From today’s Heard Around Town:
* Before releasing the Business Council’s 2012 Voter’s guide, the organization’s president, Heather Briccetti, told YNN’s Liz Benjamin that the lowest scoring state senator was a “very colorful” character named Ruben Diaz Sr., and guessed he would be proud of his rank. She was right. “I wear that as a badge of honor,” Diaz said. “For them to say that I am the one fighting for the people, fighting against their agenda, I agree. Their agenda is cutting Medicare, cutting services to the poor, so I’m glad that I am number one fighting against their agenda.” Robert Lillpopp, a Business Council spokesman, noted that Diaz has the Senate’s lowest score in the group’s latest two reports. “Certainly there are a number of people who scored highly in this scorecard and who believe that one of the things we’re trying to do here is turn the economy around and create jobs,” he said, adding that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle scored highly and that the overall trend was towards more business-friendly votes. Diaz, who’s planning to go home today after recovering from knee surgery, also noted that the senator with the second lowest score was Tom Duane. “What a duo, huh?” Diaz asked.
This morning, Diaz sent out this “What You Should Know” press release expanding on his Business Council ranking.
A Badge of Honor
You should know that Heather Briccetti, Esq., President and CEO of the New York State Business Council, the largest business organization of the state, just released its latest set of rankings for State lawmakers with – surprise, surprise – naming me as the #1 Senator voting against their agenda. Senator Tom Duane came in second place, and Senator Liz Krueger came in third.
Could you imagine , dear reader, State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr. having a better record than Tom Duane, Liz Krueger, and the rest of the pack ,when it comes to defending the poor, protecting Medicaid, protecting the workers’ pension fund, standing up for the working class, and defending education and affordable housing!
As you know, the New York Business Council is practically driving Governor Andrew Cuomo’s agenda and his Budget. During this year, they took a very active role fighting for legislation to scale back pension benefits for NYS employees and to prevent commercial solar energy systems from paying State tax; and otherwise supported the Governor’s 2012-13 State Budget which was passed in March.
As you know, I have been the most vocal Democratic Senator who, for two consecutive years, voted against the Governor’s Budget. I have been the only Senator publicly criticizing the Governor for his draconian cuts to community groups, to our seniors, and to the poor and the needy in our community.
You should know that the basis of my core beliefs is the need to protect and help the poor and the needy, clearly not the same as the goals of the Business Council and Governor Cuomo’s Budget. So when I heard Heather Briccetti, Esq. on the air with Fred Dicker naming ME as the leader of the Senators fighting against the Business Council’s agenda, could you imagine how proud I felt! Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz from the Bronx, ahead of Tom Duane, Liz Krueger and the rest of the pack – I have no choice but to let you all know that I will wear this title as a badge of honor.
When you add this to the fact that even though I serve in the State Senate Minority, in the last two Senate Sessions seven of my bills have been signed by the Governor and have become Laws in the State of New York, you have to admit that this is a great record for this Black Puerto Rican with a kinky hair and a broken English from Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Definitely a badge of honor!
I am State Senator Rev Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.
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