Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Coup in the NY State Senate

Two Dissident Democrats and the GOP Shift the Power Balance
Mike Groll/The Associated Press

Albany, NY --After being out of power for over four decades, Democrats have lost control of the Senate in only five short months to Republicans yet again, after a surprise coup. The tables turned after two renegade Democrats crossed party lines to vote alongside the GOP.

Senators Pedro Espada, Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens joined the Republicans in a 32-30 victory that changed the leadership structure of the Senate. Despite their decisions, neither Senators changed party affiliation.

The move stripped the vice presidency away from CNY State Sen. Dave Valesky.

Governor David Paterson did not have much to say about the decision, but he wanted people to know he wasn't pleased by it.

"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's time for governments," said Paterson.

Legislation that the majority of Republicans did not support such as the same-sex marriage bill will no longer have enough votes to pass.

Democratic leaders and lawyers are deciding what their next move will be.
They are expected to challenge the vote in court. According to some Democrats, the Republicans had been planning the takeover for weeks.

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