Ada Smith: More About Her Misdeeds

senator%20ada%20l%20smith%20ada%20smith%20crazyy%20insane%20new%20york%20senator.jpgTomorrow we'll report back on the blind item we gave you earlier today, about a temperamental legislator who drives staffers insane. For now, we'll tell you that it's not Senator Ada L. Smith.

Fine, you already knew that; Senator Smith is a mere New York State senator, not a distinguished U.S. Senator. But while we're on the subject of horrendous legislative bosses with incredibly high staff turnover, we thought we'd mention Smith, who has gone through over 200 staffers during her time as a senator.

The New York Daily News reports:

You think your boss is a nightmare? Try working for state Sen. Ada Smith, aka the Wild Woman of Albany. The Queens legislator has a history of bizarre, allegedly abusive behavior that dates back nearly 20 years...

"I have dealt with difficult people," said Philip Mahlke, who was Smith's chief of staff for eight months in 2003. "But never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined what it was like to work for Sen. Smith."

Mahlke, who is openly gay, said he was fired after complaining about Smith's abusive, homophobic remarks. "She called me 'white trash,' she called me 'a fag,'" Mahlke recounted last week. "When I called her on it, her response was, 'I'm a senator, I can do what I want!'"

... Coffee is just one of her favorite projectiles, staffers said. Over the years, Smith has been accused of throwing a trash can, a desk organizer, stacks of paper, a melted ice cream bar -- whatever's handy.

Why can't we have such colorful characters in the U.S. Congress? Compared to Senator Smith, Cynthia McKinney seems almost sane.

'Wild Woman' Tales [NYDN]

Earlier: A Capitol Hill Blind Item: The Devil Wears a Member's Pin

For the Record: Ada Smith Is Even More Crazy Than We Thought

Cynthia McKinney Ain't Got Nothing on Her

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Fellow Wonkers, this last week of horror has been wearing on us all, because here we are in a world where the "president" of the United States has ordered that migrant children be taken away from their parents at the border, and is simultaneously proud of it (for his base) and cravenly blaming it on Democrats because even he knows it's morally reprehensible. But what the hell can we do about it beyond calling our senators and representatives and posting sadness on Twitter, the latter of which is of dubious utility to anyone, and mostly depressing?

Resist the urge to disappear into a bottle. The kids and the families need you.

Slate has compiled a great list of places to start, which we will liberally summarize for you right now:

The thing these folks need most is LAWYERS. If you're an immigration lawyer, you're probably already swamped. But on the off chance you have time and expertise to spare, the American Immigration Lawyers Association is building a list of volunteers.

Yr Dok Zoom has given money to the fine folks at RAICES, a San Antonio-based group that has two major projects. They're getting lawyers for migrant families (and for the kids when possible) and raising money to pay migrant parents' bond so they can be out of jail and with their families. If you're in Texas, then click here to volunteer!

Update: RAICES is also holding a "what you can do" webinar this Thursday:

Also for folks who are in Texas:

The Texas Civil Rights Project is seeking "volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q'eqchi' or K'iche' and have paralegal or legal assistant experience."

There's also CARA -- an umbrella organization for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Together, they provide legal services at immigration detention centers.

To help kids who are already in immigration detention, there's Kids in Need of Defense, which provides children with representation in immigration court and also lobbies for children's legal interests. Donate here.

If you're not quite sure where to give, ActBlue has bundled several immigrant rights groups into a single donation button -- see the list and donate here.

Remember, there's always the ACLU, which is fighting family separation with a federal class action lawsuit.

You want to march? Former top government ethics lawyer Walter Shaub, who gave up trying to tell the Trump administration what ethics even are, will be announcing the details of a national march (think DC and local affiliated marches) tonight on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes." We'll make noise here, too.

Good people are coming together to put an end to this cruelty. EVERY Democrat in the Senate is now co-sponsoring Dianne Feinstein's bill to stop family separation.

And hell, we'll even give the last word to Jennifer Rubin, who seems to have reassessed some of her previous political views. She has a reminder for all of us:

Damn straight. Remember it every damn day between now and then.

It's your open thread. Don't boo -- organize. Time to RESIST.

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Don't take for granted that the institutions you love will always be there, like democracy, and Wonkette. Click to save at least one of them!


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There are perks to being the only Harvard professor willing to shill for the Bush League Mussolini. Everyone else has to haul ass to the Fox studio and sit for hair and makeup. Not Alan Dershowitz! He just parks his laptop in Pee Wee's playhouse and Skypes in that rant. Is he even wearing pants? We hope never to find out!

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