Sheldon Silver’s Finances Raise Some Questions

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — It’s a hot topic in Albany.

According to public disclosure forms, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver owns stock in over 30 companies — including Pepsi, Verizon, Exxon, Cisco and CitiGroup — and many of them  do business with  New York.

However, what the forms don’t show voters is how much the shares are worth.

Political watchdogs say the state’s ethics laws are inadequate and don’t shine enough light on potential conflicts of interest.

“It’s interesting that somebody that holds stock in a major soda company is an opponent to taxing sodas,” Susan Lerner of the good-government group Common Cause tells 1010 WINS.

Silver’s stake in Pepsi, or any other stock, are protected by the state’s disclosure laws.

“That’s what is wrong with our laws, they raise questions that they don’t answer,” Lerner said.

Blair Horner, the Legislative Director for the New York Public Interest Research Group, points out there’s a big difference between $1,000 and $500,000.

“How much are those investments worth — because that would be a far more important element of information,” Horner said.

Silver also has disclosed he owns stock in AOL, Johnson & Johnson, Ford, General Electric, American Express, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and more.

Horner says Silver has followed the letter of the law, done all that’s required, but that doesn’t mean he can’t disclose more – such as how many shares he owns or even how much he’s worth. Legally, lawmakers are not required reveal their worth beyond nothing their value is over $1,000.

“They should be doing more, remember we’re talking about the people who decide what the letter of the law is,” Lerner said.

She adds a cloud of possible corruption may be unfair and it’s up to the elected official to clean the air.

Silver’s office has not yet returned calls from 1010 WINS.

  • New Yorker

    What about congress? What about the us senate? Very peculiar this hit is.

  • Roy

    I heard Obama has some B.P. shares…………………!

  • Shelly Baby

    Leave me be, I’m rich!

  • Roy

    I want to have his stock portfolio,where do I sign up….guess I should have been a politician………….

  • NotoriousOne~

    On another note, it’s interesting how it’s pointed out that Silver is following “the letter of the law” but they fail to mention that these laws are proposed and passed by these same politicians. If drug dealers could propose laws, would they make it a crime to sell drugs?!?! Of course not. NY State politics is a joke and we’re being led by a bunch of crooked, clowns.

  • michael

    i voted for mcain, but because of the electoral college system, my vote goes to obama. i voted for term limits, but bloomberg buys off the nyc council members, and gets elected for a third term. only a small number of people in the upper east side of manhattan get to vote for shelden silver, yet he runs all of ny state. silver is a tort lawyer who consistantly defeats tort reform. this is what democracy means in america. silver is the most corrupt polititian i have ever seen. yet i have no say whether or not he gets re-elected. what a joke nys is.

  • NotoriousOne~

    @ Roxanne…I think because Silver’s position is considered a “part-time” position he need not disclose all his investments.

  • Yeah Sure

    He actually abandoned the Rep. party to become Indep.

  • Roxanne Rosenblatt

    It used to be that when a candidate applied to run for office, they had to divest themselves of all their stock, etc., anything that would/could be construed as a conflict of interest. When did that change?

  • Georges Delarue

    Landland lords hate Silver as he has been such a great champion of
    Rent Control laws. Here comes the slander where it does not belong.
    I would say Silver has complied with the law and also what do you think
    our Mayor Bloomberg owns in stock? and how does he benefit from his
    Bloomberg financial broadcast business?
    Oh ! let’s see Bloomberg is a Republican and immune from investigation.

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