Ruben Diaz: Monserrate "guilty of trying to do good"
Hiram Monserrate, who says he's going to "forever live with" his misdemeanor assault on his now-fiancee, thinks that's plenty enough punishment. A spokesman said yesterday that the State Senate should hold off on considering expulsion until the appeals process is exhausted to see if Monserrate can make his conviction, and presumably his political difficulties, "go away."
Judging from the number of people lined up on both sides of the aisle trying to push him overboard, that's not likely to happen.
Well, at least he'll always have fellow Gang of Three veteran Ruben Diaz. State Senator Diaz released an open letter yesterday to any of his colleagues who support an ouster suggesting that they're either drunk drivers themselves or just really, really like drunk drivers, since they didn't oust Monserrate's predecessor, State Senator Sabini, who took a plea on a drunk driving charge.
This is vaguely ironic, since Sabini was pushed out by his local party to make way for Monserrate, ostensibly because of the drunk driving incident. The head of that local party, Queens Democratic Chairman Joe Crowley, wants Monserrate gone.
For his own part, the Reverend Diaz ducks the implication that his support of Monserrate must, by the same logic, show support for domestic violence. Monserrate, he says, "was found guilty of trying to do good by forcing his girlfriend to go to the hospital for treatment." You can watch the video of Monserrate doing good to his girlfriend here.
Presumably this all fits in somehow to Diaz' strong feelings about the "sanctity of life and the sacredness of marriage."