News & Politics

The Hiram Monserrate Vote Wins on Hypocritic Oaths


We often rejoice that Hypocrisy was not on the original list of seven deadly sins. If it were, we’d all be burning up somewhere. But the continuing saga of Hiram Monserrate — expelled yesterday by the state senate — deserves a special place in the Great Hypocrisy Annals.

Top award goes to Brooklyn senator Marty Golden who proudly voted for expulsion despite having defended Monserrate against the same charges late last spring at a point when the Queens Democrat had temporarily aligned himself with Golden’s Republican members, thus giving the GOP a crucial but brief majority in the chambers.

Here was Golden yesterday as reported in the Daily News: “He caused a violent act against a woman, and he doesn’t belong here. As sad as it is, it has to be done.”

Back in June, when Monserrate was Golden’s ally, the Brooklyn Republican derided debate over Monserrate’s then-alleged crime as “nitpicking.”

Meanwhile, only the blizzard which shut down federal courts this morning kept Monserrate attorney Norman Siegel from filing his lawsuit to void the 53-8 expulsion vote. Siegel, New York’s veteran civil liberties advocate, made a strong case this morning on Brian Lehrer’s WNYC radio show why Monserrate’s expulsion can and should be rejected by the courts.

Not that such a legal victory would do Monserrate, convicted of misdemeanor charges of assault on his girlfriend, much good. This morning’s Daily News shows that the ex-cop has lost his most ardent defender: columnist Juan Gonzalez.

Gonzalez says the vote to expel was of “dubious” legality and summons up such past inglorious instances as the civil-rights era expulsions of Julian Bond from the Georgia legislature and Adam Clayton Powell from Congress. But Gonzalez says straight out that Monserrate should have resigned his senate seat months ago.

“He is forever stamped as the politician who slashed his girlfriend’s face — and no career can survive something like that,” writes Gonzalez, adding: “Unfortunately, Monserrate refuses to accept that.”



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