BREAKING: Republican Coup, Democrats Lose NY Senate

Marriage Equality is dead in New York

ALBANY - Senate Republicans have seized control of the chamber in a leadership coup in which they got two Democrats to join their caucus, a stunning move that could change the nature of electoral politics as well as the end of this year's legislative session.

Dean Skelos was elected majority leader after Senators Hiram Monserrate, D-Queens, and Pedro Espada, D-Bronx, voted with Republicans to change the leadership of the chamber.

The defections ended Malcolm Smith's six-month tenure as the leader of the senate.

Monserrate and Espada gave the Senate Republicans the 32 votes they need to switch leadership.


I had been warned about this about a month ago...that marriage equality may cause the majority to fall. The Governor and Malcolm Smith were willing to take the risk and they lost big. The budget also caused problems with the Senate. Monserrate and Espada for part of the Gang of Four who were coerced into staying with the Democrats in January by Tom Golisano, who in turn tried to keep progressive legislation out of the Senate.

Political considerations do matter. We'll easily beat Monserrate and Espada in 2010, but we need to add seats to the Democratic majority and hold the ones we have. Many Democratic Senators are now in peril because they are now in the minority.

Tags: Marriage Equality, New York Senate (all tags)

Comments

9 Comments

Re: BREAKING: Republican Coup, Democrats Los

Can they vote for Republicans to run the Senate, but still run for reelection as Democrats?

by Steve M 2009-06-08 12:40PM | 0 recs
Yes

because they can run in the Democratic Primary as well as the Republican primary, but they'd almost certainly lose the Democratic primary and the GE as Republicans.

Effectively though, they're Republicans right now.

by DTOzone 2009-06-08 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: BREAKING

From what I've read, the budget is by far a bigger consideration in the collapse of the support for Smith than is gay marriage.

Monserrate and Espada may not have wanted gay marriage to pass, but since Smith wasn't going to bring it up anyway, I don't think they're switching because of that.

They're switching because Golisano wants them to; he's unhappy that the Democrats raised his taxes. He and Rush threatened to leave the state over that...too bad he didn't follow through on that.

by fsm 2009-06-08 12:54PM | 0 recs
Golisano moved to Florida

and I think the budget did have an effect, but Smith was going to bring gay marriage to a vote if he had the votes and there was talk that they had acquired the votes already...but that among those voted yes were Monserrate and Espada.

by DTOzone 2009-06-08 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Golisano moved to Florida

No one except Tom Duane thought they had the votes for gay marriage, and it was pretty clear to everyone that Duane was just pulling numbers out of his butt.

If it were gay marriage, then why didn't Diaz go with them? I just don't buy the gay marriage issue.

Golisano has promised them something; the Times wonders if it is related to the investigations that Espada and Monserrate are under. Though it's not clear that this helps Espada's case with Cuomo (since the AG is investigating Espada), nor that the Senate can call off the criminal investigation of Monserrate's assault on his girlfriend.

I say...follow the money to Golissano.

by fsm 2009-06-08 01:13PM | 0 recs
Diaz would never switch parties

he'd never get reelected. Espada and Monserrate, like Olga Mendez a few years back, don't intend on still being around in 2011, they're looking for an immediate power grab.

by DTOzone 2009-06-08 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Diaz would never switch parties

The immediate power grab thing makes sense, particularly since NY1 is reporting that Espada himself (and not Skelos, the Republican leader) who is the new Senate President. [But apparently no one can agree yet on what actually happened, and Smith is claiming the vote was illegal and that he remains Senate president...but somehow I don't think he'll win that argument.]

And so I'll repeat that they may cloak this around gay marriage because it sounds sexy (and the media will love that and report it regardless of what people say), but it's really about self-interest.

by fsm 2009-06-08 01:34PM | 0 recs
Skelos is Majority Leader

Espada is Pres Pro-Temp. Majority Leader is the important position. Skelos now sets the agenda and is Acting Lt. Governor. Espada's role is just ceremonial.

by DTOzone 2009-06-08 01:36PM | 0 recs
this was NOT about marriage equality

Two slimeball Senators in legal trouble accepted an offer they couldn't refuse.  It may affect the marriage equality bill, but it's not a result of it.

More on this from Law Dork 2.0

http://lawdork.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/ ny-senate-control-flip-throws-marriage-v ote-into-question/

by chiefscribe 2009-06-08 09:45PM | 0 recs

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