Just as we were getting used to the idea of a "Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch"—secretly sworn in by Governor Paterson last night—now here's another curveball for New Yorkers: State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. tells the Post he's leaving the Republican coalition and will rejoin the Democrats! He said, "I'm going to tell (Republican leader Sen.) Dean Skelos that I have a handshake agreement with (Democratic leader Sen.) John Sampson to become the majority leader." Keep in mind that Espada and fellow Democrat Hiram Monserrate's alignment with Republicans help send the State Senate down this rabbit hole.

In the meantime, as the legality of Ravtich's appointment is debated, Paterson's decision has been getting accolades (well, not from Republicans). State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. liked that Paterson took action enough to claim credit for it while even Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who opposed Ravitch's MTA bailout suggestions, said Ravitch is "the finest public person in the state over the last quarter century." And one pundit told WCBS 2 that Paterson's move "in a strange and even perverse way this could turn out to be his political 9/11 the way the real one was for George Bush and Rudy Giuliani. It's a chance for him to step up, to show leadership, to show he's in charge, he's in command and that he's at least trying to get something done."

The NY Times' editorial said, "We don’t know yet whether it was legal, but Gov. David Paterson of New York was right to take the plunge and name a lieutenant governor in an effort to break the increasingly damaging stalemate in Albany. He chose wisely, too, in picking Richard Ravitch for the post." The Daily News' editorial: "In a bold and masterful stroke, Gov. Paterson is moving to end the madness in Albany with the superb appointment of Richard Ravitch as lieutenant governor. This move is an all-around winner, and thank goodness Paterson had the guts to make it in the face of quibbling and questions about his legal authority. The benefits are manifold." But the Post's editorial board is wary of the legal road: "Now, it's true that the crisis revolves around rival claims to the Senate presidency -- and, once again, it is to be hoped that Paterson's action quickly resolves that question. But if it does not, lawsuits are certain. This will further muddy the waters -- and, sad to say, probably sully Ravitch's sterling reputation along the way, for Albany tarnishes everything it touches."