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12/01/2015 07:38 AM EDT
By Azi Paybarah in Manhattan, Jimmy Vielkind in Albany, and Mike Allen in D.C., with Daniel Lippman
SILVER FALLS, WITHOUT RIPPLES - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: Sheldon Silver has been removed from the state Legislature, heralding ... nothing, necessarily. Jurors took a little less than a week to find Silver, a 71-year-old Democrat who represented the Lower East Side since 1977, guilty of seven counts of selling his office, disguising payments as legal fees that he traded for official favors. The bold particulars - $4 million in personal gain, a shakedown to turn cancer patients into fee-generating plaintiffs - unfurled over a three week trial as prosecutors led by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara painted Silver as a dry, inscrutable, greedy embodiment of Albany's problems.
They've won this battle, but are far from victory in Bharara's larger war on the culture here. No, Silver's fall doesn't actually compel changes to business as usual at the Capitol because none of the state's most powerful people feel any need to upend a system they mastered and which continues to serve them well. http://politi.co/1HBOsMu
--Politico's Colby Hamilton in Manhattan + Jimmy: "Silver [age 71] - one of the most powerful men in Albany for two decades and ... under five governors ... [must] vacate his seat in the Assembly. He will be sentenced next year, and ... could face up to 20 years in prison for each of the seven counts." http://politi.co/1MTeM3D
-- Times reporters Benjamin Weiser and Susanne Craig, in the courthouse: "Silver fidgeted in his chair, clenched his jaw, shook his head, sighed and glanced toward Preet Bharara, ... who had taken a seat at the rear of the courtroom just before the verdict was read. After the fourth guilty pronouncement by the jury forewoman, Mr. Silver's shoulders sagged visibly inside his baggy navy blue suit." http://nyti.ms/1HBNccg
--Leaving the courthouse, Silver was met by a throng of dozens of reporters at the base of the steps. The usually stoic Silver revealed a hint of emotion as he spoke with a noticeable waver in his voice, telling reporters that he was disappointed with the verdict. "Ultimately I believe after we file the legal challenges, we'll have a different result," said Silver, who was flanked by his lawyers Steven Molo, Joel Cohen and Justin Shur. http://politi.co/1HBLVSF
--The holdout: "Arleen Phillips, a 53-year-old technician from Mount Vernon who identified herself as the first juror who asked to be dismissed, said she was the lone holdout from the beginning, the only one who thought Mr. Silver wasn't guilty. 'I felt that the fact that he gave money as a grant was goodwill. I didn't feel that there was any scheming or manipulation or anything dangerous in that,' she said. Ms. Phillips said that what changed her mind on Monday was evidence concerning Mr. Silver's annual financial disclosure forms, on which he omitted income from the Goldberg firm. Even so, the vagaries of Albany caused her to hold on to her doubts. 'It's still a gray area for me as far as what an assemblyman is entitled or not entitled to,' she said. 'But the evidence that I looked at, I think, spoke for me.'" http://on.wsj.com/1HBKhAs
--CUOMO statement: "Today, justice was served. Corruption was discovered, investigated, and prosecuted, and the jury has spoken. With the allegations proven, it is time for the Legislature to take seriously the need for reform. There will be zero tolerance for the violation of the public trust in New York."
PREET WINS BIG: Silver's conviction marks a major victory for Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney who brought charges against Silver and Dean Skelos, the former Republican leader of the State Senate, whose trial is still ongoing in the same courthouse. During Silver's trial, Bharara had often watched from the back row - at times visibly perturbed as defense lawyers said he was trying to condemn a state legislative system in which he had no formal role." http://politi.co/1Q9rNID
** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Providing more than 61 percent of New York's carbon-free electricity, nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals. New York's nuclear energy fleet supports about 18,000 jobs and provides $2.5 billion to the state's GDP. Learn more at NuclearMatters.com. **
THE POTHOLE MAYOR - Times's Michael Grynbaum: De Blasio on Monday announced the ahead-of-schedule completion of a repaving of FDR Drive, a road the mayor remembered as particularly bad from the days when he used to drive himself. http://nyti.ms/1lqRFUP
DISCOVERY OF THE DAY -- "Take A Two Minute Tour Of The Lower East Side's Tenement Museum" -- via Gothamist. http://bit.ly/1PXisVH
DE BLASIO PLANS NEW AIDS FUNDING - POLITICO's Dan Goldberg and Laura Nahmias: Mayor de Blasio plans to announce today that he is committing $23 million toward combating HIV/AIDS, money that can be used to expand access to pre-exposure prophylactics and anti-retroviral therapies. http://politi.co/1jw0Imc
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CAT? -- 'Subway Kitten' Made Famous During 2013 Mayoral Election Has Gone Missing via DNAinfo's Rachel Smith: http://dnain.fo/1OADOVR
--Joe Lhota responds: "I don't have the kitten. Really, I don't." -- http://bit.ly/1l3v8hl
CITY HALL MOVES -- Mayor names Gregg Bishop as his Commissioner of Small Business Services. The position has been been vacant since June, when the mayor tapped the agency's former commissioner, Maria Torres-Springer, to head the city's Economic Development Corporation. POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: http://politi.co/1lUQEoC
#PATAKIWATCH: Pataki won't be on the ballot in Arkansas, Florida or Alabama. http://bit.ly/1HBKDqJ
PIC OF THE DAY: Silver's name has already been removed from the door of his old office. http://bit.ly/1Ssxssx
ZONING IN-"Diaz takes aim at de Blasio's zoning proposals," by POLITICO's Sally Goldenberg: "Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio's zoning proposals on Monday, raising a litany concerns about the mayor's housing plans, including what he said was insufficient open space and a lack of attention to infrastructure needs. ... In a the three-page letter to Carl Weisbrod, chairman of the City Planning Commission, Diaz takes issue with the broad and complicated scope of the two zoning amendments known as Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability." http://politi.co/1QQMCu7
THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: The Red Bulls announced they will pick up captain Dax McCarty's option for next season. Here's more on what the Red Bulls won in 2015: http://politi.co/1MYnMSS
Bleacher Report's Patricia Traina, on the Giants: "The New York Giants' playoff hopes aren't dead yet, despite their rather dead-looking performance against Washington on Sunday, but let's be realistic here. ... The good news-if you're into this type of thing-is that in 2011, the Giants suffered a similar situation: They were embarrassed by Washington and then came out swinging the rest of the way." http://ble.ac/1MTzQak
The day ahead: the Nets host the Suns.
#UpstateAmerica: The value of Buffalo's 38 story One Seneca Tower, the second-tallest upstate building, has plummeted to just $12 million. http://bit.ly/1Xtu2MI
** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Some of America's existing nuclear energy plants face early closure due to current economic and policy conditions. Providing more than 62% of America's carbon-free electricity, existing, state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals.
In New York, nuclear energy plants provide 31 percent of the state's electricity and 61 percent of our carbon-free electricity. The existing nuclear energy plants in New York also support about 18,000 jobs and provide $2.5 billion to the state's GDP.
If we want to keep New York working, we need policies that will keep New York's state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants working for all of us. Join us at NuclearMatters.com **
FOR MORE political and policy news from New York, check out Politico New York's home page: http://politi.co/1MkLGXV
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