June 9th, 2009
09:46 AM ET
5 years ago

GOP appears to take control of New York State Senate

(CNN) - Republicans appeared to regain control of the New York State Senate Monday, convincing two Democrats to support a new power-sharing coalition.

State Sens. Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate from Queens, both Democrats, voted with Republicans 32 to 30 to make the move.

"For the past five months, state government has been characterized by gridlock, paralysis, secretiveness, threats and partisan politics – all to the detriment of the people represented by me and my 61 colleagues," Espada said in a statement.

"Today begins a new state government built on reform, bipartisanship and consensus- and coalition-building."

Espada and Monserrate pledged to remain Democrats, while supporting the new coalition.

The deal seems to remove the Democratic majority from leadership five months after it took control of the chamber for the first time in more than 40 years. It also propels Espada into the post of president pro tempore.

Republican Sen. Dean Skelos would become majority leader and vice president, replacing Malcolm Smith, a Democrat.

"This is despicable," said Gov. David Paterson. "Now every week, because the Senate is close between the two major parties and someone doesn't like what's going on, we change leadership?"

State Democrats said nothing had changed.

"This was an illegal and unlawful attempt to gain control of the Senate and reverse the will of the people who voted for a Democratic majority," said Austin Shafran, a Smith spokesman. "The real Senate majority is anxious to get back to governing, and will take immediate steps to get us back to work."


Filed under: New York
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    So it's not acceptable for 2 NY Dems to switch and give the Republicans control of the state senate because it will "reverse the will of the people who voted for a Democratic majority," but it is okay for Arlen Specter to jump ship from R to D to give the Democrats a veto-proof majority in the US Senate even though the people never expressed that will?

    Yes, I know it's NY vs PA, state vs US, but the impact is the same. Individual elected officials are changing their voting intentions if not their party alignment, and it's okay R-to-D but not D-to-R.

    Can you say double-standard?

    Are the people finally waking up and realizing we might be heading in a wrong direction?

    June 9, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Dan Holiday

    Now that is change we can believe in ! ! ! Go N.Y. Note to Dems: Get used to this. It is the way of things to come...lol. If you don't blieve me go to Rasmussen and check their polling data. The GOP is now trusted more on all of the hot button issues for this country. And with the EU seeing the light and going right, it is only a matter of time that the US joins the trend. Heck, maybe even some liberals will join in since they think that everything the Europeans do is the best...hahaha!

    June 9, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Billy J in Texas

    Great... the Dems flinched. Oh well. It is true that works has to get done, it is too bad the Republicans couldn't have been the ones to be adults about it. Unlike some of the folks in BOTH parties, but predominantly the last round of Republicans I am not willing to bite my nose off to spite my face, I guess the two Dems felt the same way.

    June 9, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Anjum

    this is corruption at its best, all that republicans are good for. It sounds great that Republicans can stall and block anything from happening, then get Espada into "president pro tempore" in exchange for getting a majority. They just went after two weak weak people and made a corrupt move for their votes in this matter.

    June 9, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. CC

    Is this a legit change of command? If they're not actually switching parties or caucusing with the GOP, does that really change the majority? I understand thy have the right to question leadership, but I thought that leaders were chosen at the beginning session?

    June 9, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Will appease anyone for theatre tickets

    Step one in the recovery of this once great Country, 2010 is not far away and then 2012.

    People or sheep seem to like this President (I personally hate his guts just like you "people hated Bush" so save the condemnation), but if you notice they are not liking his policies nearly as much.

    Those numbers are ALL on their way down Barry.

    Experiment failed, one and done.

    June 9, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. Zion

    Oh, no, it's a GOP comeback...and then I woke up. LOL

    June 9, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. Zion

    Are these people behaving like ACORN? Where's the outrage? I though votes counted...remember that conservatives.

    June 9, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Ranjit

    It is amazing to see liberal bastion of New York crumbling down to the policies of the messiah. Soon, this change will be all across the fruited plains of this great nation. Wake up folks

    June 9, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Back to Simple Life

    This is how it's supposed to work for states and fed. Not one party, but what is best for the people.

    Why can't our politicians stop listening to lobbyists and start listening to WE THE PEOPLE?

    I think the country is changing in that we and the journalists are holding the politicians out for public inspection. No more secrets and no more 'PARTY BEFORE THE PEOPLE'.

