Friday, June 17, 2011

Alesi and the Marriage Gambit

The marriage issue most important to State Senator Jim Alesi is the marriage of Alesi to his senate seat in Albany.

What deal did he strike in that closed-door meeting with Governor Cuomo, following which the Senator endorsed the same-sex marriage bill?

The politics are interesting.   Well before his meeting with Cuomo, Alesi knew he wouldn't get Conservative endorsement for re-election.   The Conservative line gave him his margin of victory last year. From that perspective, he lost nothing in endorsing the Governor's marriage bill.

Following the furor over Alesi's sleazy lawsuit earlier this year, everyone in the Monroe County political world except Alesi and the remaining members of his staff wrote him off for re-election.   There no longer exists any relationship between the Senator and the Monroe County GOP.

If Alesi manages to win a Republican primary for renomination next year, will the Governor back him for re-election?   For Alesi will face a primary next year.   Will Democrats punt on the seat if he wins it?

Alternatively, having burned his bridges with the local GOP organization because of the lawsuit fiasco, will he run as a Democrat, with the Governor's backing for the party's nomination? Will rank-and-file Democrats accept damaged goods as their nominee?

For certain, Alesi will run as a Democrat if he can and if that's his only path to re-election.

By endorsing same-sex marriage he's won his "thumbs-up" in the editorial page of tomorrow's Democrat and Chronicle, and likely the paper's support for reelection despite his disgrace over the lawsuit.

With the Governor's support, the Democratic nomination and the support of the local paper, the Senator may have found a way around the problem he created for himself with that lawsuit.

If we had a quality daily newspaper in Rochester, it would be demanding to know what deal Alesi made with the Governor behind closed doors.   Dream on.


Rottenchester said...

Good questions.

Stranger things can happen, and I have no inside information, but I can't see Alesi getting the Democratic nomination.

I believe you when you say that Alesi and the Monroe GOP aren't speaking anymore, but that doesn't mean he can't win a GOP primary. Doesn't he still have a ton of campaign cash? His primary opponent better have a ton of money and time to spend on beating Alesi.

AllanBlockhead said...

Phil, go for it!

Anonymous said...

Alesi is very confusing! However, if it had not been for a slick ad campaign that made the debate about Mary Wilmot, he would not even be in office. I doubt that can be pulled off again.
It almost looks like he declared his position of same sex marriage, knowing that the vote may never come to the floor! This way, he looks like a good guy, but never has to cast a vote along the way.

Anonymous said...

We already know the Democratic Party under Joe Morelle is (a) in the pocket of the Cuomo/Duffy admin, and (b) for sale. Take the two together and they'd run anyone for Alesi's seat, including Alesi, if the word comes down from the Second Floor. My money, though, is that you'll see this play out once the new district lines are announced. Cuomo is going to veto the ones delivered by the senate GOP and do his own. Then we'll know what deal was struck with Alesi.