Niagara Gazette

June 22, 2009

EDITORIAL: Senate question must have answer

Staff Reports

Even by Albany standards, this has gone on long enough.

The Associated Press reported Monday that leaders of the Republican and Democratic caucuses in the state Senate are meeting to work out some sort of compromise. That effort must yield results — and soon. In a capital where it takes years for even the most basic reforms to gain traction, this leadership vacuum simply has to end.

A poll released Monday could be filed under the category of “no surprise here” — a majority of New Yorkers are embarrassed by the behavior of their state lawmakers.

Reported the AP:

“A Quinnipiac University poll finds 71 percent of voters, one of the highest numbers ever measured in a Quinnipiac University poll, are ‘somewhat dissatisfied’ or ‘very dissatisfied’ with the way things are going. The poll finds 42 percent of voters are embarrassed by the Senate standoff that continues into Tuesday.”

We would love to meet one of the 29 percent of New Yorkers who are satisfied with the way things are going in Albany. Perhaps they could offer some silver lining to these dark clouds of petty politics.

Gov. David Paterson is right to extend this session. Under no circumstances should senators be allowed to leave Albany without a resolution to the leadership question and lawful up-or-down votes on the myriad issues that have sat unaddressed during this whole ordeal. The public clearly deserves — and demands — nothing less.

Senators, the first day was interesting. The second day was confusing. The days thereafter were just ridiculous.

Figure out who’s in charge and get back to work. And do it today.