New York Senate Drama! Showdown! Conflict! Pay Raises!

And nary a word on the subject of same-sex marriage bills.

And here I thought that opportunities to report on the NY Senate’s shenanigans had passed, once Espada flip-flopped back to being a Democrat.  I was wrong:

Elite get fat pay hikes amid Senate stalemate
Democrats reward key staff with up to $32,000 while hitting GOP

ALBANY — Eleven of the state Senate’s highest-paid staffers received raises of up to $32,000 when it appeared likely Democrats would lose control of the chamber during the five-week leadership fight.

The combined increases will cost taxpayers $200,000 annually.


Because many of the raises were backdated, staffers are paid the additional cash in a lump sum, said Jennifer Freeman, spokeswoman to state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. As a result, staffers expected fat paychecks of thousands of dollars in backdated raises at the exact time that Sampson was accusing Senate Republicans of stalling legislation in an attempt to seize the spoils of majority leadership.

I’d like to note two things about this: Continue reading New York Senate Drama! Showdown! Conflict! Pay Raises!

NY Senate Watch: Paterson (D) could end this, any time?

He arguably has the authority to do so.  And knows it.

Groups call on Paterson to appoint Lt. Governor

Citizens Union, Common Cause and Assemb. Michael Gianaris (D- Astoria) urged Paterson to exercise the authority given him by Section 43 of the Public Officers Law.

The provision reads in part, “if a vacancy shall occur, otherwise than by expiration of term, with no provision of the law for filling the same, if the office be elective, the governor shall appoint a person to execute the duties thereof until the vacancy shall be fill by an election.”

Gianaris said the groups’ idea was presented to Paterson several weeks ago and he hasn’t yet made a decision.

It seems odd that Paterson, who is (like other Democratic governors) polling extraordinarily badly right now, doesn’t seem all that interested in ending the Senate mess in NY*, or at least getting it under some sort of control.  Then again, it seems odd that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo would be arguing against the constitutionality of a solution that would arguably help not only New York, but his own party head.

Well, no.  Not really.  An out-of-control Senate is a wonderful thing, if you’re a Democrat trying to unseat an incumbent…

Moe Lane

Continue reading NY Senate Watch: Paterson (D) could end this, any time?

“Don’t MAKE me turn this state legislature around.”

I have no particular love for NY Governor David Paterson, given that he had to start his tenure as Governor by mentioning the adultery that he had somehow forgotten to mention to the voters up to that point – but that being said, this was funny:

Gov. David Paterson just put the kibosh on the Senate Democrats’ plans to leave the Capitol tonight, warning that he will sic the State Police on them and try to dock their pay if they don’t show up for the extraordinary session – the third so far this week – he’s calling for 3 p.m. tomorrow.


Paterson said “it offends me personally” to hear talk by some senators (“I won’t name any names”) that they don’t really mind being forced to return to Albany day after day because they get to collect their per diems while they’re in town.

The governor said he’s going to ask the state comptroller, and direct the state treasurer (We have one of those?), to “withhold any paychecks or any per diem checks from June 8 forward,” adding: “If you’re not coming to work, you’re not getting paid.”

At least one state Senator (Kevin Parker) reacted to the news that his allowance was being threatened by declaring that this was bull[expletive deleted], that the Governor couldn’t do that, and then sulkily storming off to his room to blast out the most offensive music on his iPod.

Amazingly, I only made one of those three things up.

Anyway, more here and here: there’s supposed to be a session today, and it’s yet to be seen whether the Democratic state senators are going to be needing a timeout or not.

Moe Lane Continue reading “Don’t MAKE me turn this state legislature around.”

Clearly, the NY Senate situation requires Thunderdome.

[UPDATE] AoSHQ thinks it’s a coup, and has its own suggestion for a resolution.

Because either the NY Senate Democrats are trying something sneaky…

Democrats in the Chamber! (But Still No Agreement)

ALBANY—Most the Democrats in the State Senate have barricaded themselves in the chamber.


The Democrats arrived around 12:30. It’s unclear what’s going on. All the doors are locked, and journalists as well as Republican staffers cannot get in.

…or they’re acting like kids…

Republicans ‘Legislate’ as Democrats Sit in Silence

ALBANY–Now Republicans have entered the Senate chamber and are reading bills and ostensibly passing them as Democrats do nothing.

The remainder of the 62 senators entered the chamber around 2:30, and the lights went on. State Senator George Winner, an Elmira Republican, attempted to take he dais. He was blocked by a deputy sergeant at arms, who said he was acting on the orders of Senate Secretary Angelo Aponte.

Without hesitating, Winner walked to the area below the chamber, said the Pledge of Allegiance (the Dems didn’t say anything) and began moving through an active list of local bills and extenders. The bills were read, the roll was called, and as Democrats sat silently, Republican parliamentarian Jack Casey said the bills were passed, 62-0.

…or (probably) both.



Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.