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Monserrate Expulsion Vote

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The state Senate on Tuesday voted 53-to-8 to expel Sen. Hiram Monserrate following his conviction last year for assaulting his girlfriend. Civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel will be defending Senator Monserrate in court; Senator Eric Schneiderman (D-Manhattan, Bronx) was chair of the committee that investigated Monserrate's actions.

Guests:

Eric Schneiderman and Norman Siegel

Comments [23]

Alice from Brooklyn

Throw the bum out.

Feb. 10 2010 11:37 AM
Michael from Rockville Centre,

One down,several more to go.

Feb. 10 2010 10:56 AM
Linda Powell from Manhattan

I am a "person of color" and I disagree with Norman Siegel's argument. Expulsion is a rare occurence precipitated in this case by behavior his colleagues, and many observers, found repellent. If he were white, would his white constituents be disenfranchised by his expulsion? Would their rights need to be protected from the senate? Of course, not, and to say the same about Montserrat's constituents is patronizing at best. A brief gap in representation is not the same as disenfranchisement. It would surprise me if many of the voters aren't relieved to have the opportunity to replace him.

Feb. 10 2010 10:43 AM
Chuck Zlatkin from Chelsea

Here is one vote for the rule of law. What the State Senate did was absurd and probably unconstitutional. I'm against lynching no matter what a person has done. Let the voters decide. I guess I'm on the same side of the question as Norman Siegel. We need to protect our rights and not sell them out no matter how self-righteous we feel when we trash the rule of law. Schneiderman for Attorney General is now a joke.

I'm sure all the people who supported this action had all kinds of "realistic" reasons for not impeaching Bush, Cheney and the rest of the war crimes cabal.

Feb. 10 2010 10:35 AM
Elke from Elmhurst

I am in Monserrate's district. I'm really glad he got ousted. I hope it sticks in court. That said, I like Siegal a lot, think he's a very principled man. Although I disagree with him on this issue, I respect his belief that everyone needs to be represented, even pigs like Monserrate.

Feb. 10 2010 10:31 AM
Alison from Upper West Side

I'm soooo glad our representatives took a tough stand on Monserrate. Violence cannot be tolerated in any circumstance, against women in the home - anywhere and it's absolutely intolerable from one of our public representatives. A good and just use of a legislative procedure that obviously has never been abused.

Feb. 10 2010 10:31 AM
Alice from Westchester

Although Siegel's position has validity, I just can't believe that the overarching issue of responsibility for one's actions has been lost in the minutiae of "letter of the law."

Please save those fights for bigger and more important issues that really NEED the letter of the law to win.

Monserrate should resign - but of course this would be anathema to him.

Feb. 10 2010 10:22 AM
Catherine from long island

Hi Brian-

I'm feeling like all is right with the world. Monserrat's behavior has been despicable - how could the Senate do other than it is doing?

However, I also believe that Monserrat's case is absolutely correct, and I hope he wins. This power is too dangerous for the reasons you're so wisely elucidating.

My only fear is that Monserrat will be seen as a martyr and could win re-election on that.

Feb. 10 2010 10:22 AM
bowerygals. from Manhattan

I think of domestic violence as a hate crime when perpetrated on women (the preponderant group it is directed at). Should any senator be seated who participated in a hate crime? Crimes against women are heinous, even if they are so "commonplace" as to seem a normal part of life.

Feb. 10 2010 10:21 AM
john from office

Comparing a wife beater to Bond or Powell is laughable. Brian, you excuse this behavior because he is a "Person of Color" as you would put it.

Feb. 10 2010 10:21 AM
Adam from Brooklyn

This is New York State, what other states have done in related matters has no bearing on what New York State judicial system will do. So that argument is mute.

There are plenty of jobs, even non-elected positions, that will fire you for getting convicted of any charge. Just because Monserrate is an elected official should not provide him extra protection to keep his position.

Feb. 10 2010 10:20 AM
Robert from NYC

The state Senate floor must have the foulest odor from the filth and sleaze that resides there.

Feb. 10 2010 10:17 AM
hjs from 11211

shouldn't this nonsense start in the state court!

Feb. 10 2010 10:17 AM
RLewis from bowery

Brian, I love Norman, but why are you letting him use judical laws for a political proceeding??? He already had the chance to confront witness, present evidence and all the stuff Norman say is required. It's not. That was what his trail was for. Hiram is a disgrace on ny governance. Be gone with him, so we all can hold our heads up.

Feb. 10 2010 10:17 AM
john from office

He is a white hispanic, when will white liberals stop accepting bad behavior on the part of minorities???!!!

Feb. 10 2010 10:17 AM
C. Tennyson from Ridgewood, New York

How is there not a provision in the NY State Constitution allowing a house in the legislature to expel a member? There's such a provision in the US Constitution.

I think the best solution to this is to expel Monserrate, as has been done, and then call a special election. BUT - he should be allowed to run in the special election. If his constituents really want him to represent them they'll send him back. If not, he's obviously lost their confidence and they'll choose someone else.

Feb. 10 2010 10:16 AM
gary g from nyc

Norman Siegel is SUCH a putz....
with all of the REAL injustices currently ongoing why this LOSER chooses to rep a female beating jerk...
Not sure if Siegel is still with the ACLU but if so , no more donations from me , NOT a dime...

Feb. 10 2010 10:16 AM
sam from astoria

Monserrate is a creep who was arrested on 9/11 for beating up a traffic cop downtown and was released when the towers fell. Good riddance.

Feb. 10 2010 10:13 AM
akena in ny

I feel sorry for his brainwashed girlfriend. Obviously so blinded by need. Weak.

Feb. 10 2010 10:13 AM
john from office

Why is norman Seigel always on the wrong side of any issue. He should go back to 1968.

Feb. 10 2010 10:10 AM
binbrooklyn from manhattan

This is the best news of the week.

Feb. 10 2010 10:08 AM
hjs from 11211

GOOD!

Feb. 10 2010 10:05 AM
Frank from Jackson Heights

Hiram has been dead-man-walking in Jackson Heights for months, as most concluded regardless of whether he was expelled, his time representing the neighborhood was coming to an end. Never in my life have I seen a politician position himself as one thing, and deliver something so different after Election Day. Such hubris and what I imagine was an assumption that the electorate is so disconnected and dim-witted not to notice. The left may not have a 'tea party' but it boils nevertheless. If Hiram cares about the place he still calls home, he'll quietly exit the stage and allow a new chapter to begin.

Feb. 10 2010 10:04 AM

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