Dan Janison has been a reporter at Newsday since 1997.
When the dust cleared in Washington on Friday, rookie Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice of Garden City had cast a yes vote on fast-track authorization of a Pacific trade pact -- just as GOP Speaker John Boehner of Ohio did.
And rookie Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin of Shirley cast a no vote -- just as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did.
Leading up to this bit of cross-partisan role reversal, both first-termers came in for local targeting by labor unions and others who ended up winning the day. Opponents for months have been slamming President Barack Obama's trade measure as another in a two-decade series of corporate giveaways dressed up as beneficial economics.
Besides Rice, the only New York Democrat to vote yes was Rep. Greg Meeks (D-St. Albans). Among New York Republicans, however, Zeldin's no was one of five -- including new Rep. Dan Donovan of Staten Island.
Nationally, it resembled another White House defeat eight years ago this month.
President George W. Bush -- his approval ratings also low in the next-to-last year of a second term -- pushed for national immigration reform as he sought a legacy-building win.
But Republican Bush in June 2007 was so roundly rebuked by members of his party that even important cross-partisan support from the likes of the late Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy couldn't rescue the immigration bill. Then as now, neither house was controlled by the president's party.
PRIMARY CONCERNS: The two Democrats on the state Board of Elections have called for consolidating, into a single primary day next year, the presidential contest slated for April and the congressional primaries expected to be in June. This would save $50 million, they said.
But at a meeting last week, Republican member Peter Kosinski expressed doubt the savings would prove so large -- and raised other issues in response.
For one, presidential primaries are timed with other states in mind, in a way intended to keep New York relevant, he noted. Congressional primaries, however, are not set up that way. Holding the latter in April means sending out petition carriers in January and February, when the weather is most severe, particularly upstate, Kosinski said.
Also, holding congressional primaries seven months before Election Day "elongates congressional campaigns," which could require more fundraising, he said.