    I like it – hope everyone else does too.

    June 9, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. Boytjie

    Who said the two swicthed parties? They are still Democrats (maybe only in name, but they have not become Republicans).

    Was the NY Senate any better up till 5 months ago when Republicans were in charge? No. Albany is a sad, sad mess and both parties are to blame.

    June 9, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. Randolph Carter

    ranjit Wrote: It is amazing to see liberal bastion of New York crumbling down to the policies of the messiah. Soon, this change will be all across the fruited plains of this great nation. Wake up folks

    Settle down there, Sparky. This is the NY state legislature we're talking about. They won't get anything done no matter who is running the show. They never do. Have a nice day!

    June 9, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. Dan Kadish

    Monserrate might have beaten his girlfriend and Espada might not even live in his own district making them dirty... DEMOCRATS!!! I love how liberals are saying this is the evil NY GOP who did something wrong!! NO, it was corrupt and questionable DEMOCRATS who sold out their own party because their party was such a basket case (remember star governor gets caught with prostitutes, replacement had 3 affairs?). 2010 is going to be a bloodbath for DEMOCRATS who have lost their way and support even more bankrupt policies that hurt the average voter.

    Next up Patterson, and getting rid of that horrible entrenched politician Sheldon Silver in the Assembly. Gentlemen, your time is up, enjoy what you have while it lasts.

    June 9, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. yuri

    Hope this bipartisan bulwark blocks all kinds of bickerings and brawls to avoid unpleasant events in general.

    June 9, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. Post always rejected by CNN

    There is always impeachment...guess the two turncoats will lose their seats in the next election....

    June 9, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. tcaudilllg

    You mean they were Democrats.... They aren't welcome in our party anymore. They're Republicans now.

    We need to do a much better job of vetting our people.

    June 9, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  17. Fair is Fair

    Leave it to the democrats to once again steal defeat from the jaws of victory. Predictable, if nothing else.

    June 9, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  18. George

    Well, there goes Gay marriage.

    June 9, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  19. UNEDUCATED AMERICA

    i will be voting anti incumbent this next election-

    that is real change

    June 9, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. sifto77

    its not that people dislike the dems–they know that the liberals in the nation are steering them down the wrong road–like him personally or not, Obama is a bad influence on the country in spite of "historical significance" or any other superficial reason. Seems no one is advising this young inexperienced President and he seems to only know how to speak, spend and act cool.

    June 9, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. Tony from NY

    This is sad.

    June 9, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. Billy

    Yeah, go after the two weak Liberals. They lost their re-election for 2010 and then we take back control of NYC. I personally don't think the Republican party is dead, that would be stupid, but I can dream right? Who would vote for old guys with the same old burned out ideas, or a young woman who thinks the world is 6,000 years old. She is the biggest financial moron since...well, Bush. You constantly talk about the second U.S Democratic president in 30 years. People fear change. Clinton brought our National Debt down to almost nothing, brought the number of people on Welfare down to the lowest point in 30 years. Nixon? Corrupt. Bush? Idiotic. Reagan was ok, I'll admit that. A lot of the president is the cabinet he picks though, the president is a mediator and thinks up some ideas, but it all relies on the cabinet for his ideas to be passed. Personally, there are a lot more teenagers ready to vote Liberal than Conservative, even in Conservative redneck states like NC, I would know, I'm trapped here.

    -Billy

    June 9, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. RJ- GA.

    And Democracy dies with a deal ! The Republican Party will stop at nothing to re-own this country. No lie too Big, No War to costly, yet anything for the people too socialist ! New York shame on You !!!!

    June 9, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. Andi

    which is it? Did the GOP 'take control', or is it a 'bipartisan' control?

    June 9, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. Tom from NY(Independent Moderate)

    I saw this on Monday on the news. The ones that defected, and gave the GOP the majority status back, well I guess my plans of leaving NY state are going in high gear. For 40 plus years the GOP held the majority in this state, with their Rockefeller drug laws and all that nonsense and not alot of stuff got done. At least some things got done with the DEMS holding the Senate as majority for the first time in a long time, but regardless of what party is in power, within a few years I will be leaving NY for good after 20 plus years of living here just tired of the way things are and attitude. Anyhow, its politics and thats how things are. Either party in power, this is not a good time for our country or this state.

    June 9, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
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