The NY Times reports this morning that the feds are planning to arrest NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the most powerful Jewish politician in New York State, which counts a Jewish Senator and several Jewish House members in its ranks. The arrest will be on corruption charges, it will take place Thursday, and the FBI made sure to leak this to the Times. At last, the gray lady will get her Shelly Silver perp walk.
They’ve been having wet dreams about this Shelly Silver perp walk for two decades, since 1994, really, when Speaker Saul Weprin had a stroke, and the near-anonymous Assemblyman from Grand Street became his temporary replacement.
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They’ve been trying to take him out from the start, over at the Times. It’s true that the NY Daily News, and even more so the NY Post, have hated him. But for the two tabloids, this was more about their frustration with the new Speaker’s style—he just wouldn’t leak the scandals their way, preferring to do his business in-camera; and he also wasn’t lavish with those campaign ads because he never won his district by less than 60 percent of the vote, usually more like eighty. For the NY Times, Shelly Silver represented everything they hated about NY politics: patronage jobs and secret deals and all the many different ways folks who weren’t born with that golden spoon shoved up their butt took care of their own.
You think the NY Times hates Israel? Compared to how they feel about Shelly Silver, their treatment of Bibi Netanyahu is a love poema.
OK, now that you know the background to all this, and you understand why the Times was picked to deliver the first message about arresting the Speaker (which may or may not happen), here’s what the feds actually have on him.
It started, according to the Times, last March, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo suddenly shut down his anti-corruption commission, which had been working for about a year. So the feds became curious and started digging after what it was the Democratic Governor of NY State didn’t want investigated.
Several months ago, says the Times, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York subpoenaed documents from a personal injury firm Silver works for. That employment is above board, since NY State lawmakers are allowed to keep a job for when they’re not busy in Albany.
The feds were looking for a different after hours job Silver was keeping, and, supposedly, not paying taxes on. We ran the story a couple of days before New Year’s: Feds Probing Strongest NY State Jewish Politician.
The feds suspect that Silver received payments from Goldberg & Iryami, a tiny law firm that specializes in reducing NYC real estate taxes for their clients. They’re not sure how much money was involved, but they think it was a lot, over several years, and none of it was supposedly reported.
The FBI picked up where the governor’s anti-corruption commission ended, when they were told to leave everything on the table and go home.
The entire case relies not on whether or not Silver reported the income, but on whether or not he should have been hired by this Tax Certiorari firm (the fancy term means we get you to pay less on your real estate taxes), because, let’s face it, Shelly Silver is not your Tax Certiorari attorney, he’s from Grand Street, he does mostly personal injury. So if they paid him, it wasn’t for his expertise, but for the rain making he did for them, putting them together with hundreds of landlords in his district who could use their help.
For that, the feds want to give Shelly the perp walk, apparently, and the best NY Times photojournalists will be there to snap their overpriced photographic equipment.