Thursday, July 02, 2009

Its All fun And games. . .

. . . Until A Senator Steps Into The Chambers To Constitute A Quorum

“That is probably the most fraudulent, obnoxious, arrogant display of partisanship, and, quite frankly, a total disregard of the institution of the Senate that so many of us care about.” -- Senator Dean G. Skelos, Majority Leader by Coup [or is this simply the Senator's rendition of that Michael Jackson hit, Man In The Mirror?]

Senator Frank Padavan (R-Queens) could have been a hero, of sorts, to all New Yorkers, whose disdain for the way our government operates -- or so fails to function -- grows exponentially by the day.

You see, Padavan just happened to wander into the Senate chambers while the Democrats were holding their session of 31 Senators, his presence on the floor creating a quorum, permitting the disassembled body (if only they could be dismembered) to conduct business -- i.e., vote.

As per the Senate's rules, odd and arcane as they are, he wouldn't have had to vote, or even remain in the chambers, his ephemeral pass-through being sufficient to allow the show to go on.

But no. Padavan, not wanting to be the one Senator with a modicum of courage -- or common sense -- to end this nonsensical stalemate, said he didn't really mean to walk into the chambers. He was just meandering, looking for a coffee, a coke, his coat (in 85 degree weather), or something like that.

All it would take to stop the insanity in Albany (or at least the present lunacy, lo the sanity continue when session resumes), is for one person, Democrat or Republican, to be present in chambers after the 31 gavel in -- even with one foot out the door -- to constitute a quorum.

Don't vote. Vote "no." Head down State Street to Jack's for lunch. Just clock in, so something remotely akin to the people's business could be undertaken.

Of course, such a gesture, as humbling and magnanimous as it may be, would forever upset the scheme of the universe in Albany, where chaos is favored over order, and partisan politics is all encompassing.

Fiorello LaGuardia (the Mayor, not the airport) once opined, “There is no Democratic or Republican way to pick up garbage.”

Alas, there are Democratic and Republican ways to pick up garbage (to which the Town of Hempstead, and now, the Town of North Hempstead, could readily attest), and, apparently -- much to our dismay -- Republican and Democratic ways to provide health care, become energy efficient, tax property, and even educate our children.

Frank Padavan, would-be hero to New Yorkers, his brief stay upon the stage now no more than a political football -- the stuff frivolous litigation is made of -- embodies all that is wrong with our State Legislature.

At 75, having served in the NYS Senate since 1972 (that's 37 years, for those too young to do the math, or to even remember 1972), he's, by passage of time alone, devoid of fresh ideas, too long in the same place, too entrenched to be either emboldened or engaged. [His last election, in 2008, was won by a plurality of a mere 480 votes, so, perhaps, residents in his district are beginning to awaken to the reality that longer -- at least in terms of stays in office -- is not necessarily better!]

At 75, Frank Padavan, like the 61 other members of the State Senate follies, is beholden to partisan politics and party leaders, rather than to his constituents, lest he lose the favors that said leadership -- legitimate, or otherwise -- could bestow: office space, staffing, allowances, member-item fortunes.

Ahh, to be ostracized by your own party, and yet, beloved by the people who elected you to serve.

It would only take one. One maverick. One true leader. One man, or woman, who would stand up for the people of the Empire State by standing up to the partisan power plays -- of both Democrats and Republicans -- that, on the very eve of this great nation's celebration of its Independence from tyranny, have brought New York to a standstill, and New Yorkers to their knees.

We, the people, deserve better.

“I think this is a total joke and a disgrace to the institution,” said Dean G. Skelos, the Republican leader.

Dean, we couldn't agree with you more!
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Happy and safe Independence Day weekend from all of us at The Community Alliance.

Write us with your thoughts, comments, opinions, and Guest Blogs at
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A Better Way To Spend Independence Day

Join our friends at the Citizens Campaign for the Environment for a day at the beach, and help save the plovers. [We wonder, is there a Democratic or Republican way to save Plovers] There has to be!]

Here comes the day when we will celebrate our independence from Great Britain, but don’t forget, we didn’t win this battle on our own. We did it with a little help from our friends. So, while celebrating this 4th of July, let’s do our part to help the Piping Plovers retain their independence on the beaches of Long Island...

Spend your Fourth of July at the beach with friends, fireworks, and of course, the Piping Plovers!

Once again, these endangered birds are threatened by the large crowds that overtake Jones Beach during the annual fireworks display. Volunteers are needed to assist in Piping Plover protection, and monitoring efforts. This will ensure that the important breeding habitats, on Long Island beaches, remain a safe place for these birds on Independence Day and in the future.

Meet up will be at 5 PM at the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center at the West End of Jones Beach State Park. Free Parking, Free Food and a Cool T-shirt will be provided!

Bring frisbees, bathing suits, your favorite beach chair & friends.

Please call Greg or Maureen at (516) 390-7150 if you have any questions and to confirm your attendance.

The Community Alliance
Common Sense Solutions To Common Community Concerns

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