Monday, June 15, 2009

Monserrate Deadlocks The Senate

Senator Dave Valesky is one man in Albany that makes his feelings about Espada known, but how does he feel about Monserrate now? Monserrate has added another shockwave to the debacle in our state government by switching yet again, this time back to the Democratic party and thereby creating a deadlock in the Senate. The indicted Queens Senator had been hemming and hawing for a few days now about whether he should come back to the party that got him elected and apparently he made some sort of deal that leaves Pedro Espada stranded. Not only is Espada left out in the cold, but the situation effectively kills all business in the Senate. Of course, that isn't how Republicans see it.

From The NY Daily News:

First off, a judge on Monday must still rule on the legality of last week's GOP-led coup, which ousted Democrat Malcolm Smith and replaced him with Democrat Pedro EspadaJr. as Senate president and Republican Dean Skelos as majority leader.

If the court rules the coup was legal or declines to get involved, Espada and Skelos would remain as leaders of an evenly split chamber. The GOP claims that as president, Espada would actually get to cast a second vote to break any ties.

Normally that function falls to the lieutenant governor, but the state has been without one since David Paterson became governor last year upon Eliot Spitzer's resignation.

Democrats argue Espada legally can't have two votes and are looking into the possibility that Paterson is still considered the elected lieutenant governor and thus can still cast a tie-breaking vote.

What that means is that barring Espada having two votes and Paterson is given his old job back, each side will have to come together to find a way to share power so that they can do their job as Senators and pass legislation for the people of New York. It really does amaze me that amidst all this drama, the least important political actor in the process is the voter and the people at large. For the last week the only two people that have mattered are two criminals, Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate. The latter is indicted and it is only a matter of time before the former is charged for multiple counts of corruption (A.G. Cuomo is on the case).

Personally, I feel Monserrate is a toxic asset and the only way to bail this problem out is by letting the jury throw him in jail for the crimes he committed against his girlfriend. Then his Queens district can replace him with someone a bit more straight-edged. As for Espada, it is only a matter of time before his time in the spotlight is over. Come November 2010, a Democrat will be representing the 33rd district and not this slimy crook that's there now.