Hey, what a surprise! Even after Dana White gave us his personal guarantee, MMA legislation in New York is dead again. For those of you keeping count, this is the fourth year in a row I’ve had to write those words. At least what went down was a little more interesting this time. The bill always gets thrown in the trash when the senate goes on summer vacation, but this time the process that led to it not getting a vote was even sketchier than normal:
Silver explained the Democratic conference “was pretty evenly divided” — although some said support was much stronger than opposition.
A “very, very disappointed” Marc Ratner, vice president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship league, said he was looking for an up-or-down vote.
“I feel 150% if we had a vote on the floor of the Assembly, we would win,” Ratner said. “Not to get a vote is un-American.”
So what’s the deal with some saying support was ‘much stronger than the opposition’?
The decision not to bring the bill to the floor helped highlight a growing split between younger members of the Assembly and older lawmakers, insiders said.
“Shelly is still siding with a dwindling number of aging veterans,” one source in the room griped.
Is there any aspect of politics that the old fuddy duddies can’t ruin? Can we please shuck every politician over 60 onto a ice floe?
The source said after eight people had spoken in favor of legalizing MMA and eight against, Silver called on members who don’t support the bill to raise their hands. About 25 members did. Then he asked for a show of hands of those who support it before saying that it looked even, the source said.
An upstate member who supports the measure complained it didn’t look even to her, the source said. When Silver asked what she wanted, a city Democrat joked, a “slow roll call.”
The speaker took another informal vote, with 25 again raising their hands against. The “ayes” seemingly had more than 60, the source said. Silver then said others had expressed opposition privately and that the votes weren’t there to move the bill.
Just to lay this out: Silver had a closed door meeting on the MMA vote. When he saw it had more ayes than nays, he claimed he already had more nays from OTHER closed door meetings. Oh political sausage. You make pink slime seem so appealing in comparison that I wanna drink it by the ammonia-scented cup.
It’s not surprising that MMA allegedly had more than 60 votes. It had 60 votes last year – a fact that was proved in writing when assemblyman Dean Murray put together a letter of support for the MMA bill complete with the signatures of 60 assembly members. Unfortunately, it’s also not surprising that the legislation would be shot down again. Dana White says there be unions behind the scenes of these battles, and you don’t want to pick a fight with unions on an election year.
So I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: American democracy just doesn’t work. As we’ve seen once again here, it’s just a system that corrupt dickfaces manipulate to get away with doing whatever they want. And here I was thinking this might be one of those rare times lobbying might work out in our favor. Heads we win, tails you lose.