Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

New York Senate Shakeup: Good For Marriage Equality?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 26, 2008

Probably, per both The Albany Project and The Advocate‘s Kerry Eleveld:

New York’s senate majority leader, Joseph Bruno, a 32-year institution in the state senate, announced his retirement Tuesday just as the GOP and Democrats gird for an election season that will determine the fate of the chamber and, potentially, New York’s gay marriage bill.

Democrats need to pick up two seats this November in order to gain control of the senate — something most LGBT activists wager would hasten the process of getting a same-sex marriage bill to the desk of Gov. David Paterson, who has supported marriage equality since the mid ’90s. The New York assembly is Democrat-controlled and passed a marriage bill last year.

Democratic strategists said Bruno’s exit raises questions about how effectively the GOP can raise money in his absence and whether they can hold certain constituencies together.

“One of the key pillars of Bruno’s support and support for the Republican senate majority has been the labor unions, including progressive unions that you wouldn’t think would be helping to keep a Republican majority in Albany,” said Ethan Geto, an LGBT activist and Democratic political consultant. “His stepping down doesn’t mean that on a wholesale basis all the unions who have been supporting the Republican majority will abandon them, but I think a number of them will.”

It’s not made much news in the national media, but the New York State GOP is in the process of imploding. Even the spectacular fall from grace of Eliot Spitzer hasn’t stopped or even appreciably slowed this process. Joe Bruno’s leaving is being put down by many to two factors: 1) The lead-pipe-cinch likelihood that Democrats will retake the state Senate (which is probably why Bruno recently had the Senate Minority conference room renovated after years of neglect: He wanted his caucus’ future digs to be spruced up while he still held the purse strings), and 2) the longstanding FBI probe of Bruno, which seems to have heated up just as he made his farewells to public office. (He’d apparently hoped that quitting his Senate seat would make the FBI go away. Didn’t work.)

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