F**k David Paterson and his Democracy in Albany

Our governor is out stumping for the Democratic candidates for the State Legislature. Since he’s a Democrat himself, I’ve got no problem with that - and expect it.

If one looks at this story one will see that Paterson is specifically hoping to achieve a Democratic majority in the State Senate, which has had a Republican majority since 1965. Again, that’s politics and nothing that I find objectionable.

What I do find risible is this paragraph:

Which might be faintly believable if it weren’t for the fact that Sheldon Silver, and the Assembly Democrats have the exact same fucking rules in place for the Assembly leader to stifle any voices of the minority conferences. So, we’re supposed to think that in the Senate the Democrats are going to do something other than just shake out the Big Stomping Shoes that are currently being worn by the Republican Senate Majority Leader, and use them themselves?

Pull the other leg - it’s got bells on.

Why the fuck should anyone who has been awake for the past twenty years believe that, when we can see just how much the Democrats listen to other voices in the Assembly?

Talk about the benefits of Democratic rule (the party, not the style of government) and I won’t think you’re a charlatan. But to seriously claim that the Democratic Party will listen to minority conferences in the Senate any better than they do in the Assembly is one more reason I don’t trust either major party.

The question is whether or not Democrat rule will cause them to be forward thinking and reduce the stranglehold of the “3 headed monster” that is the current NYS government. They could theoretically reduce the influence of the Party Leaders, and give the minority party more of a voice without it resulting in getting steamrollered by the Republicans because of their majority in the Senate.

Chances are they’ll just take the opportunity to crush their opposition, instead of realizing that they’ll be the minority again someday, and put in rules for effective government when it’s not all one party.

While Albany politics are not the worst state politics in the US, that dysfunctional group is trying to make the top of the list.

I hate to say this but New York would probably benefit from some open war between the parties. We’ve suffered too long under the informal agreement between the Democrats and Republicans in our state where they’ve agreed to ignore each other’s sins and divide up the state. If the Republicans lose the Senate (having already lost the Assembly and the Governorship) they might decide to act like a genuine opposition rather than a co-conspirator.

It’s not for lack of trying. In Baton Rouge or Trenton, corruption is legion. But in Albany, they’re too paralyzed with legislative gridlock to even take bribes.

We don’t have the worst state government in the US? Wow, that’s news to me.

I don’t really keep up with New York politics, but i think your observations apply to most places in the United States, including Washington.

While there’s been quite a bit of partisan bickering over the last few years in Washington, for the most part i still think that the politicians on both sides of the aisle are far too chummy with one another. I want real debate over issues, not the usual catch-phrases and buzz-words. And whenever i hear a politician talk about reaching across the aisle or bringing both parties together, my main fear is that the only ones who get screwed in such circumstances are the American people.


You might have given us a run for our money in the Jim Florio days.

NJ, FL, and LA come to mind as worse than NY. Some of the other southern states, such as AR, may also be there, but I don’t know enough about them.

Yeah, at least I can say that the folks in Tallahassee don’t mess with our lives too much, which isn’t for lack of trying. It would certainly change if they had the means via a state income tax.

Illinois has terrible (and by terrible, I mean “corrupt”) state politics, too.

The difference is that most corrupt states are essentially one-party states. One party wins the elections and holds all the power, so they can get away with pretty much whatever they want.

But there is another party that’s stuck on the outside. And that party has no reason not to try to expose the misdeeds of the majority party. If the majority party goes too far, the minority party can present itself as a plausible alternative.

But in New York, the two parties are essentially equal. The Democrats get the votes in NYC and the Republicans get the votes upstate. They could fight it out to each try to achieve a working majority. But instead they made a deal.

1 - No third parties or independents can get in.
2 - You ignore my misdeeds and I’ll ignore yours.
3 - Both sides get a piece of the pie. If you want more, you cook a bigger pie rather than steal from the other guy’s slice.

It’s the third item that looks like it may be on the verge of being broken. If it is, we may see the second one fall as well.

New York Democrats are looking like the very paragon of virtue compared to Pennsylvania Democrats, so quit your whining.

“Bonusgate” (ARRRRRGH, I hate it when people use “-gate” for every scandal that comes down the road) is worthy of its own Pit thread, but people would get pissed at me for a) ragging on Democrats, and b) Pitting local politics, so instead I’m dumping it in your lap so you know that as bad as you think it is in New York it’s actually Amateur Hour compared to Pennsylvania.

A-frakkin-men. It’s Pennsylvania Democrats who made me a Republican back in the day. It’s been national politics in the past few years that made me an angry independent.

It’s not my intention to claim that NY state politics are any worse than any other state’s.

Personally, I find the Pittings about local politics to be far more interesting than the ones about national politics. Among other things, the stories I see here about small, local issues are often the only way I’ll hear about such things. Without sex or truly spectacular malfeasance involved, such things rarely garner attention outside of their local jurisdictions.

I also think that anyone the common focus on national level politics is short-sighted, and dangerous. We’ve all heard of people who will only vote during Presidential election cycles, because they’ve gotten the idea into their heads (Often with a lot of help from friends, and the media) that only national elections matter. On the contrary, ISTM that local politics is the incubator for the issues that become national issues. And one person’s voice is far more effective at being heard on a local level than on the national.

People complain about how their vote will never affect national elections. I don’t agree with this thinking, but I understand it. But it is possible for grass-roots efforts to have huge effects on local politics. A local lobbying campaign shifting as few as a few hundred votes may well be enough to change who will be going to the State or County legislature.

I want to get people excited about local politics. I want as many people as possible to get off their duffs and vote. Even if I disagree with them, if they’re involved, I believe I have more chance to convince them of my positions if they’re already considering voting, than if they’ve decided through apathy and disgust that nothing can change.

As for who has the worst state government… honestly? I couldn’t care less. I don’t doubt that there are many other bad state governments. I believe that if more people thought about the numbers involved they might realize that they’ve got more chance of affecting change on the local level than they do on the national. On the one hand, this could be called a form of provincialism. I don’t think it is - I think it’s pragmatism: People would be better served if they could spend their efforts on those issues where individual efforts are more likely to be effective than on the larger, and so-called meatier, issues.

To that end, Airman Doors, I’d love to have you open a Pit thread about Bonusgate. I’d love to see fifty, or more, Pit threads about the various idiocies, calumnies and scandals in all local political scenes, than to see yet another Pitting of Sarah Palin, John McCain, Barack Obama, or Joe Biden.

Such threads will be frustrating to see, and often infuriating. But I’d also take them as a hopeful sign, too. People getting involved in their local politics and making their voices heard.

Apathy and passivity are part of what lets situations like the NYS Legislative mess continue. Until the populace sits up and takes a stand, even if it’s a stand I disagree with, I don’t believe anything fundamental is going to change. In NYS it will take an electorate that is willing to make local sacrifices to see that change occur.

The various legislative leaders here in NYS, yesterday, announced that they plan to postpone following the Governor’s call to further cut the State’s budget, in spite of the projected multi-billion dollar shortfall in revenues, until after the elections. Which is a formula for harsher cuts, later, to make up for the lost time.

Whether this will prove acceptable to the NYS electorate, I couldn’t say. Based on past experience, I’d guess it will. But I intend to do my bit to make this idiocy come back and bite as many local politicians as I may affect.

I may be tilting at windmills. But I’d rather be doing that than sitting in a corner, sipping coffee while things just keep getting worse.