On June 8, New York state senate Republicans and two renegade Democrats acted to regain GOP control of the chamber.
Democrats tried various maneuvers to undo the coup. One was to lock the doors of the senate building.
Governor David Paterson bravely called the GOP’s re-ascendancy an “unnecessary distraction to government dressed up in the cloak, falsely, of reform.” One supposedly bogus reform would have imposed an eight-year term limit on committee chairman, a six-year term limit on leadership.
Anyway, then one of the Democrats who had jumped ship to the elephant caucus decided to canter back to the donkey side of the aisle. So now there’s a 31-to-31 split in the senate, with no lieutenant governor in place to break any deadlocks. Paterson used to be the lieutenant governor but became governor when the previous governor resigned in disgrace after scandalizing the republic across state lines.
So, now, whenever the lawmakers bother to show up for work, the Democrats hold their own legislative session independently of the independent legislative sessions of the Republicans. No quorums there. Believe it or not, all this is an improvement over how things are normally run in Albany.
Meanwhile, recent polls say two thirds of New York voters think the state is headed in the wrong direction. And 80 percent want term limits. Huh? How can this be?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.