11:36 PM, November 14, 2012
November 15, 2012
November 15, 2012
People sell their souls all the time.
But in ?
Meet Simcha Felder, the Brooklyn Democrat who was elected to the state Senate last Tuesday, and who, quick as a wink, decamped to Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ pirate crew.
It was strictly business, says Felder.
The ex-city councilman — who’s lately been working for that paragon of integrity, City Comptroller John Liu — made it plain while campaigning that he’d deliver his seat to whichever team gave him the most stuff.
Now, transactional politicking is what Albany does best.
Matter of fact, it’s not the first time that Skelos has tempted feckless Democrats to his side of the aisle.
And while it’s not known precisely what Felder got in exchange, his flip leaves the GOP with 31 Senate seats and Dems with 30 (with two races still to be decided) — making it possible for Skelos to retain control of his chamber.
But the Brooklyn pol’s marketing of his principles is just par for the course in Albany. Who can forget the last time Senate Republicans purchased seats from Dems?
That was back in 2009, when Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada sold their loyalties to Skelos & Co., ending Democrat Malcolm Smith’s reign as majority leader.
Skelos retook the title in the deal, and Espada got to be Senate president pro tem and acting lieutenant governor.
In the end, of course, the double-dealing duo reneged — after Dems upped offer and agreed to leadership changes. (To no one’s surprise, both men were later convicted of unrelated criminal charges.)
Nor is Felder the only Dem who’s been on the market since last week’s election; Smith himself is reportedly “open” to joining the GOP. (Maybe he learned from ’09.)
So, too, are four Democrats who formed their own caucus last year.
And it’s not just seats for sale — but actual legislation, too. (Never mind Gov. Cuomo’s boasts of having ended sleaze and dysfunction in state governance.)
Just another day in the Albany office.
At least Felder’s “honest” about it.