Apparently politics in New York means that one man can and will allow various moneyed interests to determine what legislation is allowed to come to a vote in the New York State Legislature. That man is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The moneyed interest is the Culinary Union. The legislation? Legalizing mixed martial arts. Take it away, MMA fighting:

On the senate floor, the talk was not so much about the sanctioning of mixed martial arts but about Silver letting the democratic process play out by allowing the bill to the Assembly floor for a full vote. Many believe there are enough votes to pass the bill. After that, only a signature from Gov. Andrew Cuomo would be necessary to sign it into law. But the decision rests upon Silver, who said he will decide with his Democratic Assembly Conference whether it will be introduced for a vote at all.

If that seems like a power play, it is. Silver has enormous clout in New York politics, perhaps even more so than the governor, according to most insiders. If he chooses to shelve the bill, there will be no vote.

And this is just some piddly MMA bill. Imagine how often this kind of thing goes on with important shit? In senates across the country! If that’s not depressing enough for ya, check out the rocket surgeons who continue to speak out against the sport:

Senator Liz Krueger, speaking against the bill, offered one up on the floor, saying, “There seems to be, a disproportionate — and I find disturbing — theme of Neo-Nazi messaging, tattoos, statements, referencing the Nazis and skinheads, supporting the killing of Jews.”

While Krueger claimed to have learned about this while reading about the sport, it almost certainly was culled from a letter sent by groups opposing the bill to Silver, which cited as cause for concern fighters who have competed “bearing Neo-Nazi messages in tattoos and clothing.”

“As the sport is advertised and marketed in the rest of this country and the world, it’s clear message is a message of violence,” Krueger said. “No rules apply. Fight to the death. You get some blood on you? Even better.”