Remember back in 2012 when we went after New York labor bosses and legislators to secure funding for “bullshit” Green jobs? Here’s a summary of the conversation, as described by the New York Observer:
According to Mr. Hutchings, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver won’t involved himself in picking the recipients of grants, but he does approve them. “Shelly Silver wouldn’t say specifically, ‘Fill the dirt there.’ He would have to approve a grant to do that type of stuff, then we’d have to find places where to dig,” Mr. Hutchings says. “He doesn’t want to get involved in picking, that’s where they get into trouble.”
Mr. Hutchings is dismissive of the Green Jobs, Green New York program as well as the NYSERDA grant system, but thinks there’s a positive aspect as long as people are being hired.
“You know, the Green Jobs Green New York, between us, a lot of it’s bullshit,” Mr. Hutchings says. “Even if it’s bullshit, I think as long as people are working that’s not bullshit.”
In the video, union officials mentioned specific lobbyists who would “take care” of the Democrats in the assembly — and “take care of the Senate” in order to push their agenda through. They also said Shelly Silver would have no problem approving it.
Shortly after the video was released, Silver’s spokesman Michael Whyland responded, stating that James O’Keefe’s video shouldn’t be treated as serious journalism, again via the New York Observer.
“This is not reporting. This is not journalism. It doesn’t even rise to the level of a comic strip. This is the kind of stuff that gives honest reporters a bad name,” Mr. Whyland said.
“Shelly Silver wouldn’t say specifically, ‘Fill the dirt there.’ He would have to approve a grant to do that type of stuff, then we’d have to find places where to dig,” Mr. Hutchings continued. “He doesn’t want to get involved in picking, that’s where they get into trouble.” Fast forwarding to yesterday, the Observer observed that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver “faces arrest on corruption charges.” In a subsequent article, the Observer noted that “Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver used his office to mask millions of dollars in ‘bribes and kickbacks.'” Unfortunately, Shelly Silver’s alleged antics do seem to rise to the level of a comic strip. Thomas Nast’s famous Tammany Hall cartoon of Boss Tweed certainly comes to mind.