capitolsummerFrom the Morning Memo:

The conviction of Sheldon Silver on all seven counts of corruption shocked Albany political observers in part because the former speaker and Manhattan Democrat had been such a fixture at the Capitol.

For the first time since Gerald Ford was in the White House, Silver won’t be in Albany for the new legislative session when it convenes in January.

Still, the reverberations from Silver’s conviction could still be felt for a long time (he plans to appeal the conviction).

Nevertheless, some conclusions can be drawn after a year of corruption arrests and convictions.

The public is fed up: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is two for two. In addition to Silver’s conviction, former Sen. Tom Libous, the number two Republican in the chamber, was found guilty in July of lying to the FBI. Libous, a Binghamton lawmaker, was only hit with one perjury charge in a case that hinged an unrecorded FBI interview from five years ago. Silver’s guilty verdict, too, came after prosecutors sought to have jurors connect the dots for quid pro quo in a complex scheme that involved legal referrals Bharara’s team insisted were actually bribes. This should give Dean Skelos, the former majority leader of the Senate now on trial alongside his son Adam, pause. The case for Dean and Adam Skelos is seemingly more straightforward and includes embarrassing conversations caught on wiretap Bharara has been all-too-happy to introduced as evidence. As NYPIRG’s Blair Horner said in a statement on Monday, the tipping point for Albany may have been achieved. When they’re paying attention, voters tend to view Albany with a jaundiced eye. The Silver conviction only furthers that view.

A chronic headache for Cuomo: The corruption arrests and convictions in a separate branch of state government aren’t directly threatening Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legacy, which has included legislative high points such as same-sex marriage, a controversial gun control law and taming New York’s budget process. But Cuomo, who once declared “I am the government” will continue to have corruption in the Legislature as looming and distracting issue for his time in office. Bharara, too, has shown interest in Cuomo ranging from the financing of the Committee to Save New York, the shuttering of the anti-corruption Moreland Commission and the spending in the Buffalo Billion economic development project. For now, there’s been a lot of smoke, but no fire. At the moment, Cuomo has been reduced to bystander status in the Albany corruption circus; proposing package after package of ethics, campaign finance and disclosure reform, only to have it watered down in the usual legislative sausage making process. In a statement released on Monday evening, Cuomo did hint at possible ethics reforms. But he also made clear it’s up to the Legislature to take action on the issue he’s pushed for nearly every year he’s been in office.

Behavior can change: The Bharara effect, arguably, is already in full force. As the legislative session was winding down in the spring, state lawmakers publicly stated they were concerned with conducting the usual business of horse trading in Albany, given the close tabs the U.S. attorney was keeping on Albany. A vote in exchange for support on another issue — typical Albany stuff one might say — was now being fussed over as a potential spark for a new federal probe. This presents a worrying interpretation for some lawmakers on what exactly is illegal (Don’t steal! Don’t trade money for a vote!), but the mood this year at the Capitol went from chilly in January to downright frosty in June following the parade of arrests.