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Sunday, June 21, 2009
"Oh, my God, what have we done?"
ALBANY—They're allied with him in the quest to wrest control of the State Senate leadership, but there are some lingering misgivings among Republicans in the chamber about the partnership with State Senator Pedro Espada Jr.
"Several of them are in ‘Oh my God, what have we done' mode," said one Republican who is close to many of the senators. "Pedro is obviously enjoying this immensely. The image of Dean standing mute while Pedro pontificates is a little much. And the general stoppage ... some are saying we never should have done it, some are saying, they should have said bring three or four or don't come."
That much seemed clear Thursday when the two top figures in the Republican-led coalition—Espada and State Senator Dean Skelos—emerged from a negotiating session.
Espada proclaimed he had Skelos' support. Skelos said nothing. When pressed, his comments were less than clear.
Later in the day, Skelos issued a statement decrying attacks against Espada and touting the historic nature of the first Latino to attain the title of president pro tempore. There was also this line: "The members of the Senate Republican Conference stand solidly behind Senator Espada as Temporary President and we look forward to building our reform coalition together."
Still, no first-person declaration. Skelos was pressed by the Times Union's Irene Jay Liu in a walk-and-talk. She asked if Skelos was "going to stand by him throughout this."
"I'm going to stand beside him because that was the vote of the Senate," Skelos said.