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Manhattan Senator Blasts Senate Coalition As “Plantation Politics”

Posted By Jon Campbell On December 18, 2012 @ 4:01 pm In Other | Comments Disabled

Sen. Bill Perkins is out with a lengthy, scathing statement knocking the power-sharing agreement among Republicans and breakaway Democrats—a deal that will keep the main Senate Democratic Conference out of the majority.

[1]Perkins, D-Manhattan, focused his efforts on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whom Perkins said should “stand up for representative government and against the plantation politics of backroom deals putting us on the back of the bus.”

A selection from Perkins’ statement:

“Thirty-three Democratic Senators, a majority, were just elected to the New York State Senate. At least 15 Democratic Senators are African American or Latino. In addition we are allied with progressive whites to represent a majority of Democratic Senators. If things happened as they have traditionally, this partnership of Progressive Senators, African American, white and Latino would hold critical Senate Chairmanships. We would preside on committees dealing with housing, criminal justice, the judiciary
and education. These are the very issues that are of the greatest importance, not merely to people of color, but to all working people, poor people, immigrants, students, single moms, teachers and the LGBT community. But, backroom deals, threatening this vital agenda, are putting us back on the back of the bus!”

Perkins, who is African American, first made the “back of the bus” analogy at a rally held earlier this month by Al Sharpton [2].

Senate Republicans and the five-member Independent Democratic Conference—headed by Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein—will partner to control the Senate chamber come January. Cuomo, meanwhile, has publicly stayed out of the Senate leadership battle, repeatedly saying that it’s not his place to intervene in in-house legislative matters.

Perkins’ full statement is after the jump.more->

“I was the first elected official in New York to endorse Barack Obama. Thanks to a diverse coalition of folks our first black president was elected, and now has been reelected. This is great because there are so many problems facing so many people that need to be addressed. That’s especially true here in our state where the very idea of representative government, the concept of one person, one vote, is under attack in a way that could potentially put us back in the back of the bus.

“Thirty-three Democratic Senators, a majority, were just elected to the New York State Senate. At least 15 Democratic Senators are African American or Latino. In addition we are allied with progressive whites to represent a majority of Democratic Senators. If things happened as they have traditionally, this partnership of Progressive Senators, African American, white and Latino would hold critical Senate Chairmanships. We would preside on committees dealing with housing, criminal justice, the judiciary
and education. These are the very issues that are of the greatest importance, not merely to people of color, but to all working people, poor people, immigrants, students, single moms, teachers and the LGBT community. But, backroom deals, threatening this vital agenda, are putting us back on the back of the bus!

“Reform measures are now in jeopardy. Issues like an increase to the minimum wage, the Dream Act immigration reform, campaign finance reform and other efforts to address priorities impacting the underserved and issues of fairness will be held hostage.

“Are people entitled to representation and leadership from those who they elected, or do special interests get to select who rules instead?

“Let’s demand that New York’s top Democrat, Governor Andrew Cuomo, stand up for representative government and against the plantation politics of backroom deals putting us on the back of the bus!

“As the great singer and activist Paul Robeson said: “We ask for nothing that is not right, and herein lies the great power of our demand!”


Article printed from Albany Watch: http://statepolitics.lohudblogs.com

URL to article: http://statepolitics.lohudblogs.com/2012/12/18/manhattan-senator-blasts-senate-coalition-as-plantation-politics/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/12/Screen-shot-2012-12-18-at-4.02.22-PM.png

[2] a rally held earlier this month by Al Sharpton: http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2012/12/08/sampson-says-hell-step-aside-if-dems-regain-majority/