Albany Leadership Change

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Liz Krueger, New York State Senator (D-Manhattan, 26th district), and Hiram Monserrate, New York State Senator (D-Queens, 13th district), react to the change in leadership in Albany. Plus: Dick Dadey, executive director of the Citizens Union, a watchdog for the public interest, and an advocate for good government, weighs in.


Dick Dadey, Liz Krueger and Hiram Monserrate

Comments [50]

Voter from Brooklyn

Hello Eva,

In short, my position was abolition of what you referred to as an unfair two-tier system. This would put people in religious contracts on par with secular couples and singles when it comes to contributing to the state and federal coffers. It will also reduce burdens on Medicare, Social Security, pensions, employee provided health insurance, and widow benefits. The thousands of benefits going towards married people and people with children (I include them because it is unfair for the childless to be required to help support other peoples responsibilities because of tax breaks) would come to an end. Everyone will be equal in the eyes of the law and their responsibility to fund the greater good (from national defense and interstate transportation down to the fire department and public parks.) Abolishing civil marriage ends the discrimination. BTW, I am in favor of equal pay, but have issues with collective bargaining (one of the few ways to insure equality), I can’ t help you with what to wear, and I don’t know enough about CA state prisons to comment.

Jun. 10 2009 01:34 PM


Thanks for your reply, but with all due respect (and I do respect your overall views) I sense that anything I wrote would automatically count as "weakening my argument" in your opinion.

I don't think you addressed anything in the last three paragraphs I wrote above, especially about compounding discrimination against single people by expanding the marriage base.

As for hjs' statement about 'choice' - I couldn't agree more, esp. with property tax.

Jun. 10 2009 01:04 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Don’t worry about the delay. I hate to say this, but you’ve proven my point, and well… your argument against expanding tax benefits is a little weak. I understand your frustration because I am unmarried, without dependents, I am neither school aged nor a senior, without a mortgage, and I do not have a majority of my assets in investments… I live in a high-tax city in a high-tax state with a decent salary. That means I pay the maximum in taxes for my income level. Do I care? (with the exception of how monies are wasted, funneled to states dismissive of this one, the lack of national health insurance, and blatant inequalities in tax code… the marriage thing) No, not really. To afford to live in the most expensive city rent wise, aside from your town, I have a roommate in a neighborhood with a large amount of the population living on government benefits. Do I care… meh. What I do care about is the government having a system where it has the exclusive ability to creates secular contracts for no apparent reason other than benifits and awards those contracts/benefits (on the state and federal levels) while specifically excluding me claiming I have a “choice”. Not only is that unfair, it is unconstitutional. That’s why I said, if the government does not wish to acknowledge my choice of partner, someone I naturally and mutually attracted to, then it needs to get out of the business. We all know every tax break connected to marriage and child rearing were created to get votes and keep politicians in office. The reason I said you weakened your argument is because you don’t want to take away from the state coffers or tie the health of LGBT citizens to partnership, well, by that rational, it would be more advantageous to the republic if we end all recognition of heterosexual marriage. Hetero marriage cost the state coffers, small businesses (healthcare), and the federal gov’t far more than “gay marriage” ever will.

Jun. 10 2009 10:31 AM
hjs from 11211

going broke is a choice, tax or cut or tax and cut. ending property tax cap would be a good start!

Jun. 10 2009 10:29 AM
Sara from Bushwick

Please let these guys know that their so called constituents think that they're jokers, and plan to elect some real representatives for the people come the next election; until then, they need to grow up!

Jun. 10 2009 10:23 AM

whassup? except for the fact that I can't split the rent, everything here is fine or fine enough (at least the big quake hasn't yet hit us) in spite of the fact that our state is soon to go broke.

Jun. 10 2009 01:09 AM


Sorry about the work delay.

You wrote:

"But you raise a good point in that on top of not sharing the bills (since many couples need two incomes to live as they see fit, or merely survive) you don’t get the incentives the government gives to wedded couples and people with dependents."

