Leaders Demanding Resignation or Removal

State Senator Liz Krueger
State Senator David Valesky
State Senator Neil Breslin
State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer
State Senator Daniel Aubertine
State Senator Brian X. Foley
State Senator Martin Golden
State Senator Frank Padavan
State Senator Catharine Young
State Senator Betty Little
State Senator Jeff Klein
State Senator Bill Perkins
State Senator Thomas Duane
State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
State Senator Jim Seward
State Senator Craig Johnson
State Senator Tom Libous
State Senator Daniel Squardon
State Assemblywoman Patricia Eddington
State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin
State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther
State Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte
State Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat
State Assemblywoman Vivian Cook
State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
US Senator Charles Schumer
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
City Comptroller Bill Thompson
Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum
Congressman Joseph Crowley
Congressman Eric Massa
Congressman John Hall
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
NYS Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs
City Council Member Eric Gioia
City Council Member Bill deBlasio
City Council Member Annabel Palma
City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito
City Council Member John Liu
Dan Halloran, City Council candidate
District Leader Marc Landis
District Leader John Smyth
District Leader Keith Lilly
District Leader Cordell Cleare
Democratic Party of Queens County
National Organization for Women, New York State
NARAL Pro-Choice New York
The New Agenda
Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee
NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault
New York State Young Democrats
National Women's Political Caucus, NY State
New York Post
New York Daily News
Albany Times Union Newspaper
Watertown Daily Times Newspaper
The Chief, Civil Employee's Weekly News
The Buffalo News
Queens Courier
New York Times
Journal News of Lower Hudson Valley
Queens Chronicle
Oneonta Daily Star
Troy Record
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Queens Chronicle: Monserrate Must Exit Senate

The state Senate has a tremendous amount of work to do right away — not on the budget, not on the MTA capital plan, not on gay marriage or other necessary legislation, though all that would be nice.
No, the first thing it has to do is begin the lengthy process of restoring the people’s faith in the Empire State’s government. And the best way to get started on that would be to expel Hiram Monserrate, the Jackson Heights politician convicted of misdemeanor assault for manhandling his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo.
Monserrate was found not guilty of the felony assault charges that would have forced him out of the Senate, because Justice William Erlbaum could not determine beyond a reasonable doubt that he had intentionally sliced up Giraldo’s face with a broken glass while they argued in his apartment. The victim adopted a “stand by your man” posture, insisting the incident was an accident, and with no witnesses to say otherwise, the judge had no choice.
Giraldo could not pretend Monserrate hadn’t roughed her up in the apartment lobby, however — that was caught on video — so he was found guilty of the misdemeanor charge.
Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt applies only to courts of criminal law, however, not politics or the Senate. Monserrate’s colleagues only need to establish a committee to consider punishment and determine that his presence reflects poorly on the chamber to force him out.
Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson has formed the committee, a majority of whose Democratic members — probably not coincidentally — are women, which doesn’t bode well for Monserrate. We’re hopeful the panel will work more expeditiously than the rest of the capital seems to, since Sampson, who has two daughters, declared loudly that as a father he is “not only angry but pissed off” about Monserrate’s actions.
Of course, the state Legislature has never been a pinnacle of propriety, at least not in living memory. And unfortunately, some of its worst actors have hailed from Queens, such as bribe-taking jailbird former assemblymen Anthony Seminerio and Brian McLaughlin.
And of course in the Bronx there’s sitting Sen. Pedro Espada, a Monserrate ally who likes to funnel public money to his private organization and to ignore fines imposed on him for campaign law violations.
These same Democrats welcomed Espada back with open arms after his flirtation with the GOP helped paralyze the Senate for a month, rewarding him with the title of majority leader, in another bit of Albany nonsense.
With the exception of Sen. Ruben Diaz, who made the ridiculous claims that Monserrate did the right thing by manhandling Giraldo and that the pressure on him is racially based, the Democrats now seem to know that expelling Monserrate would be the right thing to do both morally and politically, as it might show that the Senate is getting serious about cleaning up its act. So do many Democrats in higher office, including power brokers like Rep. Joe Crowley, who heads the Democratic Party in Queens, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer. Crowley has already said that if Monserrate doesn’t leave the Senate one way or another, he’ll back a primary challenger against him.
It shouldn’t come to that. Monserrate knows he made, at best, a tremendous mistake, and that he should have to pay a tremendous price. Felony charges aside, one thing not beyond a reasonable doubt is that his presence in the Senate reflects poorly on the entire state government. It’s time for him to go, willingly or not.

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