Yesterday, the State Senate held another Governor Paterson-mandated "extraordinary session." But the post-July 4th session only lasted three minutes, as the State Senate Democrats and Republicans still do not have a deal to share power. Governor Paterson, who is mighty fed up with the stalemate, told the Daily News that maybe the Democrats should give State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. a leadership position, "Whatever you think of [Espada], he has been given the highest position on the coalition side. You may not like him, but you have to respect him. That is where he is."
Espada, of course, is one of the two Democratic Senators who set the upheaval in motion, when he and Hiram Monserrate sided with the 30 Republicans to overthrow the Democrats' majority. Espada was anointed Senate President pro tem—but Democrat Malcolm Smith, who was elected to Senate Majority Leader and Senate President when the Democrats gained control of the Senate for the first time in 43 years in 2008, has claimed he is the rightful Majority Leader and Senate President. Since the June 8 coup, Monserrate has gone back to the Democrats, giving both parties 31 votes—and a quorum to pass any legislation is 32 votes.
Espada and Monserrate were in high spirits on Saturday, after the early July 4 session. Espada told the News, "If I get a little break, I would love to catch a movie with my wife. Interestingly, and perhaps ironically, 'Public Enemies' could be a good movie," while Monserrate showed his moonwalking skills. And the Post reports, "Democrats in the state Senate tentatively agreed to pass legislation extending the mayor's authority to run city schools -- as soon as a power-sharing deal with the GOP is reached, sources said last night." Of course, getting a power-sharing deal is the big if.