Scanning the coverage of the Senate switch

coup in progressIt looks like Republican have taken back control of the state Senate by getting two Democrats to caucus with them. Dean Skelos was voted majority leader (again) and Bronx Democrat Pedro Espada -- one of the two switchers -- becomes Senate president pro tem (he's also now the person who becomes governor if something happens to David Paterson). [TU] [NYDN] [AOA]

Here's a quick read of the coverage of yesterday's big switch...

The move caught the ruling Democrats by surprise -- and at one point they tried to stop the proceedings by turning off the lights in the Senate chamber. The chamber has now been locked by the Senate Sargent-at-Arms. [NYP] [YouTube] [TU]

Democrats are saying the flip was "an illegal and unlawful attempt" and are vowing to challenge it in court -- and they also contend that Malcolm Smith is still majority leader. David Paterson called it "an outrage" -- though there's very little he can do about it. Espada -- who says he and fellow switcher Hiram Monserrate are not changing parties -- framed the takeover as a move to "coaltion government."

Skelos framed the switch as a bid for reform. Shortly after taking over, the now Skelos-lead body passed a bunch of new rules for itself -- including term limits for majority leader and committee chairs. [CapNews9] [Daily Politics]

The two Democrats who made yesterday's switch happen aren't exactly beacons of the Senate -- Espada's been under investigation for fraud and Monserrate's under indictment for allegedly slashing his ladyfriend. Ans -- cue the irony -- Republicans called for Monserrate to resign earlier this year. Of Monserrate, Skelos said yesterday: "He's an elected member, and the reforms are more important." Not all Republicans seemed so ready to forgive and forget, though. [NYP] [NYT] [Daily Politics]

Apparently instrumental to yesterday's switch: billionaire Tom Golisano, who called it "a great day for the state of New York" and said "real progress was made today." Golisano recently said he was changing his residency to Florida. [AP/Troy Record] [Capitol Tonight] [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle]

If you want to read just one story about all this, this New York Times piece is the best take we read this morning.

Comments

Nothing quite like a political coup to put a Paris Hilton reality show in proper perspective.

The level of juvenile lunacy in this situation is on par with something out of a French existentialist absurdist script. I realize I should not be so shocked by political behavior specifically in NYS but this does sound like a carefully constructed MTV reality show replete with les enfants terribles, reprobates, backstabbing *expletives*, etc. These grown adults in charge of governing our state should return to junior high where that behavior belongs or perhaps join a circus sideshow act--"the waffling, self-interested democrat" or "temper tantrumming, myopic republican". Both would make wonderful freakshows but not on the senate floor.

One more reason to be embarrassed by NY's elected officials.

Makes me feel so good about paying the highest taxes in country so that these yahoos can act like 5-year-olds fighting over who gets to sit at the top of the slide.

Any chance we can sue them in court? The People of The State of New York v. The New York State Legislature?

Should be an interesting Daily Show with Jon Stewart tonight...

at what point do they stop fighting and start fixing? hold your elected officials accountable, we should send a letter home to their mothers

Pile these buffoons on a charter bus to Branson where they can indulge their love of idiot theater, and get us some competent adults who can govern.

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