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MOST DYSFUNCTIONAL STATES No. 1: New York

Monday, July 20, 2009 , Posted by LATINO EVENTS Y TESPIS MAGAZINE at 3:31 PM

A big and serious housecleaning job needs to be done in the Empire State.
The National Journal carries this article on our own New York mess.
MOST DYSFUNCTIONAL STATES
Leadership Problems: 10
First, Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) acknowledged visiting high-end prostitutes and resigned. Then Spitzer's successor, David Paterson (D), acknowledged just days after being installed that he had used drugs and had extramarital affairs. And then, Paterson was widely accused of mishandling the selection of a successor to Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate seat.
Ah, those were the good old days. For the Empire State, it's only gotten worse.
While Paterson has seen his approval ratings dip into the 20 percent range -- and while almost two-thirds of voters in a recent Marist poll consider him a weak leader -- one surprise political development actually managed to make him look (slightly) better by comparison. Last month, Republicans in the state Senate lured two disaffected Democrats to support a vote that switched leadership of the narrowly divided chamber to the GOP. Then one of those Democrats returned to the fold, leaving the chamber evenly split -- and skidding into ridiculousness.
A recent Los Angeles Times piece nicely summarized the follies. Lawmakers "have convened dueling sessions -- each claiming legitimacy -- huffed over which party should lead members in the Pledge of Allegiance and fought about whether a Republican lawmaker crossing the chamber to fetch a drink should have counted toward a quorum, allowing Democrats to pass more than 100 'noncontroversial' bills, which the state Assembly refuses to recognize."

Democrats for a time sought to keep Republicans out of the chamber by locking the doors, the newspaper reported, and at one point, "the two sides held simultaneous sessions, wielding separate gavels, passing two sets of legislation and heckling and shouting past each other to be heard by their respective presiding officers."
On Thursday, the situation took a step toward stability as Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx, the remaining Democratic defector, returned to the fold. 
Read it all at the NationalJournal

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