Senators for Sale

Ruben Diaz

July 14, 2011


July 14, 2011



By Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz

It appears that State Senators Stephen Saland, Mark Grisanti, James Alesi and Roy McDonald sold their votes to the Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg for $10,300 each.

At least this is the impression and feeling everyone is getting by reading the city newspapers that two weeks after their vote, Mayor Bloomberg, who previously declared his intentions to support and help finance any senator who would vote in favor of gay marriage and complied with his edict, sent a check to each one of them for the maximum amount allowed by law.

If this is not a quid pro quo, please tell me what this is?

Last year when the Democrats controlled the Senate, the message that editorial boards all over were declaring was that the Albany legislature was corrupt and dysfunctional and that it needed someone to help bring things back to straighten things out.

Then along came Andrew Cuomo and Eric Schneiderman to the rescue! (They were supposed to clean it up.)

But wait a minute … I forgot to say that back then the Senate was controlled by Black and Hispanic leaders who were being decried by editorial boards based on allegations that votes were bought and sold and that the Senate was dysfunctional and corrupt. How is this any different than what Mayor Bloomberg is doing now? In the ten years that I have served in the New York State Senate, there have been a handful of Senators who I have come to admire and respect. Stephen Saland used to be one of them.

Now, after hearing rumors and reading that consciences have been bought and sold, it is very sad to think that Mr. Saland has gone that route.

And as for Eric Scheiderman, I remember the way he viciously went after Hiram Monserrate and I see the way he now uses his office of Attorney General to investigate inconsequential things and go after community organizations and not investigating apparent violations like people buying and selling votes.

So I wonder if these rumors and accusations are reason enough for the Attorney General to start an investigation and for the editorial boards to have the integrity to declare that the Senate in Albany is still corrupt.