Which is unfortunately my point. Why am I fighting to let MORE people pay LESS taxes?

Married folk are already getting a benefit in being married (social praise, splitting the bills.) So why the tax break?

I'm all for giving tax breaks to people, gay or straight, who are raising children. But to people who are simply married?

Separately, I'm concerned that it reinforces the bizarre notion that married people are somehow "more equal" citizens than single people. And that is a form of discrimination (especially against women, because unmarried women face more of a social stigma than men.) Example: Years ago, as a teen, I campaigned for the ERA. Well, we never got it. And I still make sixty cents on the dollar to men. Okay, I survived.

But as a single person, why on earth should I compound that discrimination by reinforcing the benefits that accrue to married people - gay or straight? And why are we pushing gay marriage as a means toward health coverage, anyway? Where does that leave gay and straight single people?

If you asked me today to support a bill that would bar employment discrimination against gay people, I would be marching in the street for it. I relate to the victims of real discrimination. But marriage? It reinforces a two-tiered society of those who will marry and, well, those of us who can't even make a decision on what to wear in the morning, let alone who to sleep with for the rest of our lives.

Lastly, I can't believe the millions expended on Prop 8 - on both sides. In the meantime, real human rights violations occur every second of every day to people in California State Prisons. Does anyone give a horse feather about "those" people?

Jun. 10 2009 01:02 AM
b ryan from Upstate NY

I can't believe these guys are so selfish, millions of New Yorkers thought that they might be celebrating next week a gay marriage amendment. How could they get in the way of it for their own personal narrow narrow gain. What kind of world are they living in? And that is only one issue. The Dems need to start standing up for reform. They should have kicked these guys to the kerb anyway long ago. Now they need to be relentless in opposing them in primaries and elsewhere. Let's have an actual reform motivated Democratic party in New York. Let's actually get things done. In a year and a half, I really hope these guys are out of the picture. What a betrayal.

Jun. 09 2009 07:08 PM

Thanks for that. I have some thoughts on that, but will have to post them later tonight.
also - hi to hjs

Jun. 09 2009 03:32 PM
hjs from 11211

i know what side we are on.
it doesn't hurt to point out the fairness issues and just remember slavery, jim crow and the rest of ur list ended in victories.

people stood up and human rights were won for some.

Jun. 09 2009 03:23 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Just try getting half the rent from Skittles, I hear they’re good for nothing deadbeats. But you raise a good point in that on top of not sharing the bills (since many couples need two incomes to live as they see fit, or merely survive) you don’t get the incentives the government gives to wedded couples and people with dependents.
I think paying one’s taxes is the ultimate patriotic act (outside of serving honorably in the voluntary armed services); however, government bends over backwards to reduce the tax burdens of specific groups. Those groups are usually property owners, investors, people with children/dependants, and the wedded. That last one is the sticky wicket. The government has sole discretion on who is an who is not married and government is the one giving away the thousands of goodies because of it. If government walked away from it, there would be no violations of the 14th and 5th Amendments and we could move on to other things.

Jun. 09 2009 03:16 PM


Nice to see you, too. Just stay away from my bag of Skittles.

I'm not sure that either of the ideas we've put forward are "easy" or even remotely possible.


Is it true that I am being punished "tax-wise" for being single? If so, I am also "punished" by not getting to share my rent/mortgage/grocery bill/utility bill/Verizon family plan with a significant other.

But let's stick to taxes. Taxes are healthy. Should I want more incentives for people to skip out on their taxes by getting married.

Especially given the ballooning, Brobdingnagian deficit?

Jun. 09 2009 02:36 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Hey HJS,
Remember, we’re on the same side. I’m just saying you can’t expect much appealing to someone’s humanity in this country when it comes to equal protection under the law. Remember applying the freedom of religion to the states, slavery, suffrage, remember civil-rights in the 60’s, anti-miscegenation laws, integration of the schools, the torture debates, last year’s primary and presidential debates and campaigns???

