Budget Cut Fight

One of the three dissident senators who has challenged Queens Senator Malcolm Smith's move to become Democratic majority leader, says that he'll now challenge Governor Paterson's plans for budget cuts. Bronx State Senator Ruben Diaz Senior says he represents the poorest district in the senate, and it would bear an unfair impact of those cuts.

DIAZ: The governor refused to tax the rich, but he wants to cut the services of the poor. We have always been criticizing the Republicans for doing exactly that.

This week, State Senator Diaz has been sending flyers to his constituents saying he'll oppose the cuts along with any attempt to legalize gay marriage. Along with Bronx Senator-elect Pedro Espada and Brooklyn Senator Carl Kruger - Diaz has challenged Smith's ascendency to the top post. Diaz would not comment on whether he intends to cast his vote for Smith next week when the Democratic majority in the Senate decides who will be majority leader.