Tuesday, January 06, 2009

So Much For Change In The State Senate

It seems that Malcolm Smith has completely forgot about his little speech after the first deal with the Gang of Three fell through. Back then he and his members were ready stay in the minority instead of making self-interested deals for the Gang. Senator Smith said it was supposed to be about reform and changing the government *cough* bulls**t *cough*. So much for that, Albany is clearly going to stay exactly the same, just with a (D) instead of a (R) controlling the strings in the Senate.

From The NY Daily News:

One source said that Sen. Carl Kruger, a Brooklyn Democrat and a leader of the rebel Democrats, would become chairman of the powerful Finance Committee, and Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a Bronx Democrat and another so-called Gang of Three member, would become chairman of the Aging Committee. Bronx Democrat Sen. Pedro Espada Jr., who under a previous deal that fell apart was to become majority leader, would receive an "influential policy position," sources said.

"Espada will come out the most senior and influential Hispanic in state government," one source said of the Bronx Democrat.

Unlike the previously aborted deal, the positions of president pro tempore and majority leader will not be decoupled. Smith (D-Queens) will hold both titles.

Also, Kruger's Finance Committee will not get a separately funded staff, a source said.

So there are a few changes, limiting some power from the original deal, but the fundamentals stay the same. Basically, Smith is foregoing any appearance of having principles to attain power by giving unearned power to three Senators who threatened his lust for becoming Majority Leader. From now on, if a Senator wants to rise up in the ranks, he or she will know that it is best to make threats at the expense of the institution and their party instead of, you know, actually deserving it.