Jun. 09 2009 02:09 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Hello Eva,
Good to see you… not because we actually agree on anything, we usually don’t, but because at least we’re civil to each other. So, of course, I disagree. :-)
State recognized civil contracts limited to two unrelated adults with all government granted recognitions, rights, and responsibilities therein would be ideal; however, it is not the EASY solution. Arguments would still exist when it comes to contracts with immigrants and those slippery slope issues of contracts with one’s own children (from yesterday’s show), contracts between more than two people, contracts with fish, and marrying that bag of Skittles. It is easy to see how someone will have a problem one way or another with equality when it comes to contract recognition. So, the easy solution is for government to recognize no such contracts and/or bestow absolutely no rights or responsibilities upon people in those contracts.
The problem with the status quo is that, in the current political environment, you are effectively “punished”, tax-wise, if you are single. Even more so if you are single without dependants. You are also “punished” when it comes to inheritance power of attorney and a number of other items. All of this is tied to what relationships (legal contracts) the government decides to sponsor. People against recognizing same-sex relationships (contracts) fail to see the disparity, fail to recognize same-sex couples are tax-paying Americans, and fail to ask the question of why government should be in the business in the first place.

Jun. 09 2009 02:03 PM
hjs from 11211

i like to keep it simple for the common man, it's all i have. i'll let u smart guys talk in "terms of Constitutionality" there is more than one way to skin a cat. sorry if u think i'm wasting my time, but it is my time and that of my employer

Jun. 09 2009 01:56 PM

"The easiest solution, though it would be political suicide, would be for the state and federal governments to get out of the civil marriage business and immediately end all subsidies, legal considerations, and tax breaks connected to all unions between people and their natural or acquired progeny."

Er, no. The easiest solution is to get the state INTO the civil union business, and out of the marriage business altogether. Leave marriage to the churches - whether you're gay or straight. The word itself is pure poison.

As to why the common man doesn't worry about civil liberties - probably because he's too worried about keeping a roof over his head. Which is why it's suicidal, as the economy continues to tank, to keep pushing on gay marriage at this time. Having said that, I voted no on 8, in support of gay marriage here in California, but I do wonder if the strategy of pushing more for this issue at this particular time doesn't endanger the issue over the long term.

Jun. 09 2009 01:06 PM
Voter from Brooklyn


Perhaps a more constructive way to frame the debate isn’t in terms of touchy-feely civil liberties, fairness, and human rights… Frankly those notions haven’t mattered much to the common man in the United States. Think of it strictly in terms of Constitutionality, specifically the 1st, 5th, 9th, and 14th Amendments. That is the only way to expect any recognition of existing inequality under the law. Even our current president, who’s nothing more than the same book with a different cover, cannot deny this country has ongoing problems with Establishment and Free Exercise (1st Amendment), Due Process (5th Amendment), unenumerated rights (9th Amendment), and Due Process and Equal Protection (14th Amendment).
The easiest solution, though it would be political suicide, would be for the state and federal governments to get out of the civil marriage business and immediately end all subsidies, legal considerations, and tax breaks connected to all unions between people and their natural or acquired progeny. It has been a wildly popular way to get elected and pander to voters, however, if there were no governmental involvement this would be a non issue. It would all go away.

Jun. 09 2009 12:48 PM
Ed from Westchester

This move by Democrat senators seems naive to me. Assignment of committee chairs will be done on a "bi-partisan" basis? How will an agenda be set? Noises about government reforms aside, this is a political opportunity the Republicans have worked hard to bring about.

Jun. 09 2009 12:11 PM
hjs from 11211

i guess if you are free that's all that matters.

Jun. 09 2009 11:54 AM
Ben from NY

What human rights abuses, 'marriage equality' is a clever term, but a phony concept.

Why don't you make a 'currency equality' movement to insist that counterfeit money has the same rights as the genuine article?

