Monthly Archives: February 2015

A Silver Lining for Albany?

As Democrats in Albany get set to elect a successor to embattled Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is supposed to resign tonight at 11:59 amid federal charges of corruption, red flags already appear to be popping up.

The murky state of Albany politics.

News that longtime speaker Silver – who tightly held the reins two decades – was being investigated by the feds for allegedly taking millions in kickbacks sent a shock through the political machine. In a remarkable turn, Democrats known for shielding their speaker began talking about his replacement.

Suddenly, a gust of fresh air. Hopes began to build for a better day in Albany. It was short-lived. Initially, lawmakers said they’d wait for two weeks to select a replacement. Then, a handful decided to back Carl Heastie, chairman of the Bronx Democratic Party. Some members event want to move up the election from its scheduled date of Feb. 10.

Why so hasty for Heastie? The public was promised a more open and deliberative selection process.

Assemblyman Heastie is vowing more transparency in Albany but he himself was being investigated by the now shuttered Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption over his use of campaign funds.

And while his actions are not unique – nor may they even be illegal – it’s not the fresh start needed to spur real reform.

There’s a growing fear it’s just going to be more of the same. The people deserve better – much better.