Following the stunning defeat of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — who now faces up to 120 years in prison — Buffalo area conservatives are rallying around Carl Paladino, the former Republican nominee for Governor and longtime civic leader. He has repeatedly called for the resignation of Silver, former Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and Governor Cuomo himself.
“The media probably won’t admit that Carl was right again,” said Tori Poczkalski, the Chairwoman of the Conservative Club of Buffalo, in reference to Paladino’s corruption allegations against former Senator George Maziarz, Skelos, Silver, and Cuomo.
But the Conservative Party chair for the City of Buffalo isn’t entirely satisfied with the Silver conviction, either. And as an active figure in Western New York’s conservative movement, she intends to do something about it.
“It’s a shame that when they rot in jail, they get to keep their public taxpayer funded pension,” she says. “That’s something that needs to change.”
An Amherst Republican has similar sentiments.
“Silver is going to prison at 71, after being in the Assembly for 40 years, as Speaker for 20, and enriching himself all the way,” she says. “He’s going to prison, but he still won, and still get’s to laugh his way to the bank.”
“I’m sure his wife and children will be fine.”
It’s unclear if Paladino intends to resurrect a run for Governor — or more likely for Mayor of Buffalo — but it is clear that the narrative of vindication has earned him newfound political capital.