From New York Magazine:
...the favorite, Jose Peralta, hasn’t been convicted of anything, so that’s progress. But hold the cheers for now. One new senator isn’t going to fix the dysfunction, of course, yet Peralta’s path is depressingly typical of what helps keep state government mired in this mess. He began his political career working for Brian McLaughlin, the former assemblyman and labor union chieftain who two years ago pled guilty to stealing $3.1 million. Peralta was elected to the state assembly in 2002 and, like most of the Democrats in that body, he has been a dependable cog in Shelly Silver’s machine ever since. His bid to shift to the other chamber of the state legislature was only possible with the blessing of Congressman Joe Crowley, the Queens political boss; his campaign is backed by the unions — including the UFT, SEIU 1199, and 32BJ — who have the most clout in Albany; and Peralta’s campaign strategist is from the Parkside Group, a firm that is amassing a list of senate electoral clients nearly as long as its list of corporate lobbying clients.
Peralta has played the election game exactly right. Whether that benefits the public is a different matter. “The relationships I’ve nurtured over the years can help me build bridges in the legislature,” Peralta says. “And those unions supporting me represent actual people in my district, and it’s those people whose needs I’ll be protecting.”
Perhaps. “Jose is smart,” a fellow Queens Democrat says. “But he isn’t an improvement at all for the Senate as a whole. At least Hiram was at times an independent advocate. You won’t get that out of Jose.”