Streams

 

 

Senate Coup

WNYC News

Comptroller DiNapoli Seeks to Withhold Senators' Pay

Thursday, July 02, 2009

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says he's planning to withhold pay for state senators until there's a resolution of the leadership struggle that has paralyzed the Senate for weeks. DiNapoli is filing suit in state Supreme Court seeking a decision on whether he has the constitutional authority to ...

Comments [1]

WNYC News

Spitzer Offers Advice on State Senate Upheaval

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer has some advice for Governor Paterson on dealing with the chaos in the New York State Senate. Spitzer says Paterson should encourage his constituents to use their 2010 voting power to eliminate uncooperative senators from the legislative body. Spitzer says that elected officials ...

Comment

WNYC News

Governor Orders Senate Into Evening Session

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Report from Karen DeWitt in Albany:

Governor Paterson has ordered all 62 state senators to come together for another special session today. The session held earlier this morning ended in 20 minutes, with no legislative action, after Republicans refused to acknowledge a Democrat as the presiding officer.

"These people, who for some reason want to play political games, when they really need to be standing up for the public, should hang their heads in shame. They are now the do nothing Senate and should be known that way until they come in and begin to discharge the business of the people."

On Paterson's "Senate to do list" -- renewing mayoral control of the city's schools. The current law expires at midnight, reverting the school system back to a Board of Education. Mayor Bloomberg says Joel Klein will still be at the helm.

"The chancellor is still in charge of the school system, he has a contract and we will honor that contract, and we've started to work to see what we have to do."

Comment

WNYC News

Senate Holds Session, Takes No Action

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

statecapitolAll 62 of New York's state senators met together for the first time in three weeks, because a judge had ordered them to do so. But the feuding Democrats and Republicans failed to act on any of the key measures ...

Comment

WNYC News

Senate Shenigans Yield No Agreement

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Senators hold dueling factions on Senate floor on Tuesday, June 23.

Senators hold dueling factions on Senate floor on Tuesday, June 23.

If at first you don't succeed....try again. That appears to be Governor Paterson's philosophy when it comes to getting ...

Comment

WNYC News

Playground Etiquette Tips for N.Y. Senators

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Genevieve Chan, age 5, at a playground in Chinatown.

Genevieve Chan, age 5, at a playground in Chinatown.

Some observers have accused the Democrats and Republicans in the state Senate of acting like children. I went to a playground in Chinatown to ...

Comment

WNYC News

Judge Hears from Warring Senate Factions

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


A judge is again delaying action on the state Senate's power struggle. State Supreme Court Justice Thomas McNamara ordered Democrats and Republicans to return to court at one o'clock this afternoon, after an hour-long meeting this morning fell apart.

Republican and Democratic senators so far have failed ...

Comment

WNYC News

Monserrate on The Brian Lehrer Show

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate (D-13) decided to re-defect back to the Democratic caucus. Hear about what changed his mind and how he expects the Senate to proceed with an even 31-31 split.

More coverage of the Senate power struggle >>

Comment

WNYC News

Monserrate Rejoins the Democrats

Monday, June 15, 2009

In Albany, it's still unclear who's in control. Lawmakers continue to await a court decision on whether last week's Republican takeover of the Senate chamber was legal. Today, Queens Senator Hiram Monserrate switched his allegiance back to fellow Democrats, making an even 31 to 31 vote split in the chamber.

...

Comment

WNYC News

Side by Side: Senators Monserrate and Malcolm Smith

Friday, June 12, 2009

Senators Hiram Monserrate (2nd from R) and Malcolm Smith (far right)

Senators Hiram Monserrate (2nd from R) and Malcolm Smith (far right)

State Senate business remains at a standstill as senators await a ruling on whether the GOP's surprise takeover earlier this ...

Comment

WNYC News

Tug o' War Continues in the NY Senate

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An appellate court judge has granted State Senate Democrats an injunction that partially blocks the new coalition leadership from taking control. The order blocks Pedro Espada, the dissident Democrat elected Senate president on Monday, from being in line to succeed the governor if he's out of state, or if the ...

Comment

WNYC News

Near Riot as NY Senate Holds Brief Session

Thursday, June 11, 2009

espada

Reporter Karen DeWitt reports that it was a near riot in the State Senate chamber in Albany today when Senators Pedro Espada and Dean Skelos finally reconvened under the new Senate leadership. Dewitt says protesters with Citizen Action and ...

Comment

WNYC News

Chaos in the State Capitol

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Uncertainty continues to reign in Albany.Doors to the state Senate chamber in Albany were still locked three hours after the Republicans said they would hold their first Senate session. New York Daily News political columnist and blogger Liz Benjamin was there and she joined Amy Eddings to discuss the debacle.


Reporter Karen DeWitt also found chaos at the Senate chamber.

"Hundreds of reporters, lobbyists, onlookers, a crowd of 200-300 people have been gathered outside the main Senate door for over an hour now, waiting for Senator Espada and Senator Skelos to show up as promised. People are getting very restless. The air is bad. People are threatening to faint. It just seems like the government is disintegrating, because no one will tell give us an answer of where they are or what is going on."

Earlier, Senator Malcolm Smith of Queens -- who is still calling himself the senate majority leader -- said he is seeking a court injunction to prevent Republicans from taking power.

Governor Paterson is asking his fellow Democrats to unlock the doors to the Senate chamber, and for senators to hold another vote to decide who will be their leader, Republican Dean Skelos, or Democrat Malcolm Smith.

"I am urging them all to go back to the chamber. They can simply go in and elect the majority leader, and I will work with whomever it is."

Paterson says a do-over is needed because it is unclear whether Monday's vote to restore the GOP to power happened during the session, or after it was gaveled to a close.

Bronx and Queens constituents are being hit with a wave of robocalls criticizing State Senators Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada Jr. for their role in the Republican coup.

In a call, an anonymous young woman says that Monserrate betrayed voters in his district. The 13th District - which he represents - is overwhelmingly Democratic.

Comments [2]

WNYC News

Coup d'Etat, What?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Our Digesting Politics trio plumbs the why and what for of the coup in Albany.

Digesting Politics

A sample of the conversation:

Brian Lehrer: I'm still trying to figure out what this means. To the best of my ability to discern, this ...

Comment

WNYC News

Senate Coup: Reform or Power Grab?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Senator Pedro Espada

Senator Pedro Espada

One of the dissident Democrats who joined Republicans in yesterday's leadership coup in New York's Senate says the move isn't about returning power to the GOP. Queens Democrat Hiram Monserrate tells WNYC's Brian Lehrer it's about ...

Comments [10]

WNYC News

Senators Krueger and Monserrate on Brian Lehrer

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Senator Monserrate

Senator Monserrate

Liz Krueger, New York State Senator (D-Manhattan, 26th district), and Hiram Monserrate, New York State Senator (D-Queens, 13th district), react to the change in leadership in Albany. Plus: Dick Dadey, executive director of the Citizens Union, ...

Comments [1]

WNYC News

Republican Coup in NY Senate

Monday, June 08, 2009

Republicans have retaken control of New York's Senate after two dissident Democrats jumped the aisle in a parliamentary coup. The party-flip of senators Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens gives Republicans a 32-30 edge in the chamber. Within an hour of the overthrow, Republicans named ...

Comments [7]