Friday, June 12, 2009

Home, Home on the Mange

It looks as if we're finally getting into the endgame on the senate leadership fight-at least in regards to our friend Hiram. As the senate Dems caucus down at 250 Broadway, the likely result will be the gracious abdication of Malcolm Smith. As the Observer reports: "State Senate Democrats will be a meeting at 250 Broadway this afternoon, where they will attempt to consummate a deal that will bring defector Hiram Monserrate back across the aisle in support of a new conference leader. Whatever arrangement has been agreed upon so far is being described as "very fluid," Democratic sources kept repeating. This would bring about a 31-31 partisan split in the chamber, which has been crippled by a leadership struggle since Monday."

And then what happens? Well, it might be up to the courts, as Liz tells us: "It seems all-but inevitable at this point that Smith will be asked to step aside, despite the fact that he continues to fight in court to retain his hold on the leadership. The leading candidate to replace him as head of the Democratic conference is Sen. John Sampson. Keep in mind: Even if the Democrats dump Smith and get Monserrate back, the Senate will still be deadlocked, and the question about the legality of Monday's vote that restored Sen. Dean Skelos to the majority leader's post and made Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. temporary president of the Senate still stands."

Oy vey! But there are probably at least 20-30 different plausible scenarios that can be envisioned here-with some form of power sharing not out of the question: "Unless, of course, there's no majority. Maybe a power-sharing deal should be considered? Heck, it has worked in the past for Maine, the US Senate, Washington State, Virginia, Michigan and Florida, why not New York?"

So, while the clock ticks toward the end of Malcolm's rein, we are about to head into the abyss; and while will all fall down into the unknown we can at least be amused by the sideshow of the governor and Senator Espada calling out each other as purveyors of untruths. Can the clown car be far behind?