As mentioned yesterday, four of the next session’s Democratic State Senators from the city skipped the Democrats’ Wednesday caucus that was to shore up support for presumed Majority Leader Malcolm Smith. Pedro Espada Jr., Ruben Diaz Sr., Hiram Monserrate, and Carl Kruger met instead with Governor Paterson, the Times reported. It’s said that the three Latino members of the splinter group are concerned with representation of their ethnic group in leadership positions.
“There’s a concern that we have a black president, a black governor and we have a concern that we have to be sharing power,” said the always eloquent Diaz.
The 27 Senators who did caucus “reaffirmed” their leadership choice, Smith told the Observer. But Smith needs 32 votes.
“We told the governor we’re the biggest minority in the state,” one of the dissidents told Juan Gonzalez at the Daily News, “and we keep getting nothing but lip service and parades.”
“The entire leadership issue may come down to a game of chicken,” comments The Neighborhood Retail Alliance.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 6, 2008