Cuomo Denies He's Trying To Oust Silver

6:24 PM, Apr 9, 2013   |    comments
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A political earthquake could be about to strike Albany. A report today indicates Governor Cuomo may be trying to get rid of long-time Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver.

According to Monday's New York Post, Governor Cuomo has had enough of the Speaker, and Cuomo and his staff are looking for a way to get rid of him.

Since becoming speaker in 1994, Sheldon Silver has been brokering deals with five different New York Governors, but Cuomo reportedly wants to be the last. According to the Post, Cuomo has been frustrated by all of the recent pay-to-play corruption in the state legislature with almost dozen Assembly members charged or removed while Silver has been in charge.

When asked on public radio station WCNY Monday whether the report was true, Cuomo called Silver a "partner," saying it's up to legislature to choose its leader, and he won't interfere.

RADIO HOST: Did you and your staff have any conversations about the speaker in light of these scandals? Or, would you prefer to work with someone else besides the speaker for whatever reason?
CUOMO: We just did a budget - we just did a budget that I am very proud of. It was a difficult budget with a lot of stress. . . So we just accomplished one of the great feats. We've been bragging all over the state about how we just got a third on-time budget. The first time in 30 years. So, no, it's gone well.

If Cuomo does want Silver out, former South Buffalo Assemblyman Mark Schroeder says it's unlikely to happen.

"Remember the famous term that the Romans would say: 'If you strike a king, make sure you kill him,'" Schroeder said. "It is going to be impossible to take the speaker out because the rules of the Assembly favor him."

That's because Silver, who is 69, was just re-elected speaker in January.  South Buffalo Assemblyman Mickey Kearns was one of only two Democrats who voted against him.

"I think people have had enough, and I think we do need to see some changes in Albany," Kearns said.

But Kearns said the vast majority of Assembly Democrats are afraid to challenge Silver.

"But this might be a chink in the armor," Kearns said, referring to the recently pay-to-play scandals. "And I do think the governor is strong enough and it may take someone like the governor to initiate this."


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