From Bad to Worse in the Senate Chamber
June 30th, 2009

Democrats just got a rude awakening. Sure, Gov. David Paterson said that he won’t sign any bills they pass during the odd session started today by Republican Sen. Frank Padavan’s brief foray into the chamber, but that wasn’t their biggest problem.

Democrats were churning through legislation, passing measures 32-0 when Sen. Ruben Diaz stood up to loudly demand a bill be laid aside. The bill pending before the chamber would have allowed New York City to raise its sales tax to balance its budget. Liz Krueger said she had tried to mark the bill as “controversial” and in need of debate. But a vote was called and the bill was voted down.

Legislators including Malcolm Smith, John Sampson, Kevin Parker and Carl Kruger voted against the bill.

Diaz said ” the people of my district are paying too much taxes.” Other senators echoed his sentiment.

Meanwhile, Democratic operatives started looking for witnesses to sign affidavits attesting to having seen Padavan in the Senate chamber.

Sen. Diane Savino said that Padavan “knew what he was doing” by making an appearance. ”

Padavan told Paterson that he took a brief trip through the chamber because there was a press event set up in the middle of the Senate hall.

There had been a table, chairs, cameras and a full lighting display set up in smack dab in the middle of the hallway. There was word that some sort of leaders meeting might occur in neutral ground. Staffers informed guards that protesters were not to be allowed in the hall.

Reporters demanded to know who had actually arranged the meeting and staffers from both sides disavowed knowledge. Reporters surrounded the table, waiting. But finally word came that the meeting was off. That is when staffers began hurridly directing senators into the chamber, telling them they had quorum.

By on June 30, 2009, 2:31 pm
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