Solo, silent and shoved. That’s how former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver arrived for his sentencing in Federal District Court this afternoon.
Silver headed in through an alley, looking for a side door and trying to evade the horde of photographers awaiting him. He made it to within about 40 feet of the door before being besieged, trying his best to continue to move. He did not speak, pausing briefly as his hat was knocked out of his hand. A hard glance and a quick grab got him his hat back and, with a push from a U.S. Marshal, he stepped inside and headed to hear his sentence.
His departure was even more tumultuous. Silver and his lawyers emerged from that same side door into a pack of dozens of reporters, photographers and videographers, speaking very briefly. As the press pack pulsed around Silver and his lawyers an intra-press argument erupted and Team Silver headed toward Centre Street, about 75 yards away. A half dozen U.S. Marshals barked commands and pushed the unruly press pack as Silver shuffled along, both a captive of the pack and its focus, his usual inscrutable expressions particularly useful for this short journey.
Our photo gallery is here.
Numerous New York elected officials joined a press conference/rally today at City Hall to express support for Israel as it retaliates against Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza. Organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council, the press conference/rally featured five members of the House of Representatives, at least ten state legislators including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and at least six members of the City Council. It also featured some uninvited guests; counter-demonstrators who showered the press conference with chants and shouts.
Mayor Bill de Blasio continued his rollout of expanded pre-K today, visiting P.S. 1 on the Lower East Side. Joined by Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, who represents the district, de Blasio held a press conference and then visited a pre-K class.
Topics in the Q&A included the source of money for the City’s planned pre-K advertising campaign, the City’s target number of pre-K applicants, whether Speaker Silver thinks the proposed income tax surcharge should be pursued next year, how the pre-K selection process will work, how the City will cover the approximately $40 million annual gap between the estimated cost of pre-K and the amount provided in the state budget, when parents will learn whether their pre-K application has been accepted, how the City will collect data and measure success of the pre-K program, whether the existing pre-K application process will be changed, how the City will use money from the anticipated school bond issue, the mayor’s reaction to a 2nd Circuit ruling that City may bar religious groups from renting after-hours space in public schools, the status on a proposed restaurant in Union Square, a tax break included in the state budget that provides millions of dollars to a Bronx condominium project, the “shop & frisk” meeting today between the Rev. Al Sharpton and Police Commissioner Bratton and a pending HPD case against a Brooklyn landlord.
Update – Future Income Tax Surcharge?:
Andrew Siff, of WNBC-TV, asked Speaker Silver whether he believes the legislature should try again next year to pass the income tax surcharge proposed by the mayor. Here’s how he responded:
Update #2 – Silver, Henry Street & Pre-K:
Although Speaker Silver was a key part of including pre-K funding in the state budget, his personal history was a bit off-message today.
Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke with the press following a lengthy meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo this afternoon. They met in Governor Cuomo’s Albany office.
Update – Pre-K Rally:
Prior to visiting the Capitol, Mayor de Blasio hosted a rally at a nearby armory. Here are select excerpts from the rally:
We Will Rock You
As the rally concluded, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver joined in singing/chanting to Queen’s We Will Rock You (He’s on the right):
Here is Silver’s full speech:
de Blasio Speech
Here is de Blasio’s full speech: