Wednesday, December 02, 2015

One of the three Engineers of the SAFE Act Found Guilty of Corruption, Second on Trial

Skelos, Cuomo, Silver

Three men who created the infamous "SAFE" act in New York, have been accused of extortion and corruption.  One of them, Sheldon Silver, has been convicted.  The second, former Senate Leader Dean Skelos, is undergoing trial.  The third, Governor Cuomo, has shown up often in testimony, but has not been charged.  

The charges against Mr. Silver upended the status quo in Albany, and were followed in short order by the indictment of another one of the room’s three men, former Senate Leader Dean Skelos. Mr. Skelos, a Republican, is on trial just across the street from the courthouse where Mr. Silver has sat for the last few weeks, also brought up on corruption charges by Mr. Bharara. The dual trials have had a tremendous impact on the workings of Albany, casting a pall over the idea of business-as-usual in the capital—which is what Mr. Silver’s lawyers have maintained was going on, despite prosecutor’s insistence the conduct was illegal— and slowing down negotiations over the budget late last year. The proceedings have also included plenty of testimony about the third man in the room, Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

This was reported in June.   From
The investigation became news in 2014 after Cuomo attempted to close down the Moreland Commission, an anti-corruption panel, shortly after it began investigating real estate donors with relationships to legislators and the governor himself. According to the New York Times, a Cuomo aide moved to block the panel from subpoenaing the Real Estate Board of New York—which named Glenwood’s Litman its Lifetime Honorary Chairman in 2012.

The New York Times also reports that one of Glenwood’s top executives is believed to be cooperating with U.S. Attorney Bharara’s investigation.

The New York Post reports that Bharara’s probe moved closer to Cuomo in late May with an indictment alleging that insurance executive Anthony Bonomo, who heads Physicians Reciprocal Insurers and is chairman of the New York Racing Association and a top Cuomo donor, provided the no-show job to Adam Skelos and whose family contributed $250,000 to Cuomo’s campaign. An unidentified “senior state Democrat” reportedly told the Post that “the fact that Bonomo…is cooperating with Bharara brings the whole investigation a giant step closer to Cuomo.”
So far, Governor Cuomo has not been indicted.  From the
And then there will be one man left standing — Gov. Cuomo, who has been squarely in Bharara’s sights for months now; not-guilty verdicts in Silver’s case would have let the steam out of whatever it is that the prosecutor is planning for Cuomo, and that didn’t happen.

Which has to weigh heavily on the governor. Though no one is suggesting that he ever put an untoward penny in his own pocket, he’s beefed up his campaign accounts with millions from people who figured prominently in both the Silver and Skelos cases.

The three men have been widely criticised for pushing through the "SAFE" act in the dead of night as as so called "emergency measure", without debate or public input.

The "SAFE" act is one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the United States, imposing further restrictions on already strict New York State laws.  There has been massive civil disobedience with the law.  Numerous Sheriff's have refused to enforce it.  It is currently being appealed as unconstitutional.

Laws that disarm citizens have long been associated with corrupt politicians and organized crime.  One of the first of the "progressive" gun control laws was the Sullivan Act, the foundation of the New York gun laws.  It was created in 1911 to protect organized crime, and was pushed through by "Big Tim" Sullivan, one of the criminal bosses of the Tammany gang.

Update: Dean Skelos and his son have now been convicted.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if they get these guys, all three, for taking bribes if they can also charge Bloomberg and Soros for paying the bribes.