In un-American move Speaker Silver shelves New York MMA bill

by Celeste Katz | source:
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The Assembly Democratic conference discussed behind closed doors whether to bring a bill to legalize mixed martial arts in New York before Speaker Sheldon Silver determined the votes weren’t there for it to pass.

“It will not come to the floor this year,” Silver told the Daily News afterward.

The conference, he said, “was pretty evenly divided.”

Silver didn’t rule out passage in the next year or two.

“I think it’s evolving,” he said. “I don’t think two years ago it was a 50-50 proposition.”

Assemblyman Micah Kellner (D-Manhattan) expressed disappointment at the decision.

“This is legal in [most] states, it’s highly regulated and it generates economic activities for small business and creates much needed revenue for the state,” Kellner said.

Queens Democratic Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, a self-proclaimed fan of the controversial sport, dismissed talk of the violence played up by detractors.

“Mixed martial arts is an art form,” she said. “I don’t believe there is inherent violence in it.”

The decision not to bring the bill to the floor helped highlight a growing split between younger members of the Assembly and older lawmakers, insiders said.

“Shelly is still siding with a dwindling number of aging veterans,” one source in the room griped.

The source said after eight people had spoken in favor of legalizing MMA and eight against, Silver called on members who don’t support the bill to raise their hands. About 25 members did.

Then he asked for a show of hands of those who support it before saying that it looked even, the source said.

An upstate member who supports the measure complained it didn’t look even to her, the source said. When Silver asked what she wanted, a city Democrat joked, a “slow roll call.”

The speaker took another informal vote, with 25 again raising their hands against. The “ayes” seemingly had more than 60, the source said.

Silver then said others had expressed opposition privately and that the votes weren’t there to move the bill.

A “very, very disappointed” Marc Ratner, vice president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, said he was looking for was an up-or-down vote.

“I feel 150% if we had a vote on the floor of the Assembly we would win,” Ratner said. “Not to get a vote is un-American.”

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tags: Regulation   Legislation   New York   

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Recent Comments »

SamboMMA site profile image  

5/10/12 7:07 AM by SamboMMA

Maybe next time NY MMA fans won't be as stupid as CA residents and stop voting down the line Democrats. UFC might be in NY if not for that kind of stupidity.

twizzle97 site profile image  

5/9/12 9:39 PM by twizzle97

I live in NY, and I would love to see the UFC tell the politicians they are no longer interested. Sorry for your loss.NY government needs all the money it can get, but the UFC doesn't need NY. Between the indian casinos and the neighboring states allowing MMA, NY doesn't matter. If Zuffa gets sanctioned in NY, it probably means they gave in to the union in some capacity, and I can't respect that.I hope they stand their ground on this. 

Hessian site profile image  

5/9/12 8:43 PM by Hessian

lol at Zuffa not paying out 11 million a year on the union , yet whining when they can not make money in NY hand over fist

MITman2k site profile image  

5/9/12 6:03 PM by MITman2k

Perhaps his support of reid, will help deter similar efforts in Nevada. Even as a majority leader, his affect on local Nevada politics may be more pronounced than his affect on New York local politics.

SamboMMA site profile image  

5/9/12 7:40 AM by SamboMMA

I understand the need for that in Nevada but you have to admit its hilarious watching Dana and Reid act like BFFs on twitter and funds Reid and the Dems while getting crewed in NY by Democrats.

Vincanni site profile image  

5/9/12 6:59 AM by Vincanni

This isn't a spat between right and left, democrat and republican, but the new who wish to see a better future and the old who wish to satisfy the highest paid lobbyists for the biggest pay day now despite if it may destroy the future. Such fossils need to be removed regardless of party affiliation, and as a staunch democrat I say Sheldon Silver needs to go fuck himself. He represents everything wrong with politics today and cannot persist to deny this country further progression.

MTomlinson site profile image  

5/8/12 8:32 PM by MTomlinson

it helps the sitch in nevada for them.but good point. on one hand they're campaign funding one of the most pro-union liberal democrats in the country, but are getting screwed by union thuggery on the other hand.

DJLastCall site profile image  

5/8/12 4:48 PM by DJLastCall

Hurray for the lawmakers of NY!Don't regulate a sport that might result in its competitors waking up dead one day. There's just no reason for that.

JimmersonzGlove site profile image  

5/8/12 2:09 PM by JimmersonzGlove

 Slapshot said it best.

SamboMMA site profile image  

5/8/12 1:53 PM by SamboMMA

I wonder if Dana and the Fertittas regret getting in bed with Harry Reid and the Democrats now.