back-room deals

Weinergate is the Least of the Dicking Around in New York Right Now

If you thought New York politics got crazy with the recent scandal over Representative Weiner’s wiener, check out the intrigue and deal-making going on behind the scenes over marriage equality right now.

New York Magazine does an excellent job of summing up why the process of passing the bill is so aggravatingly complicated: despite a highly disciplined campaign, informed by the failures of 2009, a handful of Senators still won’t commit to marriage. (Typical men! Amirite, ladies and bottoms?)

With less than three weeks left to pass this bill (eek!), now come the really tough choices.

Is it time to cut a deal? Do marriage backers keep up the grassroots pressure on undecided pols, in an effort to show them that constituents have their back? How do we convince them that supporting marriage isn’t as risky as they think?

And when is it time to call out the heavy artillery, and have Governor Andrew Cuomo (a Democrat) lean on Senate majority leader Dean Skelos, a Republican? Skelos has only a tenuous grasp on his majority, and he sure could use Cuomo’s help to keep it. But if Cuomo promises support to Skelos, will that come back to haunt him on other issues?

Even though New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been pushing hard for marriage equality, he still gets plenty of heat for his big financial donations to Republicans. In fact, many of the anti-gay Senators currently in power have Bloomberg to thank for funding their campaigns.

If Cuomo promises a favor to Republicans in order to pass this bill, when will they come calling to collect?