What was once a formidable challenge to Malcolm Smith's bid to be Majority Leader is not as threatening. Hiram Monserrate was in the "Gang of Four" but has decided to skip out by cutting a deal with Smith. Not only will he not be flirting with the GOP, he'll be voting for Smith when the vote for Majority Leader comes around.
From The Daily Politics:
Senator-elect Hiram Monserrate and Senate Majority Leader-in-Waiting Malcolm Smith are poised to announce that the incoming lawmaker will support his fellow Queens Democrat for leader, sources confirm. He is the first member of the gang to formally endorse Smith.
The deal was sealed late last night here in San Juan, according to the sources, who are both in Puerto Rico and back home in Albany and have been briefed on the details of the agreement."He was losing leverage by the hour; there wasn't much more than he could extract," one source said.
In exchange for his support, Monserrate will be tapped to head the Consumer Affairs Committee and also chair the new Latino caucus that Smith pledged to create in an effort to woo the three Hispanic Gang of Four members who felt their community has long been under-represented and under-appreciated by the Senate Democrats.
Liz notes that it would have been risky for Hiram to continue down that road of "independence," especially since his district is heavily Democratic. Espada, Diaz and Kruger however are still out on their own, trying desperately to win something by thinking of caucusing with the Republicans. Of course, as Philip notes it would be best if they cut a deal with their own party and put this dangerous game to rest. Time will tell if the Gang of
Four Three will come to their senses.