GOP State Senators Reap the Benefits of Supporting Gay Marriage

The four Republican New York state senators who swung last June's historic vote to legalize gay marriage in the Empire State have survived to campaign another day.

After breaking with their party's leadership and enraging some constituents in their socially conservative upstate districts, their risk is being rewarded in the form of a campaign fundraising windfall of nearly $1 million, led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and several libertarian-leaning hedge fund managers.

From The New York Times:

“The mayor made it very clear early on that he would be a vocal supporter of those senators who stood up and did the right thing in light of a tough political climate,” a Bloomberg spokesman, Mark Botnick, said.

About $900,000 is expected to be spread among the four senators—Mark J. Grisanti of Buffalo, James S. Alesi of Rochester, Stephen M. Saland of Poughkeepsie and Roy J. McDonald of Saratoga County—which would amount to a windfall by Albany standards. In the first six months of this year, state senators raised an average of $103,000 apiece, according to the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Mr. Alesi said he appreciated the support.

“The message has to go to Republicans that Republicans can vote for the right thing and live to tell about it,” he said.

On the night New York legalized gay marriage, Reason.tv reported from the Stonewall Inn, birthplace of the modern gay rights movement:

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  • ||

    I doubt all of that money will do them much good if their constituents are really pissed off. And I wonder how much of it they get to keep after they are defeated? If that number is anything greater than zero, how is this not just a bribe?

  • o3||

    perhaps the teabaggers will nominate another wingnutz so the districts will go team blue...like NY 26 & 29.

  • ||

    come on, john. No one gets to keep campaign contributions. They took a stand, something elected folks are supposed to do. If their constituents are pissed, they will be voted out. If not, they'll be re-elected. That is how it's supposed to be.

  • Suki||

    Whoever does that bit about "legalize walking" needs to put it up here.

  • ¢||

    libertarian-leaning hedge fund managers

    That's funny. You're funny.

    B) First comment has it. And electoral defeat for a bunch of cracka-representin' Republicans is an "unintended consequence" of the bribes.

  • Privation of Roman Peasants||

    The same selfish capitalist assholes have been around forever. They grabbed up the peasants' land and forced them to move to Rome and placated them with bread and circuses. The victims of privation property cheered when the Republic died.

    We are the 99%.

  • Privation of American Public||

    The same selfish capitalist assholes have been around forever. They grabbed up the peasants' 401ks and forced them to move to cheap vinyl apartments and placated them with iPods and TV. The victims of privation enterprise cheered when the Republic died.

    We are the 99%.

  • Mike M.||

    "I am White Indian, and I'm a douchebag no matter what handle I post under."

  • ||

    I can't believe that there are enough people out there who give a shit whether 3% of the population (in a few states) can now get some legal marriage rights who could not before, and of those, probably only 25% will exercise the option.

    I just don't think it's going to affect these guys' re-election chances. No homo.

  • Warty||

    People like to pretend that they hate fags way more than they actually do.

  • ||

    Some people just can't handle the fabulous.

  • Warty||

    Fags:Rednecks::Pancreas:You

  • ||

    So gay guys are an essential part of the Renecks without which they couldn't function well, and they have to take injections of fabuslin for their bodies to metabolize fashion and Lady Gaga?

  • ||

    Let's try this:

    Homos:Rednecks::Mountain Dew:You

    Interpret away.

  • ||

    Homos:Rednecks::Mountain Dew:You

    Homos are something Rednecks find delicious, but they only guzzle the skinny ones.

  • Spencer||

    Homosexuals advertise to the rednecks, telling them to "Do the Dew"?

  • Spencer||

    Maybe he thought you were steve jobs' ghost and he was saying homosexuals were just cancerous parts of the redneck population... ?

    Maybe? I mean, he went all SAT and stuff, but still, I think I got it right.

  • Warty||

    So gay guys are an essential part of the Renecks without which they couldn't function well, and they have to take injections of fabuslin for their bodies to metabolize fashion and Lady Gaga?

    This is the correct interpretation.

  • ||

    Brett Favre, thirsty, hiking in the rain forest?

  • ||

    I don't pretend to hate people who ride loud Harleys; I really do fucking hate them.

  • ||

    ^^^THIS^^^

  • kilroy||

    I concur.

  • Spencer||

    I hate people who won't leave me alone .

  • ||

    What if they are libertarians who hate joe from Lowell?

  • kilroy||

    I'm relatively sure that anyone who is really pissed about the senators' votes won't be persuaded otherwise by more or better campaign ads.

  • Robert||

    Of course they won't, but other people will.

  • kilroy||

    Perhaps, but if those people could be persuaded by a little more campaign money then they were up for grabs anyway. Anyone that had a problem with this particular issue isn't going to be converted back with the extra money.

  • Robert||

    But of course that's how the politicians calculate -- that there are voters up for grabs, but you need money to grab them. The jist of the article is that taking a certain position brought these politicians money.

  • MJ||

    "Mr. Alesi said he appreciated the support.

    “The message has to go to Republicans that Republicans can vote for the right thing and live to tell about it,” he said."

    Of course, he's assumming that what Republican voters wanted was the wrong position, and betrays a huge bit of hubris on the part of Alesi. Essentially, he's saying if I should not pay any penalty for not representing the views of my of the constituents that voted for me. It defeats the purpose of a representative republic.

  • jtuf||

    Most of the freedom riders in the 1960's were from outside the district. Would you be equally offended if downstate NY LGBT individuals went upstate to rally for these representatives? What makes a political donation any less valid than attending a rally?

  • ||

    people can rally for whom or what they want; that's not the point. Re-election rests with voters inside each district. The ones who are upset will vote for someone else; the ones who are okay with the decision will vote to re-elect. It happens with any issue seen as controversial. Votes have consequences.

  • MJ||

    I am not offended that they received the donations (though it seems to be justified as an outright quid pro quo, i.e. a bribe). What bothers me is that Alesi seems to think that his constituents should not expect him to represent their views and they should not fire him if he does not.

  • ||

    It defeats the purpose of a representative republic.

    The purpose of a representative republic is to defend individual liberty against the mob rule of the majority.

    In this case it would appear that it functioned exactly as intended.

  • MJ||

    Which is arrogant assumption that Alesi is making. He made a stand on that hill, but he seems offended that he might die on it.

  • ||

    GOP State Senators Reap the Benefits of Supporting Gay Marriage

    The story is disappointing. From the headline, I thought it would be about one or more of them getting into a gay marriage.

  • squishua||

    Or at least a wedding invitation.

    Fickle fags.

  • ||

    Hey I thought the idea was to get government OUT of the bedroom. I can hardly wait until the debut of "Gay Divorce Court." I hear Fox has already shot a few episodes. I guess these "libetarian-leaning" hedge funders don't really understand libertarianism -- but then, in that they are hardly alone.

  • Paul||

    Gay divorce court has been around for a while. Check the Reason archives. Equality means you get to suffer just as much as the rest of us. Welcome to "community property".

  • ||

    Does this mean they were bribed into voting for the bill?

  • JB||

    Did anyone abstain?

    I'd like to get the government out of the marriage business for everyone.

  • Some dude||

    If "standing up" to "do the right thing" involves letting activists hand them buckets of campaign cash, then, yea, they stood up and did the right thing.

  • "Have a 401k, go to jail"||

    ....but nary a peep from the phony protestors over Obama's latest African invasion of Uganda.....

  • Wrong thread....||

    ....but the point stands...

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