(Sheldon Silver: Son of a bitch.)
You know, there was a time when we believed that an online petition could change the world. Ah, the naivete of youth. But despite years of UFC lobbying efforts and fan support, MMA is still at square one when it comes to regulation in New York State. In what has become an annual letdown, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — who has never been an ally of the sport — determined during a closed-door meeting yesterday that a bill seeking to legalize MMA in New York didn’t have enough support to pass. According to a New York Daily News report, the circumstances seemed profoundly shady:
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. “[Silver] 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…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.