June 8, 2009

WAY TO LOOK LIKE A BANANA REPUBLIC:

Revolt Imperils Democratic Control of Senate (Jeremy W. Peters AND Danny Hakim, 6/08/09, NY Times)

Updated, 4:11 p.m. | ALBANY – Democrats appeared to have lost their majority in the State Senate on Monday, in a stunning and sudden reversal of fortunes for a party that has controlled the chamber for barely five months.

A raucous leadership fight erupted on the floor of the Senate around 3 p.m., with two Democrats, Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens, joining the 30 Senate Republicans in a motion that would displace Democrats as the party in control.
Dean G. SkelosGiovanni Rufino for The New York Times Senator Dean G. Skelos, a Long Island Republican, would likely be the new majority leader if his party takes control.

It was a noisy and acrimonious scene on the floor of the Senate as Senator Thomas W. Libous, a Republican from Binghamton and the party’s deputy leader, shouted for a roll-call vote, while Democrats attempted to stall the vote by asking to adjourn the session.

All 30 Republicans stood with their hands raised, signaling a vote for a change in leadership. Mr. Espada and Mr. Monserrate joined them, each raising his hand. It appeared that Republicans had won the vote by a 32-to-30 margin. If the Republicans retake the chamber, Dean G. Skelos, of Long Island, would likely be the new majority leader.

After the results of the vote were read aloud, the in-house television station that carries Senate proceedings live in the Capitol went dark. All that appeared on the screen was a still photo of the Senate chamber and the words “Please stand by.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 8, 2009 3:16 PM
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