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NY Senator Claims NYC Mayor Bloomberg Bought Same-Sex Marriage Votes

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New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz, the only Democrat to vote against Governor Cuomo’s same-sex marriage bill passed and signed into law last month, claims that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg bought the votes of the four Republican Senators who voted for the marriage equality bill.

“It appears that State Senators Stephen Saland, Mark Grisanti, James Alesi and Roy McDonald sold their votes to the Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg for $10,300 each,” Diaz writes today, adding, on his official New York State government website, “If this is not a quid pro quo, please tell me what this is?”

READ: Victim Or Victimizer? Catholic Church, Diaz’s Gay Equality Intolerance

In fact, Mayor Bloomberg spent a great deal of time and money (reportedly $100,000) working hard to get marriage equality passed in the state of New York, because it was the right thing to do. Bloomberg will be officiating at the wedding of his chief policy adviser, John Feinblatt, and the city’s commissioner of consumer affairs, Jonathan Mintz. (Bloomberg last year donated millions of dollars to charity, too. Does Senator Diaz have an issue with how the Red Cross is spending its receipts?)

“The mayor, a Democrat turned Republican turned independent, has long been a significant financial contributor to the state Senate Republican conference, which in June became the first GOP-controlled legislative body to pass a marriage equality bill,” The Advocate reported today. “Two years ago, when the marriage equality bill failed in the Senate, then controlled by Democrats, no Republican voted for the measure. That led some activists to question the influence of the mayor, who this year delivered a high-profile speech on marriage equality and contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign to pass the bill.”

READ: Rubén Díaz Falsifies NY Archbishop’s Comments To Attack Gay Community

Diaz apparently is taking his cue from his partners in anti-gay crime, hate groups like the Family Research Council, and its president, Tony Perkins, who last month claimed, as Equality Matters reported, that “taxpayer funded” incentives were used to “sway votes” in New York, and NOM president Brian Brown, who claimed that a “number of pro-gay marriage Republicans, including Ken Mehlman, and others that raised a significant amount of money – over about $2.5 million. And the way Albany works – there’s a lot of corruption there – and basically these Republicans sold their vote to the highest bidder.”

Does New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz also take issue with the National Organization for Marriage — his new BFF — for its pledge to financially support Senators who voted against marriage equality?

As Equality Matters in the same report stated, “In fact, NOM’s campaign in New York relied heavily on using the prospect of campaign funding (and the risk of losing that funding if a legislator decided to support marriage equality) to sway on-the-fence politicians.

“And in case anyone is counting, NOM did the exact same thing in Maryland earlier this year, again pledging $1 million and even referencing (ironically enough) New York Senator Ruben Diaz as an example that anti-gay legislators will have access to the organization’s deep pockets of campaign support:

“We want to be sure those courageous Democrats who cast their vote of conscience in favor of marriage will have a strong supporter if the radical gay activists  come after them in their next primary election.”

The NOM PAC Maryland is similar to a PAC formed in New York by NOM, which successfully defended Democrats who supported marriage, despite a major effort by pro-gay marriage advocates to defeat several Democrats in their primaries who had stood up for marriage. In fact, NOM supported candidates like state senator Ruben Diaz, won by larger margins than before their votes against same-sex marriage.

But New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz ought to be careful to not throw stones in his own glass house. One might very well ask questions of his questionable campaign recording, including the fact that Diaz’s campaign finance disclosure report has not been filed and is six months overdue.

Or perhaps Diaz’s constituents would like to know where the $9500 he accepted from “Friends of Carl Kruger” — a fellow New York State Senator who is under federal indictment in a million-dollar bribery scandal — really came from, and if that money is involved in the bribery scandal.

Perhaps Senator Diaz’s constituents would also like to know about the $3000 he accepted from “Soundview Management Enterprises,” former Senator Pedro Espada’s company from which Senator Espada is charged in a federal indictment with “siphoning more than half a million dollars in federal money … and spending it on meals, theater tickets and a lavish birthday party, among other expenses.”

Of former NY State Senator Eric Scheiderman, now NY Attorney General, Diaz strangely writes, “I remember the way he viciously went after Hiram Monserrate and I see the way he now uses his office of Attorney General to investigate inconsequential things and go after community organizations and not investigating apparent violations like people buying and selling votes.”

Perhaps Diaz’s constituents would like to know if their Senator’s promise to officiate at former New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate’s wedding (Monserrate, the man convicted of slashing his girlfriend on her face with a broken glass, and subsequently kicked out of the Senate,) had anything to do with the $5000 he accepted from “Monserrate 2010?”

