It appears the state Senate Republicans are in the process of taking control of the chamber again by getting two Democrats to switch parties. Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate appear to be the Dems who flipped, giving the Republicans a 32-30 majority. Dean Skelos will be majority leader again and Espada will become the Senate pro tem.
Republicans sent out a press release this afternoon telling the media to show up for "a historic change in leadership." Then as this was apparently all going down, the video feed from the Senate chamber was cut.
The move apparently caught Democrats -- including now-former majority leader Malcolm Smith -- by surprise.
One of the immediate political consequences of the switch: the same-sex marriage bill now has probably no shot of passage this year.
Update: Malcolm Smith says the flip was "an illegal and unlawful attempt" -- and asserts that he's still majority leader.
Sources cited, in order: Capitol Confidential, Daily Politics, WNYT, Capitol Confidential, NYT
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