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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Aubertine Wins, Bruno Sweats

- Senator Joe Bruno remained defiant in the face of Darrel Aubertine's stunning win in the special State Senate election in the 48th District which draws the Democrats within one seat of the GOP.

"We remain the majority party in the State Senate. ... The November election is little more than eight months away and we intend to redouble our efforts to regain seats." [Newsday]
Bruno also accused Spitzer's team of employing "dirty tricks," an accusation that drew no response from the governor. [NY Daily News] If the Senate Majority Leader plans to initiate an investigation, he better do it soon before the Senate GOP no longer has the power to do so.

I heard on the radio that the district has been represented by a Republican for 100 years; Newsday stated simply that the district has always elected a Republican. In any event, it's been quite some time, and Aubertine's win is all the more remarkable given the GOP's registration edge of 78,454 to 46,824. That's an edge of 62% to 38%. And while I imagine that there were local campaign issues that us outside observers are unfamiliar with, and that the candidates have their own particular stands (Aubertine opposes abortion while Barclay is a pro-abortion Republican) those were daunting numbers to overcome. And I imagine (hope) that it bodes well for the Democrats in the national elections this fall.

The present count in the Senate is 32-30, and the common wisdom is that one more seat will create a tie which can be broken by the Democratic Lt Governor. However, this commenter cited a 2007 article by Bennett Liebman which disputes that assumption. Mr. Liebman cites a clause from the State Constitution which reads: "Nor shall any bill be passed or become a law, except by the assent of a majority of the members elected to each branch of the legislature." Since the Lt Governor is not an elected member of the Senate, Liebman argues, his tie-breaking power would only apply to matters such as confirmation of the Governor's appointees and legislative rules. And while that's not insignificant, "on legislation, [Lt. Gov] David Paterson is no Dick Cheney." Let's hope he's no Dick Cheney when it comes to anything.

And if you enjoyed this campaign, keep in mind that there could be an instant replay this fall. [Barclay] wouldn't rule out a possible re-match in November, when Aubertine will have to run in the general election to hold the seat he won last night. [Daily Politics]

- Bob Gorman, the managing editor of the local Watertown Daily Times, told the NY Times that the North Country is not an "icy backwoods backwater."
..The district, he said, has been home to three secretaries of state, the creator of the Dewey Decimal System, the founder of the Woolworth’s stores and the actors Kirk Douglas and Viggo Mortensen.....

“We have a higher degree of sophistication than the people in Albany and New York City have given us credit for,” Mr. Gorman said. He added that this election was hijacked by the Democratic and Republican machines in Albany and “Gotham,” and that the two parties have treated voters in the district “like rubes and country bumpkins rather than the geographic descendants of Remington, Dewey, Woolworth, Lansing, Dulles and Rogers,” whom he called “shapers of modern America.” [NY Times]


QQ said...

"The district, he said, has been home to three secretaries of state, the creator of the Dewey Decimal System, the founder of the Woolworth’s stores and the actors Kirk Douglas and Viggo Mortensen"

I had to laugh when I saw Melvil Dewey and Viggo Mortensen mentioned in the same sentence. Thanks for the library science reference of the day!

Alan Mann said...

I figured that somebody would get a kick out of that line!