King of New York: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is the real man who calls the tune in Empire State politics. An unpopular governor and a weak senate majority leader can do little but roll over to the demands of the powerful Silver.
Memo to former Governor Eliot Spitzer from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: Pipe down, will ya?
A day after former Governor and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer attacked Andrew Cuomo, his successor in the AG's office and the presumptive Democratic candidate for governor, in the pages of The New York Times Shelly Silver had a a message for the disgraced governor: zip it.
Silver told the New York Post that Spitzer comments appeared "to be an attempt at payback" for Cuomo's role in the Troopergate scandal, in which it was alleged that the then-governor misused the state police in an attempt to smear former State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.
"The only beneficiary of this is the Republican Party," Silver told the Post. "Eliot Spitzer has had his opportunity, and now it's time for someone else to have that opportunity. I don't see how this helps him."
Silver told the Daily News that it was "inappropriate" for Spitzer, in a front-page interview in the Times, to question whether Cuomo had the guts to stand up to the titans of Wall Street and other entrenched interests in New York politics.
"I think Eliot Spitzer, for one reason or another, walked away, and he should refrain from being critical of other people who have his job and are looking to aspire to be governor," Silver told the News.
Silver also told the News that Spitzer's comments to the Times stemmed from lingering resentment from Cuomo's 2007 report on the Troopergate scandal. He suggested that the disgraced "love gov" should step out of the spotlight for a while.
"I don't think Eliot Spitzer is running for anything," Silver told the News. "I think the polling dictates the public has, for whatever reason, rejected him as a candidate. I think the best way for him to rehabilitate himself is probably to be quiet for a while and not focus attention on himself."
Spitzer, once known as the "Sheriff of Wall Street," said he didn't think Cuomo wasn't tough enough on Wall Street and let politics shape many of the decisions he made.
“Toughness is not the issue," when the Times asked Spitzer about Cuomo's reputation as a tough guy. "It’s easy to be tough if the selection of one’s target is driven by politics. The real test is, do you take on the battles that have been unpopular and perhaps seem impossible to win but are important to take on?”
He later continued: “I think the issue is, will he have the stomach to pick political fights or to pick fights that will have negative political consequences?”