Shelly Silver has a figure of speech he likes to tell people up in Albany—that if you don’t like the way a table is set, just wait. Maybe it will start to look differently after a while. Maybe the people around it will change. Maybe you’ll change your mind, and start liking the looks of it after all.
The way the table was set this year became clear on the very first day of the legislative session, when lawmakers descended on the Capitol for day one of the Andrew Cuomo-era. The newly-minted governor, fresh-off a commanding election margin, had been calling for a new spirit of bi-partisan cooperation, encouraging lawmakers to slough off their reputation for dysfunction and begin to get something done.
Mr. Silver, who had been presiding over the State Assembly since Cuomo’s father Mario was governor, echoed the call. “Can we make this place work, together? My answer is yes!” One of the remaining liberal lions in the New Deal mode, Silver ceded considerable ideological ground, calling for a property tax cap and announcing that “unquestionably, we must work together to reduce state spending.” Read More