Thursday, June 11, 2009

Slip Sliding Away

It appears as if there's some backtracking going on in Albany-and Hiram may be having second thoughts about his bungee jumping adventure. So, with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel, we can all sing together: "Slip sliding away, slip sliding away. You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away."

As the NY Times is reporting: "The coalition that joined two Democrats with 30 Republicans and took control of the State Senate earlier this week was in danger of collapsing on Thursday as one of the Democrats walked out of the Senate chamber, saying he needed more time to hold discussions with his colleagues. Hiram Monserrate, a Queens Democrat, held the Capitol in suspense as he refused to say whether he would support the coalition’s current leadership."

Which may lead to the dreaded 31-31 tie that was envisioned last winter when the initial Amigo rebellion was staged. What this means for the legislative agenda is any one's guess-and the final leadership resolution is equally as opaque: "As Senate Democrats prepared for Friday’s court hearing, they were nearing a consensus on the future leadership of their party. Senators were privately agreeing on Thursday morning that Malcolm A. Smith could no longer be their leader, Democrats said, speaking anonymously because the action was not yet official. John L. Sampson, a Brooklyn Democrat, is seen as a likely successor to Mr. Smith."

The governor, for what it's worth, seems quite sanguine about an extreme senate makeover-forsaking party loyalty for expedience, perhaps: "Gov. David A. Paterson weighed in on the matter, saying in an appearance on WNYC on Thursday morning that he doubted how successful the Democrats’ court challenge could be because they appeared to lack the votes needed to maintain a solid majority. He repeated his call for another leadership vote as a way to end the standoff...He also cast doubt on the Senate Democrats’ legal argument that Mr. Smith could not be forced out in the middle of the session because he was elected by his colleagues for a two-year term as Senate president and majority leader. “Power has been changed in legislative bodies for centuries,” Mr. Paterson said. “I think that’s well-heeled law.”

For our part, we've never heard of the law being well-heeled, a term that best fits Mr. Golisano. But it appears that Paterson simply wants to get on with things-and finds a non partisan approach convenient. Still, things could change even further is Hiram walks this back-and Espada's lonesome dove position could create a bit of second thought queasiness that leads to a total reversal of fortune. Quite a scene indeed!