Items tagged with 'Malcom Smith'

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The Siena poll out today has some interesting -- if not necessarily surprising -- results.

People are still down on David Paterson (though marginally less so) -- but they've also turned against pretty much everyone else in state government (with one exception).

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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...

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State Senate control back to Republicans

coup in progressIt 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.

As of 4:20 this afternoon, there was no mention of the switch on the Senate's web site or Twitter feed.

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

State is monitoring swine flu situation, murder in Schenectady, Angelina makes shows up, baby born on Thruway, Fountain Day draws record crowd

David Paterson says the state is monitoring the swine flu situation, but doesn't see "any real danger ahead." There have been eight confirmed cases of swine flu in Queens. (Some perspective.) [Fox23] [NYT] [NYT]

The 911 call in which an off-duty Schenectady cop followed an allegedly drunk off-duty Albany police detective driving through Albany and Delmar indicates that the APD may have held off on pursuing the detective. According to the off-duty Schenectady cop's comments on the call, the APD detective could barely stand and almost hit cars coming in the opposite direction. [TU]

"Several" Albany Common Council members tell the TU that Jerry Jennings' executive assistant has been trying to convince them to drop the council's investigation of the ghost ticket scandal. [TU]

A man was shot and killed in the parking lot of a State Street topless bar in Schenectady Friday night. The SPD has identified the victim as a Schenectady resident. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [@schdypolice]

Scott Murphy said Jim Tedisco concession was a "very gracious" end to the special election. With about 700 ballots still uncounted, Murphy was up 399 votes on Tedisco Friday afternoon. Murphy got a congratulatory call from President Obama. Republicans, wondering how they lost again in a district with more enrolled Republicans than Democrats, pointed to a lack of party unity and backfiring negative ads as contributing factors to Tedisco's loss. There's speculation now that Tedisco could be on his way out of the Assembly. Murphy wouldn't say on Friday whether he plans to run again next year. [Daily Gazette] [NYS BoE] [Saratogian] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [PolitickerNY]

Angelina Jolie was in town yesterday to shoot scenes for Salt (video -- pics of the crew and shot setup). It seems locals can't get enough of gawking at the scene. Apparently the paparazzi prefer NYC, though. Oh, Brad Pitt was not here -- he was in Niagara Falls. [TU] [TU] [CBS6] [Troy Record] [TU] [Telegraph UK] [TU] [Buffalo News]

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State of the State today, Democrats organize control of state Senate, unemployment claim system crashes, two-year-old found wandering snowy streets

David Paterson will deliver the state of the state speech today at 1 pm. A group of labor unions representing state, local and healthcare workers is planning a march through downtown Albany before the speech -- traffic is being re-routed as thousands are expected to take part. Paterson has largely been out of sight the last few weeks because he's needed the time -- some 60 hours -- to memorize his speech. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [CBS6] [Daily Politics] [ABCNews]

It appears the Democrats have worked out an arrangement to take control of the state Senate. The deal may -- or may not -- have included an agreement to block a vote on same-sex marriage. Malcolm Smith will become the state's first African-American Senate majority leader. And with the change of party control, there are a bunch of new committee chairs -- including the guy who was recently charged with felony assault. [NYT] [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Politics] [NYT]

On the first day of testimony in the trial of the teen accused of firing the shot that killed Kathina Thomas, a prosecution witness admitted he had lied during his testimony. The girl's mother also testified yesterday and her account of the incident was heartbreaking. During opening arguments, the attorney for the accused teen said his client did fire a shot that day -- but not with the type of gun police say killed Thomas. [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette]

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Deal for state Senate control crumbling, ban on texting and driving, Lydia Kulbida being let go, Tutunjian says he'll go to jail over budget, reps speak out against cow fart tax

That deal Malcolm Smith reportedly struck with the "Gang of Three" to solidify control of the state Senate appears to be falling apart. It seems the trio is upset that Smith was trying to strip many of the powers away from the majority leader title (under the reported agreement, Smith would become Senate president pro tem and one of the trio would become Senate majority leader). The Gang of Three seems upset, with one member blaming, among others, "The gays." [NYT] [Daily Politics] [Daily Politics]

A Marist poll reports that New Yorkers favor either Andrew Cuomo or Caroline Kennedy for Hillary Clinton's seat. Well, either them, or "unsure." [Marist]

The Schenectady County Legislature passed a ban on texting while driving last night. It takes effect next March. Getting caught violating the ban will cost $150. [Daily Gazette]

WNYT has decided to not renew the contract of popular anchor Lydia Kulbida. Her contract runs through mid January, though the station's not sure if she'll be back on the air again. Seventeen other people at the station are also being let go. [TU]

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Budget drama in Troy, charges against Schenectady cops dismissed, Smith's leadership of Senate off to weird start, NYRA forecasts finish in the money

Troy mayor Harry Tutunjian has vetoed the 2009 budget passed by the city council. He says the council unlawfully shifted money into a contingency fund at the last moment. The council president says the shift was made to provide "oversight" of the contingency money. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany County legislature approved its 2009 budget, which includes a four percent tax increase. [TU]

A Schenectady County Court judge dismissed official misconduct charges against three Schenectady police officers yesterday. The trio had been charged with not turning on their patrol car's video camera and failing to fill out the proper paperwork following a DWI stop last December in which the suspect accused the officers of using excessive force. The officers have been on paid leave since then. [Daily Gazette]

A grand jury found that two Albany police officers were justified in firing their guns during a chase in September. Police say the suspect in the case pointed a gun at them. [TU]

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