When the Senate Republicans made a surprise announcement of the memorandum of understanding they had signed with a top Cuomo administration aide that appeared to indefinitely delay a key provision of the SAFE Act, the Senate Democrats immediately cried foul.
The minority conference questioned the legality of the MOU, signed by Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and state Operations Director Jim Malatras, which seemed to derail creation of a database for ammunition sale background checks.
Deputy Senate Minority Leader Mike Gianaris said the Senate and Assembly Democrats were in talks about a potential legal challenge to the MOU, which he saw as a slippery slope and something that established a dangerous precedent.
Even as the Senate GOP declared victory – a claim gun rights advocates said was overblown – the Cuomo administration immediately downplayed the significance of the MOU, insisting the database would still go ahead as planned, though failing to explain exactly how and when that would occur.
Apparently, the administration’s assurances were sufficient to quell the Senate Democrats’ concerns – at least in the short term. During a CapTon interview last night, Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins revealed the conference is no longer planning to pursue legal action.
“At this point…I take him at his word that this will not stop anything,” the Yonkers Democrat said. “It will not weaken anything. And what I’m looking for is a timeline as to when we will be getting this done. That’s where we are right now.”
Leaving aside the issue of the SAFE Act (which is unworkable), since when does the state Operations Director get to sign a memorandum of understanding with just 1/4th of the state legislature - in this case, state senate Republicans - that derails some part of legislation that had been passed into law by 4/4ths of the legislature?
Senate Dems should be suing on the principle that the governor (or his state Operations Director) doesn't get to make MOU's with 1/4th of the legislature that affect legislation passed by 4/4ths of the legislature, but instead Senate Dems have caved to Cuomo and pulled back from the legal challenge threat.
You can bet there's some Quid Pro Cuomo between Senate Dems and Cuomo over the state Senate seat Tom Libous vacated after he was convicted of lying to the FBI last week.
Cuomo, who famously has promised to work for a state Senate takeover by Dems in the past, pushed former DMV commissioner Barbara Fiala for the seat.
Fiala is expected to announce that she will run for Libous' old Senate seat on Thursday.
Why Senate Dems would be bought off by Cuomo's promises is beyond me - his word is worthless, as is his backing for the Binghamton seat - it's a conservative district where Cuomo is not terribly popular.
Nonetheless we have another instance of the co-dependent Dems in Albany compliantly coming back to their abuser to give him what he wants.
Apparently the co-dependent Albany Dems will never learn.