Thursday, June 25, 2009

A new meaning for "Senate Race"

So as the New York State Senate Democrats rushed to complete their Governor-ordered special session in a little time as possible, they were held up by Sen. Craig Johnson's request for a moment of silence. The Dems finished in 3 minutes, 19 seconds. The Republicans got out in just 2 minutes, 28 seconds. For this 2 or 3 minute workday, the Senators will receive wages of $160. Which translates north of $6000 an hour.

The curious thing, though, is the moment of silence. It was intended to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, whom Johnson called "one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the past century." Yet to that Rabbi's most devoted followers such a tribute is blasphemy: They believe their leader's not dead. (Daily News article)


Anonymous said...

hmm... the new york senate is a little crazy now aren't they. I thought I read a little while back that the democrats and republicans were trying to fight over who was the majority and plan secret assemblies or something like that.

Teddy Douglas said...

Yup. The Democrats had 32 seats to 30 Republicans.

Then two Democrats decided to vote with the Republicans for a Republican-sponsored bill to change the Senate's leadership and give the Republicans control. But the Democrats say that shouldn't count.

Then one of the Democrats switched back into the Democrat fold, leaving a 31-31 tie.

Normally the Lieutenant Governor could break such a tie, but there is no LG since the post was vacated by Paterson when he became governor after Spitzer resigned.

So the chamber remains deadlocked.

On Tuesday, 31 Democrats were sitting in the Senate when a Republican Senator happened to walk through to get something. The Democrats immediately called to order, counted Republican Senator Padavan, and "passed" 125 bills by a vote of 31-0, with 1 abstention, in minutes. But nobody thinks that actually counts.