February 10, 2010
Last night, the New York State Senate had two resolutions to consider. One, introduced by Senator Brian Foley, proposed immediate expulsion for Senator Hiram Monserrate for conduct "not compatible with his oath of office." The second, put forward by Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson, advocated expulsion after Senator Monserrate had exhausted the appeals process and his criminal conviction had been upheld. (It contained a June 30th deadline for completion of the judicial process.)
I was a strong proponent of this second resolution: it would have expelled Senator Monserrate had he lost his appeals, and I supported this expulsion. However, Senator Foley’s resolution was introduced first, and its passage rendered moot Senator Sampson’s resolution.
My vote against Senator Foley’s resolution should not be construed as one in opposition to expulsion. Rather, it was a good faith attempt to avoid a judicial merry-go-round, with its interim injunctions and lawsuits, and permit completion of the judicial process. How foolish would we appear were the courts to overturn Senator Monserrate’s conviction after we had already expelled him!
Last, and just as important: To suggest that my vote denigrates women is wrong-headed, and while I understand fully the sincere emotions attached to this matter, I reject as ill-considered, if not reckless, any suggestion that my respect for the rights of women is deficient. I decry all domestic violence behavior; to condone violence against women would violate all standards of decency, run counter to my commitment to end domestic violence, and violate my core values!