June 10, 2009

HOW DOES SOMEONE GET THAT MUCH MONEY...:

Feeling Slighted, Rich Patron Led Albany Revolt (DANNY HAKIM and NICHOLAS CONFESSORE, 6/10/09, NY Times)

In early spring, Tom Golisano went to Albany from his home in Rochester to meet with Malcolm A. Smith, then the Senate majority leader.

Mr. Golisano, a billionaire business executive, had spent heavily to help Mr. Smith and other Democrats win control of the Senate in the November election, and was angry to hear they were now planning to raise taxes on the wealthy. He expected an audience befitting a major financial patron. [...]

That meeting led to the dramatic collapse Monday of the Democrats’ grip on the Senate majority as a frustrated Mr. Golisano secretly planned with Republicans to persuade two Democrats to join them in ousting Mr. Smith.

The revolt has thrown Albany into an almost surreal scene of confusion; on Tuesday, both Mr. Smith and the Republican Senate leader, Dean G. Skelos, were claiming to be the majority leader. Democrats locked the doors of the Senate chamber, preventing Republicans from gathering there, and refused to turn over the keys, prompting Republicans to threaten to hold a legislative session in the park outside.

Gov. David A. Paterson vowed not to leave the state during the crisis and said he still considered Mr. Smith to be the majority leader.

Mr. Golisano, asked by reporters about the legal troubles of Pedro Espada Jr. and Hiram Monserrate, the two Democrats who had joined with the Republicans to oust Mr. Smith, said: “Don’t talk to me about ethical background in Albany,” adding, “We have a governor who stood on a podium on national television and said he had extramarital affairs and used cocaine.”


...without being smart enough to realize the Democrats exist to take it from him?

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 10, 2009 11:54 AM
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