Mark the date, remember the moment. The corruption eruption in New York is reaching new heights — and depths.
From City Hall to Albany, the sewer runneth over. It is no longer adequate to talk of a few bad apples. We are suffering through a bumper crop of rottenness.
In normal times, the fall of Sheldon Silver,sentenced yesterday to 12 years in federal prison, would be drama enough. Yet the former Democratic leader of the Assembly is joined in infamy by Dean Skelos, the former Republican leader of the state Senate, whose sentencing comes up next week on the con- man calendar.
The comeuppance of the bosses of both legislative houses and both parties in the same year is, as far as I can tell, unprecedented in modern times. Even the legendary thieves of Tammany tended to leave space between dramatic downfalls.
Yet the Silver-Skelos scandal is just part of the worst of times.
Mayor de Blasio is in a serious jam, as both state and federal prosecutors have his fund-raising-and-favors operation in their cross hairs. Another sordid chapter would be written if the mayor himself is hit with criminal charges.
Then there’s Gov. Cuomo, who looked as if he had escaped a federal probe only to see a close friend and former aide suddenly land in very hot water about money paid to him by companies with state business. There’s no telling where the case will lead.
How did all this happen? How did New York become such a swirling cesspool?
For answers, it is fitting that we turn to a cartoon character. It was Pogo who declared that, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”