Thursday, January 22, 2015

Political Theater, Cuomo Style

It's no secret that Andrew Cuomo seeks to crush his political foes. If you run afoul of him, watch out. The Working Families Party buckled under to him, as did the UFT by choosing not to endorse pro-teacher candidate Zephyr Teachout for governor over Andy boy.

Now let's look at recent events. Yesterday, Cuomo pushed the most anti-teacher agenda of any democrat governor in these 50 states. It's well known that he took a lot of campaign money from groups like StudentsFirst and others, then lo and behold, a series of virulent anti-education "reforms" make their way into Andy's SOTS speech.

The very next day, the man who would have stood in the way of Andy paying back his political donors, Sheldon Silver, was arrested by the Feds for corruption. Pretty neat, eh? Quite the coincidence there.

Now let me say here and now that if Silver is actually guilty, he should go to jail. Of course, he is innocent until proven guilty, but this undoubtedly taints his reputation and weakens his power in the Assembly at a time teachers need his support the most.

This is a federal indictment, so it could not have been orchestrated by Cuomo. Well, at least not entirely. But is it beyond the realm of possibility that Andy's fingerprints are all over this?

Remember the Moreland Commission--which Andy created to "fight" corruption in Albany, but which he mysteriously abandoned? Is it possible that the Moreland Commission got the goods on Silver, and then was disbanded before they got too close to the governor's mansion?

I have no proof of this, of course. But the timing seems like the entire thing was staged to discredit Silver at a time when Cuomo was determined to butt heads with him.

Would anyone be surprised if that's what happened? I know I wouldn't.

1 comment:

reality-based educator said...

Ben Smith wrote this morning that rumor has it Bloomberg may look to push Bharara to run for office in the future. Matt Taibbi wrote in "Why Isn't Wall Street In Jail" that Bharara comes across as someone very close to the establishment. And Michael Fiorillo has noted a few times how Bharara has never gone after any of the systematic criminality on Wall Street, just the low level insider trading cases and the like. In that way, he is very like Sheriff Andy, who never went after banksters the way Spiter did either.

The timing is certainly suspicious. Cuomo had knowledge of the content of the Moreland files through the exec director, who was feeding him everything that was going on. And Bharara publicly warned Cuomo previous to this over "tampering" and "meddling" with the investigations.

Is it possible Cuomo made some deal with Bharara to rid himself of Shelly Silver?

I would say it certainly is possible.

Who knows what goes on in the corridors of power away from the public view.

One thing I know watching Bharara - he loves attention, he likes to play Eliot Ness on TV, but his track record suggests he's not all that interested in taking out the really powerful criminals rigging Wall Street, Albany, etc.

If he were, Cuomo and his hedge fundie donors would be in prison, as would Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein and the like.

Not saying Bharara's in the tank with Cuomo, not saying there isn't evidence there to indict Silver.

Just saying that the timing of this, a day after Cuomo unleashes a furious agenda, sure smells funny.