Democratic Majority Under Fire in Senate
June 8th, 2009
That was short lived.
The New York Times is reporting that the State Senate could switch back to a Republican majority this afternoon thanks to two city legislators switching their allegiance to the G.O.P. The senators, former Councilmember Hiram Monserrate and Sen. Pedro Espada Jr., stood with the chamber’s republicans at about 3 p.m. today in a call for new leadership.
Shortly thereafter, the Times reports, Republicans e-mailed the following statement to reporters: “A new bipartisan, coalition is being established that is bringing real reform to the Senate right now.”
According to the Times, Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (questionably the former leader now) didn’t know what was going on.
This is the latest in a series of incidents where several rogue senators — otherwise known as the three amigos — have wielded power unexpectedly and suddenly. In addition to Monserrate and Espada, Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. is among them, though his role in today’s events is unclear.
For more on Espada, see our Albany Editor David King’s profile: “Pedro Espada’s New Clout.”
UPDATE: A call into Sen. Espada’s office confirms that he has been elected temporary president of the senate. Darlene Leder, who picked up the phone there, said the senator was unavailable as is his spokesperson. “It’s pretty chaotic right here,” Leder, the housing committee clerk said.
She said he was elected by 32 votes.By Courtney Gross on June 8, 2009, 3:27 pm
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