Skip to comments.CHAOS IN ALBANY: GOP Coup Upsets Balance In Senate
Posted on 06/09/2009 4:21:33 AM PDT by rightwingextremist1776
CHAOS IN ALBANY: GOP Coup Upsets Balance In Senate Malcolm Smith Ousted As Senate Majority Leader; Dems Turn Off Lights, Cut Internet Power In Attempt To Stop Coup
Paterson Goes Ballistic: I'm Here To Stand Up For DemocracyALBANY (CBS) ― Click to enlarge1 of 1 Sens. Dean Skelos (l) and Pedro Espada (r) are sworn in in the New York Senate chambers on June 8, 2009. CBS
Republicans, who lost control of the New York State Senate last November have apparently regained control, and without an election!
The GOP power play involves two renegade Democrats and a billionaire businessman.
Welcome to New York politics.
What happened Monday night in Albany, a coup in the state Senate five weeks in the making, made for a unique kind of drama, pitting Senate Democrats against Republicans.
Out of power? Former Democratic State Senate President and Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.
"Let's just be real clear, the Senate Democrats are still in the majority," said Smith. "Malcolm Smith is still the majority leader."
Assuming those titles in a return to power is Senator Dean Skelos of Rockville.
How did it happen? Democrats can thank their own: Pedro Espada of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens, who turned their backs on their fellow Democrats and joined with Republicans.
"I want to thank Pedro and Hiram. I know the difficult votes you did today (Monday) but they did the right thing and I want to thank Tom Golisano who certainly has been a leader," said Skelos.
In fact, it was upstate billionaire Tom Golisano who brokered the coup. Democrats intend to fight the powergrab in court, arguing, among other points, the Senate was adjourned when Republicans seized power.
"I don't care if I'm the only one standing, but someone has got to stand up and say that this is wrong," said Paterson.
For Espada and Monserrate, both of whom have legal troubles, the switch is intriguing.
Earlier this year, Republicans were calling for Monserrate's resignation following his criminal indictment for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend.
And the State Attorney General's office is currently investigating a non-profit organization formerly run by Espada, who as CBS 2 HD reported exclusively in April, lives in Mamaroneck, despite representing the Bronx.
During the coup, Democrats fled the chamber, turned out the lights, and cut off the Internet feed of chamber proceedings, leaving Republicans and their two Democratic friends to take the vote in the dark.
A media advisory released by Mark Hansen, a spokesman for the Senate's GOP conference, foreshadowed the shake-up: "An historic change in leadership is taking place at this moment and a new bipartisan, coalition is being established that is bringing real reform to the Senate RIGHT NOW."
Smith was elected Temporary President and Majority Leader of the New York State Senate in January of 2009, becoming the first African-American Majority Leader in New York State history and the first Democratic leader in almost 40 years. Gov. David Paterson, who is noticeably furious, addressed the coup at an evening news conference.
"I should be standing here talking to you about the issues that the people need Albany to address. Once again Albany's dysfunction has raised its ugly head," Paterson said. "I came here today to stand up for everyone in this state who still believes in a democracy -- that there are perimeters in which we govern, that Albany can be more than the dysfunctional wreck it has become over the years. And I don't care if the only one standing, but someone has got to stand up and say that this is wrong.
"The last two weeks of session is not the time when we conduct campaigns. It is not the time when we elect leaders. It is not the time for politics. It is the time for governance."
Right now we have a real standoff.
Skelos and Espada took their oaths of office -- and get this: if something happens to Gov. Paterson, Espada, as president pro tempore of the Senate, fills in.
Both sides will contest the other, with the Democrats saying the move is illegal because the session was already gaveled out.
In the end it will likely end up in the courts.
What happens when they gavel back in and demands are made for a new vote?
That’s just funny as hell. Buy Orville Redenbacher stock.
It’s good to see Republicans have grown a set... now what will they do?
I guess the democrats plan to never reconvene until they ar eput in charge. Ity is very hard to get my head around their argument that they will continue to control a chamber in which they don’t have the most votes.
At the very least, these two guys are holding the Dems to their word (unlike in Washington).
The Dems took power on a reform platform, and then promptly discarded it. These guys didn’t appreciate that...and now EVERYONE in New York knows it.
A fake Senate and a fake Governor. What a State.
Several, all with good comments.
The Republicans, with the two Democrats, have the majority, and will win an organizational vote, unless somebody gets bought off of course.
Tom Golisano .................................. He still would like to be Governor of NY. I’m sure he’ll try again.
If they never reconvene it will be a great victory.
If only the Senate and House in DC would stop convening.
Did a search and came up empty....oh well, it’s all good.
Dueling was an excellent way to settle disputes such as this...
so was revolution....
Another leftist reporter goes nuts. It’s a GOP ‘’coup’’ and they did it without an election. It upsets the balance of power. The Dems turn off the lights yet it’s the GOP fault.
“there are perimeters in which we govern”??
“For Espada and Monserrate, both of whom have legal troubles, the switch is intriguing.”
Just wait for the indictments that weren’t coming from a Democratic DA.
Great. While they are fighting each other they will be too busy to screw the taxpayers.
“Upsets balance.” LOL...
What “balance” would that be, total control?
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