David Paterson's Solution to the Senate Stalemate (Updated)
The New York Senate has been stymied for weeks because of two major problems. One is that the Senate is deadlocked between 31 senators who support ...
The New York Senate has been stymied for weeks because of two major problems. One is that the Senate is deadlocked between 31 senators who support the Democratic leadership and 31 who support the Republicans. That wouldn't be a problem, except that the state currently has no lieutenant governor to break the tie.
Gov. David Paterson's solution? He's going to appoint a new lieutenant governor this evening, even though Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says that move is unconstitutional. The New York Times has the news:
ALBANY -- Gov. David A. Paterson will name a lieutenant governor in a televised speech he has scheduled for late Wednesday afternoon, according to a person close to the governor.
It remains unclear, however, whom he will pick.
The office of lieutenant governor has been vacant since Eliot Spitzer resigned last March. The lack of a lieutenant governor -- who casts tie-breaking votes in the Senate -- has become a particularly pressing issue amid a nearly five-week old stalemate in the State Senate that has halted business in the chamber. The Senate has been deadlocked since Pedro Espada Jr., a Bronx Democrat, sided with the Senate's 30 Republicans, dividing the 62-member chamber.
Though any choice seems likely to prompt a legal battle, the big question now is who he will pick. Caroline Kennedy anyone?
Update: He's going to name Richard Ravitch, a former head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Elizabeth Benjamin of the New York Daily News has helpful details:
Ravitch makes a lot of sense as a so-called "caretaker" LG.
He was born in 1933, and is unlikely to have a problem with not being able to run for the office he will hold through the end of 2010. The last time Ravitch ran for anything was in 1989 when he lost a Democratic mayoral primary to David Dinkins.
Ravitch is the ultimate elder statesman. He has worked for a president (Lyndon Johnson), a governor (Hugh Carey), and is credited with rescuing the mass transit system in the 1980s.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
Washington Governor Bars State Agencies From Enforcing Federal Immigration Laws2 days ago
Spicer Confirms States' Fears: A Coming U.S. Crackdown on Recreational Marijuana2 days ago
In Search for Obamacare Replacement, Small Group of GOP Governors Called Upon to Help2 days ago
States Can Now Restrict Transgenders' Bathroom Use, But Will They?2 days ago
California Legislator Removed From Chamber Floor After Criticizing a Late Senator2 days ago
To Carry a Concealed Weapon in New Hampshire, Permit No Longer Necessary2 days ago