Monday, June 08, 2009

A Capitol Coup In Albany

GOP Retakes State Senate In Surprise Move
Skelos Resumes Role As Majority Leader

Let no one say its not business as unusual in Albany, as the fate of New York State's legislative agenda -- at least in terms of the State Senate -- now lies in Republican hands once again.

Talk about a palace coup while the Majority Leader (or is it former Majority Leader?) was out of the Senate chambers.

Senator Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), assuming the role he held prior to the election of last November, when the people (remember them?), in a duly sanctioned general election (the recognized manner in which power changes hands in this country, or so we thought), wrestled the Senate away from the GOP (which had held the reins for decades), called the restoration of Republican rule, "reform."

"What this is about is reform - opening up the process to the members and the public," Skelos said Monday afternoon. "This is a coalition. We're working together."

Odd how the GOP couldn't form a coalition, or work together with the Democrats, on any issue, when they were in the minority, or institute reform, of any kind, when they held the majority for nearly forty years.

Nothwithstanding the fact that having Dean Skelos in charge of the State Senate (on his website, he never stopped being Majority Leader) may bode well for Long Island, and that his leadership is a welcome relief from that of the now-deposed (or so it would appear) Malcom Smith, whose tenure was listless and lackluster, at best, we call this political uprising what it is, a coup that stands democracy on its head!
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Too bad the State Senate can't move legislation that would improve the lives and livelihoods of New Yorkers with the same deliberate speed and determination with which they so suddenly and swiftly changed the political landscape in Albany.
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Check out Newsday's Spin Cycle for the latest hoopla.
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From The Associated Press:

Republicans regain control of State Senate
Steve Flamisch and The Associated Press

Two Democrats jumped the aisle on Monday, voting to return control of the New York State Senate to Republicans.

Democrats Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens -- two of the original "Gang of Four" dissidents -- gave the GOP the 32 votes it required to achieve the bombshell change of leadership.

Within an hour of the overthrow, Republicans named Espada temporary president of the Senate and voted Dean Skelos vice president and majority leader, the Associated Press reports.

Those are the most powerful positions in the chamber. With them, the bipartisan coalition can direct legislation and reassign committee and leadership posts.

Following the vote, Democrats tried to leave the chamber -- even briefly turning off the lights.

They are expected to challenge Monday's action in court.

"This was an illegal and unlawful attempt to gain control of the Senate and reverse the will of the people who voted for a Democratic majority," Austan Shafran, press secretary to now former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, said in a statement. "Nothing has changed. Senator Malcolm A. Smith remains the duly elected temporary president and majority leader. The real senate majority is anxious to get back to governing, and will take immediate steps to get us back to work."

Rochester businessman Tom Golisano, who founded the political action committee that gave thousands of dollars to Senate Democrats last year in hopes they would take control, reportedly helped broker the deal to restore the GOP to power. He felt betrayed by Smith's failure to deliver a promised overhaul of Senate rules, the New York Times reports.

Skelos, who supplanted the retired Joe Bruno, served as majority leader for several months in 2008. Then, Democrats picked-up several longtime Republican seats in the November election, paving the way for Smith -- a Queens Democrat -- to serve as majority leader.

Smith was in New York City with Governor David Paterson on Monday when the surprise change occurred.


  1. "Too bad the State Senate can't move legislation that would improve the lives and livelihoods of New Yorkers with the same deliberate speed and determination with which they so suddenly and swiftly changed the political landscape in Albany"

    Are you kidding with that statement?

    If it weren't for the Democrats ALWAYS voting the PARTY LINE maybe progress would be made!!!

    Look at the most recent piece of legislation - the consolidation bill - MOST Senators agreed that it needed better clarification and language - BUT NO - Since it was a Democrat sponsored bill it was pushed thru anyway without ammendments or changes made!!!

    Even the Senator that sponsored the Bill - knew NOTHING about the language!!!

    When asked questions during the session her response was UMMM UMMM until her assistant whispered the freaking answer in her ear!!!


    Look at the NYS Budget that was passed & written behind closed doors in secrecy!!!


  2. The Democrats always voting the party line?

    And this differs from the GOP how?

    A pox on both of the houses of the legislature. Or, would you prefer that continuing pox (for which we are taxed profusely -- must be a Special Pox District) upon our houses, courtesy of what passes for government in New York State?

  3. I would prefer the Republican control that has just moved this week!

    You really think that the Democrats & Governor have improved anything for the State?

    Closed door negotiations and formulation of budget with no other input fromt the rest of the Senate?

    Then handing it over to be voted on I believe the budget was 1,000 pages and the rest of the Senate had 2 days to read it including the day it was given to them?

    And of course the Democratic Senate passed it without any Republican support and now look at ALL the increased taxes we are handed!!!

    So let's not talk about POX - Talk about Bipartisan leadership that aren't a bunch of pary line jerkoffs!!

  4. Uh huh!

    Do we detect a bit of anger here?

    Who said anything about the Governor or the Democratically controlled legislature doing a good job.

    From from it.

    Do you really think the GOP did a better job when they ruled the roost?

    Yes, let's talk about pox. Its upon ALL our houses, no matter which party controls the agenda in Albany!

  5. "Do you really think the GOP did a better job when they ruled the roost?"

    Look at Governor Patersen & the Democratic Senate Majority - Are you better off NOW or when the GOP was the majority?

    More cuts - STAR Exemption cut, added surcharges - cigarette tax, taxi/limo additional tax, etc.

    I see a whole lot of cuts and added surcharges - and of course the whole budget was decided on by what 3 Democrats in closed door - private sessions?? Come on!

    How's about the Senate budget $75million - $8 million to Republican Senators & $67 million to Democrats!!!

    Are you F--KING kidding me?

    And that is just NYS - locally $30 million for red light cameras - State Funded!!!

    Come on now hows about replacing the piece of sh-t police cars and hiring additional patrolman for $30 million???

    It's just a revenue creator like the additional surcharges on tickets - tax on HOME heating oil ??


    And you know who is going to pay the cost the taxpayers & their children for years to come!!!

  6. Why is in that folks who cannot substantiate their arguments with facts simply resort to the F-word as support?

    The big problems with the Democrats in the NYS Senate -- aside from electing morons (with apologies to morons, everywhere) is that they continued to do business exactly the way the GOP had for the past four decades.

    Secret sessions. Out of control spending. Lopsided apportionment of member item money. Partisan politics.

    So tell us, how is going back to that, under GOP control, better for John & Jane Q. Public?

    They're all out of control (or was that f**king control?) in the State Legislature, and we, the people who put and keep them there, have no one to blame but ourselves!

  7. So if their the same as the GOP rule - why is everyone getting so upset and calling it a coup they should just say - Oh Well just typical political BS???

    Because that's what it is 2 sets of children that cant play nice in the sandbox or should we say the senate box?