Blast From The Past
Compliments of The Brooklyn Politics blog, we bring you an unusually candid peak inside the Senate Democratic conference.
It’s an oldie, but a goodie.
Shortly after the 14-minute mark of an extended interview you can access by clicking the above link, Sen. Diane Savino provides details of the heated exchange that took place between herself and Sen. Kevin Parker back in February 2010 (not 2009, as the blog reports) while the Democrats were discussing whether to expel then-Sen. Hiram Monserrate after he was found guilty of a misdemeanor assault charge.
The verbal altercation almost became physical (Parker has a bit of a history), but Sen. Jeff Klein and then Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. interceded. Savino said she thought at the time that Parker had “lost his mind.”
She also couldn’t help but note “the irony that he’s coming at me defending a guy who was about to be expelled from the Senate for slashing a woman’s face with broken glass,” adding: “It just didn’t seem to make any sense.”
Much as happened since then.
The Democrats lost control of the chamber. Both Monserrate and Espada are long gone. (Monserrate was expelled, and Espada was defeated in a primary by Sen. Gustavo Rivera). Savino, Klein and two of their colleagues – Sen. David Carlucci and David Valesky – left the minority and formed their own conference, the IDC.
Savino’s recollection of the exchange, which appears in full after the jump, just goes to show you how far the Democrats have come since their extremely dysfunctional days in the majority.
Although that’s not to say they don’t still have their work cut out for them as they prepare for a re-match in hopes of wresting control of the chamber back from the GOP in 2012.
Savino: Look, I don’t know if anybody could say that they were inside Kevin’s head. Was he was concerned with himself because he was facing criminal charges? Or did he honestly believe that we were overstepping our bounds?
I don’t know, you’d have to ask him that. But there were people who felt we were usurping the will of the voters, that the voters had selected him and that they should have the right to take him out or not.
We were going around the room and everyone was voicing their opinion and I made the point that since the recommendation for the penalty had come from the Select Committee – which was a bipartisan committee appointed by the leader – that it’s possible that they should have some say as to whether we bring this resolution to the floor.
And in the midst of me making my point, Eric Adams starts yelling about how, pardon, “They have no f$#king right, to dictate…” and then Kevin started screaming, “They have no f!@king right! They have no f@!king right! F@#k you!”
So, I’m no shrinking violet. Kevin stood up, and I stood up and said: “I didn’t interrupt you, don’t interrupt me. I’m speaking.” He starts screaming: “F#@k you! F?!k you!” and so I said, “No, f@#k you!”
With that he starts coming at me. He had to go around the room he knocked over a chair and he’s literally coming at me, I was trying to pick up my chair – I was going to hit him with the chair (laughs).
Jeff Klein stepped in between us. And then Pedro Espada actually tackled him.
Rizzo: Pedro Espada tackled Kevin Parker.
Savino: Yep, got in between us…and then Espada just like dove in and stopped them.
Colin Campbell: So what were you thinking as this was going on?
Savino: That he had lost his mind, or the irony that he’s coming at me defending a guy who was about to be expelled from the Senate for slashing a woman’s face with broken glass. It just didn’t seem to make any sense.
I’ve known Kevin a long time, for a very long time, so I don’t harbor any ill will towards him over this incident…That he was “remorseful” doesn’t even begin to describe it afterwards. The way that someone who’s out of control of their emotions can wake up and say “Oh my god, I almost did something really stupid.”
I sat with him and said: ‘You know what, I’m not really concerned with you hurting me. I wasn’t, because there were enough people in the room. I’m not really concerned with you hurting someone else. But you’re going to come across someone bigger and tougher than yourself, and they’re going to kill you.’”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on September 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm, and is filed under 2012, Democrats, Downstate NY, Hiram Monserrate, Pedro Espada, State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|