UPDATE: Roll call here.
The New York Assembly voted 89 – 52 Tuesday evening to pass a marriage equality bill (A07732). Governor Paterson has vowed to sign the bill if it makes it through the Senate.
Interesting that the NYT story didn’t get into specifics of the roadblocks ahead in the senate, such as our friend Ruben “As long as you need me, there will be no gay marriage” Diaz. Rather, they made much of the smart political maneuvering by the Assembly to facilitate “yes” votes from squeamish senators.
Supporters of the bill aggressively sought new votes, particularly from Assembly members whose districts lie within Senate districts where a senator’s vote is believed to be in play. As a matter of strategy, same-sex marriage advocates said that they hoped to use those votes as a way to leverage support from senators who are worried that supporting the measure could cost them politically.
Much of the strategy was apparently orchestrated by Danny O’Donnell. Excerpts from that story after the flip.
Mr. O’Donnell, the gay older brother of the comedian Rosie O’Donnell, has emerged as a tenacious, ingratiating, playful and sometimes prickly leader of the effort to pass the legislation.
He has helped gather nearly 90 votes in the 150-member Assembly… But he is also using the Assembly vote as a way to pressure members of the Senate, where the legislation’s fate will be decided, and demonstrate to wary senators that there is support in their districts for the bill.
Mr. O’Donnell’s unsubtle approach has endeared him to some colleagues in the Capitol and rankled others. While using flattery on certain wavering lawmakers, he has been aggressive with others, threatening to withhold support from fellow Democrats, for example, who declined to be listed as sponsors of the measure.
“Some might say you get more bees from vinegar, sugar than vinegar, whatever that stupid expression is,” said Mr. O’Donnell, who is from the Upper West Side. He added: “If you want to run for attorney general or for governor or lieutenant governor or senator or congressperson, and you’re not in favor of my equality, then I’m not interesting in helping you. And I’ve made that clear.”
No apologies. I like this guy.
Cross-posted at Blue Mass Group.