Ah, yes, New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz, the company you keep is rather important. Your close and continued relationship with people under federal indictment says a lot about who you are, and your morals.

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COMMENTARY

Trump An ‘Enemy of the Constitution’ Declares Nicolle Wallace, Blasting Call to ‘Terminate’ Nation’s Founding Document

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MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace slammed Donald Trump as an “enemy of the Constitution” on Monday after the ex-president, over the weekend, called for the U.S. Constitution to be terminated.

Trump demanded “the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” in light of his most recent – and false – claim the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

That was Saturday, on his Truth Social account.

On Monday, Trump denied having ever said it, despite the post still being up.

Wallace characterized Trump’s call to terminate the Constitution “an extraordinary statement even by the standards of a failed wannabe autocrat who plotted a coup against his own government and recently dined with white supremacists.”

READ MORE: ‘Venom’: Experts Shocked as Gorsuch Angrily Accuses Colorado of Forcing Anti-LGBTQ Baker Into ‘Re-Education Program’

“The disgraced ex-president made his contempt for our democracy as clear as ever, when he called for the United States Constitution to be ‘terminated.'”

Quoting The Washington Post, Wallace said: “Trump’s message on his Truth Social platform reiterated the baseless claims he has made since 2020, that the election was stolen, but he went further by suggesting that the country abandon one of its founding documents.”

She also played a clip of Republican Congressman Dave Joyce of Ohio from Sunday’s ABC News.

Rep. Joyce in the clip twists and turns but ultimately admits that if Trump is the GOP nominee for president in 2024 he will vote for him.

READ MORE: Anti-LGBTQ Slurs on Twitter Up Over 800% as Musk Allows Thousands of Previously Banned Users Back: Reports

“Well, again, it’s early I think there’s gonna be a lot of people in the primary I think at the end of the day, you will have — wherever the Republicans tend to pick up I will fall in behind because that’s –”

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos interjected, asking,”Even if it’s Donald Trump, as he’s called for suspending the Constitution?”

“Again, I think it’s gonna be a big field. I don’t think Donald Trump’s gonna clear out the field like he did in 2016.”

“I will support whoever the Republican nominee is,” Joyce added.

“And I don’t don’t think that at this point he will be able to get there because I think there’s a lot of other good quality candidates out there.”

“He says a lot of things,” Joyce continued, refusing to denounce Trump.

“Let’s not speed past that moment,” Wallace urged. “This is exactly how Trump happened. All the Republicans in Washington and around the country said, [Trump] ‘says all sorts of stupid you know what. Dorsn’t mean he’s going to do it.'”

“He did all of it, all of it. And then some,” she chastised.

Watch below or at this link.

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'REGURGITATING RIGHT WING TALKING POINTS'

‘Venom’: Experts Shocked as Gorsuch Angrily Accuses Colorado of Forcing Anti-LGBTQ Baker Into ‘Re-Education Program’

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch appeared angry and even hostile at several points throughout Monday’s oral arguments in a case brought by a Colorado right-wing evangelical Christian website designer who is suing the state because she wants to be able to discriminate against same-sex couples who are getting married.

The case, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, promises to be one of the most important of the term, and arguments extended more than two hours.

During one of the more heated moments, conservative Justice Gorsuch attacked Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson, claiming the state forced an infamous anti-LGBTQ baker who also went before the Supreme Court, winning his 2018 case in a very narrow ruling, into a “re-education program.”

RELATED: ‘What the Hell, Sam’: Justice Alito Slammed for Making ‘Joke’ About Black Children in KKK Costumes

Jack Phillips, a business owner who refused to bake cakes for same-sex weddings, citing his religious beliefs, was required to attend a class so he could become familiar with Colorado anti-discrimination law.

The Supreme Court’s ruling at the time called it, “additional remedial measures, including ‘comprehensive staff training on the Public Accommodations section'” of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.

Justice Gorsuch instead called it a “re-education program,” and slammed the state’s Solicitor General, Eric Olson, with it on Monday.

“Mr. Phillips did go through a re-education training program, pursuant to Colorado law, did he not, Mr. Olson?” Gorsuch asked the solicitor general.

“He went through a process that ensured he was familiar –” Olson responded, before Gorsuch cut him off.

“It was a re-education program, right?” the justice blared.

“It was not a ‘re-education program,'” Olson replied, holding his ground.

“What do you call it?” Gorsuch, dissatisfied, pressed.

“It was a process to make sure he was familiar with Colorado law,” Olson explained.

“Some might be excused for calling that a ‘re-education program,’” Gorsuch snapped.

