7/09/2009: Huntley on Paterson: 'He's The Ringmaster and I'm In The Damn Circus'

Shirley L. Huntley

July 09, 2009

By Elizabeth Benjamin: The Daily Politics

The Senate Democrats are not exactly singing Kumbaya with Gov. David Paterson now that the leadership stalemate appears to have been resolved.

After the press conference at which Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. formally announced his return to the Democratic fold as majority leader, I ran into a furious Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., who was angrily telling anyone who would listen that he would under no circumstances he joining the governor to tout the end of the gridlock.

"This is not the governor's doing; the governor has nothing to do with this," fumed Diaz Sr., who earlier today was triumphantly declaring that the amigos were responsible both for the appointment of Richard Ravitch as LG and the return of Espada to the Democratic conference.

"No, I am not going down," Diaz Sr. continued. "Let them all go down...The governor doesn't deserve for us to go down."

(Watch closely for the moment when Diaz Sr. uses an interesting hand gesture to indicate what he thinks of anyone who would stand with the governor).

As Diaz Sr. was spouting off, he got some back-up from Senator Shirley L. Huntley, of Queens, who said:

"I'm not going down either, because I'm a do-nothing, OK? I'm a do-nothing. I don't have a relationship with someone who says I'm a do-nothing when I work hard every day, OK? No. I don't have a relationship with the governor, OK? I'm in the circus, and he's the damn ringmaster."

In the end, Paterson stood alone at his press conference. Asked whether he thought his appointment of Ravitch had spurred the Senate to finally break down and deal, Paterson said: "I have no comment."

Click here to view the video of Sens. Diaz Sr. and Huntley Slam Paterson from Elizabeth Benjamin on Vimeo.