After State Senate Democrats emerged from a closed-door meeting this morning, it appeared that Malcolm Smith was still in charge of the caucus — but that may not hold for long. There is a movement to put Senator John Sampson at the head of the group in an effort to lure back at least Senator Hiram Monserrate, who defected to the Republican side on Monday to help win them the apparent majority. Meanwhile, the GOP caucus is meeting privately at 1 p.m., and plans to hold what they call an official session of the Senate at three. "We’re the majority," said deputy Democratic leader Jeff Klein, who called any GOP efforts to convene phony. "The chamber, which is controlled by the secretary — who’s still the secretary of the Senate — is closed." (The doors to the room were physically locked by the Dems on Monday.) Republican leaders have said they can meet anywhere they like, and suggested meeting in a public park near the capitol building. But GOP senator George Maziarz said he has a better idea: "I think we should call a locksmith. I imagine we'll probably get one from the phone book, but we must have one on staff," he told New York. "Wouldn't it be funny if we called the number and some mousy guy shows up? It's going to be a riot." While he was joking about the phone book, he says he was serious about getting into the chamber. "Great," groused one Democratic senator, who asked to be unnamed. "Now they can destroy public property."
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