Ethics have been high on the Albany agenda lately, with everyone from Michael Cherkasky to Dan Squadron trying to get into the act. Things can get confusing, but fortunately the current situation of Sen. Hiram Monserrate, who apparently holds the fate of the Senate in his hands, offers a clarifying moment. So, is the Queens senator:
a) A sleazy, opportunist traitor who viciously and feloniously assaulted a woman and does not belong in the New York State Senate?
or b) A principled, independent advocate of reform who is conscientiously striving to do the right thing, and innocent until proven guilty -- which is not going to happen because his girlfriend won't testify against him.
As a public service for Monserrate's colleagues and Senate staffers from both parties, here is a handy guide: If you are a member of the party with which Monserrate is currently aligned, the answer is b), and if you are a member of the other party, the answer is a), and if he switches allegiance again then you switch answers. The same principle can and does apply to discussions of rules reform and other issues.