Newspapers reported over the weekend and this morning that Dean Skelos, indicted Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, would be ousted today from his position of power. This, after Skelos received a vote of confidence from the Senate’s Republican conference just last week.
There is, unfortunately, a lot of history with regard to indicted legislative leaders in New York, and that history suggests that Skelos’ ouster following his indictment was bound to happen. So, one has to wonder why he sought the confidence vote last week, when he had to know he would face the end of his leadership very shortly. The confidence vote just prolonged the agony and the bad publicity.
There are a couple of other things one has to wonder as well. First, why doesn’t the New York State Senate have a rule governing what happens when the Senate Majority Leader is indicted? There should be a rule. Skelos is the fifth Senate Majority Leader in a row to be indcited while in office. And, second, since five New York State Senate Majority Leaders in a row have been indicted, why would anyone want to succeed Skelos? Why are at least two people vying for the position?