Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kind words about the state Senate

When The New York Times and the New York Post basically say the same thing about the state Senate, you know something really must be wrong.

While the Times' July 1 editorial, "New York’s Defective Legislators" called the senators "bozos," the Post had this on June 24:

Basically every newspaper in the state holds the same view. But will it translate into a voter uprising in 2010?

Hard to tell.

Check this Times piece on how senators are basically there for life. For kicks, the story starts with our own state senator, John Bonacic, who went unchallenged last time around.

"Last year, more than half of the 212 legislators in the Senate and Assembly won with more than 80 percent of the vote. Fifty-seven ran unopposed, according to the New York Public Interest Research Group. The average senator has served for nearly seven two-year terms."
The story goes on to note that blank votes "won" against Bonacic. Since a blank vote is a vote for nobody, he remained in place.

What do experts say?

“People wouldn’t behave this way if they thought their jobs were at stake,” said Gerald Benjamin, a professor of political science at the State University of New York at New Paltz.