SKELOS MAKES CLEAR THAT THE CO-OPTION LEADERSHIP DEAL IN THE STATE
SENATE DOES NOT SUPPORT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE AND ELIMINATES
DIVERSITY OF LEADERSHIP
By Rev. Al Sharpton*
Special to The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway
NEW YORK, NY - December 12, 2012 --It is
clear that the Co-option Deal between Senator Skelos' party and five
Democrats has nothing to do with the will of the people, the issues
platform preferred by the people when they voted on election day, or
the diversity of leadership they would have expected by virtue of
the State Senate statewide election votes.
Senator Skelos yesterday made three
critically important statements. First, that the agenda of the
Republican Conference has not changed from what it has always been:
opposing issues such as minimum wage, reforming stop and frisk,
opposing women's reproductive health rights, and fighting against
most issues on the civil rights agenda.
Second, that he has not agreed to
let issues like minimum wage and stop and frisk even reach the
Senate floor let alone work to get them passed.
And third, that the chairmanships
of Senate committees and the senate staff populated by policy makers
whose platforms were rejected by New Yorkers in November's election
will remain the same.
What exactly was this Co-option
Deal about? It does NOT, in any way promote the will of the people
or their policies.
People need to ask the deal makers with specificity "what did you
get for this deal? What were you promised?"
Consider the following. A
Democratic led Senate --as voted in by New Yorkers on election day--
1. Support and pass bills like the
minimum wage. Those bills would not have to be "up for discussion",
watered down, or horse traded for a pet item of the Republican
leadership to get on the floor;
2. Have Senate committee chairs and
a staff that reflect the will of the people and diversity of New
York. Even if the Co-option Conference practiced tokenism (and they
failed at that too, securing just one African American, no Latinos
and 5 women in the Co-option Conference) they would fall far short
3. Force Republican leadership to
negotiate their platform onto the Senate floor instead of the other
In short, while New Yorkers "might"
get some of their desired policies under the Co-option Conference
they would definitely get all of those policies under the diverse
leadership of a Democratically led Senate.
Where is the policy advantage in
that trade off for the people of New York?
I appreciate Senator Skelos' candor
that the Republican conference has not changed its spots and I look
forward to galvanizing the people of New York against the Co-option
Conference over the next two years if need be.
*Rev. Al Sharpton is President of National Action Network and MSNBC
host of PoliticsNation on cable television.