Nov
30
2015
--

My RedState post on Sheldon Silver corruption conviction is up.

Found here. Short version: the man was as guilty of sin, and deserved it. But we have to start pulling up these weeds earlier.

May
02
2015
3

Did NY Assemblyman Sheldon Silver (D) give up NY Senator Dean Skelos (R)?

Mayyyyybe:

Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son are expected to be arrested on federal corruption charges next week, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The expected arrests, coming roughly three months after federal bribery and kickback charges led Assemblyman Sheldon Silver to step down as speaker, would signal an extension of the investigation into allegations of political corruption in Albany, and would almost certainly further upend the legislative session.

(more…)

Jan
30
2015
--

Meet Carl Heastie, the (likely) new New York Assembly Speaker…

…same as the old Assembly Speaker: “The Bronx Democrat on the verge of becoming the next Assembly speaker paid his baby mama $2,500 from his campaign treasury — raising ethical concerns following disgraced Sheldon Silver’s corruption bust, The [New York] Post has learned.” It’s a fairly picayune, yet hardly uncommon, maneuver: take someone who you’d like to give some money and hire him/her to do a specific job. S/he doesn’t know how to do it? Well, subcontract it out! If you’ve thought ahead then you’ve already overpaid him/her by enough that s/he can just hire somebody to actually do the job at the regular market rate and still come out ahead on the deal. Best part of all? If you do it with campaign money, it doesn’t count. (more…)

Jan
27
2015
2

Sheldon Silver being (theoretically) ousted from New York state Speaker position.

Oh my droogies, the knives are now out: “Assembly Democrats emerged this evening and announced that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will vacate his position as of Monday and Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle will serve as speaker until Feb. 10, when an election would be held.” Basically, it’s a quit, or be ousted moment; they apparently don’t actually have a commitment from Silver that he’ll go quietly. Which means if Sheldon Silver does not care to go quietly… (more…)

Jan
22
2015
10

I am not a lawyer, nor am I advising Sheldon Silver. :pause: BUT…

…if I was advising Sheldon Silver and the subject of him trading testimony to the feds in exchange for immunity / a reduced sentence came up, this would be my advice.

Come on, Shelly.  You’re seventy years old.  You wanna spend the rest of your life in jail?  – Because you know all the good stories. Democrat, Republican, WFP, Liberal, Conservative, Independent, The Rent Is Too Damn High… lots of fingers, lots of pies, and the feds have plenty of video recorders. This could be your moment to be remembered forever.

Jan
22
2015
4

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) to be indicted.

The New York Times is apparently a master of understatement: “Federal authorities are expected to arrest Sheldon Silver, the powerful speaker of the New York State Assembly, on corruption charges on Thursday, people with knowledge of the matter said, in a case that is likely to throw Albany into disarray.” …Yes. Yes, I imagine that indicting Speaker Silver will cause a certain amount of confusion and delay, as the philosopher once said.  In much the same way that removing a queen ant from her anthill can disrupt the anthill’s normal operating work environment.

Background here: the short version is that Sheldon Silver is probably going to be formally accused of using a law firm to more or less sanitize payoffs via ‘consulting.’ The weird part? Speaker Silver didn’t report the income he was getting via ‘consulting.’  If I were to hazard a guess, it’d be that Silver decided that he was invulnerable, and started acting accordingly.  That never works out well, in the long run. (more…)

Dec
30
2014
--

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) under federal investigation.

Ooo.  This should be fun: “Federal authorities are investigating substantial payments made to the State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, by a small law firm that seeks real estate tax reductions for commercial and residential properties in New York City, according to people with knowledge of the matter.” To summarize the article: one way to hide payoffs to politicians is via the venerable “consulting/contract work” method.  You pay a guy a salary, he picks up the paycheck, and understandings are reached.  In this particular case, apparently Silver wasn’t reporting the income in question – which, truth be told, sounds a bit weird: that seems to be a rookie corruption mistake. The point is that Silver is taking a lot of revenue from a law firm that specializes in a type of tax law that Silver reportedly has no professional experience in, and has been doing so for some time. (more…)

Mar
29
2009
--

New York to tax top earners.

To sum up the New York Times article: New York Democrats in the Assembly have come to an agreement with New York Democrats in the Senate and the New York Democrat in the Governor’s office to raise state taxes on all incomes above $300,000/year. This is felt to be the best way to handle the looming 3.2 billion deficit in taxes from the previous projected budget – as opposed to, say, spending 3.2 billion less next year. Meanwhile, Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver went to some trouble to make certain that this tax plan did not include tax offsets for homeowners; the suggestion that this is for partisan political purposes is, of course, scurrilous. So, no doubt, is the observation that this tax bump is going to be squarely hitting small businesses at the same time that some of them are going to get hit on their federal tax burden as well.

And, of course, it is completely unfair to point out that New York’s economy is critically dependent on the collection of talent, capital, and organization that was already in poor financial health even before this new development. I am given to understand that the inhabitants of Wall Street tend Democratic in both contributions and elections.  It’ll be interesting to see how many times they can be kicked before there’s a general reassessment of that policy. Presumably it won’t happen right way, if only because it takes time for people to admit to themselves that they actually do have class interests, and they’re not voting them; but patience is a virtue.

As for the rest of New York, I ask what I asked the Washingtonians earlier: how’s one-party rule working out for you guys?

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

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