Political newcomer Mike DiSanto slammed longtime state Sen. Marty Golden as a “hallway” hack who skipped out on key votes in Albany rather than take controversial positions.
At a debate last week sponsored by the Bay Ridge Council on Aging, the 30-year-old Democratic challenger appeared a bit nervous as he thundered against the 60-year-old Republican stalwart’s failure to vote on the return of state sales tax on clothes and shoes and for “hanging out in the hallway” when the Senate debated a bill that would allow law enforcement to track bullet casings back to the gun from which it was fired.
The Senate ultimately pulled the vote from the floor after realizing the measure wasn’t going to pass.
“Where were you?” DiSanto asked Golden. “Our taxes are going up and you didn’t bother to show up.”
Golden answered calmly, distinguishing himself from the booming DiSanto, whom he referred to condescendingly as a “young man.”
The incumbent admitted that he missed a few votes, but claimed to have made 97 percent of all Senate votes. He then turned the tables on DiSanto, saying that the Democrat “wants to be part of the caucus to raise taxes and fees.”
He also questioned why DiSanto hadn’t voted at all before 2004.
“You blame me for screwing up when I have a 97-percent voting record, but you’re voting record is more inconsistent,” Golden explained.
DiSanto said he didn’t vote before 2004 because he was putting himself through college and was “disillusioned” with the voting process at the time.
Golden spent the rest of the debate falling back on what he called his record of service, rattling off the names of the schools and civic programs he’s helped with his legislative earmarks. But that barrel of pork has dried up now that Golden is in the Senate minority.
State figures show that in 2008, just before the Democrats took hold of the senate, Golden brought $2.8 million in member items to the district, which also includes Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park, Gravesend and Marine Park. Last year, he brought in just $250,000.
But DiSanto’s money woes are apparently just as stark.
At a time when Democrats are trying to further their power base, no one seems to be aiding DiSanto, who has just over $6,000 to wage a campaign. Golden has well over $119,000 to keep his seat, according to campaign finance reports.