City Council Speaker Christine Quinn urged angry New Yorkers to keep the blame focused on the politicians who voted down a bill legalizing gay marriage in the Senate Wednesday. But blame is a burning thing and it makes a fiery ring, and at the center is Governor David Paterson, a longtime supporter of same-sex marriage. Some Democratic party officials believed that Paterson, with his basement-level approval ratings, didn't have any leverage to apply to swing-vote Senators. But others, like suddenly known Staten Island Senator Diane Savino, thinks he could have made the difference.
"He is the governor," Savino tells the Times. "I think he could have been helpful to people who are sitting on the fence." Matthew J. Titone, a Democratic assemblyman from Staten Island who is gay, goes even further: "He had every opportunity to be helpful, and he could have been helpful. So it is very disappointing that he wasn’t." Many state legislators who lobbied colleagues to support the bill say Paterson was MIA leading up to the vote, a characterization that the governor's spokesman disputes: "He made a number of calls to various senators; the advocates requested that he do that."
But let's save a little space in the blame closet for Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., a Democrat from Queens, who was considered a swing vote. Some analysts believe that because the alphabetically-advanced Addabbo voted second in the roll call, his "no" sent a message to subsequent swing voters that the measure would not pass—so from their perspective there was no sense in sticking their necks out for a losing horse.
Speaking to the Times, Addabbo disputed that, insisting, "I don’t think there was any domino effect at all. Even before I said no, these votes were determined." Indeed, Addabbo says his office had been keeping a log of all 400 messages received on the issue; he claims "seventy-four percent were against it. I was trying to represent the consensus of my district." So we might as well blame Howard Beach and Maspeth while we're at it.
Below, a super excellent video of a 58-year-old sick woman asking Senator George Maziarz why she can't marry her girlfriend of 15 years. Choice quote: "We are not talking about religion here. We are talking about civil rights. We, as taxpayers, do not tithe to a church, we pour our money down the Albany drain." [Via Daily Dish]