Honeymoon Discomfort

"In the 25th State Senate District in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, another challenger deserves support. He is Daniel Squadron, an energetic former aide to United States Senator Charles Schumer who is running against Senator Martin Connor. Mr. Connor has been in this seat for three decades and accomplished far too little….Mr. Squadron says he is committed to cleaning up Albany and that serving in the Senate would be his only job. If Mr. Squadron wants to prove his commitment to reform then he still needs to be more forthcoming about his financial holdings. That said, we endorse Mr. Squadron as an enthusiastic new outsider".NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL (8/22/08)

"As to the Squadron-Connor race, there's a strategic imperative as well, and it runs like this: Connor is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the worst of Albany's incumbents. But the Albany incumbency as a whole could use some shaking up, insulated as it is from the concerns of the citizenry. We need, as a state, to infuse fresh blood into both chambers of the legislature; Dan Squadron's campaign could be the first ripple of a wave of new fresh faces who are suddenly considering public service. With the Senate about to flip, membership in that body will become very attractive to some smart younger people who could transform it into a bastion of Progressive leadership. First up to the bat is Dan Squadron. There's a reason the Working Families Party is practically entranced by that race, and this is it."MICHAEL BOULDIN IN THE DAILY GOTHAM (6/1808)

"If you want to know why Squadron won, here's your answer: he worked really hard. Harder than I've seen anyone ever work, really. As hard as someone who goes out the day after a grueling primary campaign and thanks voters, in fact."– BOULDIN AGAIN (9/10/08)

"Chaos gripped the state Senate anew on the eve of the long-awaited mayoral-control vote, as some Democrats balked at passage — and a leading proponent was on his honeymoon.

As of late last night, the mayoral control bill passed by the Assembly last month was not on the Senate list of measures to be voted today….

Adding to the confusion was the expected absence today of Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn), the chief Democratic supporter of the mayoral-control bill.

The freshman lawmaker left town for a two-week honeymoon last weekend after the 31-day Senate stalemate came to an unexpected close.

Aides to Squadron, who was elected last November and got married over the weekend to Liz Weinstein, of Bloomberg's Office of Operations, would not reveal where he was honeymooning.

His absence was the talk of the chaotic Capitol.

Although Squadron's vote was not seen as essential to pass the mayoral-control bill — which is expected to get broad Republican support — his apparent no-show was being used as a cudgel by GOP members, potentially threatening today's unusual July legislative session.

His trip leaves the Democrats one vote shy of the 32 "ayes" needed to overcome unified opposition from the 30 Republicans.

"If they stick to their line, there's the potential for a huge blow-up," said one Senate Democratic insider. "That could motivate the governor to start calling special sessions again." …

…"They don't have 32 votes," said John McArdle, a spokesman for Senate Republicans.

"They can't do anything without us." –NEW YORK POST (7/15/09)

"Just when you thought the State Senate was ready to move forward, arm-in-arm, passing some bills, possibly breaking into song . . . the Democrats will fail to have a quorum today. One member, no doubt having set his plans months ago, is on his honeymoon. The house will be divided 31-30.

The leadership fight is over, and Republicans plan to attend today's session to provide a 32-member quorum. But there's no guarantee there will be enough votes to pass laws.

Not to single out Sen. Daniel Squadron, the honeymooning Democrat from Brooklyn Heights, but his case illustrates what this page has been saying – that a thin majority can be upset by just one senator at any time, and therefore the parties should be working together. Yesterday, Republicans were excluded entirely from talks about today's agenda. Many Democrats outside the ruling clique were also ignored. Have the senators learned nothing this past month?….

…The Senate has 344 bills ready for a vote….Senate Democrats swept into office promising reform – on rules, ethics, campaign contributions, property taxes – but they are delivering the bare minimum to keep New York running.

Other needed bills on foreclosures, health care, the environment, higher education, energy and pensions are languishing….

…..Enjoy the umbrella drinks, Sen. Squadron"-NEWSDAY EDITORIAL (7/15/09)

"On November 24, 1984, [then State Senator] Martin Connor married Christine Silber (see New York Times, Nov. 25, 1984). They left for a two week honeymoon. The Senate was called back for an end of year "special" session. The newlyweds ended their Caribbean vacation early and completed their "honeymoon" at the Albany Quality Inn.

Sen. Connor was in the Minority and his vote was not significant to passing legislation or the organization of the House. But, it was important to him and his constituents that they be represented." — LIZ BENJAMIN ON DAILY POLITICS (7/15/09)

For those really curious, the operative dates were: Dates were: Nov. 24, 1984 married; Nov. 25 left for two weeks in Caribbean; Dec.3, (8 days later) flew from PR to Albany–session on Dec 4, 5, and 6.

Just got word that two members of the Democratic Conference have already given up and gone home. No quorum, no session.

So Danny and Liz get the honeymoon; the legislative process gets cystitis, and the residents of the 25th SD and the people of New York get screwed.

Mazel Tov!

UPDATE & CORRECTION (9:20 PM): Session has begun, and thanks to Dan Squadron, Carl Kruger & Ruben Diaz, a majority of members in the chamber are Republicans.