New York State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.
alleges that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg secured the
passage of a gay marriage bill with the purchase of four GOP votes.
Bloomberg, a Republican turned
independent, made out checks of $10,300 – the maximum allowed –
to the reelection campaigns of Republican Senators Mark Grisanti of
Buffalo, James Alesi of Rochester, Roy McDonald of Saratoga and
Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie.
The four senators last month provided
the GOP support needed for marriage equality to pass in the Empire
Grisanti, considered the most
vulnerable of the four Republicans, received another $40,000 in
donations from people who publicly back gay marriage rights,
including $10,000 from gay philanthropist Tim Gill.
Diaz, the only Democrat in the chamber
to vote against the measure, suggested the men had been bribed.
“It appears that State Senators
Stephen Saland, Mark Grisanti, James Alesi and Roy McDonald sold
their votes to the Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg for
$10,300 each,” Diaz
wrote Thursday in a post at his website.
Diaz, who is also a Pentecostal
minister, called on Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the media
to look into people “buying and selling votes.”
“So I wonder if these rumors and
accusations are reason enough for the Attorney General to start an
investigation and for the editorial boards to have the integrity to
declare that the Senate in Albany is still corrupt.”
Last week, Diaz
invited Bishop Timothy Dolan to join him in demonstrating against the
law on the first day it takes effect.
pledges to raise $20 million to fight marriage equality.)