Homosexual 'marriage' is not the real thing, enough of this decadence masquerading as justice.

Jun. 09 2009 11:46 AM
hjs from 11211

we should all stand against human rights abuses even if they are here in the USA.

Jun. 09 2009 11:11 AM
hjs from 11211

you might like to know espada monserrate & diaz all ran unopposed by any major party. I guess the GOP was happy with them long ago.

Jun. 09 2009 11:09 AM
Leo from Queens

btw - as a Hispanic I am disgusted and completely ashamed of the charlatans that supposedly represent our community - Montserrate; Espada; Diaz junior, etc.

Jun. 09 2009 11:04 AM
Leo from Queens

Monserrat is a disgrace!. Did he communicate to his constituents as to why he was caucusing with the Republicans? How does this help his constituents? Why did he send out a mailing taking credit for all the good things the Democrats had done in Albany?

Also, can he explain how one holding a glass of water can trip and hit a woman on the face and give her a deep cut with the glass? I would like for him to reenact that as it's not plausible!

Jun. 09 2009 11:03 AM
Ben from NY

Brian, what is with you, you are obsessed with the homosexual 'marriage' issue, is that your religion or something? I guess that is one of the pillars or litmus tests of the new religion of modern liberalism that some people have adopted after throwing away traditional faith.

Brian, enough of thet nonsense, return to the faith of your ancestors, enough of this extreme decadent liberalism that is endangering the Western world, just when it is confronting a very aggressive threat from extreme Islam. Just what we need - more extreme liberalism to give them more ammunition when they say that we are Godless.

Time to wake up. It's no great thing to have such an 'open mind' that your brains fall out.

Jun. 09 2009 10:44 AM
CapG from Jackson Heights

While they proclaim aspirations for some lofty goals to reform Albany government, I have very very little trust in Hiram Monserrate. Unfortunately he is my state senator, is out on bail for stabbing his wife, and is collecting a NYPD Pension based on a "psychological disability"!!! What a scumbag. I predict he'll be thrown out of the senate before this whole power play goes anywhere.

Jun. 09 2009 10:42 AM
hjs from 11211

wait this is new the GOP has teamed up with someone BEFORE they commit crimes!!

Jun. 09 2009 10:41 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I wish I had a better idea of how this happened. These guys have been working on this for weeks. What were Espada and Monserrate promised? Besides Espada getting "president pro-tem?" And by the way, what the h*** does THAT mean?

Jun. 09 2009 10:41 AM
Liam from East Elmhurst

He should be accorded all the honors a STREET-THUG deserves.

In the end, there is no law-no representation-heck, I could believe a tacit behind the scenes deal was struck by the Dems and the Repub richies behind closed doors.
Hey, NY State won't take third parties.

Now, here, see why-smiley face.

Jun. 09 2009 10:40 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

I’ll ask the same question asked a thousand times since last night (which Brian conveniently neglected to ask). Where was all of the reform, calls for term limits, end to corruption, and calls for bi-partisanship in the 40 years Republicans ruled the Senate? How did five months of Democratic dominance lead to all of the woes this state faces along with the appalling dysfunction of Albany?

As far as the “gay stuff” people are having problems with, since it was the topic of yesterdays show given that, at the time, we thought the session would be closed within a matter of weeks, it makes sense to ask. If yesterday’s topic was mayoral control of the schools, I’m sure Brian would have asked that.

Jun. 09 2009 10:40 AM
Cynthia from UES

Brian what is the involvement of the two Billionaires in this issue, Bloomberg and some guy name Guliamo or something to that order !!

Jun. 09 2009 10:38 AM
john from rumson NJ

mealy-mouth politician day.

Jun. 09 2009 10:38 AM

What a TRAITOR full of BS rhetoric. He wants change by making senate republican again. Fire the Benedict Arnold! What a crock!

Jun. 09 2009 10:35 AM
jesse from new york

Monserrate has a lot of nerve! How can he call himself “progressive” when he helped put the retrograde Republicans in charge? What a slime ball. Anyone can call themselves progressive. Look at what people do.

