Following Silver's Money

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on election night, Nov. 5, 2013. New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on election night, Nov. 5, 2013. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver disclosed that he earned between $650,000 and $750,000 from his law firm in 2013, almost double the prior year's pay. Editor Michael Aronson explains the Daily News' efforts to follow the revelations regarding Silver's income.


Michael Aronson

Comments [21]

If anyone could get on NY's ballots by just paying a fee, then the whole party-bosses-controlled system might be replaced by more honest citizen candidates.
Given choices, who would vote for the professional crooks of the Party Bosses?

Jul. 15 2014 11:47 AM

Similar petition barriers keep insurgents within the parties from challenging the party bosses.

Jul. 15 2014 11:29 AM
steve from upper west side Manhattan

Michael Aronson - concerning Stop and Frisk vs. this year's shooting count, how is it "good science" to let the wolf (Bratton) investigate the hen-house killings??? You have excellent investigative reporters on staff -- give this to Juan Gonzalez and get a REAL answer, not more self-serving propaganda from above...

Jul. 15 2014 11:28 AM

NY’s barriers to an independent candidate (such as Libertarian Party) being on the ballot:
1500 to 15000 (depending on office) valid witnessed signatures on a confusing petition.

All signatures must be collected in 6 weeks, after July 4, and submitted before the end of August, when many voters are away on vacation. It’s hard to wear a dignified suit in the sun in the hottest part of the year.

The big parties have already had their petition period, requiring fewer signatures. If you signed one of their petitions, you can’t sign the Libertarian petition.
Any voter may Object to the petitions. Several party hacks will file objections to an insurgent candidate, whom the party boss really fears.
The Bi-Partisan Board Of Elections (run by an appointee of the Democrat Party Boss and an appointee of the Republican Party Boss) decides if there is a fatal technical flaw in your petitions. Some boards don’t even specify what the flaw is.
You have 3 days, from the Decision, to prepare and file a lawsuit against the Board, and serve a copy on the Board and all the Objectors. Board employees won’t tell you when the decision has been made, and will mail the decision at 6 PM, in hope to delay its arrival at least 2 days.
Your Judge relies on the party bosses to re-nominate him at the end of his 7-year term. Often a Judge will use any technical flaw to disqualify your candidacy (so as not to displease his Party Boss?). Courts have delayed acceptance of the suit in an attempt to thwart your timely service on the many party objectors.
Experienced election lawyers are too expensive for some independent candidates. Such election lawyers work mostly for the Parties, so there is likely a conflict.
Appeals Court judges also rely on party bosses to re-nominate them at the end of 7-year terms.
NY has more election litigation than any other state. Many elections have only one candidate.
NJ only requires a small ballot fee, and does not have a “confusingly crowded” ballot.

Jul. 15 2014 11:25 AM

Why do we keep voting for these people?

Jul. 15 2014 11:22 AM

The petition process for getting on the ballot is is designed to protect the party Bosses who control the system.

Jul. 15 2014 11:21 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Legal work isn't necessarily in the courtroom (the way the promo made it sound)--a lot of it is in the office.

And wouldn't it be more of a problem is Spkr. Silver were doing private legal work & *not* reporting the income? I'm not exactly a fan of his, but I don't get why this is such a big deal.

Jul. 15 2014 11:20 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ john from office

His "income from Case referrals"? Are you kidding? The Grey Ghost is not referring out cases to W&L. I know plenty of people who worked at W&L (they employed thousands of law students over the years for doc review) and Silver doesn't do anything there except pick up checks. Their marketing budget is huge, they hired Erin Brockovitch for their commercials, remember? Their referrals come from smaller law firms across the country for asbestos/toxic tort biz, not Silver.

Jul. 15 2014 11:20 AM
David from nyc

Term Limits ???

Jul. 15 2014 11:16 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I wouldn't trust Sheldon Silver as far as I could throw him.

Jul. 15 2014 11:15 AM
Sue from NYC

So-called "tort reform" is a GOP scam to cut corporate costs and liability, to put a cap on damages people can recover for injuries suffered due to others' negligence. If, unfortunately, you had a horrible, life-changing injury and you required round-the-clock nursing care but your damages were limited, by legislation, to $1 million even though the care you need would cost $10 million, how would you manage? Would you be happy to get MUCH less than you NEED so the negligent party could avoid paying more for insurance? I think not.

Jul. 15 2014 11:12 AM
David from nyc

This Brian is why the 1% run this state/country/world

Lets all just face the facts

Jul. 15 2014 11:12 AM
john from office

His income from case referals is totally legal, what is it with the tone of voice??, Is he sitting in shadows?? All we need is organ music.

Jul. 15 2014 11:09 AM
thomas from asioria

If I go to my legislator with a problem, should he/she be funneling me and my concerns to a for profit law firm?

Jul. 15 2014 11:09 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

Silver is untouchable, he pulls the handles and pushes the buttons. Don't believe me? Wait, this will all go away very soon...

Jul. 15 2014 11:05 AM
mr nyc

What's wrong with this? It's legal and he hasn't done anything wrong. It's just conspiratorital heavy breathing, a right-wing hit job. Pathetic.

Jul. 15 2014 11:04 AM
mr nyc

What's wrong with this? It's legal and he hasn't done anything wrong. It's just conspiratorital heavy breathing, a right-wing hit job. Pathetic.

Jul. 15 2014 11:04 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Mr. Silver has used our tax money to pay off his sycophants accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and much worse.

He's been in power for.... Yet the sheep keep electing him. Is it shocking that his hands are in the till? Allegedly.

Until we have open primaries or term limits; democracy in our state is a joke.

Jul. 15 2014 10:35 AM
Edith from Manhattan

it's amazing that someone with the skeletons in his closet gets voted in decade after decade - though this is NY and we have a history of voting unsavory people back in to office. Does anyone read a paper anymore or do they just pull the levers for fun?

Jul. 15 2014 10:01 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Silver stopped votes on partial birth abortion in the late 1990s, and the World Trade Center was in his district. Recently most lawmakers were for tuition tax credits for people who contribute to Catholic (and other) schools, 21 other states have it. Silver was against it and it wasn't in the budget. (See Cardinal's Dolan's online commercial.)

Jul. 15 2014 08:04 AM

Please discuss not only Silver's $700,000 income from W&L, but that Weitz & Luxenburg sues Silver's CONSTITUTENTS (!!!) in the state and the city for millions of dollars EVERY YEAR in their money-printing personal injury gig.
Duh, that's their niche.
Silver has supported/sponsored legislation to give free reign for his REAL EMPLOYERS to relentlessly sue his taxpayer voters and the city/state hospitals for mega-bucks. What dupes! Please reveal the numbers of W&L awards each year from the cases against the state.

ALL of the DEMOCRATS are in the trial lawyers' pockets - Silver is just arrogant and shameless in his audacious openness.

Jul. 15 2014 07:20 AM

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