’Tis the season . . . to name the winners and losers in New York politics in 2015. And while losers have dominated the state political scene for years, nothing compares to the slate that emerged in the top ranks of our electoral system this year.
A year ago, Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) was the Assembly speaker and the second-most- powerful Democrat in the state, while Dean Skelos (R-Nassau) was the Senate majority leader and the most powerful Republican in New York.
Today, they’ve been ousted from office as convicted felons guilty of public corruption and on a fast track to federal prison.
A year ago, Gov. Cuomo was just off a re-election victory and there was talk around that he might yet be a contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential or vice-presidential nomination.
Today, Cuomo is polling at his lowest public-approval ratings ever, has flip-flopped on what he once claimed were core policy issues, and is, most ominously, in the cross hairs of the continuing corruption probe being led by hard-charging US Attorney Preet “Stay tuned’’ Bharara.
Silver and Skelos are, of course, the biggest Losers of the Year for 2015 — perhaps, as a pair, even the biggest losers in New York political history.
And Cuomo, who still hasn’t told the public about what he knew of Silver’s and Skelos’ illegal activities as he shuttered the doors on the corruption-fighting Moreland Commission, is clearly the runner-up as Loser of the Year — with talk increasing that he’ll face a challenge in the Democratic primary should he seek re-election in 2018.
As with the biggest losers, the Winner of the Year — the biggest winner since a then-little-known prosecutor named Rudolph Giuliani declared war on another set of corrupt politicians in the mid-1980s — isn’t hard to choose.
He’s clearly Bharara, who initiated the successful prosecutions of Silver and Skelos as well as of former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D-Queens), former Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous (R-Binghamton) and a long roster of other crooked pols.
And he’s done anything but rest on his laurels.
Bharara has emerged as the public’s avenging angel against those who have corrupted our democratic system in Albany. and he has clearly chosen the role of the crusader who is determined to set things right.
That’s why Albany now shudders each time Bharara utters the ominous words, “Stay tuned.’’
Other winner and losers this year include:
This news has been published by title The Biggest Winners And Losers In Pennsylvania\'s 2018 Primary Election
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