Coup in Review: "Bipartisan" Meeting in Albany (UPDATE: Meeting Fails, Dems Go to Court)

The state senate Republicans, having rejected an earlier Democratic power-sharing proposal, have offered a plan of their own, laid out like a contract with spaces for signatures, which doesn't seem to change much of anything. Putative president pro tempore Pedro Espada is doing his bit for comity by accusing alleged senate majority leader Malcolm Smith of shoveling member item moneys "to the school where his out-of-wedlock child attends." Democrats have responded with belligerent robocalls and press releases, and anti-Espada statements as shown by Tom Robbins earlier. And at least one Democratic challenger to Espada in the next election has already emerged.

But now there may be some movement. Today's planned senate session didn't start as planned, and Liz Benjamin says a "bipartisan and members-only negotiating session" has been held outside the chamber. It is thought that getting Espada out of the presidency would go a long way toward placating the Democrats. More as it develops.

Update: Doesn't look like the meeting went so good.

Update 2: After the meeting, Espada says negotiations with the Democrats will continue, and that he is about to peel off yet another Democrat, unnamed, for his coalition with the Republicans. The Albany Times-Union says the Democrats are going back to court to head off any attempt by Espada to test his bizarre two-votes-for-the-leader theory in the senate.

Update 3: The rumored Dem defector is Darrel Aubertine, which just seems weird to us -- though conservative, he plays well with Kirsten Gillibrand and is rumored to be on tap to contend as a Democrat for the House seat vacated by John McHugh. Besides, he denies it.


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