Aren't clowns supposed to make us laugh? Well this is enough to make you cry: New York's state senators reportedly raised a whopping $1.6 million during the five-week coup-de-stupid that virtually shut down the legislature.
All together, the 62 senators raised $1,617,618, in the 31 days after June 8, according to the New York Post, which requested an analysis of campaign-finance data by the New York Public Interest Research Group.
But while 54 senators accepted at least $100 during the impasse, eight members accounted for the bulk of the do-nothing dough.
Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) took in the most money during the hiatus brought about by the defection of the "Three Amigos," Pedro Espada Jr., Hiram Monserrate and Ruben Diaz Sr. -- Klein raked in $330,034, much of that during a birthday party fundraiser in the coup's final week, the Post reported.
In his defense, Klein told the paper that the July 8 event at a friend's house in Pelham Manor was "planned more than a month before the coup and I felt no reason to cancel it."
Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos (R-L.I.), who took an integral part in planning the coup, followed with the second most money raised -- $139,000.
Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn), Craig Johnson (D-L.I.) and Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) all raised funds in the low $100K range during the shake-up, according to the research.
Sen. John Sampson (D-Brooklyn), who became democratic leader after the coup, raised $58,725 during the tumultuous month-long period, more than half of his total for the entire past six months.
Pedro Espada Jr. (D?-Bronx), whose double-crossing ways should inspire folk songs for years to come, only had the time to raise about $55,000.
His fellow coup-ster, Hiram Monserate (D?-Queens) meanwhile didn't report any funds raised, and curiously actually canceled an Albany fete in the middle of the debacle.
And their constituents are certainly not laughing. A new survey by Siena Research Institute shows that 77 percent of registered voters are "angry " about the senate power play and believe it "accomplished nothing."
Forty percent of respondents said they would vote for a challenger if the contest were held today, versus 31 percent who would still re-elect their incumbent senator.