Monday, May 11, 2015

After all their zigzagging around Albany to avoid reporters, NYS GOP senators admit their indicted leader has to go


Now-former NYS Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, seen here heading for his office, is one GOP senator who can stop slinking around Albany dodging reporters now that he's bitten the bullet and stepped down from his leadership post.

"Many Republican senators appeared eager to avoid discussing Mr. Skelos’s future in recent days. To avoid reporters, some even zigzagged around the Capitol using back doors and passageways."
-- from "Dean Skelos, New York Senate Leader,
Vacates Post
" by the NYT's Thomas Kaplan

by Ken

I tell you, if the NYS Legislature just put in tables, they could sell their antics as "dinner and a show." Take the Republican majority in the State Senate. Please!

Where do they come up with this stuff? Zigzagging around the Capitol using back doors and passageways to avoid talking to reporters? This is an image that will live in my imagination as long as my imagination lives, those Republican senators zizagging around the Capitol using back doors and passageways to avoid talking to reporters.

And what they were so eager to avoid talking about was the oopsadaisical situation of their leader, Sen. Dean Skelos, who you'll recall was collared the other day by the feds, along with his pride-and-joy, young Adam Skelos. The senator is accused, as the NYT's Thomas Kaplan puts it today ("Dean Skelos, New York Senate Leader, Vacates Post"), "of using his influence to extort payments for his son, who is said to have collected more than $200,000 as a result, mostly through a consulting position arranged for him at an environmental company."

Now, at a paltry 200 Gs, this is a mere bag o' shells compared with the hijinks now-former NYS Assembly Speaker "Smelly Shelly" Silver is said by the feds to have been up to in the indictments that led to his stepping down from his leadership post, where the numbers start at $4 million. Maybe this explains why Senate Republicans tried to stand by their man, even after they had been jumping up and down screeching that Smelly Shelly couldn't remain Assembly speaker after charges were filed against him. Maybe this, or maybe they're just brain-challenged schmucks.
Last Monday, after Mr. Skelos and his son were arrested, Senate Republicans emerged from a meeting to announce that there was a “strong consensus” that Mr. Skelos should remain as majority leader. That ended up being the high point in his effort to keep his post.
Unfortunately for those Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, who normally don't have much to do when the Republicans are running the Senate, came up with a dastardly strategy to intimidate their GOP brethren: try to make them go on the recording supporting their leader.

Talk about ruthless! Isn't there some Geneva Convention or other that forbids such inhuman treatment of captives?
In an effort to force rank-and-file Republicans to declare their support for Mr. Skelos’s continued leadership, Democratic senators sought on Wednesday to force a floor vote on the matter, resulting in a parliamentary squabble. Republicans blocked the effort, but Democrats vowed to try again on Monday.
This was a most astonishing spectacle, by the way, the Senate Republicans pretending that their fellow senators didn't exist, ignoring their basic right to speak, like power-mad peltty bureaucrats in a tinpot dictatorship. By rights they should all have been marched out into the courtyard and machine-gunned, then had their worthless carcasses turned into a bonfire for a marshamallow and wienie roast, so that for once in their sorry existences they could do some good for decent humans. It's not too late, you know.

Anyway, this is what had those Senate Republicans zigzagging around the Capitol and using back doors and passageways today. Theydon'twannatalkabout it.

Apparently, though, the pressure got to them, and to the majority leader. "As newspaper editorial boards around the state demanded his ouster," says reporter Kaplan, "and a growing number of his colleagues went public with calls for him to step down, it became clear that he would probably be unable to keep his grip on power."

They gave it the old college try, or maybe the old community-college try.
In an apparent bid to show that Mr. Skelos still had a base of support, a group of 16 senators — 15 Republicans and a Democrat who caucuses with the Republicans — released a statement on Wednesday expressing their support.

But the Republican conference has 33 members, and the statement served only to highlight the number of senators who were missing. By Monday, at least nine Republican senators had publicly called for Mr. Skelos to step down.
So today the team found a back room to hole up in and emerged with a new leader, Sen. John J. Flanagan, like Senator Skelos from Long Island.

The Senate's official No. 2 Republican, Thomas W. Libous, from the Binghamton area, who chairs the Education Committee, "was indicted last year on accusations that he lied to federal authorities in a corruption investigation, and has been battling cancer." I tell you, you can't make this stuff up.

With all the comedy, it's easy to forget that these clowns have work to do. This year's legislative session, reporter Kaplan points out, as less than two months to run, and "anumber of major policy issues have yet to be resolved, including the future of rent-regulation laws and mayoral control of New York City’s schools." Well, quality law-making can't be rushed.

I haven't confirmed it yet, but since all the stories I've seen refer to our Dean "stepping down from his leadership post," I'm guessing that, like Smelly Shelly in the Assembly, that's all he's given up, and not his actual seat in the Senate. And wouldn't it be a shame if the Legislature were to be prematurely deprived of these fine legislators' services?



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