Take it Outside: Mount Parker Erupts Again

New York lawmakers in shouting match

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Words erupted into a fight at the Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday.

    Firebrand Sen. Kevin Parker exploded again Tuesday, engaging in a shouting match that turned an ordinarily low-key finance committee meeting into a spectacle that had even his allies concerned.

    The Brooklyn Democrat, known for his eruptive temper, was defending a nominee of Gov. David Paterson called into question for a previous statement on affirmative action programs.

    Republican Sen. John DeFrancisco of Onondaga County, who is white, said that if not for those programs, whites and the rich "would have access to nearly 100 percent" of government funding.

    Parker unleashed a race-based tirade, shouting that a white nominee wouldn't be questioned so aggressively and that DeFrancisco was "out of order."

    Then Democratic Finance Committee Chairman Carl Kruger told Parker he was out of order and would have to step outside.

    Parker said he wanted everybody to step outside. Kruger said he would get someone to remove him with another outburst, but Parker said he'd better bring more than one person to haul him out.

    DeFrancisco didn't have much to say later about the incident, and Parker more or less dismissed it as a "heated debate," according to the Daily News.

    But Sen. Ruben Diaz, a Parker ally who has witnessed a string of the politician's tirades, considered the latest outburst more serious.

    "He needs help," Diaz told the News. "He lost control of himself."

    Parker in part earned his reputation as a hot-head after being accused of punching a photographer camped outside his home. The incident landed him in court; he was ordered to take anger management classes.