Regarding the shocking takeover of the New York state Senate by the Republican Party with the support of two Democrats from NYC:
Some are wondering what this does to the prospects of passing same-sex marriage legislation, which is supported by Gov. David Paterson (D) and already passed by the state Assembly.
Here’s the take from Jeremy Peters and Danny Hakim of the New York Times:
Why Mr. Espada and Mr. Monserrate suddenly defected on Monday afternoon was not immediately clear.
One source of contention among Democrats recently has been Mr. Smith’s support for same-sex marriage. Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., a Democrat from the Bronx, has been outspoken in his insistence that legislation allowing gay couples to marry not be allowed to come to a vote. Some had speculated he might leave the Democratic Party if Mr. Smith were to allow a vote.
But Mr. Diaz did not join Mr. Espada and Mr. Monserrate in the leadership vote on Monday. It was not immediately clear whether the same-sex marriage legislation played any role in the leadership dispute.
UPDATE FROM UNITE THE FIGHT:
The New York Times is reporting:
Republicans seized control of the New York State Senate on Monday, in a stunning and sudden reversal of fortunes for the Democratic Party, which controlled the chamber for barely five months.
A raucous leadership fight erupted on the floor of the Senate around 3 p.m., with two Democrats, Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens, joining the 30 Senate Republicans in a motion that would displace Democrats as the party in control.
Senate Republicans quickly claimed that they were on the verge of controlling the chamber. “A new bipartisan, coalition is being established that is bringing real reform to the Senate right now,” Republicans said in a statement emailed to reporters at 3:20 p.m.