Thursday, April 23, 2009

If It Walks Like A Duck, Talks Like A Duck....

Well then it probably is a duck.

The same approach can be used for Sheldon Silver's actions as Assembly Speaker when he tried to influence the State Controller (and criminal) Alan Hevesi. He went to the Controller on behalf of former hockey legend Mike Richter in order to get him connected with the pension fund. Although the deal never happened, that doesn't excuse his behavior.

From The NY Daily News:

Silver twice arranged sitdowns with the controller, who has sole control over pension investments, the Daily News has learned.

One of the most powerful men in Albany, Silver a few years ago accompanied investor Shlomo Kalish of Jerusalem Global Ventures to meet with then-Controller Alan Hevesi to discuss a possible deal.

More recently, Silver and Richter met with Controller Thomas DiNapoli. Richter, the hero of the 1994 Stanley Cup team, is a partner with Environmental Capital Partners.

The pension fund ultimately took a pass on both deals.

But the involvement of Silver - whose spokesman Dan Weiller confirmed the meetings - has raised serious questions among government watchdog groups.

More serious questions for the Speaker that go on top of the pile of questions he refuses to answer. The big problem here is that the way he uses his influence isn't even illegal here in New York. A more transparent state government might want to do something about this, but not in the Albany that good government groups fight against on a daily basis. While Hevesi may be in hot water (along with Joe Bruno) much of the corruption that goes on in our capitol is given a pass, or at least a wink and a nod. And with Shelly Silver at the wheel, don't expect things to change anytime soon.