“I strongly disagree, Justice Gorsuch,” Olson said, defending the law.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who provided the clip above, warns: “It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes ‘reeducation training’ on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules.”

RELATED: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court Ruling in the Gay Wedding Cake Case

“Astounding that Gorsuch, A Supreme Court Justice,” tweeted Adam Cohen of Attorneys for Good Government, “Refers to Colorado giving courses on following civil rights law, As ‘reeducation training.'”

“Like being taught not to discriminate against LGBTQ is the same as being sent to a gulag for protesting communism in the Soviet Union,” he added.

Professor Elizabeth Sepper of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law says, “Justice Gorsuch describes education about antidiscrimination law and compliance as a REEDUCATION PROGRAM. This is beyond offensive. It was a central and SOFT tool of many civil rights movements and was essential to targeting market discrimination.”

Columbia Law School’s Elizabeth Reiner Platt, the Director of The Law, Rights, and Religion Project responded, “OMG Gorsuch repeatedly insists that a training on civil rights law is a ‘reeducation program.’ Good grief.”

Attorney Andrew L. Seidel, Vice President of Strategic Communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State tweeted, “WHOA. Gorsuch asks a very hostile question about sending the bakery to ‘a re-education program.’ He spits the phrase with venom and repeats it several times. He’s regurgitating right wing talking points.”

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'INAPPROPRIATE'

‘What the Hell, Sam’: Justice Alito Slammed for Making ‘Joke’ About Black Children in KKK Costumes

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The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in one of the most important cases of the term, a case that will determine if the nation’s highest court will or will not allow a person citing their personal religious beliefs to openly discriminate in the marketplace against same-sex couples.

In likely the most salient and important hypothetical example, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson described in great detail a photographer wanting to re-create scenes from 1940’s Christmases with Santa Clauses and children, in sepia tones, and making them historically accurate.

She asked the attorney representing the right-wing Christian website designer who does not want to have to provide her product to same-sex couples, if under her legal theory the hypothetical photographer would have to create photos of a white Santa with Black children.

Kristen Waggoner, the Alliance Defending Freedom‘s attorney arguing in favor of anti-LGBTQ discrimination, was forced to admit that the photographer would be able to say they would not take photos of Black children with a white Santa.

RELATED: Listen Live: SCOTUS Hears Christian Right Religion vs. LGBTQ Civil Rights Challenge

Later, Justice Samuel Alito, one of the Court’s most far-right jurists, decided to use Justice Jackson’s hypothetical analogy to make a point, and he did so by mockingly joking about Black children wearing KKK costumes.

“Justice Jackson’s example of that, the Santa in the mall who doesn’t want his picture taken with Black children,” Justice Alito began, getting the basics of the analogy incorrect.

“So if there’s a Black Santa at the other end of the mall, and he doesn’t want to have his picture taken with a child who is dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, now does that Black Santa have to do that?”

Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson replied, “No, because Klu Klux Klan outfits are not protected characteristics under public accommodation laws.”

READ MORE: ‘Anathema to the Soul of Our Nation’: Trump Pilloried for Demanding ‘Termination’ of the US Constitution

“And presumably,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor interjected, “that would be the same Ku Klux Klan outfit regardless whether if the child was Black or white or any other characteristic.”

That’s when Alito decided to make a “joke,” while thousands of Americans were listening to the Court’s live proceedings.

“You do see a lot of Black children in Ku Klux Klan outfits all the time,” he said, presumably sarcastically.

He then laughed, and some viewers in the gallery joined with him.

Many on social media were outraged and offended.

“He is so inappropriate today. And offensive,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, the former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). “The Black kids in KuKluxKlan outfits? Not funny. Is this the highest Court of the most powerful country in the world? Good grief.”

Minutes later, NYU School of Law Professor of Law Melissa Murray weighed in, saying, “I’m going to need Justice Alito to stop joking about seeing ‘Black children in Ku Klux Klan costumes.'”

“Seriously, what am I listening to?” she asked, to which Ifill replied, “Just awful.”

“The joke about Black kids in KuKluxKlan outfits?” Ifill also lamented. “No Justice Alito, these ‘jokes’ are so inappropriate, no matter how many in the courtroom chuckle mindlessly.”

Columbia University Professor of Law Katherine Franke tweeted, “Justice Alito is resorting to KKK jokes. Ha ha ha. As if what’s at stake here is funny, and isn’t taking place in a context in which LGBTQ people feel like we have a target on our backs. And, ahem – Klan jokes aren’t funny under any context.”

The Rewire News Group tweeted, in all caps, “I knew Alito wouldn’t be able to resist bringing up the Ku Klux Klan,” and then: “What the hell, Sam.”

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