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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 Democracy
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 Centre.
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.
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.
Albany Circus Act Continues
Dems Refuse To Recognize Espada As President Pro Tem, Don't Stand For Pledge Of Allegiance During Special Session
Republicans Fail To Take Podium, Pass Bills By Acclamation