With the coup-coup State Senate still gridlocked, Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) and good government group the Citizens Union offer this idea: Governor Paterson can and should appoint a lieutenant governor who can break the tie! Gianaris said, “The answer to the state's gridlock was right under own noses the entire time: the law allows Governor Paterson to choose a Lieutenant Governor when there is a vacancy. I urge the Governor to make this appointment as quickly as possible so the state legislature can resume its work and pass the dozens of important measures that await action."

Per Gianaris and the Citizens Union, "Public Officer Law Section 43 states '[i]f a vacancy shall occur, otherwise than by expiration of term, with no provision of law for filling the same, if the office be elective, the governor shall appoint a person to execute the duties thereof until the vacancy shall be filled by an election...'" Citizens Union executive director Dick Dadey said, "Hidden in plain sight in our Constitution and the Public Officers Law lays the solution for Governor Paterson to fill the vacancy in the office of Lieutenant Governor.  In doing so, he can end the partisan chaos in the State Senate that has gridlocked our state government, and the business of the people of New York can finally be addressed."

The Daily Politics reports, "Section 43 has never before been used to fill a vacancy in the LG's office. There have been multiple cases in which the office was left open; the last time was in 1984 when Al DelBello was given so little to do by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo that he resigned, citing boredom. In that case, the Republican Senate majority leader, Warren Anderson, served as acting LG. Now, of course, the problem is that two different people are claiming the mantle of Senate majority leader: Dean Skelos and Malcolm Smith." But even Smith might be able to agree it's better than having Espada as acting governor...right?