By Wellington C. Ramos
On the night of November 6, 2012, many New York State Democratic voters went to the polling stations to vote for their party to take over the New York State Senate. After weeks of counting the votes, the Democratic Party won 33 seats and the Republican Party 30 seats in the 63-seat state legislative body. The Democrats were happy and they were looking forward to control of the Senate for the next few years.
Born in Dangriga Town, the cultural capital of Belize, Wellington Ramos has BAs in Political Science and History from Hunter College, NY, and an MA in Urban Studies from Long Island University. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science and History
However, unknown to the voters, six of their elected Democratic senators, namely, Senator Jeffery D. Klein, Senator Malcolm A. Smith, Senator Simcha Felder, Senator David Valesky, Senator David Carlucci and Senator Diane Savino, all made deals with the Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos to join forces with him so that he can remain in his position and they can give them committee chairmanship positions for themselves and other perks.
Under the current constitution and the election laws of New York State, there is nothing to stop these politicians from going ahead with their plans. If this is allowed to continue, then the voters will get to believe that there are no fundamental differences between the Republican, Democratic, Independent and other parties that are in the fifty states throughout the United States. This arrangement will make Senator Jeffery Klein a Co-Senate Majority Leader with Senator Skelos and they will agree on all matters to be brought before the Senate for debate and vote. The constitution has the Senate Majority Leader as the third in line to assume the governorship of New York State in the event something was to happen to the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor of New York State.
The governor of New York State, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, has a good working relationship with the current Republican Senate Majority Leader Skelos and is not saying anything about this behind the scenes deal. The Democratic State Co-State Chairwoman Mayor Stephanie A. Miner is optimistic, describing the move as “a pathway out of dysfunction”. Well, if she honestly believes that this move is a pathway out of dysfunction, other Democrats like me may see it as an acceptance of more political miscarriage of justice against the citizens who voted.
I have been a Democrat for many years and I am angry over this political hijacking by these elected officials. I am writing about this so that other Democrats who feel the same as me can write to the governor and the head of the Democratic Party in the state of New York, to call for legislation to stop incidents like these from occurring again in the future. Now is the time for the Democrats of mettle to stand up for principle and justice.
There is no political party in the United States by the name of Democratic Republican. The Republican and the Democratic parties have different political ideologies. The Democratic Party is inclusive and tolerant while the Republican Party is exclusive and intolerant. People with all types of ideologies are more in the Democratic Party.
Governor Cuomo needs to step up and stop playing games with the Republicans because when it is time for him to run for re-election all the Republicans will be working together to make sure he loses.
The way it looks he might be getting a challenge from Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is completing his last term. Since hurricane Sandy hit New York City, both of them are on separate campaigns seeking their own funds in Washington D.C.
There should be a law that if an elected politician is elected under a political party’s banner and want to caucus with another political party, he or she should change his or her party registration and a by-election be held within 90 days for that seat. This will prevent future politicians from caucusing with other political parties just to satisfy their own political interests over the people who voted for them.