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View Diary: Focus On....NOO YAWK!!! (#39-A in a 50-diary series) (65 comments)

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  •  you have more confidence in the Democrats than I (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AdmiralNaismith, llywrch

    do.... Silver runs the Assembly in much the same manner that Bruno was running the Senate.

    I've talked to two different Republicans who served in the Assembly at different times and they couldn't even get a budget to buy office supplies (let alone hire staff) while they were in office.  I've never personally talked to a Democrat from the Senate but from all accounts it functions in much the same way.

    If you want to reform the Legislature I think you need to get rid of everybody who has been in it for more than two or three terms.  Good luck doing that though -- gerrymandered districts and incumbents that can spend money like it's going out of style.

    I'd hoped Spitzer would have used the bully pulpit to bring attention to these issues but he decided to spend his political capital on drivers licenses instead.  Paterson doesn't have it in him -- and he can't afford to alienate the legislature right now anyway.

    A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

    by Crookshanks on Tue Sep 16, 2008 at 09:24:47 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Not A Question of Confidence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AdmiralNaismith

      No question that Silver is as much of a putz as Bruno.  My point is simply that because of the partisan logjam, not a single piece of legislation ever comes to a vote unless both Bruno and Silver want it, which results in all votes on legislation that actually passes being unanimous.  In fact, both Bruno and Silver have benefited from the partisan logjam, because it makes both of them into individual power-brokers.  I think that breaking the logjam could change that.  Let's take a hypothetical example.  Let's say I'm an Assemblyperson who supports some bill to increase funding for early childhood education.  It is supported by many Democrats and opposed by most Republicans.  As things stand now, it will not even be voted on in both houses unless Bruno says OK - you might get a symbolic vote in the Assembly but everybody would know that it's meaningless.  Now let's say you have a Democratic majority in both houses, but assume that the Democratic leader in the Senate is opposed to my bill.  It won't matter because I can still push to bring it to a vote because there is a chance that it might pass both houses, even though the leadership is against it. Individual legislators will actually have to pay attention to how they vote, because their votes could actually be significant.  The way things are now, all sorts of things pass the Assembly - including some wacky stuff that probably should not pass - but it doesn't matter because the votes are purely symbolic because everybody knows that it will never get to the Senate.

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        It won't matter because I can still push to bring it to a vote because there is a chance that it might pass both houses

        Yeah, you can push it to a vote.  I hope you want that bill badly enough that you are willing to lose all of your committee assignments.  That's one of many tools that the leadership has used to punish members who rock the boat.

        I guess I just don't see how that would be any better with the Democrats in charge of the State Senate.  We'd be able to get more legislation through but that brings me back to my first concern -- that downstate interests will run the show and upstate will be treated as an afterthought.

        I hope I'm wrong.....

        A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -5.25/-4.72 | Obama 08!

        by Crookshanks on Tue Sep 16, 2008 at 10:24:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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