Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Minority Leaders

It seems that the Board of Supervisors Democratic caucus still hasn't resolved its disagreement about how to cast their votes for minority leader. The way the votes are cast will affect the outcome. If it's one man-one vote, Hudson Fourth Ward Supervisor Bill Hughes is likely to become the minority leader. If caucus members vote by weighted voted, Clermont Supervisor Raymond Staats will be the minority leader again. 

The Common Council has a different problem when it comes to choosing a minority leader: no minority. Everyone on the current Common Council was elected as a Democratic. The only alderman who might conceivably be considered a "minority" is First Ward Alderman David Marston, who, although he ran as a Democrat, is registered as an NOP, "No Official Party." Of course, there is no precedent for considering someone who ran as a Democrat but is not a registered Democrat as something other than a Democrat. In 2007, rookie Second Ward Alderman Wanda Pertilla became the majority leader, in a rather contentious election within the Democratic caucus, even though she was not at the time a registered Democrat.      


  1. I'm not surprised Supervisor Hughes would want to suddenly impose rules of order on the Democratic BOS Caucus. He wants to further his agenda.

    The only problem that I have is that when the Republican Caucus votes on issues in caucus, they use the same weighted vote system to make decisions that is used on the board floor when passing resolutions.

    Supervisor Hughes in his convoluted wisdom, sees an opportunity to corral the Hudson Supervisors by imposing a one person one vote system in the Democratic Caucus.

    Perhaps he should concentrate on being a full-time resident of his ward and not the Minority leader on the BOS.

  2. The problems is, common sense politician, voting as a representative and voting in a caucus are two very different beasts, and there is a lot of debate about the merits of either method; no matter how much you try to paint Mr. Hughes in an unfavorable light.

    When you vote for a caucus majority/minority leader you are not, in essence, representing the votes of your constituency, which is weighted to reflect as much. Rather, you are voting as one member of a party, as such, your districts population is not a tool to disenfranchise other party members votes.

    Why should certain party members have more significance - when caucusing - than others? The very essence of a caucus is to stop disproportionate influence, which to me, seems to be the very essence of this issue. For that reason, I think Bill Hughes makes a valid critique.

  3. I agree with those sentiments Mr.David and a little known fact that common sense is forgetting even if the voting was done by weighted vote they could only take into account the democrats registered in each town and the City of Hudson and Mr.Hughes would still be Minority Leader because Hudson's democratic enrollment is still higher than that of the 3 who opposed Mr.Hughes for the leadership position!

  4. Well, there you go By Any Means Necessary, you don't know your facts, the three non-Hudson Democrats out weigh the Hudson Democrats when you use a weighted vote system. The five democrats from Hudson have a total of 432 weighted votes and the three non-Hudson democrats have a total of 535 weighted votes. NOW, you know why the three non-Hudson Democrats were against the one man, one vote.

    I'm not picking on Mr. Hughes Mr. David, but let's look at the ultimate outcome of a vote. . . .when in caucus to support or not support a resolution in your explanation of one man, one vote could be a 5 to 3 vote in favor of the Hudson Democrats. When it gets to the floor in chambers for vote, the three non-Hudson Democrats win because they out weigh the 5 Hudson Supervisors. Yes there may be merits to both ways of voting, but the reality is clear, that the non-Hudson Democrats can override on the floor anything decided upon in the democratic caucus if the don't all agree.

    But, it's over, Bill Hughes is the Minority leader.

    Let's see how well they all play together going forward.

  5. Actually if you were going to use the weighted vote system you can only take into account registered democrats in the 3 towns and the City of Hudson not the whole electorate because it's a DEMOCRATIC Caucus and a simple search of the N.Y.S. Board of election enrollment by election district will show that the 3 towns have 1830 registered democrats compared to 2217 registered democrats in the City of Hudson remember this is a political caucus and not representative of the whole population they represent who are made of all parties and many whom are npe. I am not speaking of actions taking by the board of supervisors because last I checked the republicans were the majority.

  6. Regarding who is in the political "minority" and who is not... Party affiliation is determined by how a person is registered with the Board of Elections, not what line they ran on.

    (Indeed, some of the Council members ran with multiple party endorsements, such as the Democratic and the Working Families lines. So which party would they belong to, if endorsements were the deciding factor? Again, politicians belong to the party in which they are registered first and foremost. Traditionally, members of a given caucus are those who either belong to that party, plus anyone else whom the caucus agrees to include.)

    This is really only an issue because Hudson has set things up so that the Majority and Minority leaders become de facto (ex officio) members of various boards, such as HDC. If those provisions were changed, the question of who gets these posts would be a lot less important. It would be interesting to know how/if "Majority" and "Minority" leader are defined for these purposes, if at all—it's possible the City's legal eagles failed to anticipate such an eventuality.

    This creates a situation in which some Council member will change his/her party affiliation simply to become part of the Minority and claim its appointive perks...