Schroeder: I Won’t Support Silver (Updated)
Make that minus one vote for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver when the Democrats convene for a leadership vote in January.
Maverick Buffalo Democratic Assemblyman Mark Schroeder announced in a press release that he hand delivered a letter to Silver’s office Monday to inform the Manhattan lawmaker he can’t count on Schroeder’s vote unless he attends a public forum on issues facing Western New York.
“In a disastrous, scandal ridden year for state government, it has become obvious that Upstate New York has no voice in the Capitol,” said Schroeder.
“When another late budget was finalized without UB2020 and SUNY Empowerment, it became abundantly clear that those of us who live north of New York City have no say in how we are governed, and have no power to save our struggling cities.”
“It is impossible for me to support Silver for another term as speaker if the needs and priorities of my constituents, and millions of New Yorkers across Upstate, continue to be ignored. This is an opportunity for the speaker to demonstrate that he is genuinely serious about addressing the issues that are plaguing Upstate New York.”
Among the issues Schroeder wants to discuss are: UB2020 and SUNY Empowerment, transportation funding for Upstate roads and bridges, inequities in Medicaid reimbursement rate for nursing homes, and abusive sales tax audits of small business, among others.
The assemblyman said his constituents are “sick and tired of being treated like second-class citizens,” adding: “The speaker needs to show them that he’s committed to fixing the problems facing our region. It is time for the speaker to either step up, or step aside.”
A few points worth noting here.
First: Buffalo is the hometown of failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, and WNY in general is ground zero, if you will, for all that pent-up anger at Albany that helped the businessman win the GOP primary and carry 12 upstate counties in the general election.
Second: It’s a safe bet that lingering anger over the failure of UB2020 – over which soon-to-be-former Sen. Bill Stachowski held up the budget this past summer – contributed to Stachowski’s loss and also to the cliffhanger contest in which Sen. Antoine Thompson now finds himself.
Third: Schroeder has a long history of verbal bomb throwing, and the speaker is one of his frequent targets. He doesn’t have enough power for anyone in the conference to take him very seriously in this instance.
However, since this is coming on the heels of the Post report about anonymous anti-Silver/pro-Cuomo plotters and the governor-elect’s rather lukewarm statements in Puerto Rico about wanting to work with the Assembly “leadership,” you’ve got to say this:
Schroeder’s got a canny sense of political timing.
UPDATE: In a CapTon interview that will air this evening, Schroeder reminded me that he did not vote for Silver when he first arrived in the Assembly back in 2005. He had vowed not to support Silver unless he promised – in writing – to help enact an on-time budget.
The Buffalo News’ Tom Precious has more.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on November 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm, and is filed under Assembly, Sheldon Silver, Upstate NY. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|