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In 2010, Silver Briefly Discussed Lawmakers' Outside Income On WAMC

Speaker Silver
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

U.S. Attorney Preet Bhara said Thursday that New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver traded his influence to amass millions of dollars in graft. Silver, a Manhattan Democrat who has run the Assembly for two decades, was arrested and faces up to 100 years in prison if convicted on all counts. At issue is Silver’s outside income as a lawyer, earned on top of his $121,000 salary as speaker. Over the years, Silver has been a frequent guest on WAMC’s Capitol Connection with Alan Chartock. The outside income issue came up during a 2010 show, recorded during negotiations over an ethics bill with then-Governor David Paterson.

Alan Chartock: "One of the things that the governor has called for is absolute understanding of where the money comes from so that if somebody is earning money in a law firm or they're earning money as an independent, that every penny of that, so we could tell whether the money was coming from somebody who had an interest in legislation."

Sheldon Silver: "Our bill, you know, requires that disclosure, the source of the income."

Alan Chartock: "But to the penny? Will we know that--"

Sheldon Silver: "Categories. Nobody has to the penny."


Dr. Alan Chartock is professor emeritus at the University at Albany. He hosts the weekly Capitol Connection series, heard on public radio stations around New York. The program, for almost 12 years, highlighted interviews with Governor Mario Cuomo and now continues with conversations with state political leaders. Dr. Chartock also appears each week on The Media Project and The Roundtable and offers commentary on Morning Edition, weekdays at 7:40 a.m.
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