Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule. Members of his cabinet are traveling the state to spread the gospel about his 2015 Opportunity Agenda. Their respective itineraries appear at the end of this post.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in Washington, D.C.

At 8:15 a.m., U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, introduced by New York Law School Dean Anthony W. Crowell, speaks during an event organized by the school’s Center for New York City Law as part of the center’s “CityLaw Breakfast Series”; event center, second floor, 185 W. Broadway, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Port Authority representatives open seven public hearings about proposed changes in freight transportation across the Hudson River and New York Harbor, open to public comment from Thursday, Nov. 13, through Friday, Feb. 27; faculty lounge and room H750, CUNY’s Baruch College, 151 E. 25th St., Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher delivers her annual “State of SUNY” address Swyer Theater, The Egg, Albany.

At 10:15 a.m., de Blasio speaks at the US Conference of Mayors Plenary Panel, Capital Hilton Hotel – Presidential Ballroom, 1001 16th St. Northwest, Washington.

At 10:30 a.m., WNY Republican members of the Assembly hold a press conference denouncing Silver’s actions and detailing how his continued leadership in the Assembly will negatively impact New Yorkers, Mahoney State Office Building, 65 Court St., Hearing Room 4, Buffalo.

At 10:45 a.m., de Blasio hosts a press conference on immigration reform, 2nd Floor Foyer outside the Presidential Ballroom, 1001 16th St. Northwest, Washington.

At 11 a.m., during a joint hearing, members of the NYC Council’s Committee on Education and Committee on Health receive testimony about a legislative proposal intended to improve detection of concussions during scholastic football games and practices, and a legislative proposal that would establish a Youth Sports Health and Safety Task Force; Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 12:30 p.m., IDC Leader Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, NYC Councilman Jimmy Vacca and others hold a press conference to call on the NYC Department of Homeless Services to ban level two and three sex offenders from temporary emergency housing and homeless shelters used to house families with children, across from the Crystal Family Residence, 555 Hutchinson River Parkway, the Bronx.

At 1 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul attends the North Country Regional Economic Development Council meeting, High Peaks Resort, 2384 Saranac Ave., Lake Placid.

Also at 1 p.m., former Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins holds a press conference to respond to Cuomo’s budget and Silver’s arrest, LCA press room, LOB, Albany.

At 4:45 p.m., de Blasio attends President Obama’s remarks to the US Conference of Mayors, East Room, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington.


U.S. attorney Preet Bharara, after tarring Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as the epitome of Albany corruption, delivered a warning to the politician’s colleagues: “Stay tuned.” And if Bharara can claim the speaker’s scalp, he’ll be seen as a conquering hero in some circles.

For years, Silver has earned a lucrative income outside government, asserting that he was a simple personal injury lawyer who represented ordinary people. But federal prosecutors said his purported law practice was a fiction, one he created to mask about $4 million in payoffs that he carefully and stealthily engineered for over a decade.

Silver’s arrest is expected to throw Albany’s power structure into chaos, though he apparently intends – and his members (for the moment) agree – to remain speaker while he awaits trail.

Silver funneled $500,000 in state slush funds to a leading Manhattan oncologist in exchange for a steady stream of asbestos-related cancer cases, which he then fed to a personal-injury law firm that paid him more than $3 million in fees for the referrals, the feds charge.

After he was released on a $200,000 bond, Silver said he is confident he will be “vindicated,” but that could take some time.

Stunned Assembly Democrats must now decide which is the lesser of two evils: sticking with a politically damaged speaker or turning over upcoming budget talks to a rookie. The Assembly since 1973 has had three speakers serve while under indictment, including Mel Miller, who managed to negotiate a budget deal with then Gov. Mario Cuomo, the current governor’s father.

“There’s a rule. If you can’t kill the king, you don’t shoot at him. If you want to do a revolution and shoot the king, you better kill him,” said Miller, who was convicted on corruption charges in 1991. The conviction was later overturned. “Why shouldn’t he stay as speaker? He hasn’t been convicted.”

Only two members of the 106 in Silver’s Democratic majority – Assemblymen Michael P. Kearns of South Buffalo and Charles Barron of Brooklyn – have suggested that the speaker should resign.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the arrest of Silver “a bad reflection on government” but would not say if he believes the embattled pol should resign his leadership post.

In a surprising show of support, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said Silver – his close ally in Albany – has always seemed like a “man of integrity” and insisted it was too early for his ouster, though he did acknowledge the charges against the speaker are “serious.”

Joe Lhota, the Republican candidate who lost to de Blasio in 2013, slammed the mayor for his support of Silver. “I think the mayor’s being a hypocrite,” Lhota said. “He called upon (former) Gov. (David) Paterson to step down over a baseball ticket scandal and interference in an aide’s domestic violence case.”

The speaker could be facing 100 years in prison on political corruption charges of conspiracy and bribery. Should he give up his leadership post, and if so, who should replace him? A poll.

Cuomo’s decision to pull the plug on his corruption-fighting Moreland Commission panel will have repercussions far beyond Silver, insiders said.

Assemblywoman Addie Russell, of Jefferson County, suggested Silver’s arrest could be politically motivated, saying the U.S. Attorney’s office may be “targeting elected officials in a way to try to make some changes in the Legislature.

Supposedly, Silver for many years sent former Manhattan DA Bob Morgenthau’s campaign committee a $100 contribution. If the check was cashed, the speaker assumed he wasn’t being investigated.

The Journal News says Silver must step down as speaker because “New Yorkers deserve a functioning, focused Legislature.”

Ditto say the NY Post and the NY Daily News, which called Silver “bad to the bone.”

Newsday deems Bharara’s “showboating” press conference “disturbing,” and says it’s clear more reform is needed in Albany.

Michael Goodwin: “It’s only a slight stretch to say that Silver did most of his alleged thieving in plain sight. Most of the outside money, if not its sources, was publicly disclosed. The taint was screechingly obvious, yet nobody did anything about it.”

Silver’s arrest comes at a key moment in the education reform debate, and his has long been a champion and ally of NYSUT. Yet, his colleagues and the union insist the speaker’s legal troubles won’t stall progress on this – or any other issue – during the 2015 session.

The taxpayer-funded tab to deal with a federal probe of state lawmakers’ outside pay, which resulted in the arrest of Silver, has surpassed $1.6 million, spending records show.

Despite outcry from community groups and some elected officials, the Battery Park City Authority awarded a 10-year license to operate the North Cove Marina to two companies with ties to Cuomo, who controls the authority board.

A charity with ties to Silver sent out an SOS just hours after the powerhouse politician was arrested on corruption charges. The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty said it’s examining ways it can partner with other nonprofits as a way to “stabilize” the agency and create a “social-service safety net.”

Fulton County Sheriff Thomas J. Lorey made it clear in a YouTube video that he intends to fight part of the SAFE Act. He urged local residents to tear up invitations to re-certify their pistol permits.

Electronic cigarette use would be banned in restaurants, offices and other places in New York state where smoking tobacco is prohibited under a proposal included in Cuomo’s budget.

Industrial development agencies would have to get state approval, in most cases, before granting tax breaks to expanding businesses, under a proposal from Cuomo. He wants ESDC, the state’s primary business aid agency, to review IDA incentive packages that include an exemption from the state’s 4 percent sales tax.

The MTA board voted to raise fares by about 4 percent for most Metro-North riders. The higher prices take effect March 22 and are part of a package of fare and toll increases affecting the sprawling network made up of commuter trains, subways, buses, bridges and tunnels. The hikes were proposed last November.

New York would have the power to recoup millions of dollars in state property-tax subsidies from wealthy homeowners who were ineligible to receive the aid, under legislation proposed by Cuomo.

Mayor Byron Brown says he is open to mayoral control if that’s what it takes to improve Buffalo’s schools, but feels a conversation is needed with parents and others in the city – and statewide – about how to reform public education.

F. Michael Tucker plans to step down as president and CEO of the Center for Economic Growth in Albany.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry may be putting off talk of a 2016 presidential run, but New York ex-Gov. George Pataki hinted he’d be proud to run against him – or maybe with him? – for the White House.

NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said she expects a “positive resolution” to a Conflicts of Interest Board probe in to her campaign for speaker.

Yesterday, defense attorneys for Republican operative Vincent Tabone, who is facing federal corruption charges alongside former state Sen. Malcolm Smith, presented their final witness in the two-week trial: Queens GOP Chairman Robert Beltrani.

Tens of thousands of abortion opponents, including several hundred from Buffalo, crowded onto the National Mall to continue a fight that they believe is starting to result in progress. While abortion is legal and is likely to remain so, the number of abortions in America – and in metro Buffalo – is plummeting.

The state Labor Department says New York’s statewide unemployment rate declined a tenth of a percentage point to 5.8 percent in December – the lowest since September 2008.

The TU is putting up a paywall and offering enhanced digital content.

The National Weather Service says a messy mix of rain, snow and sleet is bearing down on the Northeast for the first significant winter storm of the season to affect the Interstate 95 corridor.

Here’s the schedule of Cuomo cabinet members who are delivering regional versions of his 2015 Opportunity Agenda today:

At 8:30 a.m., PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman will be at the Long Island Association, 300 Broadhollow Rd., #110W, Melville, Long Island.

At 10 a.m., Canal Corp. Director Brian Stratton will speak at SUNY New Paltz, Conference Room 62/63, Student Union Building, 1 Hawk Dr., New Paltz.

At 10:30 a.m., Secretary of state Cesar Perales will appear at the Hofstra University Club, Community Room
225 Hofstra Blvd., Hempstead, Long Island.

At 11 a.m., Paul Williams, president and CEO of the Dormitory Authority, will speak at the Swinging Sixties Senior Center, 211 Ainslie St., Brooklyn.

At 11:30 a.m., NYS Division of Veterans Affairs Director Eric Hesse, appears at Columbia Greene Community College, Professional Academic Center Room 612, 4400 Route 23, Hudson.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Jorge Montalvo, director of the state Office for New Americans, will speak at the Bronx River Senior Center, 1619 E 174th St. the Bronx.

At noon, Howard Zemsky, Cuomo’s nominee to head ESDC, will attend the Fredonia Rotary Meeting, The White Inn, 52 East Main St., Fredonia.

Also at noon, NYS Homes and Community Renewal President and CEO Darryl Towns appears at the College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island.

At 12:30 p.m., OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito speaks at the Hornell City Hall City Council Chambers, 82 Main St., Hornell.

At 1 p.m., Civil Service Commissioner Jerry Boone appears at SUNY EOC, 100 New St., Syracuse.

At 3 p.m., EFC Corp. President and CEO Matt Driscoll speaks at the Finger Lakes Community College, Stage 14, 3325 Marvin Sands Dr., Canandaigua.

At 5 p.m., Zemsky makes his second appearance of the day at the Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce Mixer, Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena, 319 West 3rd St., Jamestown.