Coup in Review: No Session Today; Monserrate Keeps ‘Em Guessing


Earlier Pedro Espada said he was goin’ into the senate chamber and Malcolm Smith said he was goin’ to court. Espada has not, that anyone could see, gone into the chamber, and Smith seems not to have gone to court. There was no senate session today, not even the al fresco one Espada had threatened, but there were plenty of meetings.

There’s some debate as to whether Hiram Monserrate, alleged to be the weak sister of the rebel alliance, is sticking with Espada and GOP majority leader Dean Skelos; reporters who attended the same press conference outside the senate door heard different things. Jimmy Vielkind tends to think Monserrate is going back to the Democratic side. The alleged movement for John Sampson to take over as Democratic majority leader “would give Monserrate some “landing room” to re-join the Democrats “would give Monserrate some ‘landing room’ to re-join the Democrats,” says Vielkind. Politics on the Hudson, however, headlines, “Monserrate Sticks with Republicans.” Monserrate has better political skills than we imagined. For our part, we took his blather about reform and principle to mean, “I want mine.” The question is how much “mine” he can get from either side.

So the action goes back into the shadows for a while. But we have to add that we like a Battle-of-the-Billionaires angle that seems to be emerging. You may recall Tom Golisano was said to be engaged in such a Battle when he fought against Michael Bloomberg over term limits. Now it seems Mort Zuckerman, well-heeled publisher of the Daily News, is coming on strong against Golisano, whose influence in this coup is egregious: today’s News editorial on the subject is headlined, “Beneath contempt: Billionaire Tom Golisano is the worst of a vile crew in the Albany cesspool.”