Padavan's job is located in Albany, not Bayside...He should have attended the special session...I guess his re-election and campaigning are more to him than doing the people's business for which he was elected to do...How on earth could he have known what would happen during the special session, he must be a clairvoyant...
One Democratic candidate has seized on last night’s quickie extraordinary session as campaign fodder in his quest to oust incumbent GOP Sen. Frank Padavan, who did not heed Gov. David Paterson’s proclamation calling lawmakers back to Albany last night.
Former NYC Councilman Tony Avella issued a statement earlier today slamming the Queens senator for opting to campaign in his district rather than travel to the Capitol for the gavel in-gavel out session that lasted no more than four minutes.
“Padavan’s Albany absence is a slap in the face to the hardworking taxpayers in our district,” Avella said.
“When he should have been working to resolve the budget crisis and education funding, he was too worried about his own political future.”
A reader e-mailed shortly after 7 p.m. last night (recall that the extraordinary session was called for 7 p.m.) to say he had spotted Padavan handing out campaign literature and posing for photos with constituents at a concert at Ft. Totten Park.
Avella noted that Padavan, who came close to losing his seat last year to NYC Councilman Jim Gennaro, was one of three Republicans who were absent last night.
The others were George Winner (who isn’t seeking re-election) and Sen. John Flanagan. Excused last night were Sens. Tom Morahan (ailing and not seeking re-election) and Sen. Steve Saland.
The journal clerk says all 32 Democrats were marked present last night, although a GOP source insists three majority members weren’t in the chamber for the session.
CapTon’s Kaitlyn Ross spoke to Padvan, who is in Albany today. He said he felt justified in staying away last night because he had “learned there weren’t going to be any votes and practically no session.”
“I was with about 600 constituents at a lawn concert with the Bayside Historical Society, which I helped create,” Padavan explained.
“That’s where I was. It was something I had planned for months, but I would have left in a second had we actually been doing anything.”
Padavan said Avella showed up last night, too, but left after the senator was acknowledged by the historical society. Padavan’s closing thought: “We had nice weather for the concert, but it was hot!”