Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Espada And Senate GOP Refuse Compromise

So much for working together. Yesterday, after Judge McNamara told both sides of the Senate to go work out their differences, Skelos and Espada left the meeting after an hour. Smith followed newly chosen Conference Leader John Sampson into the negotiating room to come up with some way to share power, but they were rebuffed.

From The Times-Union:

During the meeting, Senate Democrats proposed a power-sharing plan that would rotate the position of president pro tempore between two the parties on a daily basis, with that person running the Senate with a floor leader from the opposition party. A bipartisan committee of six senators, three from each party, would set the session agenda.

Espada and Skelos emerged after less than an hour to essentially throw the future of negotiations back into state Supreme Court, saying no progress could be made until the question of the coup's legitimacy had been resolved.

"We have decided that we need the judicial decision from Judge McNamara," Espada said.

"Our position is that it's 32-30," said Skelos. "That was the vote. So as many times as you want to say it didn't occur, it occurred." The Democrats, he added, "are getting paid and they aren't showing up for work."

While Skelos can say what he wants to the press about 32-30, the reality of the situation is that Monserrate flipped back to the Democrats. The dog has left the coalition and if Skelos tries to do anything with this stubborn attitude, he's always going to end up with one senator short of a quorum. So instead Espada and the Republicans will go before the judge this morning and await his decision. Hopefully McNamara will assess the situation and rule to reflect the reality of what is going on, not what Skelos wishes for.