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Has Cuomo Had It With Sheldon Silver? Pick Your Tabloid Truth

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Sheldon Silver; file photo.
Sheldon Silver; file photo.

If you collected a dollar every time the Post talked up Sheldon Silver’s potential demise, you’d probably be rich.  So take this item about our local Assemblyman, Speaker Silver, with a heavy dose of skepticism.  This morning, Post columnist Fred Dicker reports “exclusively” that Governor Cuomo is “considering ousting… Silver over Albany scandals.”

Two members of the Assembly are facing charges for allegedly accepting bribes.  Last week, U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said, “It becomes more and more difficult to avoid the sad conclusion that political corruption in New York is indeed rampant” and “that a show-me-the-money culture in Albany is alive and well.”

Today Dicker wrote:

Gov. Cuomo and his top aides are looking to use last week’s round of embarrassing scandals in Albany to oust Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — and they’re already eyeing an upstate lawmaker to replace him, The Post has learned.  The governor and his team — stung hard by US Attorney Preet Bharara’s assertion that corruption is “rampant” and “pervasive” in the statehouse — are fed up with Silver, who they say has presided over two decades of dysfunction, sources said.  “Shelly’s been the master of gaming the corrupt system for 20 years. He’s made millions off of it, and the coalition that keeps him in power are the ones who feed off the corrupt system,” a Cuomo administration source said.

The report touched off an entertaining tabloid war after Daily News columnist Ken Lovett threw water on the Dicker bombshell:

Those close to Gov. Cuomo are vehemently denying a report this morning that the governor is considering making a move on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as a result of the latest corruption scandals to grip the Capitol. Four Cuomo insiders directly involved in discussions this weekend with the governor deny any validity to the report when I called them early this morning. “No truth at all,” said one. “It was not discussed,” insisted another.

Capital’s Azi Pyabarah adds:

…a person who wanted only to be identified as a Cuomo “administration official” emailed me to say, “Within the next few days the governor will be making proposals. It is entirely false to suggest the governor has negatively commented on the leadership of either house in relation to these cases.”


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