of questions have

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  • Alain Kaloyeros, Powerful Centerpiece of Buffalo Billion, Could Become Household Name

    Kaloyeros Cuomo Buffalo

    Alain Kaloyeros (photo via the Governor's Office on flickr)


    It is easy to spot Alain Kaloyeros, head of SUNY Polytechnic, around Albany. You can often see him jetting around Stuyvesant Plaza, an upscale shopping center basically next door to the campus he built, which features a spaceship-like structure rising out of the dirt of constant construction.

    It doesn't hurt that he drives a Ferrari Spider with the license plate "Dr. Nano." He is New

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  • Assembly Transparency Group Operates in Secret

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    Assembly Speaker Heastie, middle, on a business tour (photo: @WeaverWind)


    A host of good government groups and legislators say that a state Assembly working group tasked with reforming the chamber's rules to increase transparency and participation has been anything but transparent, operating in secret and rebuffing outside offers of help. One of its two chairs says his group has just been slow to move.

    Creation of the 12-member working group, chaired by Assembly Members Brian Kavanagh and Gary Pretlow, was just one reform

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  • Despite Unprecedented Scandal, Calls for Special Ethics Session Fall on Deaf Ears

    john sampson

    Recently convicted former Sen. John Sampson (photo: @SampsonVictory)


    It would reason to think that the conviction of two legislative leaders would lead to a flurry of anti-corruption activity in any state capital. But in Albany, where the new normal appears to involve multiple convictions and indictments of sitting lawmakers every year, last week's crime blotter appears to have barely turned a head. The convictions of Republican Senate Deputy Leader Tom Libous and Democratic Sen. John Sampson, a former Majority Leader, on

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  • Cuomo, Legislative Leaders Announce End-of-Session Pact

    Cuomo Heastie Flanagan

    Three men at a table (photo: Office of the Governor - Kevin P. Coughlin)


    The deal must still be approved by Democrats in the Assembly and Republicans in the Senate, but there is a framework in place for an end-of-session policy package resolving debate on several key issues that have been on the Albany negotiating table for months.

    On Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the majority leader of each house, Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Republican Senate

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  • Schneiderman's Evolution on Ethics

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    AG Schneiderman (photo via AG's flickr account)


    Scandal fatigue hit Attorney General Eric Schneiderman differently than it hit Governor Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the state legislature.

    Conventional wisdom is that the arrest and indictment of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver earlier this year sent shockwaves through Albany. And yet as far as ethics reforms go, the result of the indictment of the man many saw as the most powerful man in "the room," a man who controlled the Assembly for over two decades, was

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  • Would Expired Rent Regs, Mayoral School Control Spell Doomsday for New York City?

    BdB Cuomo

    De Blasio & Cuomo (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


    "Mayor of the City of New York, frustrated with Albany? Now there's a shocker," Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded on Thursday to reporters who inquired about Mayor Bill de Blasio's concerns over Albany's reluctance to deliver more than simple extenders of policies like mayoral control of schools and rent regulations that impact

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  • With Legislative Package, Schneiderman Challenges Lawmakers to Act on Ethics

    AG

    AG Schneiderman at Tweed Courthouse on Wednesday (Ben Max)


    Standing on the steps of Manhattan's Tweed Courthouse, surrounded by activists, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unveiled a legislative package Wednesday that is designed to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers who have written off negotiating ethics reform this year despite the arrest of two of the most powerful men in Albany on corruption charges.

    "I'm done vouching for incremental reforms," Schneiderman announced to cheers from the gathered crowd on the steps of

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  • John Flanagan's Senate Campaign Finance: The Full Picture

    Flanagan via Senate website

    John Flanagan (photo: Senate website)


    John Flanagan, Republican state Senator, is now Temporary President and Majority Leader in Albany's upper chamber. He replaces Dean Skelos in leadership following the fellow Long Island senator's arrest on
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  • Overwhelmingly Passed Again by Assembly, Bill to Close LLC Loophole Appears Iced by Senate

    squadron podium

    Sen. Daniel Squadron (photo: @DanielSquadron)


    On Tuesday the state Assembly passed a bill to close the controversial LLC loophole at the center of the federal corruption cases against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Both men - a Democrat and a Republican, respectively - were recently arrested and subsequently stepped down from their powerful leadership posts. Later in the evening Tuesday, the Senate’s version of the bill to close the loophole that allows money

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  • The Flanagan Effect: What the New Senate Leader Means for the De Blasio Agenda

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    New Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (photo via Facebook)


    ALBANY - Republican John Flanagan assumed the mantle of Senate Majority Leader on Monday during an unprecedented time of upheaval in Albany, brought on by the arrests of both former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on multiple federal corruption charges. Scandal unearthed by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has exposed the backroom dealings of the state's largest political donor and the men who control the flow of legislation. As he

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 11

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to look for this week in New York politics:

    SKELOS WATCH: The fallout from Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos' arrest on federal corruption charges continues, with Skelos facing increased pressure to step down from his leadership post. The Legislature is back in session in Albany on Monday, it seems that it is only a matter of time before Skelos takes the path indicted Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver took after his arrest:

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  • Amid Further Ethics Scandal, What Can Cuomo Do Now?

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: @NYGovCuomo)


    Last March Gov. Andrew Cuomo killed the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption in a deal with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Now, a little more than a year later, both legislative leaders have been arrested and charged with multiple counts of federal corruption. Surrounded by scandal, it isn't immediately clear what the governor can or will do next. One thing that is sure, though, is that the worse Albany looks, the worse Cuomo looks.

    After

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  • Dean Skelos Thwarted Reform and Maintained Power, Despite the Odds

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    Dean Skelos in 2012 (photo: The Governor's Office via flickr)


    In June 2008, after serving 23 years as the State Senator from Nassau County, Dean Skelos inherited the troubled Republican conference from retiring Majority Leader Joe Bruno. It wasn't exactly the most enviable position.

    Facing an aging conference and with Democrats enjoying a huge enrollment advantage across the state, 2009 saw

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  • Quiet Before the Storm in New Phase of Mayoral Control Debate

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    Mayor de Blasio sits to testify in Albany (photo: Skip Dickstein via Twitter)


    At the end of June this year the law that grants New York's mayor control over city schools will expire. The expiration was designed so that all interested parties can take part in a discussion of what works and what doesn't, and adjust the law as needed. Parents, teachers, advocates, and legislators all have ideas about how to make the system better. But this year there

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