In a stunning turn of events, the Republicans appear to have taken back control of the State Senate after two Democratic senators defected and voted to place new leaders in control of the legislative body. Senators Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada, Jr., of Queens and the Bronx respectively, joined GOP senators in a 32-30 vote to make Espada temporary president of the Senate and Republican Dean Skelos the new Majority Leader.

Republicans sent a statement to the press stating, "A new bipartisan, coalition is being established that is bringing real reform to the Senate right now." After the vote, the in-house TV station went dark and all that appeared on the screen was a still photo of the Senate chamber and the words “Please stand by.” Liz Benjamin of the News quipped, "So much for the revolution being televised."

She also reports that "an observer in the Senate chamber tells me Skelos was sitting in (Malcolm) Smith's chair with a BIG smile on his face and Smith was nowhere to be seen." While it's not fully clear what specifically ignited the motion to strip power away from Smith, it appears that it may have been prompted by a handshake deal he had with the Gang of Four, the Democratic senators who originally considered challenging Smith's rise to Majority Leader in November, not to bring a same-sex marriage bill to the floor.

Monserrate and Espada Jr. were two of the Gang's four members, along with Senators Ruben Diaz and Carl Kruger. When Diaz was asked if he would join a group to support the GOP, he said, "Today? No. Tomorrow? Who knows? Tomorrow is another day. It's always another day. You ask me do I plan to do that. I say, no. In the future, who knows what the future brings." Keep in mind that Monserrate was indicted for beating his girlfriend (a charge he denies) while Espada is being investigated by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo over whether Espada used his non-profit to promote his political campaigns. Oh, and Espada doesn't even really live in his Bronx district.