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Larry Hirsch Headshot

Some NY Dems Need to Put Ideals Before Ambition

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As a former active New York Democrat (I now live in New Jersey), I look on in amazement as some of my past colleagues turn their backs on their party to further their personal ambitions. First are the group of five State Senators in Albany. When the Party is likely to re-take the majority, the not "Fab 5" makes a deal to align with the Republicans in "bipartisan" coalition. But make no mistake about it: Dean Skelos and the Republicans will run the State Senate, and if they re-take control in 2014, they will toss their new Democratic "partners" to the side.

Yes, the Dems messed things up last time they had control of the Senate, but when it comes to the ideals Democrats share, there is a big difference between having Democrats and Republicans in charge of the Senate. Jeff Klein says that Skelos will let some bills like the minimum wage increase come to the floor, but what will happen when other important issues like the state budget come up? Would Klein and his colleagues like to have Republicans in charge or Democrats? Their ideals should say Democrats but their ambition has given power to the Democrats. It is even more shocking when one of the renegade Democrats also wants to run for the Democratic mayoral nomination.

Speaking of the race for mayor, at least one candidate who has had a whole career as a Democrat is now running as an Independent and courting Republican support. Once again, selling ideals out for ambition. If you run as a Republican, you are subscribing to certain values that are antithetical to those shared by Democrats and a person gets involved in politics because they believe in something. II am not against working across party lines to get things done, and all politicians are ambitious. If you sacrifice your ideals for ambition, however, you are crossing the line to where you should re-think your political future. This is where these five Senators in Albany and at least one mayoral candidate are now. Democrats need to remember that they are Democrats.