Yonkers, NY — It has been almost six weeks since a "coup" caused a major convulsion on the New York State Senate; bringing about a state of ill ease. Were the former power brokers led by Senator Malcolm Smith still in charge? Would Sen John Sampson come to rule the roost? It all came to reveal itself and unravel in lockstep as two renegade senators, specifically Sen Pedro Espada Jr. and Sen Hiram Monserrate switched alliances from the Democratic party affiliation to that of the Republicans, realigning the balance of power from predominately in favor of the Democrats to one in which there were now an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. The score was tallied at 31 members for each party and the position of lieutenant governor sat vacant. New York State Governor David Paterson was marginalized as impotent by the press. The coup gripped media by the throat. It was the only game in town; nothing else could dislodge the "drama" that would consume Albany. And consume it it did. One day the protagonists were on one side of the political aisle and next they were elsewhere. Public interest and concern couldn't hold a candle to the concern of who would wield power. The scenarios would be decided along partisan interests. And it was.
The fight was for future control of voting districts. Every ten years redistricting takes place. Redistricting decides the demeanor and composition of a district. It is always drawn up by the powers that be. In New York State it was first the Democrats, then another faction of the Democrtats, then the Republicans, and now, it seems the second permutation of the Democratic majority, specifically with Sen Espada returning to the Democratic fold, districts will be drawn to ensure greater security for the upcoming decade, from 2010-2010, for New York State Democrats.
While for some the "play" was fun and intriguing, filling the news wires with copy, and causing cameras to whir with images of fat political cats squabbling over turf, the public was marginalized, dismissed, and made inconsequential while the backroom boys played their games. Their games exposed unconscionable behavior and was audaciously insulting to the public will.
Yonkers, suffering its own financial challenges sweats out the final outcome of the extracurricular "games" they played. Will Yonkers be able to collect taxes before running out of funds or will Yonkers be issuing IOUs to compensate for the games they have all played? No matter how this plays out, it does seem as though the senators may have finally come to their collective senses. Even so, the most egregious aspect of all the senators' behavior is that they have their own interests at heart and not those of the public.
Shame on them for their lack of responsibility to serve the public good. Shame on us for forgetting to change the look of all 62 senators when the time for reelection demands our vote.
After redistricting, no matter what the people may have wanted, future votes will be guided by the redrawing of districts, even creating additional ones, to the liking of those who dismissed us for the last six weeks.
Redistricting has not been shown to be the impetus of this action isn any media, but it is the only rationale for this action. The fact that so many august men an and women have sworn to do the public's work so easily dismissed their oaths of office is a pox on their respective resumes.