Speaking this morning with office of the Sponsor of NEW YORK's Marriage Equality Bill, State Senator Tom Duane, my fears were confirmed. While the staffers are worried about their JOBS right now--much less the Marriage Equality bill, the Senator has expressed his "lack of optimism" over the fate of the bill, now that the Republicans seized control of the Senate from the Democrats in a surprise coup yesterday. The Senator is trying to focus on what this means for his office. The New York Times reports that staffers are worried about their fates as the staff allotted to the Senators depends largely on who is in power. I told the Senator's office that my readers and I would keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
Newly anointed Senate President, sometime-Democrat Senator Pedro Espada Jr. was a supporter of the Marriage Equality legislation, however, his power-sharing deal with the captain of the revolt, new Republican (majority?) Leader Dean G. Skelos may prevent Espada from bringing the legislation to the floor for a vote. The two turncoats, Senators Espada and Monserrate both continue to state that they remain Democrats, so I'm not sure how Skelos is the Majority leader with 32 Democrats in the Senate and 30 Republicans, but it is New York, after all.
A call to the office of Senate Majority Leader-in-exile Malcolm Smith got me in touch with the Senator's legal counsel's office, whose staff could not say definitively whether or not the legal challenge against yesterday's action was expected to be successful, but that a legal challenge was indeed being mounted. The time-table of this challenge is hazy.
Governor Patterson has expressed his anger over the anarchy, but there seems to be little that the pro-Equality Governor can do.
According to several sources, the mastermind behind the entire overthrow was Rochester billionaire, Tom Golisano, who said about planning for the revolt "We went to work about 60 days ago." Golisano did not stage the rebellion over Marriage Equality, however, but over an increase in taxes for high earners. He had recently announced he was moving to Florida as a result. Marriage Equality legislation just seems to be the unfortunate collateral damage of the revolt. No word on whether he plans to stay in NEW YORK now that he's meddled in the Government and usurped the will of the people.
So all this means is that nobody in New York seems to know what they're doing, what's going on, or even what party they belong to. I've seen Kindergarten classes conduct themselves with more professionalism. Great Job blowing it, Empire State.