Jun. 09 2009 10:35 AM
Ron Fletcher from Yonkers

Let's call these guys what they really are...REPUBLICANS! We should all give money to any real Democrat or Liberal that opposes him. I can't reach the knife in my back!

Jun. 09 2009 10:35 AM
the truth from bkny

OH I see JS' comment now I know why you asked...he put you off pretty good though. HA!

Jun. 09 2009 10:34 AM
Jeff Putterman from Queens

Brian, I like this station, but you need to grow a pair.

Jun. 09 2009 10:34 AM
the truth from bkny

WOW, way to get nasty and off topic Brian!

Jun. 09 2009 10:33 AM
Liam from East Elmhurst

Enough with the GAY STUFF!
Tax law change is the key here!
Brian, stop kissing behind!

Jun. 09 2009 10:32 AM
Randy Paul from Jackson Heights, NY

Ask him about violence against women.

Jun. 09 2009 10:32 AM
JC from Brooklyn


Ask him why the Republicans all of sudden want reform in the Senate after the many years they were in charge. They lose power and all of a sudden the Senate needs reform??

Jun. 09 2009 10:32 AM
JS from New York

You're interviewing a politician currently under indictment for a violent crime and you're really not going to ask him a single question about it? Really? This is why we're supposed be giving money to WNYC?

Jun. 09 2009 10:32 AM
Liam from East Elmhurst

Again, dribble about GAY-MARRIAGE ---as if this is the crucial issue of our times.
Brian? Brian? Brian? Hello!
Earth to Brian?
Most important - social relief - FAIR TAXATION like it kind of was.
Look, leave the gay stuff for, uh, the week-end or never.

Jun. 09 2009 10:31 AM
Matt from Brooklyn

When a republican says "bi-partisan," think about the Bush years. The democrats who switched over are pathetic.

Jun. 09 2009 10:29 AM
Charles from Brooklyn

The Democratic party has squandered the opportunity given to them by the voters, and turning off the lights won't stop people from seeing this truth. In the era of Obama, what a shame for all New York Democrates.

Jun. 09 2009 10:29 AM
Dan from Bay Ridge

Good morning Brian and Crew,

I was wondering if State Senator Golden - (R) Brooklyn - et al would continue with the campaign to remove (at first it was to deny) Hiram Monserrate from his senate seat.

To remind anyone unfamiliar with the case Hiram Monserrate was arrested and indicted on charges of Domestic Violence for stabbing his girlfriend in the face with a broken drink glass.


Jun. 09 2009 10:18 AM
Ed from Brooklyn

Why are you giving a forum to Monserrate? He should go quietly and worry more about his own legal issues.
And challenge him when he spouts nonsense about bringing reform to Albany. That is as transparently false as the power grab by his buddy Espada Jr. is true.

Please ask Mr. Dadey how the citizens of NYS can force the Albany circus to grow up, Constitutional Convention or otherwise.

Jun. 09 2009 10:17 AM
Bobby G from East Village

When will the travesty of Albany's incompetent control of the fate of New York City end?

Jun. 09 2009 10:16 AM
Frank from Jackson Heights

As a resident of Hiram's district I am deeply disturbed at how he turned on his constituents just months after his election. It's rare a politician acts so selfishly so publicly so early. I also hold the Queens Democratic machine for backing such a weak candidate, a troubled man with an admitted history of mental troubles. Hiram's arrest for assaulting his girlfriend may be a saving grace since it will accellerate what is a certainty in Jax Heights: His political career is over.

Jun. 09 2009 10:16 AM
Laura from West Nyack

My first thought, having listened to your program yesterday, is to wonder how the coup affects the gay marriage vote, coming up in the legislature, whether there was any connection between the two, and again the role of religion in many people, and the separation between church and state on which our government is based.

Jun. 09 2009 10:08 AM

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