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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Strange bedfellows indeed

This one hurts a little to report. A potential underreported setback might be looming for our guy Malcolm Smith and and his crew of loyal Senate Democrats. And there are some Rs that just might consider this strategy not exactly what the conservative Republican coalition promoters really intended. Talk about unintended consequences! The always insightful Liz Benjamin wrote this today.

June 11, 2009
Party Linejumper Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. is making no secret of the fact that he is pushing the idea of bringing the gay marriage bill up for a vote as a means of luring other Democrats into the coalition government.

"We all want the Senate Democrats to come in and participate,” he said. “As I get the same sex marriage bill on the floor, they’ll take their seats, they’ll debate it.”
Espada told reporters today that he has spoken to the Senate sponsor of Gov. David Paterson's gay marriage bill, Tom Duane, who is "very ecstatic" about the idea that the measure might move. Ditto, he claims, for the Empire State Pride Agenda.

"The public would be excited," Espada said. "19 million people, if they could speak clearly and directly, would applaud this, because gridlock kept them from really have a government that they deserved."
(Apparently, the irony of this statement, given the fact that the Senate coup has caused its own special brand of gridlock, was lost on Espada).
Duane has been largely absent from the Capitol, although his spokesman, Eric Sumberg, said the senator had departed his hotel room and showed up here for meetings yesterday. He retreated when things got too "intense."
There has been much speculation about whether Duane might be willing to do a deal with the coalition government, agreeing to join them in exchange for getting gay marriage out of the holding pattern into which Sen. Malcolm Smith placed it.