The Democrats May Lose the State Senate, and That’s OK

28 Oct

When the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee demanded that AEG make specific campaign contributions to specific Democratic State Senators, State Senator Antoine Thompson (SD-60) was among the five designees of donations in excess of $5,000.  All of this was done in an effort to politically influence the selection of AEG to operate a racino at Aqueduct Race Track in Queens.

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While Thompson claims that he was absolved of any wrongdoing in the recent Inspector General’s report on the scandal, the question remains: why Thompson, why so much, and why for a project 400 miles from his district?  The answer likely has to do with the fact that Thompson has a leadership position within the DSCC, amazingly running its “communications”.

I say “amazingly”, because this is the statement his campaign released in response to the Buffalo News’ inquiries:

It is clear that my opponent is desperate. As I’ve said repeatedly, I was absolutely not involved in any of the negotiations highlighted in the inspector general’s report. At an excess of caution, I returned any outside campaign donations that the report said there might be questions about.

I’m absolutely gobsmacked that the senate Democrats had a unique opportunity over the last two years – an opportunity they hadn’t had in generations – to accomplish something positive, and to prove that they can move beyond the traditional Albany corruption.  Thanks in large part to Espada, Monserrate, Sampson, Golisano, and Pigeon, the Senate took dysfunction and turned it into a circus.  When “order” was restored, the Senate’s business was basically beholden to the evil corruption of Espada and Monserrate, and the absurd exploitative opportunism of Pigeon. “Responsible New York” wasn’t.

So, I am fully comfortable with the notion that the Democrats lose control of the state senate.  Such corruption and fecklessness doesn’t deserve any reward, and the Democrats who purport to represent their constituents in the senate need a wakeup call.  If you’re going to accuse the other side of being dirty, don’t be dirty yourself.

The way Albany works – where the Assembly Speaker, Senate Majority Leader, and Governor basically make any and all decisions – has got to change.  Obviously, it’s my hope that there will be some political will to do just that under Governor Cuomo.  I don’t know whether Skelos will go along, but if these people who go to Albany really want to earn their fat paychecks, and genuinely want to do the people’s business, then they need to make these changes.  They need to introduce deliberative representative democracy to the Senate and Assembly.  The legislators we send to Albany should also get serious about demanding these changes.  Like Mark Schroeder:

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So, while I hope people vote for Tim Kennedy in SD-58, and I hope for a Dem pickup in SD-59 with Cynthia Appleton, I will not be disappointed if the Democrats lose the senate, because they’ve only themselves to blame.  The epic failure of the Senate Democrats to simply be less corrupt than before should not be rewarded. Sorry.

7 Responses to “The Democrats May Lose the State Senate, and That’s OK”

  1. Mike In WNY October 28, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    The only difference between Kennedy and Thompson is that Kennedy does his dirty work via the legislative process. At least, that’s what we know so far.

  2. bob October 28, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    I think the best thing that can happen for Western NY is for Silver to lose his veto override and for George Maziarz to become Majority Leader. No NYPA Sweep when he’s in the room

  3. Brian Castner October 28, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    You had me until “I hope you vote for Tim Kennedy.”

  4. Ward October 28, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Um, Antoine Thompson was more than just “among the five designees” of the pay-to-play graft spread out by the Democrat Senate Campaign Committee. Thompson’s website touts him as “Co-chairman” of the committee.

    He was a “designor” of the graft, as well as a “designee”. In fact, when you read about the Committee “angling” for the “donations” from AEG, Thompson was one of the “anglers”.

    When he claimed, the other day, that he didn’t know nuffin’ ’bout no donations, he was flat out lying.
    But, no matter. The attorney general of New York says the entire matter is, uh–in the capable hands of the US DOJ. Which has done such a terrific job so far on the New Black Panther voting rights case.

  5. Pauldub October 28, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    If the defeat of Antoine Thompson results in the loss of the majority, I can deal with it.

  6. Sean C. October 29, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    Tim Kennedy is a puppet.

  7. Sean C. October 29, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    Bingo!

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