Monday deadline looms for state Senate

June 14, 2009 2:07:32 PM PDT
The Monday deadline is looming for Senate lawmakers to resolve their power struggle before a judge does it for them. But how will the decision by two dissident Democrats to support a Republican coalition and shift the balance of power play out? State Senator Pedro Espada is the man everyone wants to lay his or her hands on, whether around his neck or patting his back. Espada appeared on Up Close Sunday morning on Channel 7 to explain why he threw his Democratic party under a bus.

CLICK HERE to see this week's Up Close, hosted by fill-in Bill Ritter.

Last week, Albany made headlines and hysteria when Espada and state Senator Hiram Monserrate of Wueens defected from their party and voted for a Republican leader, appointing Dean Skelos from Long Island as the new state majority leader and Espada as Senate president.

As you can imagine, Democrats did not go quietly. They tried to turn out the lights and lock the doors, any trick to keep the new majority from taking power. They even sued. With the judge ordering the two bickering sides to work out their difference before Monday or the judge will make the call, the deadline is looming.

Until now, Democrat Malcom Smith from Queens was majority leader, and going into the weekend, he was still talking the talk.

"Right now, there is only one president of the Senate, and that's myself," he said. "I'm in charge."

However, there are indications that Democrats are trying to find another leader to take them out of this political storm and bring the renegade Democrats back into the fold.

As for Espada, he says he's ready to work with the new Senate and hopes his colleagues will return to do the people's work.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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