Paterson’s Threats to Senators Working? They’d Never Admit It

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Espada, still smiling for some reason. Photo: nytimes.com

The warring factions of the State Senate have been oddly unified in one respect today: their anger toward Governor Paterson, who has threatened to continue calling them to special session (which he has the power to do) and to start docking their pay (which he doesn't). Both Republicans and Democrats have been talking trash about him all day long, specifically citing what they describe as his lack of leadership. But his pressure is doing something, because according to Pedro Espada, the turncoat Democrat who himself is the largest wrench in the gears of progress, leaders from both sides "have a template" for a power-sharing agreement. "Our staff has been meeting," he told NY1. "Folks, I think, for the first time have put down their armor and their shields and are really talking to each other in a respectful way." Of course, it's easy for Espada to say that there's a template that people should agree on when it's his insistence on remaining president of the Senate that's causing most of the debate. "We're all embarrassed," he added. "We're all embarrassed that we've embarrassed ourselves, the process, the institution through this impasse." You know, if it had been one day, or two, or even just a week, we might have believed that these people (particularly Espada) were capable of shame. But two whole weeks? Sorry, we're not buying it.

Oh, and meanwhile, the farcical special sessions are expected to resume about now.

Espada: Deal May Be In The Works To End Power Struggle [NY1]
Senators United Against Paterson, Trying To Strike A Deal [NYDN]