Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz sent out a press release announcing the joy of finishing near the bottom of the barrel...in the eyes of the New York State Conservative Party.
The veteran assemblyman received one of the lowest ratings in the legislature from the Conservatives in their annual legislative rankings. They gave Dinowitz a 16 percent rating based upon his vote on 24 bills.
Among the bills with which the Conservative Party disagreed with Assemblyman Dinowitz were his votes in favor of extending unemployment benefits, marriage equality, raising the maximum retirement age for judges, microstamping of ammunition for semiautomatic pistols, requiring backseat passengers under 16 to wear seat belts, providing health insurance coverage to domestic partners, extension of a domestic violence prevention law, prohibition of discrimination based on gender identity, prohibition of smoking in playgrounds, and suspension of issuance of new permits for hydrofracking.
“I believe the Conservative Party is wrong on most issues. Their extremist positions are not shared by most Bronxites. Receiving a 16 percent rating from them is a badge of honor. I only wish it could have been even lower. I hope to do something about that in the 2012 legislative session,” he proudly said.
I asked his office what the Conservative Party agreed with him on that 16 percent, and they were a budget bill which made some cuts to the State Operations Budget, a bill that creates a permit system for demonstrations occuring near funerals of military veterans (to limit the disgraceful demonstrations of fringe right-wing groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church, which routinely pickets the funerals of our fallen soldiers), a bill that allows for the issuance of stillbirth certificates and a bill to promote integrity and transparency in government.
Dinowitz, still enjoying the moment, said: "I'm surprised they supported these good bills. The Conservative Party generally isn't known for that."