The video of Sen. James Alesi, R-Perinton, Monroe County, yesterday holding his head as he decided to vote no against same-sex marriage illustrated how agonized he said he was over the vote.
“I’ve agonized over this for months,” Alesi said last night. “And part of why I agonized was because I had a pretty good idea ahead of time that this was going to go down and it was going to go down significantly.”
So Alesi was the first Republican to vote yesterday and after Democratic Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, voted no, it became even clearer to Alesi the vote was going to fail.
“Addabbo voting no on this made it very clear that the support that the Democrats thought they had in their own conference was far less than what they really did,” Alesi continued. “And Addabbo’s vote was a clear signal that this thing was going to go down in flames.”
A theory around the Capitol yesterday was that Addabbo’s vote triggered Alesi’s no vote and then other Democrats and Republicans on the fence followed suit, leading to the 24-38 defeat.
“When it starts to loss, it’s kind of like a stampede,” Gov. David Paterson said this morning on 710-AM (WOR). “So I think if you had a conscience vote, like a secret ballot, the vote would have been closer.”
Alesi said he wasn’t swayed by Addabbo’s vote, but more angered that the vote was taking place amid the state’s fiscal crisis.
“I care deeply about the people in the gay community and I think that it was very unfair to bring this bill up when it was going to get slaughtered,” Alesi said.