Albany Coup Update: Duane “Flirting” With GOP for Gay Marriage?


They’re still swinging in Albany, where the New Model Republican Majority is locked out of the state senate chamber. Democratic cavaliers are leaning on Hiram Monserrate, with operatives availing a robocall that claims Monserrate has “abandoned Barack Obama and everything we believe in” with his apostasy. They’re also getting around the dirt on senate president presumptive Pedro Espada.

Some parties are peddling state senator John Sampson as an alternative to Malcolm Smith as a loyalist Dem leader. It looks like Espada is in on this, too.

An especially odd rumor reported by Jimmy Vielkind: that Tom Duane (pictured) is “flirting with the Republicans” because they’re offering him a free hand on the stalled gay marriage bill. If true, that would leave the Democrats in an awkward position regarding diehard gay marriage opponent Ruben Diaz Sr, who has so far claimed loyalty to the ousted leadership — would they kill the bill to keep him aboard? That certainly what the insurgents would like us to think. For the moment mainstream gay groups are sticking with the Democratic loyalists.

These are very high-level mind games, but the resolution will certainly have less to do with social policy than with money and power. Because that’s what it’s always about.