NY Gov Paterson Hands Reins to Malcolm Smith on Marriage Bill
New York Governor David Paterson appeared to dial back his rhetoric yesterday on New York's marriage equality bill, which has been full-throttle since he announced he was reintroducing it, in a public gesture of handover to Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.
Said Paterson: "On this particular bill, there are a lot of other issues related to it. Senator Smith knows the inertia of the Senate better than anyone else . . . I'll stick with his final judgment."
Newsday reports: "Smith (D- St. Albans) supports gay marriage, but has said he would not allow a vote if defeat was likely. 'I'm very concerned about putting a bill on the floor that's going to be symbolism and not pass. . . . I'm going to count until I know that I have 32, if not 34, votes,' he said last week. After Paterson's comments Wednesday, Smith was asked for a response. Before he could reach the microphone, the governor quipped, 'Senator Smith agrees with me completely.' Smith replied, 'Absolutely.' ... Wednesday night, Paterson spokesman Peter Kauffmann said the governor had been 'consistent' in his statements Wednesday and last week. Paterson believes that legislation in general should be debated but was not demanding that Smith bring the gay marriage bill to the floor regardless of whether it had sufficient support, Kauffmann said."