Late yesterday, after the State Senate "met" for a five-minute session (just the Democrats were present; the Republicans were in court complaining about the Democrats), the Senators signaled they were leaving Albany. Governor Paterson was very, very angry and held a press conference, threatening to "withhold any paychecks or any per diem checks from June 8 forward...If you're not coming to work, you're not getting paid." What a novel idea! He added, "The senators swore to uphold the constitution" and "the constitution empowers the governor to convene a special session. If a senator doesn’t come to a special session, they are in violation of the constitution. That is very clear."
Of course, the State Comptroller is trying to figure out whether Paterson actually has the power to withhold the Senators' pay, but at least both sides have agreed to meet for a session today. Senator Craig Johnson (D) spoke to WCBS 2's Marcia Kramer, "What we were trying to accomplish today Marcia was very simple, what we've been wanting to accomplish for the last several week -- a short term bipartisan resolution to get bills accomplished. Are we crazy or do we have a common sense practical solution to the problem?" Um, clearly, given that no work has been done since the Republicans plus Senators Pedro Espada Jr. and Hiram Monserrate overthrew the Democrats 20 days ago, the answer is, "You're crazy."
As for the Post's Wednesday cover that depicted various State Senators has clowns, some Senators admitted it worked. Senator Diane Savino (D) said she was a little annoyed she was turned into a Bozo but, "Oh, yeah, I think it's legitimate." And Senator John Sampson (D) said, "You know what, yeah, a lot of people are seeing it this way. My daughter saw the front page and said, 'Dah-dah, I didn't know you were a clown.'"