The other day I posted about how any blame for bad policies ruining Upstate New York needs to focus on the fact that 1) for a very long time the state has been run almost completely by the 3 people at the top, and 3) for decades those 3 people at the top have been drawn exclusively from the Downstate area (New York City and its suburbs).
And after posting that, lo and behold one of them was forced out of office this week due to corruption charges.
Hmmm. They’ve now lost a majority of the top 3 on corruption charges in the last 6 months.
Oh … and they had to have an election within the State Senate for a new majority leader. As of Monday, The New York Times noted that there is a broad field of possible successors:
Even if Mr. Skelos were to step aside, the field of potential successors is small, and the next in line is clouded by other controversy: The Republicans’ No. 2 is Senator Thomas W. Libous, of Binghamton, who is facing a federal indictment, accused of lying to federal agents during a corruption investigation.
Other potential candidates include Senator Catharine Young, from Western New York, who would be the chamber’s first female majority leader; Senator John A. DeFrancisco, a veteran legislator from the Syracuse area and chairman of the finance committee; and Senator John J. Flanagan, from Suffolk County, who served 16 years in the Assembly.
Let’s count those folks off: an Upstater, a second Upstater, a third Upstater, and bringing up the end of the list a single Downstater.
Don’t hold your breath about who won the vote: Flanagan, the Downstater.
Perhaps Mr. Flanagan doesn’t deserve this next bit.
There was this movie that Eddie Murphy made about 25 years ago called The Distinguished Gentleman. In it, a member of Congress dies in office, and the special election for his successor is a con man with the same name who’s campaign slogan is “vote for the name you know”.
What does this have to do with the new New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan Jr.? Well, he’s the son of John Flanagan Sr. I’ll let The Times continue:
John J. Flanagan was 25 and a second-year law student when his father — Assemblyman John Flanagan Sr., a well-respected Republican from Long Island — died of a heart attack while jogging near the family’s home in Suffolk County.
It was 1986, and just weeks before an election. But a few days after his father’s death, the younger Mr. Flanagan entered the race, at the urging of party leaders, and easily won his father’s seat.
Gosh. I wish most states were run by people who’d completed their first year of law school.
In Flanagan’s defense, he did eventually complete law school, albeit from a school I’ve never heard of that happens to be singularly successful at producing graduates who end up as member of the New York State Legislature.