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The State

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Indeed, it is hard to imagine a deeper, more shamefully embarrassing pit than the one state senators have dug for themselves as they argue over which party is in control of the Senate.

And yet, as they continue to feud over control of the gavel and the legislative agenda, doing no work for their $79,500 salaries, they continue to spew nonsense about their concern for reform and the well-being of New Yorkers struggling with a crippled economy.

This behavior is generally known as denial among those who treat addicts, and that means, as bad things may appear to outsiders, they can always get worse.

But then, New Yorkers already know that.

You might as well throw Gov.

David Paterson into the pit with the senators.

After hemming and hawing for days and talking about mediators for a group of politicians who can't even agree on a reasonable division of office space, Paterson on Sunday ordered a special session for the state Senate today in Albany.

He did so because the Senate stalemate (each party now claims 31 votes, and there is no lieutenant governor to break the tie) has left dozens of bills awaiting action, and yesterday was supposed to be the last day of the session.

Among those bills are sales tax authorizations that are crucial to keep county budgets in balance.

The only apparent hope for those and other important pieces of legislation is for senators to display enough shame and embarrassment (not to be confused with responsibility, as they will try to disguise it) to set aside their power fight long enough to approve the bills.

After that, they can adjourn and argue about who's in charge until they're blue in the face, the cows come home or the dish runs away with the spoon.

Or maybe until erstwhile Democratic Sen.

Pedro Espada, who created the deadlock by deciding to vote with Republicans in exchange for being voted president of the Senate, gets kicked out because he doesn't live in the district that he represents.

Hit bottom? New Yorkers might better try to arrange an intervention.

__P> On the Web: The Times Union of Albany on ticket scalping in NY.

June 19.

Regrettably, Gov.

David Paterson has signed a bill that largely continues New York's official endorsement of ticket scalping and the sky's-the-limit market it has fostered.

New York should have learned from its two-year experiment in legalized, no-holds barred scalping that the only real winners were the scalpers, who took full advantage of the state's laissez-faire stance.

The clear losers were the ordinary people who just want to see a concert, show or ball game for what passes for a reasonable price these days.

The state, at the very least, should have put a cap on ticket resales.

Even better would have been to go back to the days when a ticket could legally be resold in New York for only $2 above the original price.

That would have ended the state's enabling of an industry whose sole purpose is to get tickets before consumers do and resell them at inflated prices.

To be sure, not all the lessons of the past two years were lost on the state.

The bill signed by Mr.

Paterson, sponsored by Assemblymen Steve Englebright, D-Setauket, and Richard Brodsky, D-Westchester, and Sen.

Craig Johnson, D-Port Washington, prohibits primary ticket sellers from selling tickets to resellers.

That addresses one of the ways tickets seem to quickly sell out before consumers have a fair chance to buy them.

But it doesn't prevent the operators of venues from reselling tickets, nor does it deal with well-oiled operations that, armed with the latest technology, manage to get ahead of the rest of us in line.

The bill also requires the secretary of state to issue a report by Feb.

1, 2010, looking at the effectiveness and impact of the law, the public cost and benefit and whether people are harmed by ticket speculation.

It will also to compare ticket prices in New York with states that have scalping price caps, and examine whether it's in the public interest to reveal things like how many tickets to a given event were withheld from the public, and what the average selling price eventually was.,0,6799943.story
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