For decades, the Republican Party has held the Senate chamber of New York state government. The Democrats have been just as dominant in holding the Assembly, and the Governor's seat has had its share of representatives from both parties.
But it was with a vengeance that the Dems sought to control all three legislative bodies, picking off Republican senators over the past several election cycles, until this year, when the Democrats finally got what they were looking for: A majority in the state Senate. Coupled with the Democratically controlled Assembly and a Democratic governor, they would now, heading into 2009, control the three bodies.
Election night was jubilant for the state Dem party. But over the past five weeks, that jubilation has turned to humiliation. The renegade "gang of three", who apparently have their loyalty for sale to the highest bidder, have seen their agreement with presumed Majority Leader Malcolm Smith fall to pieces in a most public way.
Smith, who as you may recall would not cross a picket line of women to enter a Niagara County Democratic Party fundraiser earlier this year after allegations of abuse by the party chairman, has failed miserably as a leader, before actually assuming his leadership position. Within his party, Smith is walking on thin ice. He brokered a deal with the gang of three before actually letting the other members of his caucus know the terms of the deal.
His ineptitude in guiding the Senate Dems through this transition period has been nothing short of disastrous, and there appears to be little relief in sight.
Some people are born into greatness, some people have greatness thrust upon them. Malcolm Smith promised the world, including Buffalo-area Bill Stachowski's appointment as Chair of the powerful Finance Committee. Not only has he failed to keep the most basic of promises that he made within his party, he has sold out his own caucus to retain his personal power base. That's not greatness, Malcolm, that's an egotistical man who is driven by absolute power. Get over yourself and start working for the betterment of the people of this state. We deserve that much.