Attempt to open New York State Senate Falters

A day in the life of corrupt political power struggles in the NY State Legislature. It has little to do with democracy. Nothing to do with representing the electorate.

Republicans used a mysterious set of keys to force their way into the Senate chamber for the first time since their leadership coup on Monday. Protesters chanted “Senate not for sale” and banged on the chamber’s windows while Republicans tried to convene. And the Republicans’ vow to resume the session fizzled after one of the two dissident Democrats they were depending on for a quorum, Hiram Monserrate of Queens, walked out of the chamber shortly after the proceedings began…

“The dysfunction and chaos in the Senate has wasted an entire week of the people’s business,” a clearly irritated Gov. David A. Paterson said in a statement released Thursday. He has been largely relegated to the sidelines during the dispute.

By day’s end, it was clear that the balance of power in the state’s upper house — and the very gears of state government — continued to rest in the hands of Mr. Monserrate, who was indicted in March on charges of slashing his female companion with a broken glass.

As he was leaving the Senate chamber, a Republican staff member dashed after him, pleading, “Senator, we need you back in there.” But Mr. Monserrate said he was committed to recruiting more Democrats to join the coalition and would be holding meetings all day in hopes of doing so, even as those Democrats were simultaneously trying to woo him back to their side.

“This chamber must not remain divided,” he said. “You can’t have coalition government with 2 Democrats and 30 Republicans.”

There were many other developments throughout the day.

Tales of the most reactionary trying to form a coalition with the ineffectual are nothing strange to folks out here in the Southwest. A few years back New Mexicans helped to house and hide Democrats who had to flee Texas under threat of arrest from the Republikan majority in their legislature. If you could call it that.

Meanwhile, the debacle in New York State continues. Tune in next week to see who’s appointed king.

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