ALBANY -- It was a tough day for Gov. David Paterson trying to get his way with the Legislature.
Besides his budget deficit reduction plan fail, Paterson saw one of his longtime aides rejected for a last-minute appointment to the state Parole Board.
Seny Taveras, who has worked with Paterson in different posts since 2003, felt the rare rejection by the Senate Finance Committee of her nomination to a $101,000-a-year post to the parole board for the next five years.
In a remarkable case of how-to-alienate-lawmakers, Taveras shot down a question by Sen. Michael Nozzolio, a Republican who represents the Finger Lakes area. Nozzolio had asked her about how she might treat violent felons who came before her for parole consideration.
"Senator, with all due respect, that question is inappropriate," Taveras said. Nozzolio shot back that he would decide what line of question was appropriate or not, and that he found it "troubling" she would not address his query.
Minutes later, under questioning from Republicans and a Democratic senator, Taveras said she had graduated law school but failed in her one attempt several years ago to pass the bar exam.
Taveras was already facing obstacles with Senate Republicans, but her reaction to Nozzolio doomed any chance. For starters, Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada skipped Monday's session, which meant Taveras would need at least one Republican to vote for her if the nomination came to the floor.
It didn't get that far, though. All the Republicans in the Senate Finance Committee voted against her. Joining them was Sen. Carl Kruger, a Brooklyn Democrat.
"I don't think I've seen anything like that," Sen. George Maziarz, a Newfane Republican, of a gubernatorial nominee failing to make it out of the Senate Finance Committee.